Advice for the Ambitious – [Just Me]

I’ve been listening to three audiobooks for my own self-improvement. Currently, my picks are You Creative Career by Anna Sabino (this is actually a reread for me), The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman, and How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety by Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D. There’s so much about self-improvement that have nothing to do with yourself as an individual. There’s more advice about how other people are, how they can help or hurt you, and how to connect with the people you do want in your life. I’m an anxiety-ridden artist who is improving on being my natural confident self rather than faking it. I have my days where I’m still faking it for other people. It gives me this strange sense of imposter syndrome and I feel less grounded in who I am. One trait about myself that I know is unshakable is my ambition. My individualism shines when I’m driven and courageous enough to deal with unpredictable challenges or make mistakes and learn from them. When this part of me shines, I start to see a pattern with some of the people in my life. They don’t shine with me and my anxiety responds to that by saying “darken down a bit or you’ll hurt their feelings.” I’m done doing that sh*t and here’s why.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

While meditating today, I accepted another complexity of human nature that can be a beautiful, but paralyzing thing: self-esteem. Self-esteem is more about how we see ourselves and how we think others see us than it is about confidence. Self-esteem, to me, is self-consciousness and self-awareness. It’s the blurry area of our self-image that doesn’t clear up unless we do something with the intent clear things up. What I started doing is imagining myself in the social situations mentioned in my audiobooks and take a moment to ask myself, “Is this the kind of interaction or relationship I’m willing or wanting to have with another person?” When Your Creative Career and The Business of Being a Writer discuss building and connecting with an audience, connecting with the right people in the field, and presenting my work proudly and thoughtfully, it’s often a resounding “Hell yeah I want that.” When How To Be Yourself bring up familiar anxiety-based feelings and anxiety-triggering interactions, it’s often a, “I don’t want that and I’m not completely sure how to change that yet, but I want to keep trying.” It’s like a little roleplay I do in a visualization kind of way, but there’s something I haven’t been paying attention to while I do this. My ambition makes me shine. What I should be asking myself is, “Can I shine and stop giving a f**k about everything my anxiety is worried about?” I truly believe I can, but that depends on my social circle and addressing old socializing habits I picked up to “darken” myself.

I really love the friends I have in my life and no matter their flaws or shortcomings, I love them unconditionally. Unconditional love doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t set boundaries though; if anything, it shows that you still love that person just as much as you love yourself. I can’t tell you how fired up I get when my friends tell me they’re not capable of reaching whatever goals they try to set for themselves. The first thing I do is say, “Actually you can do that. Even though you have weaknesses here, your forgetting how your strengths can help you work though that.” Sometimes my friends hear me and sometimes my friends don’t hear me because their anxiety, depression, or whatever pain they’re working through is screaming louder. I had a hard time accepting when their pain was louder than me, but I’m accepting it now and also accepting that shining while your friends are still working on their issues is okay. In no way am I saying give up on them and go on your merry way shining all you want. I’m just saying that the ambitious type has a fire in them that needs to burn even though other people in your life haven’t sparked their own fire. There’s no need to guilt trip yourself and there’s no need to do the opposite like trying to force your friends to be more like you. Let them be and let yourself be. Self-sabotage doesn’t make friendships stronger, but authentic compassion and self-respect does extraordinary well for all types of relationships, according to psychology.

Be well.

From Painful to Pain-free Perfectionism – [Just Me]

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.

Archetypes 101 – The Magician – [Video]

This is a video from the YouTube channel XELASOMA, who I cam across recently. I’ve been diving into the Jungian archetype meanings after taking a test and doing some research specifically for my novel and the VPD articles. I think this youtuber explained The Magician so precisely and eloquently. I hope you enjoy his video and subscribe.

Let me know what you think. What archetype do you resonate with?

Gratitude and Wisdom – [Just Me]

Wow, I am… I want to say I’m “exhausted”, but really I’m proud. There were moments of emotional adversity within the previous week. I survived it. Sometimes it’s weird to look back at a past moment that previously would’ve led to a more explosive result. I’ve been practicing ignoring things more, which I shared on Instagram.

One of the reasons why I’m pursuing psychology is to address the function or desire behind emotional manipulation. It’s amazing how far a person will go to convince you that you should be submitting to a higher power, an authoritarian figure, or even that person in order to have betterment in your life. It’s salesmanship, really. Lol, really petty salesmanship.

As I pursue my psychology degree, I look forward to a deeper plunge into the almost ridiculous ways a human will take to feel validated. It’s not like the desire for validation is bad. Validation in itself, I think, it’s very natural. I’d be a hypocrite for saying the opposite, especially as a writer/artist. I just feel that the way we pursue validation through means of force, manipulation, and otherwise is not just astounding, but also contradictory. That’s just my opinion though. I hope to expand upon that later in the future through more publications and art.

I hope you all are well. Have a good one.

So Much On My Mind – [Just Me]

Hello,

It’s been a good work day. I’ll release a new VPD tomorrow. I guess I wanted to just express what’s been on my mind lately. There’s been the comfort in stagnancy that I’ve been holding onto and it’s a side of me I don’t like. That side feels like an older version of myself that has such a lack of belief and lack of rationality when it comes to making choices. Like many, I have turned a blind eye on my own strength, but will tap into it for the sake of validation from others or creating this concept more founded in fantasy than logic that my life purpose will miraculously make sense.

Today, I’m proud of myself for noticing that there were times the realization of my own strength led to incredible accomplishments. I have a Masters in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Creative Writing when some guiding voices nudged me out of the Political Science courses and into the English courses as an undergrad. Through that journey I embraced my love for writing fiction, poetry, and essays. Now I’m reflecting again, those guiding voices being more metaphysical than in person this time, feeling the call to advance my gifts as a mystic into a tangible career. I was unsure about whether I wanted to really talk about this on here because there’s still so much to plan and prepare for, but this is Authentikei, right? I’m supposed to be authentic. I think I would make a great personality psychologist. I’ve come this far trusting in my psychic and intuitive abilities to guide me to write about metaphysics and literature, but I haven’t considered applying my abilities to psychology, which has been a love of mine for a very long time. I’m sort of aspiring to be like Carl Jung, who was not just a clinical psychologist, but also a lover of metaphysics, occultist, and mystic in his own right. Can’t I do that? Especially as a writer?

So yeah. That’s a thing. It’s a thing that feels very, very right to pursue. We’ll see what happens. This doesn’t mean I stop any of this. I have to write and working on my projects almost every day now or I’m just lost, but I definitely feel I have the capability to handle advancing my education and applying that achievement to my current career. What would you think of a personality psychologist who wrote dark fantasy and poetry, did literary analyses for fun, and researched metaphysical/occult topics? What kind of career would come out of that do you think?

The Universe Listens and Responds

There’s a great difference between being alone and lonely. When you wake up, you do realize that you’re never really alone, but the loneliness can creep in at times. Loneliness is actually a perception more than it is a fact. Do we all feel lonely sometimes? Definitely. However, I feel the reason why loneliness is a matter of perception is because this feeling only appears when we experience disconnection.

Even with family and friends around, disconnection occurs when it seems like we’re out of harmony with what’s happening around us. Since a lot of what happens to reality mirrors what’s going on within ourselves, disharmony with reality makes us want to disconnect. I recently experienced this disharmony. The best thing I did for myself is sit down and cry, talk to my spirit guides, create music, draw; in other words, I had to express how I felt about the disharmony. Afterwards, the external reality responded with signs and messages. This also helped me gain clarity on my own internal dialogue that at first seemed so repetitive and directionless. That’s what I mean by reality mirroring what’s going on within. If there is disconnection due to disharmony, all we can do is express that.

To manifest the connection and belongingness we long for in life, our expressions for what we need in life need to be loud and true. Some of us express privately, like myself. Some of us need to express it more publicly. Either way is considered loud and true because the universe listens and responds. Even those who don’t feel that the universe is really listening still NEED to express themselves. Their expression is an action that leads to a reaction. That’s the universe speaking, whether they like it or not. Every action parallels, ripples, echoes, and mirrors what’s already there. If we remember that expressing our needs and desires can guide us in life, no matter how directionless we feel in the moment, results will happen.

Change is the only constant, immutable energy that surrounds us. It’s sentience is still being debated by humanity, but I surely believe that energy is listening. You are not alone. The universe listens and responds.

Validation

I ran into this video on TikTok by GaryVee and the message was really neat.

728x90 Explore Twitch Services

Validation is a very tricky scenario. There are elements of what validation is in my prose poem Earth Magic; where how you grow up and who you’re around influences the way you feel about yourself. When we seek validation, there’s always that great risk of not being grounded; your roots end up being pulled one way and the other then you end up not having any foundation. Being uprooted from any situation can be traumatizing, the precursor to an existential crisis. Unfortunately, the solution we’re introduced to for the pain and uncertainty is seeking more validation even though that may have been what uprooted us in the first place. We depend on external sources to confirm or deny who we are and simultaneously mistrust our internal sources, our intuition, our self-esteem, our ability to self-reflect.

Internal and external conflict is such a powerful tool in writing because it’s so human. An inner monologue could contrast what other events are happening around the character, which brings suspense and tension. We go through this all the time. What’s going on within isn’t in alignment with what’s going on around us. The popular kids Garyvee talked about may have not aligned with the pressure that comes with popularity, but they would ignore or repress what’s going on internally to continue being fed the validation externally. Validation like this can be very problematic psychologically, but there’s another side to validation that is much more fulfilling.

Signup for GameFly today to get the latest PS4, Xbox and Nintendo Switch games!

Many people think inner peace is a façade because it appears to be near impossible. So why even try to achieve it? I think inner peace at its core is an acceptance of the internal and external tensions along with an acceptance of what can and can’t be controlled. Validation from others is something that you feed. If you want validation from your parents, you’ll feed it by doing whatever they tell you to do or what you think they’d expect from you. If you want validation from peers and coworkers, you will change your behavior or even hide your true behavior. The energy put into feeding the influence validation has on you can be shifted to validation of the self that eventually finds the external sources that are in alignment with who you are. This can happen with even small things, like personal interests; I don’t like mainstream pop music, but if I want validation from peers who like mainstream pop, I’ll listen to it until my ears bleed. The truth is, I like rock and heavy metal. The peers who like mainstream pop may no longer be in alignment with me because of my interests, but now they know who I am and they’ll either want to understand me more or distance themselves. Either way, I now have the opportunity to connect with fellow metal heads and we can now garner a reciprocal validation, but even if validation from the metal heads doesn’t happen, my love for metal will be enough for me. I accept I can’t control my peers or other metal heads; I can control what I listen to and can chose to enjoy it as much as I want.

Validation has a close association with “liking” or “loving” something or someone. That’s why I think it’s a tricky concept that is best simplified when you focus on self-acceptance first and go from there. That way, you’ll never be in poverty even if “likes” become an actual currency. This is what “grounding” really is.

There’s a Black Mirror episode about this. It’s called “Nosedive”, season three, episode one. Please watch it. It’s perfect.

Don’t forget to follow…

Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
Tumblr

How We Enslave Ourselves [Video] – Philosophy Study

The YouTube channel Academy of Ideas presented an incredible argument using quotes from Etienne de la Boite, a French philosopher, writer, and judge, to address how enslavement is voluntary. I’d like to point out that this video is discussing psychological and economic enslavement more than other types of slavery. I don’t want their message to be misinterpreted as an ignorant assumption about history.

This will be the first installment of the philosophy page. Hope you enjoy and comment what you think of the video. Also, if you liked this video, support Academy of Ideas by subscribing to their content.

First Draft Progress – 19 Days Until Deadline Pt. 2

Words Written: 964 words (haha. lame.)
Current Word Total: 92,219 words

Things I need To Research:

  • More Scifi, specifically things with robots, mecha, androids, and cyborgs
  • Reincarnation
  • Psychology

Additional Work: More character design and more practice in writing trauma and suspense scenes…This is probably why I wrote so little… I mean… I just…I don’t know. I love psychological trauma in stories, but writing it is a whole different ball game.

Processing Shame – Tarot/Oracle Reading

I’m inching closer and closer to meeting my creative goals and a little bit of terror creeps deeper in my psyche because I’m one of those people who fears success. I fear being excited and proud of myself because my reactions have been “too much” sometimes. I fear being happy for myself because there’s someone else who isn’t happy and I need to be there for them. I fear the pressure that comes subsequently after being in the spotlight because of a success. I fear that all the hypothetical stimuli, all the changes and events that could occur, after a success or failure will overwhelm me and cause a mental breakdown. Shame, was the best counter to my fears, so I thought. Instead, shame magnified all of that. It discouraged me from truly embracing the achievements I had made in life and simultaneously added fuel to the fire.

So let’s knock that shit off, said my spirit guides.

View this post on Instagram

I was told to meditate on a big fear today. Shame. The solution offered was fantastic and I’m going to expand more upon it on my blog (link in bio), but I wanted to summarize the foundational steps the Tao oracle deck gave me: ✅ Surrender: Submit to how you’re feeling. Acknowledge what you’re upset or ashamed about. ✅ Grounding: Neutralize the situation and reassure yourself. Don’t completely blame yourself or others; just address what’s happening and what you need to do to ground or calm yourself again. ✅ Be Your Own Sage: Although you’ll be tempted to recall past experiences this situation reminds you of, look through those memories with compassion. Think about what you can and can’t control. ✅Be Cautious: Shame and other emotionally exhausting situations will not heal in a day, a week, a month, etc. . Be patient with yourself as you try to apply what you’ve learned from the past to your present situation. Essentially, this teaches us to learn from our overwhelmingly negative situations rather than be ashamed of them. We can be accountable for our actions without beating ourselves down as if we don’t deserve redemption or forgiveness. Processing shame and fear takes time. Applying the experience you gain from that process helps prepare us for future situations and inspires us to face what was once too difficult to handle. I’ll go deeper into this on my blog here in a bit (link in bio). . . . #healing #unconsciousmind #shame #shadowwork #spirituality #spiritualawakening #spiritwork #oraclecards #tarotcards #divination #divinationcommunity #facingyourfears #motivation #healyourself #witch #witchesofinstagram

A post shared by Authentikei – Kris Leliel (@authentikei) on

Today, I spoke with the spirits about shame, my biggest fear and my favorite defense mechanism. I’m going to breakdown what I was told about shame during the reading. I used the Tao Oracle Deck, the Raider-Waite Tarot, and the Psychic Tarot Deck.

The Tao Oracle Cards

  • Surrender: Submit to how you’re feeling. Acknowledge what you’re upset or ashamed about. – It’s so habitual for us to bury whatever we’re feeling when shame comes around because we’re introduced to it early on. Repressing your emotions brings temporary relief and long-term emotional scars. To have a more functional relationship with the part of you that feels overwhelmed by shame, you need to acknowledge your own feelings. Express in your own way how you’re feeling to yourself.
  • Grounding: Neutralize the situation and reassure yourself. Don’t completely blame yourself or others; just address what’s happening and what you need to do to ground or calm yourself again. – Once you know how you’re feeling, discuss it as neutrally and honestly as possible. How are you feeling? I’m sad. I’m pissed. I’m depressed. I’m worried. I’m anxious. Why? Because [insert distressing situation here] is happening. Okay. What will help you calm down right now? I need to be alone. I need to cry. I need a friend. I need to hit something (inanimate). I need to scream. Really, I think the best part about grounding is just being as real as possible in the moment, preferably alone or with someone you trust and without brining physical harm to yourself or anyone else. Grounding is dropping that emotional baggage. Let that sh*t fall.
  • Be Your Own Sage: Although you’ll be tempted to recall past experiences this situation reminds you of, look through those memories with compassion. Think about what you can and can’t control. – So, most of the fury has passed, but the shame is still lingering. I think this is when the brain starts thinking up ideas on how to cope. If we let shame take the lead during this brainstorm session, we won’t look at our past coping mechanisms with compassion. We may repeat self-destructive tendencies or think of something new. Compassion for the self and others, however, counters shame. The three tarot cards at the bottom, the nine of swords (the situation), the ten of swords reversed (the action), and the page of cups (the outcome), revealed that my anxiety and despair (the nine of swords) isn’t permanent. It will eventually end (the ten of swords reversed). When I look back on how I recovered, it can inspire a greater revelation about my unconscious (page of cups) and if I choose to, I can trust that experience to help me move on and prepare for the future. Thus, shame is no longer required. I felt like sh*t. I let that sh*t go. Now, I am the sh*t because I learned something new about myself. Good job, me.
  • Be Cautious: Shame and other emotionally exhausting situations will not heal in a day, a week, a month, etc. . Be patient with yourself as you try to apply what you’ve learned from the past to your present situation. – During the healing process, sometimes the wound will reopen unexpectedly or we relapse and rip it open ourselves. It happens. Sometimes shame appears because we’re not healing fast enough or getting over it quick enough. You may have just learned to be your own sage, but all of the best advice for your problems won’t do much if you don’t give it time to sink in. Think of it like glue. You have to give it time to dry before it can do its job. If you keep expecting it to be instant and mess with the adhesive before it dries, you’re going to end up with mess and disappointed. It’s not just impatience, but also self-sabotage. When that happens, you go back to acknowledging your emotions, grounding yourself, learn from the experience, and apply the experience to your situation. It’s a process. Let it take its course.

This isn’t easy…

Dealing with shame in this way isn’t easy. I don’t think it’s meant to be easy. So don’t expect it to be. I’m going to just keep trying. The two of swords on the left in the second picture signifies indecision in my subconscious, which is very true right now. I feel torn between addressing my shame in this new way and letting it win, but on the right, the two of pentacles, representing my conscious, is a good reminder that shame brings up a lot of things that are hard to juggle. I can find my balance eventually if I give it time. Lastly, the third picture shows four more cards that stood out to me: Balance, to recall that two of pentacles energy, the four of wands reversed, pointing out what I’m struggling with is most likely linked to what I’ve been through with those close to me, Longevity from the Tao oracle, signifying the use of this new way of processing shame, and Emotional Loss, the core to my shame, I would say.

So, yeah, just wanted to share that. Thank you if you read all the way through. This was a bit hard to write, being more transparent and all that. But whatever. I’m not ashamed 🙂 .