Swinging for Beginners viat fuck.com

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Swinging for beginners

The swing lifestyle isn’t just about partner swapping. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes swinging is simply having sexual encounters with someone other than your primary partner, and this is where my current draw is. Read more on fuck.com.

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Yoga for Happiness 1/3: Compassion Yoga via Happiness.org

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 12.45.45 PMYoga has helped me a lot in my physical, mental, and emotional health. For those that haven’t tried it, this series of articles I’m doing is a great place to start. There are links to the free YouTube videos in the articles!

The first practice I tried was called “Compassion Yoga – Yoga With Adriene”. Some of her videos, including the one above, are free on YouTube. This is a fifty-eight-minute video surrounding compassion. Since the instructor has the practitioners set their intentions, I set mine for self-compassion. TO READ MORE, CLICK HERE.

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Ass Worship via Fuck.com

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Rimming is a term you may have heard before, but what is a rim job? Fuck.com has asked author Sienna Saint-Cyr to shed a little light on this taboo subject and discuss what a rim job is, the best ways to give and receive, and safety tips.

Read the full article here: Ass Worship: What is a Rim Job? 

 

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My Challenge to Bullies 

This morning I woke to a nasty, harassing email by someone hiding behind a temporary address. They had selected one through Guerrilla Mail. As with most nonsense like this, I shoved it off. Why would I ever listen to or take someone hiding seriously? I don’t respect cowards and thus, won’t waste time on them. I reported the abuser to the site as I also won’t allow people to harass me, but then I forgot about it. 

Then tonight, I read Beauty Beyond Bone’s post. She’s someone I follow because like me, she blogs about tough topics, healing, personal growth, and is vulnerable to her readers. (I suggest checking out her blog.) 

Those that know me know I respect people like this. I’ve never read her blaming others for her struggles, or any posts where she’s being inappropriate, or mean, and yet as she states in her post, she too received a nasty, bullying email. While she wouldn’t normally address this sort of thing, she decided to this time. 

I agree with her decision. Which got me thinking… 

The thing about bullies in general is that they’re cowards. They’re too scared to be so vulnerable. 

Life is tough enough. Why waste energy attacking people? 

The saddest thing about bullies is that they’ll never find joy. They’re so focused on tearing others down to build themselves up that they miss the happiness boat. Rather than be vulnerable and look inward, they look outwardly for someone to blame. 

In doing so, they traumatize and abuse innocent people. 

I’m at this strange place with bullies. I don’t respect them because of their behavior, but I also feel for them. I wonder why they hate themselves so much? 

I wish they could see their worth. I wish they’d look inward and stop vomiting their self-loathing onto others. We are all worthy of joy but we can’t find it if we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, then tearing them down to build ourselves up. That method doesn’t work. It only makes for more self-loathing. 

Ignoring bullying doesn’t fix it. We need to talk about this behavior. Because the victims of bullying deserve to be heard. And the bullies themselves need those around them–that aren’t bullying–to help them see their worth and find confidence from within so they stop this toxic behavior. 

I pose this challenge to anyone reading this that’s ever taken part in bullying… 

Write a blog post about all your vulnerabilities. If you want to do it anonymously, fine. But be real. Be 100% honest. Not about others, but about yourself. This isn’t a gossip fest or opportunity to play the blame game. This is about an opportunity to see yourself clearer. Because I know what will happen… 

The moment you put yourself out there completely, even if anonymously, you’re going to find a lot of people that will relate to you. You’ll find that you won’t need to tear others down to feel good because your vulnerability will shine a beauty in you that isn’t currently visible. You’ll find support in places you’d never expect. 

Other bullies may attack you, it’s true. But I can honestly say that for every one message of attack, I get hundreds of supportive responses. 

This is because humans, in my opinion, don’t really want to hate each other. I think we just get too caught up in judgment. So let’s go of that. Right here, right now. 

Let’s be vulnerable. Let’s be brave. Let’s be real. 

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Open to Life

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Since my last post, I’ve been listening to a lot of Sadhguru’s videos. While there are some aspects of his teachings that don’t resonate with me at this point in time, so much does. I’m understanding on the deepest levels that I feel what I allow myself to feel and experience what I allow myself to experience. This means I have far more power—aka responsibility—for my life than I previously cared to admit.

Now, of course, I’m overjoyed with this knowledge.

Years ago, I had a YouTube channel that I called OpenToLife. This was long before I started therapy. While some of my videos were about factual things, others were full of assumption and speculation. Lot’s of misguided wisdom even if it had some root in truth. I found myself caught up in new age beliefs.

Some of those beliefs included overcoming fear, which made perfect sense to me. Others involved ascension through overcoming that fear. But at the end of the day, I turned away from all those beliefs. Not because they were terrible to believe but because the more I’d dive into them the more I’d realize it was still breeding fear.

If you don’t achieve this, you won’t ascend and you’ll be trapped on this planet in this dimension for thousands of years…

The more I compared religious beliefs, the more I saw my own new age bullshit feeding the same ‘do this or suffer eternal damnation’ nonsense.

So I walked away from those beliefs.

This isn’t to say that I feel other dimensions, aliens, or other existences aren’t possible. I think they are. But that’s not the same as saying they are without a doubt. One is an idea, a possibility, the other a hard belief.

This goes for the ascension thing too. Sure I feel being a good person is healthy for the soul and all of humanity, but we are human and will mess up. The moment that happens, throwing ourselves into judgment and self-shaming chaos is only causing more harm.

It’s been years since I’ve revisited these beliefs. I’ve gotten so skeptical that I question everything. And I don’t feel that’s bad. If something can’t be questioned without consequence, then there’s a problem.

A BIG problem.

But after listening to Sadhguru, I’m seeing all of these old beliefs differently.

Part of the issue I’ve often run into is that humans try to put their spin on everything. I’m doing it now, not even trying to. Just doing it because it’s what I know. It’s all I know. But in putting my own spin on something, I’ve already tainted the thing I’m seeking to understand. I’ve limited it.

I began to see this a lot with old mentors and spiritual leaders I followed. When push came to shove, they didn’t like being questioned. They didn’t have answers. They’d return to the same mental shaming tactic that the church members used on me when I questioned why God created evil…

I was the doubting Thomas.

I realized that some of these people I thought were so wise were seriously missing the boat. They ‘sort of’ got the thing they claimed to be getting, but they were missing key parts and that made their teachings ineffective.

Then came science… I love science. Especially quantum physics. At some point, I saw that the closer we got to understanding quantum physics, the more science seemed to align with spirituality. But there was still a problem in that a lot of misinformation is spread through physicists being misquoted and their teachings spun to fit agendas.

So again, I left a lot of those studies as they were always circling back to our limited understandings as humans. And I’d long since tired of people telling me that their version of the thing was the right way, all others be damned.

Since I’ve come to the understanding that soul slavery is about allowing others to affect our internal peace and joy, I’ve been seeing all these other beliefs and ideas as being limited in the sense that they were all focused on the external. Not the internal.

Everything was about changing the surroundings. Not what’s inside.

Now some may say, “But no! You missed the point of all the meditations and practices!” And to that, I’d say, “No, I didn’t.” The teachings I’d followed were all about focusing on seeing what we wanted and to continue to think about it until we made it a reality. This is still focusing on the external. Wanting the promotion, or money, or a house, or to look thin and sexy, these are all external.

To focus on joy would’ve been internal, and that would have likely caused me to feel it because when we are focused on the internal, nothing external can affect it.

Since I decided that I was in charge of my joy and how I felt inside me, I’ve felt this level of transcendence that I was never able to feel during all my studies and practices. The difference is that now, I’m focused inside. Sure some of the teachings taught this, and the teachings at their core level were far purer. It was when people practicing and trying to guide others put their spin on things that teachings left the internal and went external. It was all about shifting that which was outside us rather than inside.

And this isn’t magic. It isn’t some sacred teaching. It’s being mentally healthy. It’s being emotionally healthy. It’s being at the higher functioning side of being human. This isn’t some belief people have to follow. It’s just a simple understanding that we are in charge of how we feel.

When we feel our world is out of control, or we’re feeling unheard, or we’re not happy because we’re working with people that are nasty and sabotaging us, this is all the external affecting our internal peace and joy.

But what if that didn’t need to happen?

What if we could look at the very person hurting us and smile, then walk away? How would that affect us differently if we simply said, “No, you’re not going to hurt me anymore.” Then stopped allowing the person to hurt us?

Part of what always got me is that I’ve suffered from depression for most of my life. Yet I’d meet terminal patients and they had a joy that I couldn’t find. They were suffering in a much more physical sort of way, and could have been (maybe even were) full of fear of dying, and yet so often I’d find people in that terminal state to be far happier than me.

Not all, some were bitter and angry. But so many terminal patients I’ve known have had a peace that I’ve longed for until now. And I can’t help but think it has to do with letting go.

When you’re dying, you don’t care what others think of you anymore. You don’t care about the kind of house you live in or how much money you made… You care about smelling the flowers in the garden. You care about feeling the sun on your face. You care about spending every waking moment in a place of joy because fuck it… you’re not going to be around much longer and why live in fear or full of hatred?

These people I know and knew had stopped allowing the external to determine the internal.

And we don’t have to be dying to reach this place.

I understand so much more now. I understand that letting go of the ego isn’t about letting go of the self like so many teachings claimed. Letting go of ego means letting go of judgment. It means embracing the internal self while rejecting the external’s control over the internal. Letting go of ‘self’ in the manner I was taught was just being a martyr and we really don’t need more martyrs.

Our internal matters.

I’m thinking about all those teachings I followed so long ago and I can’t help but think, how would those be different if everyone had focused on the internal wellbeing as opposed to trying to shift the external?

Even if people had taught the internal shifting and growth back then, I certainly wasn’t in a place to understand it. Which only backs up everything Sadhguru talks about in his videos in that we experience life from our limited perspective. So the more I’ve learned through therapy and healing and taking responsibility for my life, the more I’m able to understand what shifting the internal means.

I find it ironic that my old YouTube channel was called OpenToLife when I really had no idea what that meant. Now I do. Because I’m open to how I choose to experience life as it unfolds. I’m trying not to put judgment on everything and instead, just be open.

I think it was easy for me to put a magical spin on something so simple because I never thought it could be so simple. 

We may not determine our lives externally but we certainly determine how we experience them. 

For the first time, I can honestly claim that I am open to life… Open to experiencing joy, peace, and all the wonderful things that come with focusing on the internal self rather than what’s outside of me. Not a moment of joy that can be sucked away by a shitty circumstance or an abusive person, but an overall internal joy that doesn’t leave unless we desire it to. 

I’m open to living and being joy. 

 

Posted in My Journey, PTSD | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Wisdom of Sadhguru – Living Happily and Triggers

In my last post, I quoted Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make feel inferior without your consent.” While I fully believe this, parts of this statement become difficult when it comes to triggers. I’ve always taken Eleanor’s statement to be about someone telling me I’m ugly or dumb or am a terrible writer. These kinds of statements are fairly easy to combat because my thought process has always been if someone is labeling me as some sort of failure, it’s because they feel inferior to me. Whether true or not, that thought has always seemed the most logical. Successful people, healthy people, confident people, they don’t need to put others down. People that see themselves as failures put others down to build themselves up.

But there is a lot more to all of this. When others’ words leave simple insults and enter into a place of harassment, deception, manipulation, and so on, the actions of the person aren’t merely to put someone down. Their words are meant to cause terror. This form of gaslighting cuts deeply. And this is where I run into trouble.

When someone uses tactics like gaslighting against me, it’s not as simple to disregard that attack. It’s not like someone calling me ugly or telling me I’m bad at X because of Y. I’ve worked for years in therapy to understand why some people take to this level of abuse and I’ve stopped trying to figure that out. The simplest answer is that the reason is irrelevant. The behavior is there and needs to be dealt with.

How to deal with this form of abuse has long troubled me. This is behavior I’ve had to deal with for many years. It’s caused a lot of PTSD and I’m easily triggered by these sorts of people. But this is changing.

I’ve recently come to a new understanding. It came through a post I saw on Facebook. It was by a yogi and guru named Sadhguru. I knew nothing about him when the short video started playing, but his words rang so true and impacted me in a deeply positive manner.

“Someone can decide whether you are happy or unhappy. Is this not slavery? Someone can decide whether you are a pleasant human being or an unpleasant human being. Is this not slavery? What happens within you, somebody else determines. This is the worst form of slavery, is it not?” – Sadhguru

When I’m triggered, I’m allowing someone else to determine what’s happening inside me.

Sadhguru goes on to talk about everything we see and experience is a reflection of us. We experience everything internally, not externally. So internally is where the shift needs to happen for me.

Sadhguru’s words hit me hard. In a good way though. I understood what he was saying. Triggers themselves often feel like nonconsensual bondage. I get so tired of it. I want to be in a good place but once triggered, the depression hits too. It’s difficult to come out of.

Last week, in therapy, I learned that there are four types of motivation people experience. I am intrinsic. Motivated internally. But I am also the questioning intrinsic. Meaning that if I can’t see the merit in what’s being said or what needs to be done, I won’t be motivated to take action. The thing I’m acting on has to make logical sense and has to come from a place of integrity or I won’t do it.

What this has meant for me is that until recently, I’ve not been able to be motivated when it comes to not allowing these trauma causing types to affect me. And that’s because I couldn’t see their abuse as a form of slavery.

But it is. And I’ve been in nonconsensual bondage by these types for a very long time.

The truth is, these abusive types have no power. I’ve been giving power to them by allowing them to affect me. And this is tough considering the behavior specifically is what triggers me.

I now see why I have to shift this all internally. I refuse to live in bondage to these types of people. Their only power has been that once I’m traumatized and shutting down, I’m complacent and more easily controlled. But this ends now. No one has my permission to affect me in such a manner.

Now that I have this internal motivation, I can shift how long I live in the place of triggering and trauma. Sadhguru helped me connect all of this. His words helped me to see that I’ve been living in this place of nonconsensual bondage—slavery—to these very abusive types of people. And I won’t allow it any longer.

This becomes harder when I’m triggered because the behavior in question does trigger me. But how long I stay in that state that is up to me. The less time I live in the place of being traumatized, the less this behavior will affect me. The less it affects me overall, the easier it will be to stop being triggered by it in the first place.

Of all the triggers I’ve had, the sexual abuse has been the easiest to face. Not easy in the sense that it didn’t hurt like hell internally and it wasn’t easy in the sense of feeling all that I needed to feel and face, but it was easy in that I knew what kinds of exposure therapy I needed. I knew, or at least had ideas, on what I could do to slowly work through that stuff.

Dealing with gaslighting goes back far for me and isn’t so easy to combat when it comes to exposure therapy. More exposure doesn’t help me work through anything. It only traumatizes me more. So how I have to go about dealing with this is different, which leads me to this next part.

Sadhguru also stated, “’I like this; I don’t like this.’ This one division is the basis of bondage.” So the moment we put judgment on something is the moment we’ve become enslaved to it.

I can scream until I’m blue in the face that I like this behavior and don’t like that behavior, but that’s me putting judgment on it. Others’ behavior is simply their behavior. If I can pull myself back enough to see it as just behavior rather than bad/abusive/manipulative and so forth, then I can keep myself from diving down the rabbit hole of triggering and trauma. It’s just behavior…

I don’t have to like or dislike someone’s behavior. That’s on them. That’s their existence. Their experience. That’s where they choose to live.

Not me.

By allowing those types to affect my internal peace, I’ve granted them permission to take up space inside me. I’ve brought their existence into mine. And this isn’t okay. That’s not where I want to live.

Later in the video, Sadhguru talks about who should determine how we experience life. He asks that we be who determines what we experience. He brings up that we can’t control the events around us but we can determine how we experience them. Because our experience of a thing is internal.

So this is where I’m placing my focus.

I’ve got the bit I was needing to work through my current state of triggering and depression. I may not be able to stop an automatic response yet, but I have no doubt that once I really start staying mindful about how I experience life, I will eventually get to a point where others’ behavior won’t trigger me.

What belongs to me are my actions, behaviors, and how I choose to experience life.

This understanding brings me joy. 🙂

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Calming the Storm

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Growth is hard. If it was easy, more of us would take part. I’m in a new place of personal growth right now. One where when I get triggered, I’m wanting to work through it on my own using my tools. This is a shift for me. Which means it’s also a shift for those that have been my support until now. I still need my support structure, but I’m not needing others to be there in the same manner.

Adjustments are also hard. Change is something that many humans fight. Even when that change is good. Part of this is that change is uncomfortable and we humans do like our comfort. But change that makes for more comfort in the future is what’s tricky because we may want it and fight it at the same time. This is a bit of where I am now. I want to work through triggers on my own, but I also liked having folks I could call and lean on. I liked having a security blanket of people around me.

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My current triggers have been some of the toughest to deal with. They are from events that used to lead me down the path of a planning my demise. These things were just too overwhelming, which meant the only reasonable option I could see at the time was planning for my death. But all that’s changed too. It’s taken years of hard work for me to get to this point, and now that I’m here dealing with the biggest triggering items, I also don’t have that ‘go to’ of a plan. I have nothing to fall back on. No exit button…

Yet I’m doing it. I’m working through this tough stuff. I’m working through it without jumping to suicidal thoughts. I’m doing it without freaking out and needing others to calm my triggers. And so much is me taking one step at a time and growing.

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There was a time when people told me I’d have PTSD for the rest of my life. That all I’d be able to do was treat symptoms. And I know this isn’t true.

While I may always have unknown triggers pop up, I’m proving to myself day after day that hard work and the ability to grow make the difference. Most of my past triggers no longer trigger me. I’m confident that even the ones affecting me now will fade one day too.

Yesterday I ran into someone that I don’t know very well, but she’s someone that made a big difference in my life a while back. When I saw her, she told me that she knew I was going to be okay. Because the one thing she saw in me was that I knew what I wanted and needed, and I went for it. This has been true for much of my life. Though it’s only this last year or so that I’ve really seen the fruition of this.

Mostly, I had to get out of my own way. I had to stop allowing others’ judgments to prevent me from getting what I needed. I had to stop allowing others to shame me. I had to stop letting them guilt trip me into doing things I didn’t want to do. I had to stop listening to people that wanted to keep me in a neat little controllable box.

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I think it’s easy for people that have known us for a long time to keep us in the places they are comfortable with us being. I don’t even believe this is an intentional thing. Just as I was comfortable staying where I was, the people around me were comfortable with that too.

This is where two things have helped me significantly; therapy and my D/s relationship.

My therapist is always asking me what something is doing for me. What am I getting out of the things I take part in? How does my participation make me feel? This has worked to get me thinking about my needs. How I’m affecting others is important too, but I’m usually centered around what others need and then meeting those needs. So this shift in thinking has helped me a lot because it’s moved me from thinking only about others to thinking about my needs, then others’ needs. Then finding balance.

The other thing that’s really helped is my D/s relationship. Before I entered into a serious D/s relationship, I thought that Doms/Dommes were all about meeting their needs. And this was fantastic for someone like me that just wanted to ‘people please’. I couldn’t wait to serve and not focus on myself at all.

I couldn’t have been more wrong about what healthy D/s looked like. I never thought that D would make me speak for myself. Or tell him what my needs were. That he’d actively support my needs and demand that anything we do be enthusiastically consented to on both our parts.

I really thought once I had a Dom I could just check out and float through, being told what to do all the time. And I have to admit, when I first realized that this wasn’t how my Dom operated, I felt a bit cheated. I didn’t want to speak my needs. I didn’t even want to have needs.

Now, of course, I’m thankful.

Him insisting I enthusiastically consent meant I had to actually want what I asked (begged) for.

Both situations reinforced that I needed to know what I wanted and needed, then actively pursue those things. They insisted I have agency, which is something that people that once tried to control me didn’t want me to possess. And this has led me to all the growth I’ve achieved and am still achieving.

Having agency means having personal power.

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So much triggering comes from not being able to control our environment and I’m finding that my personal power is helping to balance this. The one thing I can control is me. This understanding is helping significantly in my recent set of triggers.

I know a lot of people with PTSD and if there’s one bit of advice I can give, it’s to be true to what you need in your healing process. Trust your instincts. Face your fears in as safe of manner as possible (I don’t suggest swimming with piranhas). Be vulnerable where you feel safe to. If I’m having a hard time being present with people, just saying that is helpful. Then I don’t worry about what they’re thinking in regard to my current state.

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So much becomes possible when we stop putting judgment on everything. And this judgment is on us. Shaming is on us. Because we allow ourselves to feel these things.

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That said, tonight’s post is dedicated to the wisdom of those that have guided me to having agency and taking the steps I needed to take to find this new place of growth. To those struggling with PTSD and working through triggers. And to Eleanor Roosevelt, for all her lovely quotes that still resonate today.

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