Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus are the speakers in this Ted Talk. I really enjoyed their story of how they began their adventure that lead to them creating The Minimalists web site.
They began as bloggers, just like us. They were inspired to start the blog as a way to share their experiences about transforming their highly materialistic, anxiety ridden lifestyle to one of a minimalist style.
Joshua was the first one of the pair of friends to begin to live in the minimalist way. Ryan was being overloaded by his lifestyle and turned to his best friend to find out what it was that seemed to be making him happier.
When Ryan heard what Joshua had to say, the two of them went to work and boxed up Ryan’s entire house full of possessions. To find out what they did next, watch the Ted Talk. It is quite a story.
The blog was started and little by little they got more followers. Now they are in demand as speakers, and have been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY, NPR, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post.
They live in Missoula, Montana and both of them had high paying power jobs, and had accumulated lots and lots of stuff, as well as lots of bills.
These guys transformed their entire lifestyle, as well as started a lucrative business teaching other people how to live a simpler, less stressful lifestyle. They adopted something that helped them in their lives, into a business to help others.
Things our higher spiritual self does not have to deal with.
No wonder we become distracted, redirected and forgetful about being in touch with our higher consciousness level selves.
We can’t even call them on the cell phone, never mind ask them to relate to what we go through.
Getting into a higher level state requires detaching from our physical selves. It is like ignoring the squeakiest wheel. ….and as we know, the squeaky wheel gets the attention.
We can have wonderful intentions of growing towards a higher consciousness level and then we develop some new pain or disorder…whether mental or physical.
We are subjected to all manner of mind control and persuasion techniques by society and the manipulators within it. And our bodies take more and more of a beating as we age.
Beating yourself up over not being able to get yourself out of your physical self and into a spiritual state, is another beating you should not have to endure.
It is effectually a beating of the consciousness by the consciousness…
A beating of the sub conscious by the sub conscious….
A beating of the mind by itself.
It is a paradox that you must accept the pains without the ego being involved because becoming one with higher consciousness means letting go of and identity with the self….yet repressing feelings about suffering only makes the suffering grow.
So we have to accept the inner child in order to heal…accept suffering as part of existing in the physical realm….sit with our pain to comfort it to ease it….walk through painful experiences to get to the light on the other side….and detach from the ego and identifying with our identity in order to achieve a higher consciousness…..
Yet in detaching from our ego we are acknowledging our identity with it…..so we first have to recognize the ego as a construct that is heavily influenced by brainwashing, false beliefs programmed into us, and manipulative people with their own agendas to serve..
We then can understand that many of our automatic thoughts and attachments come out of this programming. …making the majority of the tapes running in our subconscious mind basically bad viruses…..and our conscious negative thoughts results of the viruses…..
Then we can begin to understand that We Are Not Our Thoughts….
Once we begin to accept that we are not our thoughts, we can open the subconcious mind to new formatting….better programming….we can alter and add new beliefs…and delete contaminated beliefs…..
A new understanding begins to arise at the back of our brains where those core beliefs are housed….that if our thoughts are not us, then we can observe our thoughts and evaluate their validity….
Holding onto beliefs that no longer serve us is not neccessary. We will not simply stop being ourselves by changing our core beliefs. It is the attachment to those addictive beliefs and thought patterns that keeps us controlled by others….and by our physical existance…..
We are not, in fact, the sum of our thoughts. We can rearrange the furniture in our brains that we call our thoughts. Rearranging the furniture, throwing out old pieces, adding new pieces that better serve our house….
The house remains, even when the things inside are altered.
So who is doing the altering and rearranging? It is not our physical selves….It is not our thoughts that are observing themselves….
Once we begin to realize this, then we catch a glimpse of what is doing the observing….It is not within the brain or the physical body….
It is that higher self…the higher consciousness….that can be awakened to observe and repair the subconscious …where suffering is at its roots….
Thoughts about suffering seem to create more suffering…and fear that the suffering will get worse….or continue to last is the root of the most painful mental and physical suffering.
Yet somehow you are beginning to suspect the most curious thing of all….that by entering this kind of trance….the one you have allowed your mind to enter while reading this….you were able to detach from your physical suffering for a few minutes…..
And so we took the journey together….just you and I….in a higher realm of consciousness….
Self care is part of self parenting. If you have C-PTSD from childhood abuse, emotional trauma, or neglect, then you were probably not taught to care for yourself.
If your emotional needs were regularly discounted then you were trained to ignore your feelings about being uncomfortable, and taught to hide those feelings. You were not able to get what you needed to make your environment feel safe and comfortable.
If your parents did not make an effort to care for your need to feel safe and comfortable, then you were programmed into discounting your own comfort needs.
Everone has the need to feel comfort, safety and pleasure. It is not selfish to have these needs. It is normal and it is part of the survival instinct.
As an adult who came from a narcissistic pareny or otherwise dysfunctional family, you have to learn how to parent yourself now. …Not in the same way you were parented as a child. But in a nurturing, compassionate way.
Learning thow to care for yourself will allow you to have more energy and patience ti share your love with other people.
Love the loving. Maintain behaviors of self love and then show compassion to people who have the capacity for love and empathy. Do not waste energy trying to change unloving people.
So here is a list of my top 10 favorite self care ideas. Please share your own favorite ideas in the comments below.
1. Wrap up in hot towels from the dryer. You don’t have to be doing wash at the time. Just toss 2 or 3 nice towels in the dryer and dry them on high, for 10 or 15 minutes. Then wrap up in them.
2. Cover yourself in soft blankets. Buy one special blanket that has your favorite texture. Running your hands over pleasing textures can calm the nervous system, similar to petting a soft furred animal.
3. Take a warm shower or bath. You don’t have to wait until you need to bathe. Hot steamy showers have a healing effect and calm the nervous system. Submersing yourself in a bath of warm water will help you be mindful of the present moment.
4. Listen to music that makes you feel empowered. Your favorite music has a direct effect on your nervous system and will generate dopamine and feel-good chemical responses.
5. Petting and playing with your favorite kind of animals. Animals are living spiritual beings. Different people are drawn to different animals for different emotional and spiritual energies that these animals have.
6. Water has healing properties. Drinking clean water…swimming in water… and being near the ocean, stream… or a beautiful sparkling lake…all have spiritually uplifting possibilities.
7. Creating your perfect sleep space. Your sleeping area needs to be a calm haven of nurturing and soothing quality. Alter your lighting with red or other colored light bulbs in a table lamp. Add soothing sounds and textureus. The colors should be ones that are important to you and have an affect on your nervous system.
8. Uplifting words. Read or watch videos by people who inspre you. Your self esteem should feel boosted after spending time with a message that energizes and validates you.
9. Learn to say NO, without feeling obligated to make them agree that your reasons are valid. Being afraid to say NO to people will cause you to be forced into situations that deplete your energy and your self esteem.
10. Create things that are inventive, artistic, authentic or unique. Draw, color, craft, write a poem, sing in your unique voice, write, create a new yoga routine, rearrange items in a unique way, decorate a box, add fringe to your lampshade with a hot glue gun, change the laces in your sneakers to colored ones, make a beaded bracelet, plant some flowers, choose your favorite material at JoAnne fabrics and lay it on your table for a table cloth, buy a bag of buttons at the craft store and sew them onto your tops and jackets, add some coloful garnishes to your dinner plate….explore….create…don’t worry about comparing your creativity to others….be yourself!
Live for yourself. Create your reality. Listen to your inner voice. Nurture your inner child and your emotional wounds.
Live for the connection of all living things and for the value of life and existence.
Live for loving others. Do random acts of kindness. Search out special people to share intimate relationships with. Passion and sensuality are part of being human and part of spirituality.
Live to love animals and nature. Be kind and mindful. Treat living things with respect and care.
Live for your visions, hopes and dreams. Be creative, inventive and original.
Live to fight against evil and injustice. Be the advocate for those who have no voice.
Teach others to be sometimes still, and other times to roar like a lion.
image from Pinterest credit here
image from Pinerest credit here
You have to take care of yourself, before you can really take care of someone else well.
You have to make yourself comfortable, before you can find the best ways to comfort someone else.
You have to find yourself, before you can help someone who is lost.
You have to be standing stable, before you can get someone off the floor.
You have to save yourself, before you can begin to help someone save themselves.
This is my late night rambling. Any typos will be fixed tomorrow. This is a stream of consciousness writing. ….
Sometimes we grieve for a thing we missed out on. This might be a person we thought we were meant to be with. Or it might be a situation like a job or a certain path we imagined was right for us.
But we really do not know what would have awaited us, had we ended up with that thing we were sure we wanted.
Think of a person that you ended up wishing you had never wanted to be in a relationship with. You were sure it was what you wanted at the time, but as time passed it was not what you pictured the relationship to be.
There is also some situation that you were sure you wanted that eventually turned out to be a devastating disappointment. What if you had never gotten it?
You might still be grieving the loss of what you imagined the outcome to be.
There is no way to know if you really missed out on a “dream job” because what you imagined it would be like is probably not how you would have felt once you were in it.
And that person you thought would have been the perfect partner…so much so that you compare your other relationships to that one perfect relationship that you imagine you missed by a hair….
Maybe you did something that you consider a mistake and it kept you from following along that particular path you thought was the “right” one.
While you spend your energy lamenting these imagined scenarios and how well they would have gone, you may be missing the inner voice that is calling toward something much better.
Rather than a loss of great magnitude, some of these things you missed out on may have ended up being the very things that would have kept you from the wonderful things you have yet to experience.
We sometimes feel that we are at a “fork in the road” and that if we choose the wrong path it will completely change our lives. But you are still you even after a seemingly dramatic choice.
You never know where any path will lead or many more moments of truth will seem to present themselves. It could be that you would wind down one path, only to find it ended up joining with the second one anyway, further down the road.
It is important that you know your values and what you believe in. It is also important that you are open to seeing things in a new light, if the facts you come across show you a new way of looking at things.
There are very few, if any, paths that have a certain right or wrong way…at least not one you cannot correct , change or adapt to.
It is when you go against your inner voice and reject yourself that you get into trouble. You must honor your inner voice and allow it to guide you.
Do not reject yourself for the sake of pleasing someone else.
The sooner you learn to respect yourself and your resiliency, the sooner you can begin to have confidence that whatever direction you walk, that feels right, will eventually lead you someplace where you will be okay.