There is a profound idea that I was introduced to when I first began to meditate - we have the option of thinking, or not thinking, anytime we want to. Emotional suffering may start with an incident, but grows exponentially with our thoughts. Focus on your surroundings, your breathing, or different thoughts and visuals. Better yet, deal with whatever incident caused the thoughts in the first place. Mental control is a skill, and becomes easier with practice. Study meditation or yoga - learn methods of bringing yourself back to what is really happening right now in your direct vicinity.
Go explore the world. Even if it is scary sometimes, the rewards are bountiful and a deep part of the human experience.
We are social creatures. All work done by even the most highly revered individuals relies on countless people supporting them. No one is thriving without the help of others, we are all connected in this together.
This year I am working on changing my life quite a bit, having decided that I no longer want to continue repeating certain patterns that have manifested over the past decade. It's not particularly easy, because there's an attachment to an identity that has come into being, but I know that I have no obligation to perpetuating that identity, even from what others expect from me. There can of course be repercussions for not doing certain things - loss of friends, poverty, and death, to name a few - but these are extreme examples just to highlight that there is still a choice in any situation. What would you rather be doing and what is holding you back? This too can change.
I've been deeply focused on projects this week and feeling a bit shut in from the rain and flooding, but this morning I woke up remembering the bounty of beauty in this world, and how small problems become when you knock yourself out of your routine and travel - even a tiny trip an hour away does wonders, but of course, the longer the better. I am especially excited to return to a few festivals this year in celebration of art and creativity, although am hoping that even more opportunities arise to take me away. Gotta go explore this human experience, it's fantastic out there.
It might not always be comfortable voicing concerns and personal needs, but it's the only way you're going to get what you want. I've fallen all too often into the trap of avoiding conflicts or fearing the repercussions of speaking up when it only prolongs negative feelings. Of course, there are good and bad ways to communicate, especially considering the other person's needs as well as the possibility of misunderstandings (or having an unreasonable personal request). For that reason, bringing up these sensitive subjects is best done using nonviolent communication, voicing what is troubling you, how that makes you feel, what your need is, and a specific request that will make you feel more comfortable. It's not always possible to use in all situations, but will typically make things go more smoothly.
Know the difference so you can support your loved ones! Empathy typically provides far more support and healing for a person than sympathy does. I briefly posted this yesterday but wanted to clarify some of the wording. Compassion is another step above sympathy or empathy in that it directly offers support, "how can I help you?" Sympathy, empathy, and compassion may all be combined together such as with, "I'm sorry you're feeling that way, I went through a similar thing recently and feel your pain, how can I help?" Sympathy by itself is not necessarily bad, it just often comes off as distant even though the person giving it may care a lot. Words are powerful so know how your support influences those around you, even the slightest change of words can make a major difference in a friend's life.
Today I have a million tasks to complete. While the power of thought has been amazing for the human race's advancements, it is also the primary sources of depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental suffering - not to mention accomplishing much less. Today I will act with speed and certainty.
Hi! My name is Sage Liskey, the founder of the Rad Cat Press. I grew up seeing a lot of the disturbing, toxic, and unhealthy sides of American culture, and decided I wanted to do something to change it. Since 2010 I have been writing books and zines (booklets) focused around uplifting lives and reimagining society, with a primary focus in mental health and empowerment. I believe a better world is possible, so I hope you feel inspired and a little more fulfilled from what you find here. Read on about my mission.
My Books and Zines
November 10th, 11AM - 6PM - Eugene, OR, Tabling at Euzine Comics and Zine Fest