soos_mite_ah

The Joy Journal

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I'm making this journal to pour out the joy that I feel in my life and document how I'm working towards higher levels of joy. Let's see how this works out :). 


The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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Currently, the thing that is bringing me the most joy and fulfillment is this anthropology class that I am taking over the summer called "Health as a Human Right."

A lot of the readings critique things like "voluntourism", where doctors travel to a developing country for 2 weeks in hopes of treating numerous people with a certain disease. At first it doesn't look like a huge issue. If anything, it looks very charitable. The arguments against this consist of the following (The main source I got these arguments is from Paul Farmer's book Pathologies of Power. It's a great read if you're looking for a yellow perspective with a critique of green) 

1. Going to a country for 2 weeks doesn't fix the system that is at play rather it simply patches up the symptoms of the system. 

Many of the problems regarding diseases in developing countries boil down to power dynamics that are present in that society, access to healthcare, and ability to go forth with medical treatment. In this class I had to dissect this case study on HIV/AIDs in Haiti. Granted, this ethnography was from the late 80s and the 90s but it was a good case study nonetheless. Firstly it talks about the power dynamic between the patients and the doctors. There is this whole "the doctor tells you what to do and you have to follow through with it" dynamic present along with colonial narratives of being a white savior and swooping into a "primitive" country to solve all of their problems. As far as access to health care goes, the treatments for the diseases are there but aren't available to the poorest patients, who are usually the most at risk in the first place due to poor infrastructure and structural violence. Often times, medical professionals are critiqued on how the treatment needs to be more affordable but the argument is how could you put a value on a human life because it should be  a human right so that people can live without suffering and with dignity.  Capitalizing off of the drugs used for treatment from vulnerable populations is not ethical by any means and shouldn't be done for profit. There are many arguments against capitalism when it comes to basic human needs. Finally, even if those people do get treatment, they often still lack homes, jobs that pay for treatment, running water, and other infrastructural concerns that can make focusing on getting better much harder. Often times, people who are in this position try to get by by stopping medication as soon as they feel slightly better so that they can go back to work to provide for their families. Of course, not going through fully with treatment is detrimental in the long run and on top of that these patients are also labeled as "non-compliant" which means they didn't follow directions. While that is true it does not tell the whole story because it does not capture why people couldn't go through with treatment and is often used as a justification for the narrative that "these people don't want health and don't care." 

2. It negates what the community might actually need and instead resort to playing "white savior."

Often times people who do travel to developing countries for a 2 week volunteering trip, the odds are that people don't know anything about the culture, what is infrastructurally wrong etc. It also harms local professionals in that area by taking their jobs. Instead a solution to this is ensuring that people who want to go on a trip like this have previously stayed at the country at question for a certain period of time in a position of observation so that they can see the systems that are involved and act accordingly. Another thing to consider is that first world countries that hope to offer resources ask developing countries exactly what resources and expertise they need instead of swooping in and doing everything for them. Because swooping in often sends the message that the locals can't solve things and develop their infrastructure themselves. 

3. It uses the suffering of others as a resume piece instead of treating the people like actual human beings 

Often times, when people do participate in "voluntourism" they do so in order to fill their resume to send the message to their employers or college applications to say "hey look, I'm a good person I do all of this work in developing countries." Now, I'm not saying that people do not deserve credit for things they did to hone their expertise but rather there needs to be extra consideration taken when it comes to dealing with the suffering  of many people. This argument reminded me a lot about Teal Swan's video on altruism and how that can be self serving. 

Another great source that popped up into my YouTube recommended that touches on these points 

 

Other things that I found interesting in this course includes how social issues such as racism, education, the prison system, violence etc. relate to public health and how human rights issues are contagious and can be treated like a disease. It talks about how it is important to systemically prevent issues like how public health is geared towards prevention while medicine is geared towards in the moment treatment. This course also talks about the epistemology of disease and how people attribute causes to different diseases. It ranges from how some people thinks it may be a curse (stage purple), to god punishing them (stage blue), to a microscopic organism (stage orange), to inequality (stage green), and to systemic issues (stage yellow).

This class showed the short comings of green, even though there were good intentions, and pointed out the failings of orange. The only thing I wish is that my professor discussed spiral dynamics since it is such a deep model and can explain a lot of things we are discussing in the context of this class. This class ultimately felt like a wealth of insight as I pieced many perspectives together from my previous knowledge that I gained in my psychology, sociology, political science, and even business classes in college. And I ate that up. Sure it's a lot of work crammed into one month of summer classes but I am enjoying and basking in every moment of it.  


The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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Not sure if you welcome questions and comments from others. If you'd rather not, let me know and I'll hide this.  

In short, just two items.

14 hours ago, soos_mite_ah said:

It uses the suffering of others as a resume piece instead of treating the people like actual human beings 

Often times, when people do participate in "voluntourism" they do so in order to fill their resume to send the message to their employers or college applications to say "hey look, I'm a good person I do all of this work in developing countries."

1.In relation to the above quote, It tickled me a few years ago when Episcopal Priest Cynthia Bourgeault refereed to this kind of volunterism as opposed to genuine altruism as "dogooderism".

2. A quote-  "The absence of Joy is slow suicide" - Ocke de Boer 


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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@Zigzag Idiot Yeah I definitely welcome questions and comments on here. In fact, I'd say I encourage it. I'd love to hear about people's thoughts and opinions to see what came up for them while reading this journal so we can all share our perspectives together :D 


The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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I found a thread that really resonated with me. I went a little over board with my comment but I did enjoy writing immensely nonetheless. A large part of education I believe has to do with the beliefs you were brought up with in regards to the world, other people and perspectives, and yourself. It isn't something that is limited to reading, writing, and memorizing a bunch of facts. 

I would say that a large reason as to why this probably resonated is because I was raised in a problematic way and I had to take years to heal from negative parenting and learn skills I should have been taught.  I took up that work as soon as I left my house at the age of 18. It was difficult and grueling work but it was very worth it.  If i ever decide to have kids, I don't want them to deal with a fraction of the trauma and difficulty I had to sort out. I want to take responsibility and break as many cycles of toxicity as I can. It may not be perfect but it is a progression. And that means raising them in a conscious way. While I do enjoy self-development and do for conscious reasons, I'd say that passion originated from necessity early on which I will probably address in another post.  But for now, I'm going to link the thread and copy and paste my reply on how to consciously raise kids right here: 

Ok I have wondered the same thing tbh. Here is what I think. I know this is long but I really contemplated about this in the past because if I choose to have kids, I want them to have an easier time developing than I did with my parents. 

You don't have to necessarily movie to a Scandinavian country to raise your kid in a stage green/yellow way. I think what you do inside your house is incredibly important. If anything, I think it's a good idea for kids to witness how different people from the spiral act to sharpen their critical thinking skills. From personal experience, my home life was pretty orange/blue, my neighborhood was green, and I went on many trips to India to visit family, many of whom who are very solidly blue. So i was surrounded by numerous perspectives. My dad, whom I will credit to helping me move up the spiral, helped me hone in my critical thinking skills to evaluate how each of these perspectives compare and work with each other even though neither one of us were aware of Spiral dynamics at the time.

Even though my dad was very blue and orange, he still had a little bit of green and a slight bit of yellow in him.  It was just enough to spark something in me. I would say that if you are pretty well integrated to green or higher, it would be easier to guide your child towards critical thinking rather than solely relying on obedience like blue or orange might (blue is largely dogmatic while orange is oriented around a hierarchy). 

So parenting should be focused on building and developing critical thinking skills so one would be prepared to handle the adult world by him/herself and deal with any problems that might come up. 

That said, I think it's also important to incorporate the lower stages in a healthy way so that the kid can integrate all of the colors. This would be a more yellow approach because while it doesn't see a false equivalency with how high or low a color is, it sees the value of each one of them as a building block. Beige is simply integrated by innate survival mechanisms, so that is basically providing for your kid. Purple is building a bond with the kid when they are still a child so that they have a healthy attachment style to their family/tribe. I remember seeing else where on this forum where people asked if it's possible to skip stages. I think everyone does go through all the stages. Many of us went through Beige to Red at an early age in a healthy way so it feels like we skipped it if that makes sense.  

Red is the more ego-centric stage which starts at around age 2 ish (i gotta refer back to developmental psych so i may not know the specifics but it starts young). Egos at this stage are still very important in developing a healthy sense of self. After all, to transcend the ego, one needs to have a well integrated ego in the first place. Around this time and onward, i think its important to build a healthy sense of self with positive reinforcement and a lot of encouragement (telling your child he/she is valued, loved, beautiful, smart etc.). This is important in combating future negative beliefs. 

To pass this stage on to stage blue, it's important to have solid boundaries with the kid (i.e. no hitting, no screaming, no *insert destructive thing that small children tend to do). This incorporates a sense of discipline  in the child in a firm way. The more efficiently stage red and blue are integrated, the faster you can delve into additional spiral stages. Blue/Red should be stages, not what you do permanently going forward so even though i am saying firm boundaries are important to have, i don't mean indoctrinate your kid into a religion or tell your teenager that they can't to xyz because "you said so" etc. 

If this is done right, the kid can probably get into orange and green pretty early (like 6 or 7). I think orange can be integrated by having chores, encouraging productivity in school, learning to be assertive/ standing up for you self etc and really building good habits that will aid in their success going forward. Also, here I think it's important to reduce the "because I said so" attitude as much as possible and instead when enforcing rules, explain to your kids the logic behind the rules. I think at a certain stage it is counter productive to be authoritarian to a kid because then they'll start to rebel often because the rules don't make sense to them. This especially happens with the "because i said so" attitude because firstly it is condescending (not good for establishing open communication, trust, or credibility), and second, at around stage orange, kids will question their parents not necessary in an argumentative way but to understand. As the parent it is important to back those claims up with some sound answers instead of getting your ego into a twist and accusing them of arguing and "talking back". This aids in their critical thinking skills and even if they don't follow what they said, you still planted the seed of what to expect so they can learn by making their own mistakes.   

Green, i think can be introduced as early as 5 or so depending on the situation. For example, if your kid comes up to you at age 5 asking you "where do babies come from" you can take a stage green approach and explain how the sperm meets the egg and the baby form in the womb (instead of going into how sex works since that may not be age appropriate and most kids aren't even thinking in that train of thought). 

Speaking of which, green parenting is very positive, encouraging of different cultures, etc. Some ways to integrate green is encouraging self love, having an open dialog about sex in age appropriate ways, critiquing things in the media (like watching TV with your kid and asking them about what they saw and how it relates to treating other people well), encouraging boundaries for privacy and bodily autonomy (praising your kid when they tell an adult that they aren't comfortable with hugs and they let that adult know for example), regulating emotions effectively yet not suppressing them. Encourage them to empathize with other people and see their perspectives and emotions when they get in trouble with others. Create a space where they can open up and vulnerable about their lives with you so that you can guide them through life instead of being like an authoritarian dictator. That also means being attuned with their mental health and how they are coping with the world around them. Those are some ways but im pretty sure there is so much more. Avoid stigmatizing things and creating taboos as they can create shadows in your kids. 

As far as yellow goes, it comes down to judging where your kid is in the spiral and adjusting how you parent to integrate the previous stages accordingly. It comes down to what is developmentally good for the child in the long run so that they can be functioning adults. Once the other stages are exhausted and integrated efficiently, stage yellow shouldn't be too hard to reach. Often times, in respective of my personal journey, I find that an effective way to move from green to yellow is to integrate anything you might be missing from the lower stages to where you can see the healthy use for each of them. Another way is to encourage thinking about how things work systemically and some of the short comings of green. To do all of this effectively, the child needs to move through each stage at their own pace so results can vary depending on individual circumstances.

Finally, when the kid has a healthy ego with minimum shadows and can see how relative different perspectives are, they can transcend that and move into turquoise. Idk how that would turn out but i think it's good to drop hints about things like nonduality etc. in passing so that the seeds are planted and the kid can explore them at their own pace. 


The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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Bad Systems, Not Bad People

I was researching organ trafficking for my Health as a Human Right Class. As I began to analyze the system, evil and demons ceased to exist. While to do watch Leo's videos and try my best to embody and implement the lessons in those videos, I would say a lot of the ways that I personally learn and grow best is when I see those lessons play out in other areas of my life, especially my studies.  I would say for me, Leo's videos a lot of the time plant the seeds of growth but it is moments like these where those seeds really bear it's fruit and resonate with me.  Sure this topic in particular does not spark joy in the traditional sense, but I will say that I felt very fulfilled after learning about this topic and having a variety of insights. That feeling of fulfillment and feeling like I'm genuinely learning, that  gives me joy. After all, in the end, it is all love. 

https://video.vice.com/en_us/video/kidneyville/582b51a56103bde50928d224

While reading and watching videos in class, I compelled myself to try to exercise empathy towards all of the people in this system even if the system itself is corrupt therefore participating in the system is also enabling corruption. I began thinking about the people who are desperate for an organ, who is trying to do everything they can to survive or help a family member survive. The desperation often comes from a failed medical system that creates situations where people have to wait 10+ years for a kidney and sometimes people die waiting. I also thought about the brokers and the poor people who auction and sell kidneys, how their bodies have turned into a commodity because they are simply trying to survive in an impoverished area.  This desire for survival often leads to the desperation of falling into corrupt systems that far removed from conscious and that comes with violations of human rights riddled with various power dynamics whether they maybe racial, economic, ablest, or more. It is natural for human beings to look for their best interests and their survival and while what is happening is not okay, I don’t think any party is inherently evil rather the system itself creates and incentives evil.

Even the persecution of the Fallun Gong in China and how their organs are trafficked,  which is not okay by any means, also roots back to this desire to survive. From what I learned in my political science classes, I learned that is happening because the CCP, Chinese Communist Party, wants to maintain one party rule because they believe that it’s the most effective way to maintain political stability of the state. To protect this one party rule, often times minorities and poor people get persecuted because they are the ones who are opposing the system, and therefore seen as a threat. This approach is very blue and not very sustainable given that it is one of the main stressors of Chinese politics but it is where they are right now in terms of how the define stability and how they establish it.

I was also thinking about U.S. interests with China and how that relates to survival as well when it comes to economics and security threats. The U.S. is reluctant to interfere with China relations because when two superpowers do get into conflict, it can easily translate to catastrophe in the global scale. Additionally, because the economies are enmeshed, the U.S. would be shooting itself in the foot along with China. If that happens, there is a larger incentive for China to be hostile against the U.S which can lead to more death and destruction. Furthermore, the U.S. has tried to link human rights and economic trade together during the Clinton administration which was known as the linkage policy. That turned to de-linkage since it did not work, especially when it came to domestically liberalizing China in regards to human rights. However, having relations with China did liberalize them in the global scale as they are now currently more open than ever and engagement has prevented a potentially malefic China in terms of U.S interests.

What I'm trying to say is that a lot of the U.S.'s reluctance for addressing these human rights violations is not because of evil, but because of the interests that are involved and the fact that  the U.S. swooping in to help with human rights as the global does not work with the anarchic nature of international relations.  Those interest are also valid both in survival and in terms of preventing further conflict on a mass global scale such as the possibility of war. It's a hard pill to swallow, but it seems as if it is more sustainable for the system for the U.S. to stay out of it. The Green side of me wants to protest and advocate for the disadvantaged with all my heart and believes that I am in a way immoral for thinking such a thing. However, there is a large part of me that still recognizes that morality/ immorality are part of the ego that wants to be a good person at all cost and that systemically, the most bleeding heart option is not sustainable and could potentially do more damage than good on a systemic level.  

What I have come to a conclusion by looking into various sources and by thinking of what I learned in other classes, is that survival does cause a lot of gruesome and unconscious behaviors, none of which is okay and all of which are things we need to take personal responsibility for. As cliche as it is, we are all responsible to be more conscious than the society, family, and individuals we grew up around. And part of the taking that responsibility is not blaming ourselves or pointing fingers, but it is also to critique unconscious systems and how they de-incentivize or even eliminate conscious options (I’m talking about elimination particularly in the case of the poor who don’t have much of a choice to sell their organs, because it is like you sell a kidney or you die and that is also the case of the brokers in third world countries). Definitely there is a gradation of how much people are in the wrong depending on the circumstance especially when considering how little or how much agency they have in their position in the system, but I think it’s more important to evaluate the importance of the political, medical, and economic systems at play than to demonize people.  

The ego can cause a lot of destruction, but in order to exercise compassion, I don't think separating the self and the ego is the answer because then you fall into the trap of duality. The ego and self are one and need to be loved as such. And I think one of the ways to accept the ego and refrain from demonizing it is to see how it too acts from love, even though it is a very dense and limited version of love. Nevertheless, it is the love that tries to protect us even at the expense of others. I can empathize with my own desire to survive at any means necessary as someone who is human and who is here experiencing duality. It would be wrong to not extend that empathy to other people and their desire to survive and demonize their way of doing so. 

I accept the evil that is in this world, and by that I don't mean that I'm okay with it. Sometimes acceptance doesn't mean that you want things to continue the way they are rather it means you are willing to acknowledge it without your egoic desire to always be good instead of turning a blind eye. After all, in the end, it is all love. 

Edited by soos_mite_ah

The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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Blinding Joy

I took a moment to reflect on the last couple posts. I am noticing how this journal where I record thing that bring me joy is still an egoic response. While joy is a higher quality emotion, one that is more preferable to experience since it is closer to our natural state of oneness, high quality emotions are still a compass pointing us towards survival. That said, that doesn't meant that we throw away the compass, rather it is still important to critique and reflect on what is bringing us joy as it too can have blind spots. I'm thinking of doing this critique and analysis of the things that brings me joy every now and then on this journal. 

One thing that brings me joy is the idea of growth especially up the spiral towards stage yellow (systems thinking). The desire to grow is rooted in survival. There are some people who stagnate and that's because growth is not a part of their survival. I think wanting to grow can be used consciously to get us to higher qualities or more sustainable stages of survival, but it is still important to recognize this as a part of survival. If that's the case for a person who sees growth as survival and identifies with it, it isn't surprising that a lack of growth or an ego backlash can hurt the ego and that person's self concept. Instead of fighting it, its important to embrace is and paradoxically it will result in more sustainability and more survival because you aren't constantly beating yourself up for things.  

Also, I did mention this on that particular post but it bears repeating

On 7/21/2020 at 6:30 PM, soos_mite_ah said:

I found a thread that really resonated with me. I went a little over board with my comment but I did enjoy writing immensely nonetheless. 

I would say that a large reason as to why this probably resonated is because I was raised in a problematic way and I had to take years to heal from negative parenting and learn skills I should have been taught. 

Joy can point us towards an authentic sense of survival. Considering this, sometimes we interpret something that scratches any psychological itches or traumas as a sense of joy. Nothing wrong with that, it's just more data to go off of. Whether or not it is problematic can be determined by how healthy or sustainable the manifestation of this form of joy is (again also recall that the words problematic, sustainability, and growth still deal with survival but I digress).  Drinking away your sorrows is a lower form of expressing trauma through an addictive, hedonistic, form of joy while acting from the joy of teaching is a higher form of joy even though both indulge in the thought of the same event. 

I suppose because of the potential limitations of joy, I can see how something like peace can be seen as a more higher consciousness  state as it relates more with being.  I wondered why peace was typically placed after joy because I always felt the most expanded when I felt joyful. But now I'm starting to get it more. (also the two emotions in the yellow section are anger and desire since it is hard to read) 

 emotional vibrations.png

Nevertheless, I'm not going to stop pursuing joy. I think it is still important for me to embody it more and have it become my natural setting as I continue to move up. 

I do experience everything on this pyramid, but I would say that my default setting, the emotions I feel the most often has moved up as I began working on myself. Right as of now I would say most of my emotions fall between neutrality and joy.  I remember at one time a few years ago when I was very depressed my default was between courage and shame. I'm still working through the lower emotions and I doubt they will ever completely go away. I see them as more of a "warning emotion" rather than a "negative emotion." I feel that calling them "negative emotions" causes more resistance to accepting those feelings and makes the ego more likely to tense up while calling them "warning emotions" gives one a sense of agency to fix whatever is going wrong, identify what the emotion is trying to tell you, and helps you distance yourself as the feeler from the feeling itself without negating it (acceptance is a more higher emotion) .

I don't think the "warning emotions" will ever completely go away since they are there to inform but the goal is to build a more sustainable life where you aren't always on edge for something going wrong I suppose so that you can have more time for being.  And also to completely negate the lower tier and separate oneself from it is also a form of duality which deters away from being (but then again duality is still a part of nonduality and nonduality is everything)

Ok..... I'm going to stop there and embody what I do know since I think if I keep talking, I'm going to confuse myself and that is going to cause an ego backlash lmao. 

Goals for now: 

Joy can be informative for where you need to heal and what your survival mechanisms are. It comes in many forms in both higher and lower consciousness so it's important to be critical and draw distinctions. 

Peace doesn't have as many limitations as joy and therefore is higher than joy. It is also closer to being. Still, keep your eyes out for it. 

Keep an eye out for survival, even higher consciousness forms of it. 

I still need to embody joy more as it is the higher bracket of the section of emotions that I feel the most option (which is between joy and neutrality). 

Edited by soos_mite_ah

The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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Shadows and the Cobwebs of My Mind Pt.1 

I have been more and more intrigued by shadow work in the last few months. I wouldn't say I have a lot of super serious emotional issues as I have sorted out a lot of it though therapy and self development especially in the last year and a half. Quarantine has put me in a more meditative like state because I am stuck with my thoughts all day and I have slowed down considerably. Normally because of the rush of daily life, I suppose the shadows just lurked in the background as my conscious mind was occupied with everything else I needed to do. 

Some of my biggest shadows include not being able to express anger, seeing myself as weird, being seen as the "therapist friend," and the notion that I am inherently unlovable. 

Not being able to express anger: Growing up I was discouraged from expressing my anger to the point where it was deemed unworthy. On top of that, my parents still expressed their anger and I grew to resent it even more because I could see how destructive it was. It was to the point where I repressed my anger to where I just thought that I simply didn't feel anger. Once I realized it's a shadow, I began to try to take notice of my anger and to analyze what it is trying to tell me. I didn't have anger issues in the traditional sense where my aggression is out of control and unbridled rather it is that I don't recognize anger and instead get depressed. I can say in the last couple months I have stopped demonizing anger in myself and others and this has done wonders. I stopped being afraid of confrontation, I became even more in tuned with my feelings, and I got a better sense of where my boundaries are/ when they are being violated. I would even recognize my reluctance of embracing my anger as a stage red hang up that I needed to integrate effectively by being more validating and accepting of this emotion. These two videos by Teal Swan helped me immensely. 

Seeing myself as weird: I had this label slapped on to me as a child pretty early on. Now that I think about it, the label didn't even make any sense and might have had racial connotations to it since I was the only brown kid in my predominantly white school at the time. I carried on that label as I grew up and the label evolved with me. I also learned about how subjective weird can be in different circumstances or how the notion of what is considered "normal" and what is other-ed out can be due to societal power dynamics.  

From the time I was 10 to 14, I had what many would call the "I'm not like other girls" phase. I thought I was weird because I wasn't traditionally feminine. This label helped me break out of the stereotype that a woman was portrayed as but the backlash was that I demonized notions of femininity and saw it as less than. I have since became more open to my femininity and have embraced it more.

Then from like the ages of 13-16 I had what I would call my "fake deep" phase where I thought I was ~~~so edgy~~~ for liking alternative music, anime, and other nerdy things. In retrospect I think it's rather silly to think of oneself as so different because of interests but I think this label was beneficial in me being more open minded towards things that may seem more unconventional and building some sense of self. However, the backlash was that I demonized things that were seen as basic or mainstream and since then I have tried to embrace the more basic side of me. Even though it might not always resonate, I do have an appreciation for basic things and can enjoy myself. 

Now, I would say the reason I find myself weird is because I think my growth over the years has aged me. I made a whole thread on this subject and I was surprised on how many like minded people I found on this forum. It definitely helped me get over this and integrate the notion that I'm not that weird. 

While I did embrace this label and it helped me in numerous ways such as breaking free from stereotypes and being more open minded, I would say that I also used this label as a shield. I faced a lot of rejection from other kids growing up and I started using this notion of being weird as a reason to isolate myself and not relate to others. It was as though if I gave myself the rejection first, I wouldn't have to get it from other people. That gave me a sense of control from the feeling of vulnerability. After realizing this, I began to slowly dismantle this label while still acknowledging that it did serve some purpose in its integration. Unlike the previous label, I am still working through this one. Truly, there is nothing weird about me in the sense that it will stop me from forming connections. It's simply a label I have internalized. Now it's time to pick up a new, more expansive label. 

Edited by soos_mite_ah

The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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Shadows and the Cobwebs of My Mind Pt.2

Being seen as the therapist friend: This was established by the family dynamics present in my childhood. I will refrain from too many details for their sake, even though it is highly unlikely they will ever see any of this. But the over all jest is that I was emotionally in the caring role while I was still a child. Because I was in a chaotic environment I couldn't get out of, I resorted to analyzing people around me. This eased a lot of the frustration/ confusion in regards to "how could someone do such a thing" or "why is ___ the way that they are." I also took on a more therapist work by working on myself because I knew that I wasn't coming out of this house perfectly okay (this caused me to grow immensely as a person independently). Because of that, I'm incredibly good at reading people and finding neuroses, that includes myself and others. I'm good at empathizing with people because I have a range of my personal experiences to choose from. And i give pretty good advice, or so I've been told. Of course, there are blind spots, especially when analyzing yourself so this is not an absolute.

But as of recently, this dynamic really blew up in my face with a friendship. I was always the one supporting and rushing to help. I was too quick to give advice, which isn't the same as empathizing and building a connection. The relationship was incredibly unbalanced and was ultimately draining me. I got out and I took a good hard look at the areas of my life that seemed unbalanced in terms of reciprocity. I eliminated those people and situations and I'm focusing on finding people who are more so on an equal footing for more sustainable relationships. 

The notion that I'm unlovable: This was due to a lot of bullying growing up. Most of it doesn't even make sense. I remember as a child when I was 8 years old, i was ostracized by other children because I was seen as "too childish" for liking the shows I liked among other silly metrics. I also had children start spreading rumors that I was adopted because no one could possibly ever want me. My adult brain wants to rationalize this because it's so ridiculous. Essentially, there were a bunch of children, bullying a child, for being a child. Also, me being adopted makes absolutely no sense since I look like my mom. It's all so silly and comical. But I do nevertheless try to tap into that inner child wound, that 8 year old girl who doesn't have much of a sense of self who had a bunch of small children, who also didn't know what they were doing,  slap a label on her. She's 8, how could she know better than to take in what the world said about her. She hasn't explored who she is yet. She is still cognitively developing in early childhood. There was no agency in that situation and as I reflected on each of these instances, tears rolled down my cheeks because I was feeling that exact sense of unwanted-ness I felt back then. I also repeated this process with some of the things that I dealt with in my family. I can see how many of my shadows are connected to this notion of me being unlovable. While my adult brain knows better, my inner child just needed to speak her truth through her tears. 

This lack of agency in which labels were slapped on to me is what motivated me towards shadow work. I want to consciously choose labels instead of going on autopilot because of what other people have said to me. I know this is simply meaning making but the key is to be conscious of the meaning you are making instead of accepting them as absolute truth. I reread Psycho-cybernetics  and I derived so much more from it now than when I first read it since it is so applicable to where I am. Everything is meaningless, and these labels don't exist. I could have easily ended up as something completely different given a simple change of circumstance because I wasn't consciously behind the wheel when these labels were being slapped on to me. It was a circumstance of survival, that's how personality comes up in the first place. I'm not inherently anything. I am nothing, therefore, I can be anything. I am what I choose to be and I choose to be integrated. That notion is empowering but it is also terrifying, especially for the ego that likes to identify with something. 

I made a pretty lengthy list on paper of all the ways this particular shadow manifested in my life. I am working on tackling each and every one of them one by one. As I tackled each of these manifestations, I could feel my ego screaming. I felt myself getting depressed which lasted for about a month. The truth hurt but it felt like rubbing alcohol. It burns, but it is being cleansed for the sake of healing. This particular shadow is the linchpin to my other shadows (for instance, like my shadow about being weird, this shadow makes me feel like I am unworthy of connection which is what was implied when I looked back at my past to when this label was first assigned to me). That's why I believe it's been the most painful to come to terms with, the most extensive to work though, and the hardest to integrate. 

Edited by soos_mite_ah

The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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Shadows and the Cobwebs of My Mind Pt.3

Okay this is the last part. 

When it comes to analyzing the different labels that was used to define me, I also decided to look at how positive labels were slapped on to me as well. I don't think it's bad to have positive labels slapped onto oneself. In fact I think it can be beneficial in integrating those positive parts of yourself and then act them out as a self fulfilling prophecy.  However, the ego still needs to be transcended and I think it's more sustainable to transcend a healthy ego than to deal with an unhealthy ego because with an unhealthy ego, there is an extra step. You have to undo the conditioning, build a healthy ego, and then you finally have a good ego to transcend. Nevertheless, in both cases transcending the ego can help one become more expansive since you are now integrating numerous parts of yourself. This is all kind of vague so I'm going to pick one of my positive labels to articulate what I'm trying to say. 

Being labeled as smart: From a young age I was labeled as smart. It was not a conscious choice, just a label some people slapped onto me like some of the more "negative" labels on top (I say this in quotes since no one label is completely positive or negative and have both light and dark aspects that one needs to integrate). A lot of the reason why I was labeled as smart is because my mom took an extra initiative when it came to my education. She made sure that not only I did my school work but that I was also being introduced to material that was a couple grade levels higher. Then when I got to school, everything came easier since I was exposed to the material previously and because of that people continued to label me as smart. There wasn't anything inherently smart about me. It wasn't nature, it was nurture. 

I went on to healthily integrate this notion of me being smart. I took more challenging classes, well because I had the confidence knowing that I could. That enabled me to meet my own standards by working hard. I also had the confidence to get involved, to try new things, to challenge ideas because I knew that what I had to say had some type of value. Those experiences then turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy. I thought I was smart, I took on challenges based on those assumptions, and then i became more smart through experience. 

However, I didn't integrate the notion of me being dumb until I got to college. Integrating the notion of being dumb, or any other more "negative" labels shouldn't be done in a self-deprecating way. That won't happen if you effectively integrated the more "positive" notion.  Yes it hurt my ego that I wasn't the smartest in the room once I got to university. Things didn't come as easily. But that isn't because I'm not smart, it's because I didn't have previous exposure to a lot of the subjects I have had to take (mainly business and social science classes, most of which I never encountered in high school things like political science for example). Smart wasn't even a thing from the very beginning. It was a label that was slapped on to me. 

Again, this integration wasn't done in a self hating way. I tried not to fall into the trap of going on a spiral of how I'm stupid as it it were a bad thing. Instead of getting consumed in it, I tried to take a more of an awareness approach without judgement. Every time I did something stupid, instead of getting up into a twist because this doesn't match my ego, I said to myself "hey this happens, it's okay to recognize it. I am still worthy of love even if this doesn't match my ego. I accept this part of myself" Accepting something sometimes just has to do with acknowledging it without judgement or resistance. Because ultimately, shadows are made when we don't accept ourselves. Getting defensive about something is a part of resistance. 

Now what used to happen before I integrated this shadow. Well, I would beat myself up or feel a twinge of shame for every stupid thing I did. I was hesitant to recognize my wrongs, and therefore I was reluctant to rectify my wrongs, which then put me in a self fulfilling prophecy. If a smart person always thought he or she was right and never acknowledged their short comings because they didn't want to hurt their ego, they wouldn't learn much would they? They wouldn't be as smart and recognize the nuances in their thinking would they. See it's rather counter intuitive. It does come full circle

You could replace this analogy with any other positive label such as being kind or being beautiful to name a few. If a person was dead set on their identity of being kind all of the time, that isn't very compassionate of the times when they don't feel too kindly upon others. They might be harsh towards people who are unkind and make it into a dogma instead of doing the actual kind thing and empathizing with those people to find out what is causing them to act the way they do. If a person was dead set on their identity of being beautiful, they might beat themselves up for days they look less than perfect and then lose their confidence or sense of life in their eyes which actually does have to do with one's beauty. Someone might go to the extreme, think there is terribly wrong with them because of their shadow and then get plastic surgery that messes up their face and body even more than what the previously perceived to be their flaw. Instead, to truly embrace one's beauty is to go beyond one's external looks and be genuinely comfortable in oneself, and therefore still be okay with themselves when they feel they look ugly, thus transcending the label of being beautiful. 

Ultimately, what I realized with shadow work so far is that a lot of it does root back to the notion of being unlovable (which is why I'm not surprised that this particular shadow was a linchpin for me). We accept these labels because we believe that there are certain metrics that we need to achieve in order to be loved instead of thinking we are love, awareness, and consciousness itself.  We tell ourselves that we are smart, kind, and beautiful not because they are true but because they have positive connotations that make us feel desirable. While it is good to internalize those beliefs, we also need to know that even when we are dumb, harsh, or ugly, we are still worthy of love. In fact, regardless of the labels the ego likes to clothe itself in, we are underneath all love. Sometimes that love is in a more rigid sense in which it creates the ego and carries out egoic motives for the sake of survival and sometimes love is expansive and fluid with one's higher self. Either way it is one. 

I know this video is taken out of context and there is no real intention of being deep here but i still found something (I think she was supposed to be dragging people) But, I always found this strangely comforting and empowering lmaoooooo:D:D:D

Then again, depth isn't something that is dependent on the object, rather it is determined by the oberver and what kind of meaning he or she derives from it . The object is just what is.

Some of us are fat are ugly and are unattractive. That is okay, just be who you are because either way you're still worthy of love lol 

So get it together 

Edited by soos_mite_ah

The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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I also found this great video on non-attachment that really resonated with me. To add onto this video, I believe that non-attachment is the opposite of not caring. By caring deeply and being present in the moment, once the moment passes, you won't feel upset. It will be easy to let go because you derived as much joy, or any other emotional experience or validation from that event in the moment. In those cases that event has done its part and you can move on. When it comes to joyous things we missed, it is often because we didn't cherish it enough in the moment. When it comes to painful moments, its often because we have yet to heal fully and derive lessons from that moment. We only feel attached when we feel that there is something left not experienced.


The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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Being the One Who Gives More

I think it's easier to fall into the pattern of giving too much when you have a lot to give. Sometimes your 10% is greater than another person's 90% and instead of expecting them to do more when they are not capable, you need to acknowledge your own worth and find someone on your level.

Edited by soos_mite_ah

The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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I've been in a particular mood lately 

Lower self: I'm tired of always having to be the bigger person (mainly with family). I'm only 5' 2" that isn't a realistic expectation lmao. Since I'm already closer to hell, can I just start biting people???? 

Higher self: If you always find yourself having to be the bigger person, maybe you need to find people who can measure up. It's not you, it's them. But you also have to ask yourself, what's stopping you from finding a new group of people? It's okay to feel weary from dealing with people who drain you, but it's an act of self betrayal to just stay there. 

 

Speaking of family, I have been noticing myself fantasizing getting disowned by my family by doing something that they think is unspeakable like marrying someone they don't approve of. I think it's because I don't want to be in a part of this family any more and it's easier for me to play victim and rely on them to disown me than to exit on my own. Because that way, I wouldn't be the bad person.

But that's an excuse. Sometimes you need to own up to your truth, even if it makes you undesirable.  Sometimes, you have to "be the bad guy." And honestly, in trying to avoid being the bad guy, often times you do something worse. I think it would be worse for me to stick around because firstly, its like this sense of self betrayal because I'm not letting myself be my authentic and joyful self, and second it is bad for them if I stick around and be distant, rude, and emotionally unavailable. 

One way to look at it is to re-contextualize it in a dating setting (because I take a much more no bs approach to guys than any other relationships in my life). Which option would be better: 

A) A guy who isn't really feeling it but tells you "hey this isn't working, im going to go on my own way don't take it personally" 

B) A guy who isn't really feeling it and doesn't communicate with you and instead is passive aggressive, leads you on, and emotionally unavailable 

The first option would probably sting for a minute but the second one will lead to long term damage on both ends by wasting everyone's time. It's best to walk in the light of the truth and keep everyone on the same page than to risk people getting hurt with a bunch of unspoken expectations.

I need to go my own way. I'm simply not happy here. That evaluation isn't coming from pain. I have worked through much of these issues growing up and through therapy. I want to be surrounded by people who are more uplifting and who support my growth. I can stay in this situation and be fine but just because I can take it doesn't mean that I have to. There is something better out there and I want to reach towards it instead of constantly looking back at the past. 

I'm probably going to refrain from having these tough conversations until after this pandemic is over since it is probably not the best idea to bring something like this up while I'm stuck in the house  24/7 with my family. On top of that, I'm probably going to bring this up when I'm finally financially independent and out of college so that I'm not going to be in hot water in terms of keeping myself alive and well. 

Edited by soos_mite_ah

The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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Embracing my "negative" emotions and using them like my five senses to know what's going on was a huge eye opener to me. I stumbled upon this about a year ago. It wasnt from this video but I feel that Teal Swan sums it up pretty well. 

I definately recommend this to anyone working towards more joy. Working towards joy doesn't mean you shut everything else out rather it means you see these "negative" emotions in a positive light by embracing them. Also I feel that always putting pressure on feeling happy all the time is very counter productive and invalidating.


The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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 Lately I Haven't Felt Very Joyful

I'm trying to sort through the feelings and shadows I have with unworthiness. I'm trying to be mindful and observe my feelings and deal with them as they come up but I cant help but feel like I'm being consumed by it. There is just so much coming to the surface, so much that I need to work through. I want to distract myself and not feel but I think that will be counter productive in the long run. I have been having crying spells and I have been feeling like I don't deserve to take up space. 

Nevertheless, I trust in the process. I believe in the long run I will be free than when I first started. 

Edited by soos_mite_ah

The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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Bright Eyed Bushy Tailed Energy 

Something that I noticed that really makes me happy is just talking about the things that I am currently studying. I'm so thankful that this is the case because when I came into college, I was so worried about not liking my major and getting boxed into a career that doesn't make me happy. I'm definitely a nerd in class but I'm also like that outside of school in general. I have so many interests and I'm so glad that I can explore them in college. I'm also so thankful that I have spaces like this forum as well as space in real life like in my professors' office hours to delve into things that I'm passionate about. The only thing that kind of brings me down is that I don't have friends that I can nerd out with. Even when I talk to people in my classes, I see that people aren't always into stuff the way that I am. Granted I'm just this huge nerd and I know there is a time and place for that so that I don't annoy people but I wish I could just be in this bright eyed bushy tailed place externally all the time. Nevertheless, I am thankful that I have this bright eyed bushy tailed energy in my inner world. I know that not everyone has that and I have definitely been in a place where I wasn't like that all the time either.  And just knowing that makes me thankful for the joy in my life. 

Edited by soos_mite_ah

The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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Looking Back a Few Days Ago....

I still think of this experience I had of a few days ago. I still can't put it into words but it was unforgettable. It was so peaceful. I hope that I can experience something like this again. I got a glimpse of what I can be working towards. 

I have worked hard in regards to getting into a better state of mind and being. I look back at my journal in my computer even a couple years ago and I can put myself in the shoes of the person I was back then, how much anxiety, depression, and existential distress she was living in. I feel like I'm have achieved a much better quality of life through therapy and through self-actualization work. I still have a lot of things I still need to sort through especially when it comes to shadow work. But, to me, this sense of bliss that I had the privilege of experiencing, even for a little bit, shows me what is possible and what is my next step. 


The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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This is Random But....

I have noticed that skincare as a whole makes me happy. I really feel like I'm taking care of myself and like I'm winding down whenever I do my skincare routine in the morning or in the night. It feels weirdly zen and incredibly relaxing. I have caught myself looking up skin care products randomly. I'm not even concerned with any "problem areas" per se. When I look up products, I'm not even looking at what the product can do for me. I'm just looking at how satisfying it looks lol. Trying out different skincare products seems like a lot of fun not because of what the product can do why how it feels physically and emotionally. I know a lot of it is probably me getting heavily influenced by marketing and how it ties things like skincare in with self care and femininity. My monkey mind can't resist lol. 

I feel like if I made a decent amount of money to where I am completely financially free/ stable to where money isn't a concern, skin care is one of the things I would splurge on. It wouldn't be houses, it wouldn't be cars, it wouldn't be fancy food, shoes, clothes etc. It would be a face mist I could spray and feel like a fairy while doing it.  

I also made kind of like this vision board because I know that I'm not currently in the place to own all of these things and because I'm trying to save my money. I think this is a better way of embracing this itch rather than going out and spending a shit ton of money.

skincare wishlist.png

Also, now that I write this out, the link between skincare and femininity does make sense to me and where I'm at with my journey of self-improvement. Lately I have been trying to embrace my femininity more and let myself be vulnerable so that I can invite more gentleness into my life. In a way, skincare feels like a way that I could treat myself more gently and honor my sense of vulnerability. 

.........well that took a weird turn..

Edited by soos_mite_ah

The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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Desired Career Paths 

I realized that my interests have remained the same. For years these are the things that I have been into: 

  • analyzing and evaluating different cultures 
  • how businesses work 
  • art and creativity (which goes back to different cultures and also has to do with strategy imo) 
  • thinking strategically
  • self development

But the means in which I wanted to express those interests have changed greatly throughout the years (and so has the way I tune into these interests but that's another topic). Also I realized that they correspond with where I was at in the spiral at the time. 

I don't have anything for purple, red, or blue because I was a child when I was predominantly at those stages and I wasn't seriously thinking about a career path nor were my interests clearly defined at that age. I wish I had stories about what  I wanted to be when I grew up when I was little but from what I remember, I would hear that question and be like "i don't know I'm 5." That sense of not knowing and confusion would creep into existential dread as I became a teenager lol. 

From the ages of 14-18 when I still had quite a bit of orange in me, I was drawn to the idea of becoming a strategic manager or working on Wall Street

From 17-19 I became more critical of that vision particularly on how that would emotionally fulfill me as i moved into green. I saw working on wall street as something I wouldn't mind doing temporarily given that it would fund my desire to travel and create art. Then it turned into me demonizing wall street as I moved deeper into green. 

Now currently as I shift more towards yellow, I see this want to become a professor and do more research on social sciences as opposed to travelling around (though I am still open to that experience).  Wall Street doesn't interest me much anymore, though I am still open to it as I see it as a challenge to do something more consciously and change things up.  

I wonder if when I get to turquoise if I would want to just abandon everything and just become a monk hahaha. But I'm not there yet so I don't know. I wonder how my interest would manifest at this stage. 

I'm currently dead set on completing my degree. I'm majoring in Finance and International Relations with a minor in Human Rights. I did a great job in deciding what I wanted to study and it suits me sooooooo well but I have no idea what I want to do with my degree yet. I want to make sure that the next step I take with my career has to do with what is true to me in the long run rather than what is true to me in the moment depending on my stage of development. I did a good job at that when it came to my field of study. I'm not sure where to go from here when it comes to my line of work. 

I'm open to a number of possibilities for my future career. One of the best pieces of advice I got from a professor is that it's good to have an idea of what you want in a career in terms of what you value it's not the best idea to be dead set in one specific path. Because when you're set on one path and one path only, you might miss out on alternatives that could have fit you much better. 


The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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Stillness

Lately, as soon as I wake up, I feel ridiculously peaceful. I have no impulses, little to no thoughts, and my only focus is on my breathing and being present. This has happened for the last few days. Yesterday I spent most of my day in a lot of solitude. Today, as soon as I felt this sense of peace, I decided to meditate on it for a few hours to really be with it. I'm not entirely sure why I have been feeling this way lately, but I really like it. I have been meditating here and there for the last number of years (most of it was me unintentionally laying around doing nothing and just being alone with my thoughts), but now I'm thinking of taking on meditation more seriously. 

I have one idea however. Recently I have made the decision to go fully online with college. My university gave us a choice on whether or not we want to go online over the fall semester because of COVID 19.

I was pretty conflicted about this decision. On one hand I wanted to go back to school even though I could risk catching the virus. I had to come back home with my parents for the last 5 months or so now in the middle of the semester. My mental health deteriorated because my parents can be kind of toxic and I feel like I didn't grow as much as I could have this year because I was stuck at home. I didn't get to study abroad. I didn't get an internship. And now I have to live at home for the next few more months. In a way, this lack of expansion made me feel like I was emotionally stunted, like I was 14 again. That also took a toll on me. I feel like I'm not stepping into my independence like how I planned it out to be. Because of this, I was averse to the idea of staying at home for the fall semester because of the implications of my mental health. 

On the other hand, going back to school can be risky for my physical health. There is a virus out there and although it isn't super deadly for me, you just never know how the long term impact could be because research is still being conducted. I could also spread it to other people. This could also be harmful to my parents, not because of exposure because if I were to go back I wouldn't bring it to them, but because they will be worrying constantly for my physical well being. As much as I don't always like them, I don't think it's right to put them in a constant state of anxiety. Also, by remaining at home, I won't have to pay an additional $4000 for room and board. Even though my family can afford that, I don't think it's right to unnecessarily spend that money especially since both of my parents got a sizable pay cut because of this pandemic. Also in regards to my mental health, I don't think that staying home is something that will totally break me. It's important but I think it comes down to more of a preference that is rooted in the idea of "just because you can take it, doesn't mean you have to." But here, the situation is different and even though I don't want to, I can ultimately take it. 

I ultimately made the decision that the later reasons to stay home is more sustainable both for my family and for the people around me even though it isn't the best for my personal mental well being. I also thought about how wanting to go back is at odds with what I believe is right which is the notion that we need to social distance as much as possible. In doing this sacrifice, I reflected what I was giving up. I was giving up my need to constantly be growing, my need to feel like an independent adult, my desire to always be in the best mental health. While all these things are good, for me personally, I feel that some of them came from my egoic desires to prove myself as something even if it is at the expense of my environment.

Perhaps this stillness and peace that I feel now is the result of me letting go of this egoic motive.


The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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