Tag Archives: Overcoming

Facing Problems and Fears

Thoughts on Facing Problems and Fears

What is the best way to face our problems and fears? We are told many ways not to face them. Do not dramatize them, as that makes them bigger. Fighting them also makes them worse. If you push them down, swallow them, or run from them that makes them bigger too.

Everyone knows ways to run from things. We can use drugs, over-working, alcohol, relationships, games, or other entertainment. We can use food, illness, denial, anger, humor, or neurosis. It becomes obvious that running is rarely a good idea.

By facing them properly we are told, the fears and problems dissolve and you see that they never were anything at all. At least, that is what Gangaji and other great teachers tell us. It sounds good but quite frankly the author of this post just isn’t there yet. Are you?

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Ultimately we lose everything. Everything we fear must eventually vanish, but we also lose all we hold important. Our jobs, our homes, health, our mates, our children, our possessions, our friends, and our pets; we lose them all eventually. Nothing lasts forever and no one gets out of here alive.

We understand these things intellectually. They are obvious. Still, it is not so easy to actually live these ideas at the higher spiritual levels. Instead, all those things become even more problems and things to fear.

We can remember Ramana Maharshi, in “Who Am I?” We grasp the realization that we are not our bodies. We realize that we are not our thoughts and emotions. We are not even the air that we breathe. We discover that we are is that force which animates or allows all those things.

Can’t that just be another intellectual layer? A person can say I’m not this body and the problem is only an illusion, but if the fear or problem remains, the process is only another layer or a cheap mask at best.

The intellectual realizations may calm us in many instances. But how do we know we are really succeeding? How do we know we are facing problems and fear properly? The answer would be when they no longer consume us or cause, fear, worry, anger, or any other negative emotion. The answer is when we stop replaying them within our minds, in a repetitive loop.

Somehow we are to live, love, and experience both good and bad, but yet let go once the experiences are over. We are not to attempt recreating things the great teachers tell us.  But we do try. We experience fun, love, or joy and we try to recreate it. We have a special moment with someone and try to relive it. A couple has a special moment with the first child, they try to replicate it for the second child. Often it is not the same. Sometimes it is a disappointment. Clinging to happiness, we are told, chases it away. Misery appears as the joy vanishes.

We also recreate problems and fears. We humans like revisiting them too much to let go. We do it constantly. We worry. We obsess. We replay our fears and problems over and over in our minds. It’s almost a bit masochistic, isn’t it?

Some people carry their problems, pains, and fears so proudly they tell everyone they meet.  You would think they were medals of honor they received for heroic deeds. They can’t stop trying to relive and recreate the problems, the fears, or the pain. It becomes their identity. Still, embracing them and clinging to them is not truly facing them. “Emotionalism is the avoidance of the deepest emotions,” Gangaji tells us.

We also try to recreate spiritually. Meditation is an example. If we achieve a great feeling or realization, we keep trying to get it back. The chase almost always ends in frustration. We are told that we are not to do that. Krishnamurti instructs not to expect anything when we meditate. If you are expecting, you really aren’t meditating. You are chasing, or running. Trying to relive the past experience is not meditating. Furthermore the more you chase that blissful feeling, the more it eludes you. Only when you let go and let go of the grasping and expecting are you meditating he tells us. Many of the great teachers go on to tell us that life is the same way.

Problems, fears, happiness, life, and meditation seem to have some commonalities. Running from any of them seems futile. Nothing is gained. Clinging to them does not bring happiness or solve things either. It is opposite. Clinging to any them makes you feel worse or backfires.

It seems like you need the same approach for all of them. There seems to be a middle road that is difficult to find.   Do not cling. Do not run. Do not overanalyze. Do not recreate. Do not expect. Do not force. Do not fight. Do not judge. Do not justify. Do not regret, Do not repress. Do not hold grudges. Do not blame. Do not hate.

There seems to be no escape. The only way to approach fear and pain is with a calm level mind. “No matter how much you try to run away from hurt, you still experience it.”  Gangaji



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Attention Writers

Is your setting weak? Is it missing convincing elements?  Are you having trouble getting started or filling in the details?

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12 Pitfalls and Blocks to Personal Growth and Improvements

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Why do so many self-improvement projects fizzle away? The best of our intentions sometimes seem to dwindle away within weeks. Why do we start only to quit? What is it that stops us from improving? Below we will explore a few of the many blocks and pitfalls.

Fear or Uncertainty
Fear is can be a subtle culprit. It could be a fear of failure, “If I don’t try then I can’t fail.” It could also be a fear of success, “If I lose all that weight, then have to keep it off.” Another fear may be, “What will people think if I fail?” The fear could also be the uneasiness of doing something new or going into unexplored territory.

Thinking it will be Easy – Unrealistic Expectations
Sometimes an idea sounds great, but the reality is that it takes work. Say you go to a jam session and get inspired to start practicing that old saxophone or guitar in your closet. It will be great. Maybe you decide to start painting again. You daydream about how great it will be, but the daily repetition of practice soon puts the dream to rest. Things often look easier when some else is doing it.

Getting Caught Up In the Euphoria – a Common Pitfall
Maybe it’s a book. Maybe it was a video. Sometimes people make rash decisions then do something foolish. An example is Mike wants to lose some weight so he spends $375 on a one-year health club membership that he only uses for 2 months. Maybe Jan decides to write more on her blog and after a free webinar, she spends $550 on a writing course that she only one-quarter way completes. Generally, it is not wise to purchase anything until you are already in motion with a track record. Otherwise, it often leads to waste.

Seminar Addiction
Rather than getting started, some people just keep going to every class and seminar they can find on a given subject. They love the seminar highs but never get to the real work. Lodging for out of town weekends can also be costly. If you purchase any materials they are selling the cost increases even more. The seminars become a substitute for doing what needs to be done.

Preparation and the Leaning Addiction
A person may buy some used books and start reading. Next, he finds free videos on the internet. The reading and videos continue as the learning becomes more interesting than the original goal. He becomes an expert on the subject but never takes action, much like an expert in gardening who has no garden. Preparation and learning are important, but often they can be tools of procrastination.

Stuck at a Phase
May people reach a plateau and stop. It is easy to find a new discovery or make a certain accomplishment then stop. Often in therapy, for example, a person becomes mesmerized by some new discovery and never goes beyond the point. They become experts on their condition but do little to get past it.

Not prioritizing
You need to decide what is important and what is not. You may need to cut down on some comfortable but non-productive activities such as television, watching sports, drinking, or even socializing. You need to look for things of lesser importance and cut them out.

Not scheduling – Not Pacing
Scheduling solves many of the problems listed in this article. “What gets scheduled, gets done.” If you schedule it and stick to it, you will eventually make progress. Don’t try to do it all at once. Always start out slow then build on that foundation once it is solid. Start with smaller increments of time than increase gradually.

Not Getting Back up After a Setback or Fall
Sometimes we just fail. No matter how good a try we give some things, we will at times fall flat on our faces. That is just how life is. There can be any number of reasons for a failure, but that does not mean you need to just give up and quit. That leads us to the next pitfall, giving up.

Giving up
Maybe its discouragement, maybe it is difficult, but don’t quit. A setback or a fall is not a failure until you quit. In other words, you have not failed until you have given up.

Not Enough Time
The not enough time trap is one of the most common. It is an excuse. The truth of the matter is you have no less time than anyone else. We all get 168 hours in a week. Do you want to do it or not?

Excuses
Speaking of excuses, there are more than a million reasons not to start or to just give up – the job, the family, your mother, the kids, your age, headaches, or any other number or things. You can use almost anything on this list as an excuse. The question is – Do you want an excuse, or do you want results? The choice is yours.

In closing, you need to think things through, make a plan, and have a schedule. Think before spending any money. Always give things a couple days to cool down so you don’t make emotional decisions that will cost you. Dream a little but do the work. If the cause is good, don’t let anything defeat you. Winners rarely quit.

Article by Paul Nieto – Old Dirt Road
All Rights Reserved

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Attention Writers

Is your setting weak? Is it missing convincing elements? Are you having trouble getting started or filling in the details?

Maybe you just want to learn more about setting or need a few ideas.

Picture of book by Paul Nieto - Quick Essentials of  Setting and Worldbuilding

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The New Proclamation – I AM Free

The New Proclamation – I will no longer accept appearances. I will no longer accept the world’s manipulations and lies. I will no longer accept sickness or the sickness others. I will proclaim truth, health, and wellness instead. photo razor barbed wire

I will no longer accept my limited finances as a reality of life. I will proclaim wealth and riches instead. I will no longer accept the prison of my employment as part of life. I will proclaim freedom instead.

I will no longer accept anything that the world proclaims or teaches. From now on, it will be suspect and subject to questioning, for so much of it has proven untrue. I will see and seek the truth instead. I will accept only on the facts of this world that are of benefit to me or everyone else. I will cast away the rest of their teachings of bondage.

I will no longer see myself as a prisoner of this life and world. I will proclaim that I am a spiritual being and a member of a different world. I will let no man or women of the world led me or guide me. I will strive to listen to the voice of God, the Creator, the Supreme Force, the True Source of all that is real.

It is finished. I am not of this world. I am a spiritual being. I will grow into that spirit that the World is preventing me from becoming. And if some dare to say, I am wrong so what? Won’t we all just die the same then anyway? There is and can be no added loss in this path, unlike the world’s path that proves loss and suffering over and over again. On the contrary, there can only be gain on this path.

Today I depart from the tyranny and enslavement this world and begin the journey to Truth, justice, freedom and the True Reality that our captors in this world so fear
us from finding. From now on, I am free. We are all free. Today I seek Truth and only Truth.

Click here for the meditation video with 2 channel audio The New Proclamation video on Youtube.

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Pulling Out Life’s Weeds

As I pulled weeds listing to an MP3 on Forgiveness this morning, I realized how much working on yourself is like pulling the weeds, They are both something you would rather not do and perhaps only do if and when it is absolutely needed. Yet if you do not work on these things, the weeds will overrun everything and eventfully choke out most of what may be considered good.

The best time to work on weeds is after a good rain. There usually isn’t much else better or more fun to do outside so this is an ideal time. The ground is softer a big storm, even so in life. After a failure, after the end of a marriage, or the end of a relationship, for example, is a good time to work on life’s weeds. Your foundations are shaken. They are softer. You are more willing to do the difficult work. And certainly, no one wants to work on such problems when the sun is bright and all is well. It just doesn’t seem so important.

Some of the more shallow roots come out  very easily after a good hard rain. It takes very little effort. The same weed on a sunny day would be extremely difficult because the ground is not ready. The ground firmly holds the roots in place and almost every weed simply breaks off at the root. Everything looks good for a short time, but soon the weeds, and even more weeds, appear later.

Some of life’s weeds have very deep roots, even the small weeds that don’t look like much at first glance may be like this. If you use the right tool to pry into the soft earth, a root the length of a carrot my come out. Other roots are like an octopus, spreading their tentacles everywhere and in every direction. If you don’t get these roots out, even more weeds bigger than the first will appear. Eventually, over the years, you will never be able to win as the roots become so embedded that nothing can be done sort of poisoning both the good and the bad. Year after year, the weeds simply return.

Picture of thislte weed
Pulling life’s weeds can be tricky and painful.

Having the right tools is important. First, I like to use an old shower curtain to sit on. It may be filthy but it keeps me dry. The most important tool, however, is some kind of weed tool for prying at the roots. I got a very inexpensive one at Lowe’s. With the right tool, the weed and its roots come out in one big piece with much less effort. Without the right tool, the weed simply breaks off.

What are the right tools for life’s weeds? A surface tool might be a self-help book or weekend conference. Those things may help with the more shallow weeds, but bigger weeds will only break off. Things may look better for a short while, but not long.

Another tool may be some sort of therapy. I prefer really deep study to therapy. After reading enough books to stack up over 6 feet high, you will understand why. You will see how therapy often makes a person simply feel better, often without much change. Even some therapists admit this. The Great Dr. Berne even coined what is known as “The Therapy game.” Face it – Most people, however, prefer the easy way out – even if it costs them dearly. They don’t really want to get to the root of things at all – they are just too lazy. They simply go through the easier motions and
settle for sniping the weeds at the stem so things look better for a while.

Another overestimated tool is communion with God or your higher power. This is often overlooked. The reading, the prayer, and meditation combination have the most powerful effects. Again, this is not for the timid or the leisurely.

Granted you can pay people to weed for you, but they seldom will do as good a job as you will, if you care to do a good job. It would cost a lot of money to have someone pull weeds well. A person not paid much, say minimum wage, is not likely to care if the weeds break at the root or not, but it sure looks nice for a short time. An expensive laborer may do a much better job, but often an expensive laborer is no better than the lower paid one. Yes, there is no way around it if you are serious and want things done right. Eventually, you have to do the dirty work yourself.

Paul Nieto
Old Dirt Road

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