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Author: timstanek1988@gmail.com (Page 2 of 2)

The Power of Choosing Seclusion

Are you the type of person to seclude themselves when things get hairy? Do you prefer to chill at home instead of socializing? I know I do. It’s easy to get into a pattern of seclusion as a default, but when it is chosen consciously with intention, it can really enhance ones quality of life.

Seclusion for seclusion’s sake sucks. Because I spent so many years in seclusion – isolation – emotional and sexual anorexia – it became a default modus operandi for me. But I’ve had the opportunity to do much inner work on myself (most notably with regards to the emotional and sexual anorexia), and so I have grown into a man who can now enjoy seclusion when it is chosen purposefully.

Sound familiar? Lots of empaths and introverts experience this (These two qualities are different things, but they often run hand in hand). I consider myself to be both. An empath feels deeply the feelings of others, which is a wonderful quality to posses. It becomes a burden, though, if that empath starts to look outside of themselves to figure out how to feel about something. This is very common in situations where that empath has dealt with or is dealing with great personal and emotional struggles and is unable to establish a sense of serenity within.
Balanced seclusion
I am an author, and a composer. To be alone and creative is absolutely wonderful. However, I have noticed recently that as a default empath, because I am human and still require social situations and basic human affection, I have to take charge of getting these needs met. For example, yesterday I chose to work on Igby (like my page!) for a few hours. It was great! I’m almost done with the first section and it is ridiculously exciting. But after a while I felt emotionally unfulfilled. Checking in with that emotion revealed that it had nothing to do with the book at all – I was just needing human love and affection – I was feeling lonely. There are times when I question the way that I am feeling in favor of accomplishing a certain task, but again, that had always been my modus operandi. It felt as if questioning the way I felt in favor of completing certain tasks was how I was trained to operate in school and college, so to question that paradigm is extremely empowering for me. So what I did is I hit up a friend from acro whom I look up to and asked if he wanted to grab a beer. Simple! Easy! All it took was me reaching out. As a deep thinker I often overthink things, and make social situations heavier than they actually need to be. I think this also has to do with a propensity towards intensity in relationships that I garnered by being raised by an emotionally intense mother. What this means is that I often look past normal, healthy human situations in favor of a more emotionally intense one, resulting often in a seeming unbalance in, for example, basic human affection versus intense romantic desire.

So to choose seclusion is super empowering for me right now. I went out, had a beer with friends, and got some normal human affection. I changed my approach to the whole situation, which ended up turning out beautifully. Instead of showing up and putting out a “I need affection” energy, I showed up genuinely interested in having a good time and adding value to the group. I used to do this until I’d feel drained, which was a problem. Knowing when to withdraw is an important skill. As an author and an introvert, it’s easier for me to seclude myself and build up energy that I can bring to social situations. This stuff is precious!!! Don’t squander it. Pour it over people that you genuinely care about, and who have demonstrated that they genuinely care about you. I showed up and gave away 4 quartz crystals that I had mined from the ground in Ida, Arkansas. It was a simple gesture, but I wanted to give something. Crystal gifting used to be a way for me to create covert contracts with other people (in a mafioso kind of way i.e. “I gave you this crystal now you owe me a favor, etc). But that’s not my intention anymore. I felt genuinely motivated to gift these crystals to people with whom I already had established relationship.
We all talked for a while, ate, drank, and laughed. It was a great time! You know what? I went home inspired, and full of energy, ready to write.

Active Seclusion.

Seclusion, for an introvert like me, should effectively recharge the individual. We power up our emotional batteries by taking care of ourselves. This is an active seclusion, where we are present and enjoying the process. If you need to be lazy, just enjoy it, mk?

For someone who grew up with low-self esteem, this part of the process can be terrifying! You mean i have to actually take care of myself? I thought that if I create enough covert contracts that someone will come along and be obligated to do it for me?

Wow, this one is huge. I struggled with this one for years and years. The truth of my experience reveals that, yes, there will be people in your life who genuinely want to meet your needs, and it is important to reach out and cultivate relationships where you are guided, empowered, and nurtured by parental figures in your life. But these people will provide this value to you becuase they want to, not because you obligated them through covert contracts.

It takes bravery to get your needs met if you’ve lived your life with the impression that you are unimportant – less than – unworthy. Mentorship can really help too, so find yourself someone who has been through a similar situation and model their behavior! Tip: make sure that your mentor is in a place of genuine giving so there is no room for obligation. They have to want to play that role for you.

Please use this post to spur new ideas about self care and the energy dynamics of active seclusion and social giving. Introverts, unite! separately, in the privacy of our own homes. Just kidding. Introversion is a fulltime position, but if we embrace it, we can bring a lot of unique value to the world, most notably, the value of being our happy selves.

In Love,

Tim

Happiness in Growth

I got the text: “I need some space”. “Of course” I replied. Who am I to argue with someone’s assertion of personal sovereignty? Even though I was really looking forward to hanging out with this person, they canceled on me.

But then someone else did to. Legitimate excuse after legitimate excuse came, and I was unable to understand why. I didn’t fight it, or complain, but i was disappointed.

4 or 5 people canceled plans with me this week!

The power of Three
Whenever something happens that perks up my intuition and my spidey senses tingle, I look for frequency. In other words, I pay attention to how frequently a certain event takes place. The fact that i had 4-5 cancellations in one week tells me that something important is going on. Furthermore, three of these peeps had something in common.

But first, how do I know that three happenings means something important is going on? It’s because I have a frame of reality where I want the universe to speak to me in threes. Another way of looking at it is I have asked God or my higher self to communicate to me through the outer world using numbers. I have a large lexicon of numerological associations that I pay attention to, which gives me insight into decisions. I trust my gut and trust my intuition, but still use my logical brain to help me to implement the intuitions. This is a very interesting way of navigating through life.

Happiness in Growth.
What did three of these people have in common? I’ll tell you. And it’s not because I want to call them out or anything, because I’ve certainly been guilty of this as well, so I’m no angel here. But three of these people are depressed! I couldn’t make the connection until this morning as I was meditating on happiness.

In one of my favorite books “Mastering Your Hidden Self: A Guide to the Huna Way” by Serge King, the author defines growth as “increasing awareness, skills, and happiness”.

I have mostly focused on awareness about 60%, skills 30%, and happiness 10%. Even this self-evaluation requires a high percentage of awareness to make, ya dig? So these three categories can accentuate each other. If you cultivate your self awareness, you can make experience-based judgements on the other categories. Let me give you a real life example.

Because I have worked on cultivating my awareness through meditation, self-discipline, and self-reflection, I am able to see that my happiness levels really aren’t spectacular. Happiness, skills, and awareness are three categories into which I invest my time and energy. As any apt investor will tell you, it’s important to regularly re-balance ones portfolio! So, I want to increase my happiness levels to 33.3% at least. This is a subjective, self-assessed level. My goal is 33.3% in all categories. Keep in mind that this “re-balancing” doesn’t mean that my awareness levels decrease. My awareness will stay the same as I work on my skills and happiness, I simply won’t be investing in any extra time or energy into growing it because it’s already a dominant part of my growth portfolio. These are percentages, not definite numbers.
I’ll use the asset investment portfolio example again. Say I have $1000 to invest. I put $333 in stocks, $333 in bonds, and $333 into real estate. After 6 months, lets say my stocks have doubled to $500, bonds are still at $300, and real estate is down to $200. At this point, stocks are 50%, bonds are 30%, and real estate is at 200%. Therefor, in order to rebalance my portfolio and mitigate risk, I will invest my more of my next $1000 into real estate and bonds.

There are many different factors involved in investing assets, some of which I understand and some of which I’m still learning about.

But I hope my example makes sense: My awareness doesn’t decrease just because I invest more of my time into cultivating happiness levels. I give it a certain amount of minimal maintenance, but otherwise my time and energy will be poured into increasing my happiness and skills.

How I will increase my happiness
Heyo! Anyone else out there grow up in a family unit in which depression ran rampant? It’s a disease, a mental disorder. Clinical depression isn’t fixed by a high five and a few words of encouragement.

But I believe that I can beat it. I intend to make a list of 10 people whom I regard to being genuinely happy people. I further intend to talk with these 10 people and ask them about their happiness levels – what are their habits and practices, mental, physical, and spiritual, that allow them to exist in a state of happiness.

Re-evaluating dating in the happiness frame
WOW. A magnanimous insight just bequeathed itself to me. Surely happiness levels are increased or decreased by the people with whom I surround myself. If i spend time dating or chasing people who are depressed, what does that say about me? It says that my soul wants to be happy and therefor depressed people are, naturally, running away from me. I’ve worn the dark cloak of depression for some time, but i’m ready to cast it off now. (super inspiring: this track came on as a write these words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyWjKQo9-m8 UPDATE: woah that was poignant).
I’m very grateful for this insight. I look forward to how it will reshape my conscious expression in the days to come.

So some skills that will help me in this self-directed growth are:
– Learning and cultivating a happiness vibe
– Learning and cultivating happiness habits
– Learning from and cultivating relationships with self-asserted happy people
I look forward to implementing these changes in my everyday life. As with the 21 day yoga challenge, It appears that 21 days is a perfect amount of time for a habit to change me. So, as I did with the yoga challenge, I will wait for the new moon (’cause I’m witchy like that 😉 )and will begin my 21 day cycle of happiness.

I will use the three learning and cultivating skills listed above, as well as the steps outlined in The Happiness Advantage blogpost.

Until next time, L’Chiam!
– Tim

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