Chapter 5, part 17, Procrastination and over thinking

If you procrastinate and over think then that means one specific thing, you’re human. Yet some of us procrastinate more than others. Over the last year I have witnessed three separate situations that relate to this.

Situation 1. Jane (this is a made up name) is a person that is having an issue with addiction. Jane wants to get better though fears many things about her life. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way yet beyond her current worries is the fear that others will find out and judge her. This makes the addiction worse because now she not only worries about the addiction itself, though also about hiding the signs of it whilst being around others. Jane wants to get better and is trying to, yet this pressure is even supressing her need to go to the doctors to seek help.

Situation 2. Bob (clearly a made up name) is a person who has been looked after by his parents for most of his life. It’s now gotten to the point where he doesn’t take responsibility for his actions or inactions. When it comes to moving out of home, organising bills and even organising presents for others he simply breaks down and says that he can’t do it. There is always an excuse such as ‘I don’t have enough money’ or ‘I am going through some emotional problems right now’ or ‘people don’t understand me’ and so forth. And although I make no joke about this person’s situation and the seriousness of these types of belief systems, it is a clear underlining issue that constantly arises with him and his family/friends.

Situation 3. Me. Not that long ago I re-begun blogging after taking an extended break, and when I did, I found that coming back was much harder than it needed to be. I also started noticing that everything was getting harder. This was mostly because I had moved house, was working more and I found it hard to find time, yet there was something else bugging me that I couldn’t put my finger on. I was struggling with my band, my work, my leisure and my health because I couldn’t lock down any decisions. This was mostly because I was questioning my own capabilities. For months I was stuck, in a rut and not myself. And furthermore, it had been so long since I had had any type of success that I thought I was cursed. I was waiting for a break, I was waiting for some luck, and I was waiting for guidance that didn’t come.

So what happened with me? Well, I never got that break, but, I did hit a breaking point. It was clear that nothing was changing and that luck wasn’t coming my way so I decided I needed to work this one out myself. One night I sat down and put the intention in my mind that I wanted to resolve this. I didn’t add pressure or a timeframe; I just decided that I was ready for change. Over the next day’s I witnessed what was happening and questioned why I couldn’t move forward. It then hit me. I was my own worst enemy. I was procrastinating everything by trying to be a perfectionist. My fear of not getting things done correctly and failing consumed me whilst the worry of being rejected and letting others down also had blocked my ability to move forward.

After realising what I was doing I decided to simply jump in the deep end. I went online and released a blog even though I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the final product. I also found a myo-therapist I had been procrastinating about. The next day I filled out those crappy documents, paid the bills, made applications for gigs whilst ignoring the fear of rejection, and finally, I let go of the excuses I was making to myself. The weird thing about this experience is that I started at 10pm at night as soon as inspiration hit me. I got momentum and then took the remaining actions the following day. Many things that had taken me months to even start were now finished within 24 hours. And furthermore, this momentum grew more and more over the following months till I had achieved many things I didn’t anticipate.

In regards to the first two situations, well, they are still working through the motions. And given the seriousness of what they are going through (compared to my little blockage) this is understandable. I have not offered advice as it would not be appropriate or accepted at this time. I wish them both the best in their journey and will be there for them when and if they ask.

I told this story today because we can all get blocked. We doubt ourselves, we worry about others opinions or hurting them, we fear failure and we can question everything we do. At certain points in our life we can feel like we are kings and queens, whilst on other days we can feel like we have no confidence or self-love. And it is for this reason that I share this story. Going through situations such as this doesn’t mean that we are stupid. It just means that we are human.

To overcome my own situation I started by making the decision that I was ready to do so. I put my intentions out into the world and once my mind had permission to seek the answers without anger or frustration (I did this by not setting a time limit or expectations) I opened myself up to messages around me. When the penny dropped and incite came I then went with the momentum. I have been discussing this process and many more throughout this chapter and do believe that it is the power of presence whilst standing back from the ego.

The next blog (topic) will be the last in this chapter before we move onto ‘The Ego and the Observer’. It’s very much connected to presence and is key in the process of self-healing.

Procrastinate Jamie Lee Woodman a.k.a The Lonely Spaceman

Chapter 5, part 16, Go with the flow. How do you know when to trust your instincts?

The basic answer to this question is never. Why? Because any decision you make will have either a positive or negative outcome, which inevitably, leads to further decisions and outcomes which you never saw coming. This means that it doesn’t matter which choice you make as you will never see the long distant benefits or dis-benefits from the initial decision. It is part of chaos theory.

The above is a little ‘chill the f$%k out’ message from yours truly. And when you look at it this way anxiety and overthinking seems pointless and a little bit silly. This is one of the many reasons why going with the flow can be positive, though like most things in life we can’t simply dive in 100%. Sometimes we still need to stop and look at the greater picture.

The first issue with going with the flow is that it alludes to having no guidance from your consciousness. Therefore, if we want to do mature things such as buying a house and having kids then you must realise that this might not be the path you take. The spiritual reason behind going with the flow is not about doing what you are supposed to do, but rather, what you want to do. And these aren’t necessarily adult decisions.

The other problem around ‘going with the flow’ is that you offer your life’s decisions to other people. If your friends are not a positive influence then this can very quickly lead you to negative decision and experience. Yet if you do it with those that are looking after your best interests the experiences can be positive and aimed towards self-development and exploration.

So the question regarding when to go with the flow, like many, is based on a tipping scale and a balance between where you are in life, who you are around, and what you need.

This is today’s topic of discussion because ‘going with the flow’ is often talked about when referencing presence and mindfulness. It alludes to a supressed identity which is hidden by the fake person you portray yourself to be. This ‘fake’ person is the one that conforms to the 9 to 5 world, waits in line for 5 hours to get that next Iphone, and feels the need to have to go onto social media every 10 minutes in fear of FOMO or being out of touch.

Decisions we make to liberate us can sometimes be the same ones that end up owning us. That initial brilliant idea to earn money or own that new item gets old fast. We then repeat the process because it’s an easy serotonin release which our brain gets used to. The issue though, is that these things do not fulfil all our needs and therefore we keep yearning for more and more yet never being fully satisfied.

Going with the flow is about leaving behind your conscious decision making. Conscious decisions come from your identity and therefore do not reflect the inner self and its needs. Yet when we go with the flow we open up to any and every possibility. Our ego doesn’t get a chance to choose because it was never asked to make a decision in the first place. And this is the reason why you might find the things you actually want in life rather than what you think you want.

You don’t have to do this all the time though I do believe it’s beneficial to have a week or a month of doing this, so that you can see the other side of yourself.  Be aware of the dangers (as listed above) but note that it can be a great way to lift the pressure of decisions off of your shoulders whilst leading you to finding your inner purpose and meaning.

The Flow Jamie Lee Woodman a.k.a The Lonely Spaceman

Chapter 5, Part 15, You must take the journey to find out that you didn’t need to.

One of my favourite spiritual books is ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho. It’s a spiritual fantasy which reflects on what I will be discussing today. I recommend reading it.

In the spiritual world a lot of people try to teach you stuff. They have no ill intentions yet sometimes they come off more as salesmen than guides or guru’s. This is usually caused by an inflated ego, the need to share and a possible misunderstanding that all beings in this life have their own perception of reality.

If you end up at some spiritual festivals you will without doubt speak to or hear from a hippy that tells you ‘how it is’. Most self-confessed guru’s talk s#$t with some little moments of insight, yet if you focus your efforts on speaking to the ones that you want to talk to, rather than the ones that want to talk to you, there is great benefit in this.

The best guides in this world are not the ones that have to sell or push information on you, they are the ones that give it freely when and if asked. And even when they do offer information it is usually a path more than the answer itself. This is because they understand that, in many cases, we have to walk our own path to fully understand our journey. Excessive information isn’t always the greatest key.

When taking guidance from someone, timing is an important factor. Yet we don’t just need to be in the right place at the right time, we also need to be ready to receive the message. This readiness is the key. The moment our subconscious mind decides that it is prepared for guidance it will seek the answers within our surroundings. These insights will then seem so coincidental that it appears to be divine intervention, and who knows, it just might be. It is then up to you if you want to walk the path and go with the flow.

Two blogs ago I wrote about how Budda himself went through his own journey to find out who he was, and HE’S BUDDA! Therefore it’s not out of the norm to expect that we too may need to find ourselves through walking the path. And although ‘the self’ is in the present moment, sometimes we need to travel, learn, read, run, party or whatever, to find ourselves. People can talk about presence and mindfulness until the cows come home but if the penny isn’t dropping then a different tactic might need to be employed. This is why I recommend packing your bags and traveling until guidance comes naturally. My greatest insights have come with empty pockets and extreme situations in places that I never thought I would end up.

As we all know, the more we learn and experience things in life the easier it is for us to handle future challenges. For this reason making mistakes and learning from them is important, but, avoiding unnecessary mistakes is also a wise choice. We don’t have to walk off of a cliff to find out what gravity will do. I have found that it is within the people that overuse the term ‘I have to make my own mistakes to learn’ that often fall into this trap. They make the mistakes over and over again in various ways, never truly learning. They are owned by their ego and an image of their future selves which they will never stop chasing.

I wrote this blog because during my personal spiritual journey many people told me that I didn’t need to do one. And fondly enough, my first workshop was about non-duality which teaches this exact concept. Yet luckily, at the time, I was so excited about my journey that I didn’t care that it was linked to my ego. I wasn’t going to miss out on the same type of journey that embraced Budda, Jesus, and every single character in every single book ever because someone told me ‘the answers were within’. Because although I do agree with this sentiment, I also believe that to find those answers we sometimes need to get the f#*k out of here.

The above sentence reminds me of the conundrum around what I have been blogging recently regarding presence. You have read ‘being present is simply a state of being’ and I am sure that others around you have been preaching this too. Yet there is a real catch twenty two here. The saying is correct, yet if we’re not in the right head space to hear such a message it won’t have any impact. Personally, it took me over 20 years to comprehend such a thing.

So please don’t feel stupid if presence doesn’t come naturally. In all respects, anyone who does ‘get it’ has probably already been through it, which means that in many way’s people such as myself are often doing nothing more than preaching to the choir. So if the penny isn’t dropping it simply may not be the right time, yet if we want to speed things up then maybe it’s time to make a change and challenge ourselves. I’ll be discussing this later though before then let’s talk about going with the flow.

Journey Jamie Lee Woodman a.k.a The Lonely Spaceman

Chapter 5, part 14, Mind or Matter. How do we know when to change our mindset or our circumstances?

We all know about mind over matter, but, how do we know when we should change our mindset or our circumstances? This is the age old question which becomes harder and harder to answer the more we understand psychology.

The most obvious example I can use is the work place. Let’s face it, the work place isn’t called ‘the work place’ because it’s all fun and games. Your bosses expect you to work hard and act like an adult. Plus, in most work places you are bound to find employees complaining, corporate cutbacks, lack of promotion opportunities, lack of respect, overtime work, injustice and much, much more. And although these types of things are accepted in business we (of course) want to find a balance between enjoyment, challenge and ethics for ourselves.

I remember my first ever full time job. The long term employees always talked about the good old days where the bosses would take them out for drinks, to amazing Christmas parties, plus, the working environment was more flexible and light hearted. I wanted this type of experience for myself so eventually I found what I was looking for, multiple times. Unfortunately though, I should have been careful with my wishes as I not only got to go through the good old times, I also (in each occasion) got to witness the corporate side of the business take over. Eventually, the corporate side destroyed the pleasurable environment that existed. In the business world this is called progression. In the spiritual world this is called ego and greed.

In recent economic news it has been said that the average person works in a single workplace for an average of 4.6 years. During the Y generation years it was said that most young adults were not lasting more than two years per job. This could have been for a multitude of reasons such as trying to start their own businesses or the increase of online job seeker websites. Personally though, I like to think that the Y generation were simply more mindful and not willing to take as much s#$t from old school out dated businessmen who don’t understand work/life balance. Anyway, I’ve lost sight of what I was saying…

So how do we decide when to change our mindset or our circumstances? (Although this is about business you can adapt this to all areas of life)

No matter what job, partner, state or country you change there is always something that you bring with you, and that is you. When we are caught in our emotions it’s hard to know what the right decision is, therefore, it doesn’t matter if you make a psychical or mental change. This is because deciding to stay at work and ‘deal’ with the issues emotionally is not enough, nor is changing to another job and realising you brought the same issues with you. It’s only when we get to the core of the problem that we can begin to come to a resolution.

For many years I jumped from company to company never finding what I was truly after. Part of it was growth and challenge yet there was always something missing. To find out what this was I needed to go deeper and ask myself different types of questions such as:

What do I truly desire?

What is important to me?

What do I need?

What do I enjoy?

When asking the above questions we need to think much deeper than simple answers. Responses such as ‘I like car’s’ and ‘I enjoy music’ are not deep enough. You have to tap into what is really important to you and why this is so.

For me, I realised that the most important things were:

What do I truly desire? To do something where I could help others

What is important to me? To stick by my morals and values.

What do I need? To be challenged intellectually.

What do I enjoy? Various projects, coming home knowing I’ve done something for the greater good and being able to have a laugh.

You may note that the above answers are beyond our surface needs yet still don’t tap into specific emotions. I will discuss why this is in a later chapter. Until then, note that the above is what drives me. Whether it be work or play, these things are what I desire. You will also notice that these questions are similar to the guidance I gave regarding finding a purpose/meaning in life in the very first chapter.

When I personally realised the above it was clear that after many years of jumping from job to job that I had never really taken the time to find out my deeper passion. It was this realisation that ended up leading me to the Aged Care and Disability sector where these needs could finally be met. And although the same corporate crap continues even in these types of roles, in the end, it doesn’t have the same impact on me because my core needs are being met.

So, in short, don’t just change your mindset to accept what you don’t like, and don’t just change your circumstances so that you can drag your baggage to another place. Be present, mindful and understand what drives you. It is then that you can truly review the situation from a sound perspective. Once you understand what is really driving you the next step will become evident.

Mind over matter Jamie Lee Woodman a.k.a The Lonely Spaceman

Chapter 5, part 13, You don’t have to do it all the time

After years of reading countless spiritual books, reading blogs, listening to podcasts and watching Youtube video’s on spirituality, self-love, mindfulness and presence, I have found a common mistake in almost all media. It’s not that the authors or creators do this deliberately, yet, whilst trying to get the point across they forgot to state this very obvious and important fact.

The fact I am alluding to is that most of us live in a 9 to 5 world. The existence where we don’t have an abundance of funds, we do get sick, we can work bad jobs that don’t please us (or our job situations change), we do get into crappy relationships due to poor choices and we can also have friends or family that are pain’s in our asses. Furthermore, most of us have chosen a city or suburban life where we have to work, struggle in traffic, coexist with others that don’t have the same beliefs, whilst dealing with the political and social conflictions there are in life. Ppheewww, let’s take a breath…

Because of the world that we live in it is hard to keep up with social/work expectations, health, fitness, family, moral and political justice beliefs and so on and so forth. And as much as we would like to ignore the exhausting and draining Jenny in accounts, that gets right in our face and constantly talks about how bad the corporate business life is, and how awful her life is compared to everyone, and how no one listens to her and blah, blah, blah… We do end up sitting quietly and listening to her because we are introverted and nice. Plus, her boyfriend is our boss… And although some will say ‘well why don’t you remove yourself from the situation’ or ‘you should say something’ the fact is, that life isn’t that easy. And although you personally may think that your mind works logically around such issues, so does Jenny.

The city and suburban life throws us constant new challenges every day and sometimes we handle these challenges well, whilst other times we handle it horribly. Therefore, when you read a book or an amazing piece of artwork created by an insightful, inspiring and beautiful presence such as ‘The Lonely Spaceman’, who says that you should just be present all the time, part of you knows that this is just simply horse s#%t. Well, I am here to tell you that you are 100% correct. It’s ridiculously unrealistic.

Being in the 9 to 5 world (I use this term loosely) means that you will be facing different challenges every day. So when that rich guru who lives in nature whilst meditating for 10 hours a day tells you that you need to chill out, you simply want to tell them to f#$k off and get real. The reality is, if they were living your life they too would be facing the same struggles and range of emotions.

So how do we find an inner balance? Well, we do this by not doing it.

To live (and I mean truly live) on this earth it is expected that bad things will happen. People may die whilst work/life/exercise/health/family/money balances will always shift and never be perfect. And of course, when this happens, you can’t always be a calm and present person. This isn’t to say that we can’t lessen the impact of our ego, yet chasing perfection is like chasing a rainbow.

Budda himself found that being rich didn’t work for him, so, he became a commoner and was poor for a period of time to see if this type of lifestyle fulfilled him. This didn’t work either. It was only when he found a peaceful medium (or his perception of middle class) that he chilled the f#^k out and became a highly spiritual dude. He wasn’t born with mindfulness, he had to walk the path like all of us do until he found the balance that worked for him.

The point: Spiritual Facebook entrepreneur can’t reveal that they get angry, frustrated, depressed or upset because it lessens the projection they are trying to portray about how perfect they are. And they need to project this because they know that humanity buys into it. Well, I am here to tell you that perfection is utter bullsh%t. You can go through any and all emotions as often as you want and still be spiritual. In fact, whilst on a spiritual journey you may go through a range of emotions at an intensity that you have never felt in your whole life. Denying these emotions are the most non-spiritual thing you can possible do. Instead, embracing them, respecting them and acknowledging them is a great way towards healing. It’s just not spoken about often enough because if Echart Toll told you he was a moody prick at time’s he wouldn’t sell as many books.

Budda Jamie Lee Woodman a.k.a The Lonely Spaceman