The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily or mental and spiritual

John Stuart Mill – On Liberty

Hello again.

I’m happy to make a quiet return to blogging and sharing the progress of my creative projects. I’ve been bursting with a lot of ideas, but also trying to slow down so I can focus on one idea or project at a time. Lately, I’ve been thinking about governance for the sake of worldbuilding for my dark fantasy novel and short story series. Exploring the philosophies behind various political agendas led me to think about what freedom truly means. As an American, I can admit that my country feeds the illusion of freedom and we reinforce that narrative with the way we treat one another’s individualized issues with prejudice, apathy, ignorance, and insecurity. We do this explicitly and implicitly, often not knowing which is which. It’s no surprise that feeding an illusion will inevitably make you delusional if you’re not grounded with some kind of autonomy and self-trust. Returning to my writing, my thoughts and feelings about governance and the microcosm of its power found in our interactions with friends and family have been braided into my work. I’m just realizing this now as an American who has particular privileges and faces particular acts of oppression, and yet is struggling to believe that I’m free. The narratives about freedom fed to me as a child and the narratives fed to me today are so flimsy, yet build a harsh friction between my pursuit of living a free and fulfilling life because I’m not obeying the narratives; I can never be free the “right” way.

I took a few weeks off of social media and thoroughly enjoyed it. I remembered when social media came out when I was a teenager, I think, and didn’t even care about joining it until I heard that Amy Lee from Evanescence made a Twitter account (lol!). Many people phrase the use of social media as being flooded by too much information at once, which I agree with. We’re not flooded just by information, but also many personal narratives from people we don’t even know. Those who are opinionated and have strong personalities seem to dominate as icons and influencers in their relative niches. For a while I thought I wanted that, but the cost of having that kind of status also challenges what freedom is. I don’t like the pressure that comes with meeting the expectations of others nor surrendering the majority of my energy to staying in contact and interacting with people from many walks of life on a daily basis. Lol, I can barely handle going to the grocery store maneuvering around people and sometimes having to talk to them (#firstworldproblems). So taking this break from social media helped me to find the balance I need when it comes to loving all the chaos that is the internet and making sure I’m grounded enough to create. I’ve decided I’m going to continue spending less time on social media and use it for marketing purposes for the most part.

I call myself a mystic and creative spirit as the sub-headline of Authentikei, but I should just put “nocturnal antisocial hermit”. I’m happiest when I’m alone and creating, but when I do share more of my writing, my music, and more, I’ll happily engage with you and others because I’m also at my happiest when I find kindred souls who fancy the dark side. I’ve accepted that I’m a hermit and that to maintain this freedom, I have to be responsible enough to preserve my health, which is what freedom currently means to me, but I’m a hermit who is grateful for the online and real-life communities that resonate with me as they’re wonderful reminders that I’m not and never will be alone. As the proper guardian of my health, this is my choice and I’ll do whatever’s necessary to preserve this sacred freedom. Perhaps that sounds dramatic in regards to social media, but I can’t emphasize how important it is to me to make sure my time and energy is no longer commanded by the people who are apathetic and ignorant of my needs. I believe every creative spirit has that right.

Thank you for your time. Also, I wanted to share the philosophy video from Academy of Ideas that inspired this post.

Leliel.

Lost to ambiguity,

I’m nothing.

Obstacles with no substance

nor logic conquer all.

Circumstances are conspiracies.

My anger’s self-righteousness

must win the war.

All in life plans to witness

my reactivity and self-destruction

because, of course,

the world revolves around my demise;

saying otherwise is a risky lie.

Read full poem on Vocal.

Photo Credit: Gioele Fazzeri 

More Poetry

A Plea To Death

Winged

Elemental Magic – Fire

I’ve been taking time to observe my own work and lifestyle habits to improve productivity as an artist and entrepreneur, which led me to notice the pros and cons of my greatest blessing and curse: overthinking. Overanalyzing past events is my comfort zone to an obsessive point. I review my behavior and the behaviors of others in social settings, I’ll reevaluate my work schedule repeatedly (especially when random changes occur), and I can become far too immersed in hypothetical “what if’s” regarding past events believing that even though what I suspect could hypothetically happen didn’t happen at all, I should prepare for the likelihood that it does happen anyway. It’s strange that as a artist, my inspiration and work appear as bursts of energy which is a present consumption, but with almost everything else, I always need a plan and lacking a plan in anyway makes me feel incredibly lost. 

The greatest pro of thinking like this is building resilience and maturity. I really value being introspective because it provides many opportunities to learn. However, the greatest con is rarely being in the present moment. This habit combined with intrusive thoughts and dissociation really isn’t fun; it’s time consuming self-torture on bad days. So, this week I practiced mindfulness techniques more frequently as an attempt to rewire my brain in a way. I get hit with intrusive thoughts on a daily basis, so addressing the truthfulness of those thoughts, as in understanding why the thought came up, how it makes me feel, and how practical it is to stew over the thought, is a struggle and conscious effort every damn time. 

Article – Letting Go To Hold On – A Person Take on a Taoist Principle

Redirecting my overthinking for more productive means is also a conscious effort and doing so keeps me in a present state of mind, which is a great pro. In the past, my overthinking would simply lead to spiraling and catastrophizing. Now my critical nature works more in my favor when self-care and dignity are kept in mind. 

Just wanted to share this because I know I’m not alone in this. My fellow artists, autodidacts, nerds, and the like will perceive their analytical nature as a burden all too often and to be honest it really can become this powerful and reckless force disguised as meticulousness. Acknowledging how overanalyzing is a comfort zone we need to step out of helps change our self-perception into something more fulfilling without any radical change. If we naturally are critical and creative thinkers, then we can’t help that, but the least we can do is apply our great minds to tasks that help us embrace our potential. I’m just so tired of falling victim to the coulds/shoulds I’ve internalized. Let’s just be. 

Leliel

To Be The Proper Guardian of My Own Health – [Just Me & Video]
The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our …
Taking A Break – [Just Me]
My mental health really sucks right now, so I’m taking a few …
My Responsibility – [Poetry]
Harp Concert by Sofia Kiprskaya , soloist of the Mariinsky Theater – [Video / Artist Recognition]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xn3uAHZHcc&ab_channel=ClassicMmediaGroup I was looking for reading music and stumbled upon an amazing …

A while ago I ran into a Tumblr post about “grind culture” describing how there are people who are perfectionistic in regards to how they should be working, studying, living, and that reminded me of my fellow fans of the dark academia aesthetic and the studyblr tag. Here is the post:

I talk about perfectionism a bit whether I’m blogging or writing an article and it’s because it’s something that empowers me and haunts me. Although I’m so incredibly excited to be working on my psychology degree and in love with the course material so far, I had a meltdown over a quiz that I failed. I cried and panicked for nearly an hour and had to spend another hour calming myself down. In hindsight, I felt ridiculous, but more than anything I felt powerless. The perfectionism in me has developed into something that makes my mood swings and anxiety incredibly difficult to control. Therapy helped, but the feeling of shame took more time to work through.

I go through this as a writer too. What I was really worried about after my meltdown was my inability to handle something as small as a failed quiz leading to my inability to brace for subjective opinions about my work and career path. It was all revolving around a small failure that was hypothetically turning into a gargantuan failure. So after meditating on this, I came to the quick conclusion that first off, I was so tired of being this mean to myself; I truly do love myself so being unnecessarily harsh feels like a regression in my pursuit for better emotional and mental health. Then, I decided to challenge my view on what a “failure” is. At my core, I believed failure means shame and punishment. To challenge this core belief, I switched from calling my failures into mistakes. Failure can have a crassness to it, but “mistake” reminded me of the classic term “learn from your mistakes”. After that, I could look back at the quiz as a lesson about my mistakes.

What I learned was incredibly helpful. I took notice my anxiety levels while studying and doing any exercise, quiz, or whatever that “tests” me. I learned that instead of expecting perfectionism, I could strive for excellence, which to me requires an open and teachable mind that enjoys the process of self-improvement (You know, the whole “it’s the journey, not the destination” thing). I balance this out by thinking about my health logically. For excellence to happen, my brain needs rest, my body needs care, and my soul needs joyful reminders of my ambitions and aspirations. Although I did make sure to follow a schedule so the workload each day wasn’t more stressful than it already was, I didn’t take myself to the rigidity of grind culture I used partake in a long time ago in a elementary charter school far, far away almost until grad school. Knowing my personality, I’m already in that frame of mind where I want and will do my best. There’s absolutely no need for me to make my perfectionism into a monster, when its brought me so far and polished my work ethic. The most important lesson from that silly quiz was… don’t take the quiz if you’re panicking about the time limit more than the material. Lol.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that. Now that I have a decent routine with my psych classes, I can return to my writing routine. I am so glad my structure has returned and is solid enough to try new things.

Have a good one.

I’ve decided to just be honest since I haven’t been posting much of anything the past two weeks. My mental health threw off my schedule again, which is a part of my lifestyle I have to accept. However, I am still working on multiple articles, my novel, a music project, and polishing my short story “Autonomy Bleeds Black”. It’s not the multiple projects that is overwhelming me, but other factors in my life. Unfortunately, I have lost some momentum because of it, but I am not lost.

Getting back on schedule will take time, but it’ll happen. All you can do is be patient with yourself.

On another note, there are still more disturbing things happening in the US and worldwide that’s affecting so many of us on multiple levels. Remember to ground yourself and accept what you can’t control. Accept the changes around you and the differences you have with others. Give yourself a moment, then remind yourself what you’re fighting or living for.

Be well.

Learning to be more mindful about the areas in my life that need rest is still a fairly new experience. Do you still have that “daily grind” mentality, where you must work hard whenever your workdays are and ignore yourself anytime your mind, body, or spirit is screaming “I NEED A BREAK!!” ? It’s important to have discipline in life, but I think too many of us think discipline means working hard without recognizing what you need. The labor laws of our society shouldn’t dictate how much rest we deserve; we should be deciding that.

Then again, some of us feel guilty when we’re resting for too long. I get antsy and restless every time I don’t write on my blog, give myself a break from the novel, or take a step back from an article. To me, that means I’m lacking mindfulness when it comes to rest. My brain needs time to rest so I can write again. My soul needs peace so I’ll be inspired to write. My body needs rest even if I am sitting at my desk or in my bed a good part of the day. All of our needs in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual sense deserve a moment of rejuvenation. I know some of us may give ourselves a day or two of rest and still feel like we didn’t get enough. All the more reason to see the day you scheduled as the rest day as a practice. It takes time to learn what exactly you need to help give your mind, body, and soul an energetic reset.

These sources can help you get started:

  • If you’re an empath or hypersensitive person, read this article to learn about grounding techniques that help prevent breakdowns.
  • If you’d like help thinking about how you can cleanse your living space and empower yourself, read this article.
  • If you struggle to see what you have in life that could possibly make your situation better when there’s so much you don’t have, read this article.

I just wanted to share this video from the YouTube Channel The School of Life. It’s called “5 Ways to Spot Emotional Immaturity” and I cant express how important that is during these changing times where we’re finally facing what is and isn’t important in our lives. Keep emotionally immature people out of the conversation.

If you’re one of those people who says, “I’m fine,” rather than expressing how you really feel when someone asks “What’s wrong?” odds are you were raised to tolerate emotional negligence and shamed or guilt tripped for expressing your true feelings because your parents didn’t want to deal with you. I’m just saying, we’re all flawed. If certain people in your life have chosen to neglect your feelings (especially family), be responsible for your feelings: set boundaries, talk to someone who cares, vent in a healthy way, deescalate, ground yourself, and most importantly, DO NOT criticize yourself for being human. The way others treat you does not define your worth, but your emotions are still your responsibility.

I’ve said “I’m fine” too many times. Even to myself, by myself. Many of those were a lie. No more lying for the convenience of others or lying to ourselves. No more.