Liam Johnson

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  1. Entry 366 | The Joy Of Bringing Value To Others I'd like to dedicate this entry to anybody who has ever felt how I've felt when they've felt depressed about anything and particularly to my 13-year-old self. There were some dark moments of my teenage years where it felt like I would never be of any value to anybody in the world. At the very worst, I'd have thoughts of suicide but then further thoughts saying that even that wouldn't mean anything to anyone. But this entry comes from a much older version of myself that just today was reminded of his value in the world. And when I say "world" I don't mean the whole of the human race but more like "my world." These are the people in my life: my family, friends, partner and my customers. There honestly aren't that many people close to me in my life right now. I could possibly count them on my fingers. But I would like to make this entry for my future self to serve as a reminder of just how much value I can have on simply one person in life. I want to focus on my customers. There aren't many of them right now. In fact, there are only two of them right now. At this point, I think it's safe to say that my third might have decided to stop having lessons. Far from perfect right? And yes it's far from earning a living. I live at home still with mum and dad and earn what I can which (going on teaching alone) that's around £200 per month. It's important that I'm honest about this now because this has been my financial struggle for a good year now. Earnings are far from ideal but from my experience today, it's still so damn worth it. These two students have been with me for a year now. I've taught them to the best of my ability and encouraged them to practice and develop themselves as guitar players. One of them has autism and has been able to learn 4 pieces: Smells Like Teen Spirit, Wonderwall, Psycho and The Handler (well at least up until those difficult chords after the main guitar solo). The other student, whose lesson today inspired me to write this entry, has entered for his grade 3 exam to take place later this year. This makes me feel so damn inspired and fulfilled. I always say that the first year of doing something new is the worst. I've used that as encouragement for my students to help them push through that tricky first year. Maybe it's also true with teaching. But it's the second student in particular that has really fuelled me with energy because over the course of the year, I've helped him to perform 3 intricate rock/pop pieces, learn 13 scales, 7 arpeggios, improvise solos and recall melodies and chords through ear tests. It's after today's lesson that I'm convinced that he's going to pass his exam and it feels awesome. Seeing him smiling away through our whole lesson and genuinely having fun and laughter throughout was a great sign that he's found something that really matters to him. Could it be that I've helped this kid find a calling of his own? Time will tell. The lesson I want to take away from this is about having the motivation to go out and work on your life purpose. The reward of doing this work is the fulfilment that you get from doing the work. I repeat! The reward of doing this work is the fulfilment that you get from doing the work! The pay check at the end of the day is just there to allow you to keep doing the work that you are doing. The fulfilment from receiving money for doing your life purpose (no matter how small or big) is far outweighed by the fulfilment of actually doing your life purpose. Yes, I may have lost a student because I had kind of given up on him. That's fine. It's my responsibility that he's going to end up quitting because I've played a role in facilitating the lessons and doing the job (which is to inspire him with a more self-expressive life, not just to teach him how to play guitar). I failed in that instance and it's okay. Because if the other two students have taught me anything, it's that I have the ability to provide so much value for someone. I can be a valuable asset to someone. It doesn't matter about the quantity of people I help but the quality with which I help them. So there you go, Mr. 13-year-old Liam from the past. There is your proof at long last that you CAN be a valuable asset to someone. You can change the world in meaningful ways. It's time for you to stop believing that you're never going to be good enough for people because here is the proof! It took you nearly 10 years to create the proof but it was worth every second. And this is bizarre and possibly even imaginary but I do believe that when I actually was around that age, I visualised having a conversation with my future self. The future self who had figured out something worth living for. Something worth bettering myself for. Say what you will but I think that future self is right here and right now. Because for once in my life, I believe in myself. Pick of the day:
  2. Entry 365 | Resistance Has Been Winning It feels pretty awful considering how lonely this journal has been looking. This was a sacred time for me very single evening to reflect on my experiences and focus on my plans for the future. It's such a shame that I've been suckered into the path of resistance. I've been backsliding for a long time now and it feels sad to think that earlier this year I was feeling so much better about my self-growth. I wonder if it's because I've been doing this for quite a while now and it still feels like nothing much is happening as a result of it. Perhaps my psyche still wants it's gratification right now rather than several years down the line. That would explain my behaviours recently. It's silly and I'm ashamed to admit that I've been eating shit, exercising shit, watching shit, doing shit. There's a part of me that really wants this vision in my head to be right now. But unfortunately, it's going to take many more years before I can say I'm truly aligned with it. I think at this point, I would like to not only recommit to my journal because I've just realised how much value it can actually create for myself, but also to slightly change the original intentions I had with this journal. Perhaps that's the reason why my last few entries have been so infrequent and seemingly in terms of its impact on me. I'd like to start using this journal to focus on building a better future for myself rather than looking at all the ways I've applied theory to my everyday life. And perhaps it would deserve a new journal but I tried that before and the idea sucked! I don't know if I can stomach the thought of reading my last page of entries. Hopefully, it's been some insightful reading not because of content but because of context. It's a glimpse of the resistance I've been feeling recently and I guess that it's satisfying in that it proves that the path of self-actualisation isn't without its share of bumps and bruises. Life is very different for me now than it was last year. My goals feel like they are real and slowly on their way to becoming achieved. In fact, it feels factually correct that I will succeed sooner or later. The resistance has just been slowing me down, that's all. It's not like it's completely killed my motivation or anything. But perhaps it has left me feeling less motivated to do specific things like reading, journaling, exercising etc. I'm on my way to recording an album of new music which has to be one of the most challenging enterprises I've ever done. Nobody's asking for it apart from my creative muse. And I'm sure people will be able to get value from it. It's just so hard to stay mindful of that without thinking "but what's the point?" I've been keeping up the ongoing work from the LPC. I've been reading my Me Sheet and envisioning my future solid for over two weeks now, which has been slowly training my mind to see the potential value that I can create for others. Recently, I've been thinking about the vision about helping a suffering teenager find a role model to look up to and draw inspiration from to become more self-expressive and authentic. It's a powerful incentive for me to have because that used to be me a long time ago. I know how it feels to feel unwanted, unloved, undesirable. It felt like I lost my right to be who I want to be. It felt so scary (and it still does sometimes) to express my authentic self to the world. But it's so obvious to me now that my life is about helping other people to be more self-expressive. It's the biggest challenge I've ever had to overcome (bigger than recording an album) and it's the best way I can give something back to the world. Sure, I'm still young with a lot to learn but that shouldn't undermine the value I could provide someone with right now. Crikey Liam! Why did you have to realise that now and not so much sooner?! During the last couple of years, I've been worried about what possible value my music could provide someone with. But now I have the answer. It was never to be impressive or to show off. It was always to be self-expressive. The more self-expressive I can be, the more able I will be to inspire others to be self-expressive too. That's what I must embody right now. I need to provide such a rich abundance of self-expression that there's just so much to share with the world. It's what I value most and with my energy and enthusiasm, I'll be able to do that beautifully one day. Or rather, the Muses will be able to do that through me. And it will be beautiful. Pick of the day:
  3. Entry 364 | Daily Recommitment Theory: One does not simply... Commit to the path of mastery once and that's it. It's the act of recommitment that helps you stick to it. Applying it: The night before the next day begins, commit to yourself that you're going to spend your time wisely and boss it. In the past, I've been guilty of succumbing to my Upper Limit Problem. After weeks of unsuccessful days, I would make a commitment to make the most of the next day by any means necessary. I'd wake up and do exactly that. And perhaps it might even last a few days. But soon enough, I would find justifications to take it easy the next day. And once I started doing that, I found myself falling back into a pattern of not doing very much. To paraphrase Gay Hendricks from the book The Big Leap, the act of commitment (to the path of mastery, the Hero's Journey, etc.) should be more accurately deemed as the act of recommitment. It's those times when you recommit to your purpose and goals that help you stick with it in the long run. If you fail, you get back up and try again. If you end up smacking your head into a brick wall, come back at it with another strategy. No matter how badly you perform on a given day, it's time to recommit to the path, not to quit it. This is a fairly new insight for me seeing as I've only really been doing it since Tuesday. Every night when I call my partner, I end the call telling him that I'm recommitting to bossing it the next day. I've found it useful to say "recommitting" instead of "committing" because it sets you up better for a fresh start the next day. It's been great for my energy levels throughout the day and has definitely allowed my enthusiasm for the day to shine through. Pick of the day:
  4. Entry 363 | Waking Up To Resistance Theory: How you start your day can have an influence on how you perceive the rest of the day that follows. Applying it: From the moment you wake up in the morning, be mindful of how resistant you feel towards the day. Are you wishing you could stay in bed longer? My journal has mostly been an evening thing where I reflect upon the lessons I've learned as each day goes by. From now on, I'm going to be writing in it during the start of my day. This might give me an extra bit of focus throughout the day especially when it comes to applying theory to everyday life. This way, I may be less inclined to write about what I regret not doing through the day and more inclined to be conscious of what I want to be doing. At some point yesterday, I became conscious of how my very first habits upon waking up are supporting my ability to be resistant throughout the day. Whenever the alarm went off, I would often hit the snooze button until around 30 minutes to an hour went by and (trying not to be too graphic) deal with morning wood, all as opposed to getting up on time and starting the day as I planned the day before. These habits correlated with my ability to be resistant during the rest of the day. The more I succumbed to my bad morning habits, the more I would be resistant and easily distracted throughout the day. Last night, I tried a little tactic to prevent this from happening. Along with my usual alarm, I scheduled one minute afterwards another alarm. This second alarm would play some music that would greatly inspire me to start the day. The music I chose came from an album of two guitarists, Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo, who featured at the guitar camp that I went to in May this year. I was heavily inspired by their performances and personalities at the camp and by having this music played one minute after my get-up alarm, my hope was that it would inject me with some of that raw energy that motivates me to go about my business and perform to a high standard. Thankfully, it did just that. In my half-awake state, I forgot all about this second alarm this morning. So when it went off, it immediately put a smile on my face and made me completely forget about dealing with my morning wood. The music served as a reminder of what I'm aiming for with my own life. It made me incredibly happy in that moment before I got out of bed and most importantly, it changed my habit of being resistant in the morning. Instead, I got out of bed feeling pumped for the day and ready to accept whatever comes my way. Pick of the day:
  5. Entry 362 | The Power Of Repetition Theory: The key to becoming great at something in life is simply to repeat it until it has become part of you. Applying it: Whatever you want to become great at in life, commit yourself to at least 5-10 minutes each and every day to practicing and repeating it. Yesterday, I talked about how I spent an hour and a half working on a passage of music around 30 seconds long by simply repeating it. The more I repeated the phrase, the more I relaxed into it. The more I relaxed into it, the more it relaxed into me. Here, I'm going to suggest that this can be applied to everything in life. It doesn't matter how big or small your desire for greatness might be; from wanting an extra bit of presence in your life to wanting to become a Tibetan monk, from wanting to learn some healthy and tasty recipes to wanting to become a chef extraordinaire, from wanting to play your favourite song on guitar to wanting to become the next hot artist selling out concerts halls all over the world. You can get good at anything in life by simply repeating it. The more you repeat, the more you relax into it and the more it starts to become you. Driving home from teaching a lesson today, I contemplated my own life purpose. Every single morning, I'm reading my "Me Sheet" containing everything that my life is about, doing affirmations, contemplating my life purpose statement, visualising and meditating. It takes about an hour in total. When once I would just meditate for an hour, I now do all of this stuff in the first 30 minutes and use the remaining 30mins to meditate. By repeating this every single day, I can see the enormous benefit of doing such work. Not only am I repeating it, but I'm slowly relaxing into it and becoming it. Get it yet? I've emphasised it enough mostly because I've only just this moment managed to put it into words that convey how valuable repetition is in our daily lives. Repetition is the mechanism which allows you to relax and embody your dreams. That doesn't mean to say it will make us relax, but it certainly opens up the opportunity for it. All we must do is surrender to that opportunity and allow the mechanism to reach it's final step: becoming. Pick of the day:
  6. Entry 361 | Rushing Vs Relaxing Theory: Rushing around trying to get things done does not equal fast growth or progress. Applying it: Whatever you practice, try to relax your body and hush your mind while you carry it out. In preparation for recording an album, I'm going through each one of my pieces making sure that everything is fluent and easy to play. I've been playing guitar for over a decade and my style of playing is far from easy and as a result, some parts of my own compositions are too hard for me to play at the moment. When I went to Tommy Emmanuel's guitar camp earlier this year, I remember him saying that your conviction of the music must be so pure and practiced that the technique becomes invisible to the listener. That's the process I'm engaging with at the moment. There's this one tune that I play on guitalele that requires fast, complex arpeggios and fingerpicking. Since composing the piece, I've had trouble performing that passage of music and I know that it wouldn't serve the music to replace it with something easier. So I sat down today and practiced this passage over and over and over again. I slowed down the music so that it became ridiculously easy for me to play and just repeated it on a loop. As I carried out the practice, there was a lot of tension both in the body and mind. My arms, shoulders and back were tense right from the beginning and my mind was pounding with negative thoughts and beliefs in an attempt to make me stop the practice and do something less taxing. Once I became aware of both of these symptoms, I allowed myself to relax both body and mind. My focus was no longer about playing the music. It was about playing the music from the most relaxed state possible. I continued to do this for well over an hour to what must have been over a hundred repetitions. As I slowly increased the tempo on my metronome, I discovered that having found a deeply relaxing state, it felt like much less effort to play the music at a faster speed. There was minimal resistance in my body and mind. It was just happening. The music was playing itself. What's more, the deeply relaxed state managed to stay within me throughout the entire thing. Now when I try to play that phrase again, I approach it with positive beliefs that affirm that it's easy and I can allow myself to relax. This method can be applied to any practice or task. By relaxing the body while carrying out an activity, we can relax the mind too. All we need is the awareness to see where the tension and resistance lies. Pick of the day:
  7. Entry 360 | Full-Circle Reflection 360 entries later... Boy how times have changed! It's definitely been over a year since I started this journal back in 2016. But now that quite a chunk of time has passed since then, I can look back at where I was then and where I am now and reflect. The day that I first sat down to write this journal is so fresh in my mind as it started one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. Back then, I had no idea how to do self-reflection or type using a Dvorak keyboard. Now, they both feel super fluent! Third year at university was one of the best years of my life. Everything seemed to be going well back then. But it became real difficult to adjust to life outside of the university bubble. It still is in a way. The biggest thing that has changed since starting this journal is that I've started believing in myself. I'm a lot more out of my shell in terms of showing up as who I want to be in the world. Back in 2016, I still had doubts whether it could really be possible for someone like me to have a career as a performing artist. Now, it feels like the journey is well under way. I just performed a gig this evening in a typical pub/restaurant that have acoustic acts perform there. It wasn't anything spectacular as they didn't even have a sound system or stage but I gave one of the best performances of my life there tonight. The reason why, I think, has a lot to do with the work I did in the Life Purpose Course. The biggest discovery I made (which I may have mentioned in an earlier entry) was that my biggest value in life is self-expression not excellence. My top strength is my energy, zest and enthusiasm. For ages, I've been wanting to prove to others that I'm an excellent guitarist. But my philosophy has changed. My focus is on providing the best atmosphere and experience that I possibly can with my performance. That change of viewpoint helped me to tap into the deep desires within me and deliver a memorable night to what could have been a shitstorm. I've grown in so many other ways too. My education on what makes healthy meals is so much better than before, I'm understanding how money really works in society as opposed to what the people around us tend to believe, my music is becoming more soulful and meaningful... So many things! I also managed to find a boyfriend who genuinely supports me and my growth as a human being. The future is looking bright. My work for the next couple of months is to record an album of tracks which I never thought I'd be doing so soon. I found it hard to believe that people would genuinely enjoy to hear my music and hear me perform. But I've spoken to a good few people who want to hear this album and it's so motivating to think that this is genuine value that I could create in this world. Also, getting paid for gigs is one of the best feelings in the world. It really doesn't feel like work to me whatsoever, even though it can require a fair amount of skill. There's no special reason I'm calling this a full-circle review. It's entry 360 and it's not going to happen again so why not? I actually feel hopeful that the work I have always wanted to bring to the world might be deeply appreciated by a few people. Not everybody. But a few hardcore, dedicated listeners who really authentically digs my shit! Onwards and upwards... Pick of the day:
  8. Entry 359 | Forgetfulness Theory: The typical behaviour of forgetting things can act as an Upper Limit Problem. Applying it: Notice how you end up forgetting things and suffering as a result of it. Does it happen to come after a time of being happy for a long period of time? So after bossing the entire morning and afternoon, I ended up forgetting about a band rehearsal taking place in a neighbouring town. Easily done. I just forgot to put it on my calendar, had no reminder and then forgot about the rehearsal completely. I made it in the end but after being an hour late to it. This made me feel so down for the rest of the evening as I started self-loathing. All of that negative energy then passed into whoever was near me including all of the band and my mum when I got back home. Due to some actual sad circumstances going on with my dad involving memory, I could see how my forgetfulness was actually the deliberate workings of my lower self. The seeds were planted long ago when the rehearsal was made and I didn't put it in the calendar. It's like there was some subconscious attempt to sabotage happiness further down the line which sounds despicable but it's true. And it just so happened that I forgot all about the rehearsal after a whole day of feeling extremely positive and motivated. It brought me down and it did so really hard. I managed to talk it through with my boyfriend when I got home who reassured me that the problem was of my own creation. On reflection, I can see how it became an Upper Limit Problem. There's a part of my psyche that still believes that I can't have things go successfully all of the time. It's not only playing havoc emotionally but no doubt it will have real consequences on my career as a musician if nothing is done about it. The best thing to do is to just reassert myself with the facts and frame things in a more positive light. The lesson I've learned from this mistake is not simply "don't be late, put things in your calendar." That's too basic. The lesson to be learned is that the Ego will put up a fight and stop you from feeling happy in the now. If I can accept that having things go my way and feeling happy about it every single day is the direction I must go in, then that's a victory over the ego for this battle. Pick of the day:
  9. Entry 358 | Letting Go Of Yourself Theory: One of the biggest obstacles you face as you're on a path of growth is dealing with your changing self. You instinctively want to do what you've always done but if you always give in, you can never change. Applying it: Instead of focusing on what you have to lose from growing yourself, always focus on the incomparably more rewarding gain that waits for you on the other side. Hey again guys. "It's been a while" probably feels more like a catchphrase at this point but truth be told, I wasn't exactly being a great role model of my Higher Self in the last month or so. Some exciting things happened but I never felt "on it." There was no routine like there always was since I started this journal. However, I'm realigning myself with my higher values and it's about time that my journal habit reverted to once per day. It's hard to go into detail as to why last month was particularly shitty. But the subject of this entry would provide the clearest indication of my perspective during that time. It felt like I was losing myself. I tried desperately to cling onto those behaviours and habits that I once had when I was younger before I started this self-actualization journey. But that journey was never going to be abandoned. It is a shame that I had to resort to eating unhealthily, not exercising or working hard during that time. There's no point in trying to justify it. All that I can do is let go of what has been done and look toward the future. Having finished the Life Purpose Course (LPC), I do find myself with a lot more direction. Things have been going slowly but well all the same. Gradually over the last week, I've been reintroducing habits back into my life that promote growth and self-actualization such as meditation, gym, eating healthily, goal setting, etc. Journaling happens to be the habit I'm reintroducing into my life right now. And I'm still bombarded with thoughts that try to revert me back to homeostasis. It's challenging to try and deal with it all in one go but the one-by-one approach is working much better. Sometimes, I need to remind myself why I'm meditating, exercising, working, journaling. This journal, for instance, wasn't to preach my "knowledge" of self-actualization but instead to reflect on what I have learned during the day. I meditate because it brings stillness, tranquility and awareness into my life. I exercise because not only do I aspire to have a hot-looking body but most important, I value being able to walk and dance around without any aches or pains. The work I'm doing towards my music is such a challenge. I feel like there's always a nagging voice in my head saying "this is such an egotistical expedition" and "you just want to be famous." But this is where the LPC has taught me something super valuable: it's not just a fairytale about fame and fortune. The fact of the matter is that my gifts as a human being and my life purpose are designed for music performance. The particular flavour of music performance that I have to offer is uniquely my own and it is my duty to actualise it to the full. Letting go of who I once was is the sacrifice that must be made. There's room in the future for things such as eating junk food, mindlessly watching TV or YouTube, jacking off, lying to people to make them like you... But if I remember what's going to take it's place (such as eating beautifully healthy food, going to lots of concerts, an amazing sex life, genuine and meaningful relationships with others), then it sure as hell makes the transition a lot easier. It does feel like I'm becoming more aligned with my authentic self through behaviours, interactions, dress sense, creativity, etc. Perhaps I've been hiding away for too long for it to look like it. But it feels like I'm truly coming into my Higher Self. Slowly but surely. Pick of the day:
  10. Entry 357 | The Life Purpose Course Made by Actualized.org So a bit of context going into this review. Last year, I completed a music degree and decided to take a year out for some soul-searching. I had a very ambitious idea about what I wanted my life to be about but was unsure (a) that it was a legitimate idea and not a childish one, and (b) whether I would regret choosing such a lifestyle in the long run. So after some contemplation, I figured that this course would be able to set the deal straight. It would maybe reveal some things about myself that I wasn't aware of before and give some very practical advice about turning an idea into a reality. Fast-forward to today where I have just watched the final video of the course (minus FAQs). The question is: was it worth it? Of course it was. There is enough information in this course to last for years. Each video is tightly packed with all the nuggets of wisdom that you could need to go about bringing together a life purpose. The most valuable thing that I have taken away from this course is just how much value can be created in knowing yourself in depth. Sure, I knew I loved the hell out of performing music and playing guitar before starting the course. But I had no idea how vague a description that was until I went through the rigorous process to discover more about who I am, what I value and what strengths I can bring to the table. One thing I have noticed since starting the course is the amount of resistance I had to go through to complete it. Clearly, the ego realises the enormous potential of such a course to transform your life so it does whatever it can to sabotage your efforts to finish it. That's not the fault of the course. But it's something to be wary about when purchasing it. You must see it through to the end no matter if it takes you several years to finish it. It took me over half a year from start to finish with a good deal of resistance in the middle to pad it out. This course would be especially helpful for those at a loss with what to do with themselves. Even if you think you have a solid idea about what your life purpose is (like I did), you can still learn so much from this course that will make you think otherwise. The practical advice in the course is related to the inner game of building a career, no matter the profession. There are plenty of exercises, visualisations and quizzes as you complete the course and trust me that most of your resistance will be felt during those. It's easy to watch videos. It's more challenging to put your heart and soul into the exercises too. There's also a small reading list with plenty of book/video/program recommendations attached to specific videos for those wanting to take it further. Many of the books you will find in the Top 200 Self-Help Books list. It's been a long time coming, but I made it to the end. And it feels damn good! Pick of the day:
  11. Entry 356 | Leaving It All Behind The last few weeks have been full of resistance. This journal semi-abandoned but never completely. I was always going to come back to this journal but truth must be said that resistance won one over. The last year has truly been wonderful spiritually. Going to Scotland to interact with and learn from guitar heroes, finding a partner that feels like a soul mate, and having freedom to do anything has been a blessing this last year. As my life purpose started to look a lot more probable than possible, the resistance switch flipped and freaked me out. Being home with my parents this last year has been so wonderful that it's become difficult to even dream of leaving it behind to pursue a life for myself. I didn't realise how much home meant to me until me and mum had a heart-to-heart talk last night. I told her that by pursuing my life purpose, I felt like I was abandoning home and the people I love. She told me that just because I believed that didn't make it true. We could still communicate with the wonders of technology most of the time and that home would always be waiting whenever I would feel like coming back. It was also one of the few moments where my mum hasn't tried to encourage me to develop a backup plan. Instead, she willed me to start looking for as many gig opportunities as I could and go and enjoy it. That meant so much to me. So by finally allowing my deep sadness about leaving home to come to the surface, the resistance disappeared. I'm now able to face this journal and continue to self-actualise. It really sucks that the last few weeks, I've not exactly been a prime example of someone living the self-actualised life. But it's a work-in-progress and (if it's anything like practicing the guitar) it will be a lifelong practice. I said I would be back on this journal and broke my word. I could promise to do the same now but it's perhaps better to just do it. No satisfaction comes with talking about doing something. Pick of the day:
  12. Entry 355 | Self-Worth Issues Theory: It's easy to be blind to the many ways that you can provide value for others and therefore feel a lack of self-worth. Applying it: Talk to a close friend or relative about your self-worth issues to hear their perspective. They will be able to show you how much value you provide for them and others. Last night, I had a meaningful pep talk with my boyfriend about my self-worth issues. After an unproductive day, he sat me down and helped me explore what the root of the problem was. We discovered that the cause of most of my problems traced back to an event that happened in secondary school where I became a reject. I've written about this in the past so I won't do it again. Needless to say that while most of the emotional scarring had been cleared up from that incident (which happened 10 years ago now), there was still some bad conditioning left in my brain from it. Self-worth was the general theme that kept coming up. I felt unworthy of having people that cared about me in my life. So much so that my brain had been conditioned to interact less with people and in a more reserved, dishonest manner. If I liked someone, I would keep it to myself and be too afraid to let that person know it. When my boyfriend started to convince me that I had some genuine value to offer as a person, the limiting belief was so strong that the notion that I could be a value to somebody's life felt bizarre. The chance that people could actually want more of me in their life felt so strange and still does a bit. Another limiting belief that I had was that people are mostly being fake when they express that they like me. This came from that same event in childhood when my "friends" decided to abandon and reject me as a person. Every friendship since then has been approached with scepticism. I've found it hard to believe that people actually want to be my friend for genuine reasons other than wanting something from me. Sure there are fake friendships around. But it's almost as if I was looking for confirmation bias in all of my friends that they were also being fake. As I move forward as a musician, this pep talk has helped me so much to realise the potential value that I could create. Now it's clearly in sight, it's hard not to be motivated to make it possible. Pick of the day:
  13. Entry 354 | Down But Not Out Yikes, hello there. It's been a month since the last journal entry. Two of those weeks were spent on perhaps my last family holiday while the other two were full of resistance. Facing these emotions has been incredibly difficult to do. But hopefully, this journal entry will be able to shine a light onto how I'm feeling and how I'm thinking. Thanks to resistance, no longer do I have a daily meditation habit nor do I have any drive to self-actualise like I once did. I'm earning not very much money, spending less days at the gym, spending less time creating something worthwhile with my music. And the root cause of it all is my resistance to emotion. Thankfully, I feel more calm halfway through this entry to start looking at whats going on. I'm afraid of what my life will become if I succeed. My focus is not so much on where I'm going but what will be left behind. This journey is going to end up killing me, destroying my ego. To constantly give everything I've got on a daily basis until death would be a selfless way to live. And that's what I'm initially resistant towards. There have been times in the past where I've felt so content with life that I would welcome death. But I don't feel that way right now. I'm scared of death. But not because of what will come next. It's more what potential could have been squandered. Yet the ego persists to squander my life away. Self-sabotaging behaviours have been developing over the last month or so. But I still have the awareness to realise that those behaviours can change. The surest way to do that is to change the way I think. That's a lot easier said than done. And I feel like that's kind of what I've been doing ever since starting this journal. But changing the way that you think hurts. Not painfully but emotionally. Brooke Castillo would call it the "river of misery." When the conscious mind tries to teach the subconscious mind new thought patterns, there becomes a disconnect. The subconscious will put up a fight against this new thought pattern to cast it away. But even the subconscious mind will weaken eventually. As resistant as I have been over the last few months, the desire for growth has never left me. It was a voluntary act that got me to sit down and write something in this journal. And I feel that growth has happened. No longer do I tell myself that it's not possible because I can see and believe that anything is possible. The next step is to go ahead and do it and feel the discomforting emotions that come with doing it. It's like taking responsibility of both the rewards and the costs of living such a lifestyle. One can't be claimed without the other. Strangely, I feel more motivated to start bossing it now. So I'm gonna go do that while it's still there. The resistance has gone. I can now start to feel and accept the discomforting emotions along the path. I'm back. Let's boss this. Pick of the day:
  14. Entry 353 | Meeting A Hero Good grief, the cobwebs have been gathering on this journal for a while. Last weekend, I finally made it to the Tommy Emmanuel Guitar Camp in Scotland. This trip was booked a good 6-7 months ago and it was my aim to learn as much as I can about how to become a professional guitar player. But most important, it was to inspire me with the kind of lifestyle that is possible for me and to meet and learn from the best. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Because I went alone, it felt legitimately as if I was stepping outside of myself to live every guitar player's dream. There were three intense days of classes, workshops and concerts from Tommy Emmanuel, John Knowles, Richard Smith, Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo. I also got to interact with guitar players from all over the world during meal times and at the open-mic sessions at the end of each day. Although the whole event was inspiring, the defining moment was when I got to perform with Tommy onstage. The guy can jam to anything so I chose to perform my rendition of Staying Alive by the Bee Gees. What an absolute joy it was! To look one of my guitar heroes in the eyes and perform onstage while dancing around and having fun will be the equivalent of looking into the eyes of an enlightened master who really understands me and where I'm coming from. Guitar teachers and university lecturers have taught me a lot. But there's something special about learning from the very best, from the guys who are the masters in their field, the ones who are highest up the mountain. They know things that your standard teachers and lecturers don't know. Their philosophy in life is special and so is the energy that they carry around with them. Being immersed in such an atmosphere for over a weekend has worked wonders on my beliefs. I find myself suddenly lots more optimistic and convinced that such a lifestyle is really possible. This is borderline self-actualization because it's very specific to my life purpose. However, I would recommend such an experience to everyone. Meet your heroes and learn from them. Take their classes, say hello to them. They really are just normal people like us! They're not superhuman. Pick of the day:
  15. Entry 352 | Stopping Old Habits Theory: The act of stopping your habits isn't the difficult part. It's facing the emotions that you've been resisting that is the most difficult. Applying it: Take five minutes to stop what you are doing at the end of the day and reflect on your own emotions. Don't condemn negative emotions that come up. Instead, welcome them into your life and listen to what they have to say. Yesterday's pep talk with myself was just what I needed. Today has been a day full of creative output. Meditation, exercise, guitar practice, video recording, life purpose course and cooking. I think the trick for me is not to do lots of things in the day but to do the things in great detail. The results I've created today confirm this for me. But today wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for my surrender to negative emotions the night before. Listening to the voice that came with the negative emotion, I realised just how pointless my consumption-based habits have become in my life. So long as I spent the majority of the day doing these activities, I was cutting off the amount of creativity that I could muster in a day and killing off a lot of joy to be had. Creativity was my top high-consciousness virtue (according to the work I've done in the life purpose course). This is what I deeply want my entire day to revolve around for the rest of my life. The only thing getting in the way was these old, consumption-based habits. I actually feel pumped right now about how much I've been able to achieve since turning inward and facing my emotions. By doing so, it made it very easy to drop them habits today. They really do feel less desirable after having done that exercise yesterday. My focus on creating rather than consuming has led me to live a more fulfilling day. This is the focus that I want to keep reaffirming with every day that passes. There is no joy to be got. Only to be created. Pick of the day: