Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The power of intention

My life is changing in a positive and unexpected way. Which would seem a strange proposition for some people. Nothing really indicates an improvement in my life that would explain this mood. In contrary, someone would say that my life has gone from better to worse during this period. The most serious drawback that happened is that I traveled to UK to take part in a master's degree that is even related to what I can do best and I failed badly in the exams. Not only that but I am back living in my parents home till I finish my studies the second year and get a job. This totally shuttered me especially the first days I have returned back to Greece. Everyone would say I totally fucked up and some friends were a bit more harsh than usual towards me. How can it be that I radiate positive energy?

This is the best part. This is what makes me happy. It is the fact that even in the worse conditions I can still be myself and that it's possible to manage keeping a balanced spirit. Happiness is not just about what happens to you in the external world. Everybody look at this and tells me in a sense that I should be unhappy. And I was listening to them. I was doing this because I had this thing in me. Maybe it was always there, maybe it was because of negativity in my close environment. It surely manifested in my past writtings in this blog or pouet. Sadness, drama, tears.

If I say that I have changed then one is left to wonder, when, how and why did this personal transformation happened? I am still investigating this sometimes because I can't tell for sure. One could give a not so well thought fast answer to this but I am still a man of doubt and so I keep an open eye for different interpretations. Let's start with the question of when then.

With my current model of thought, I believe that the evolution of personality is connected with everything since the beginning of our lives and so what brought me here is a sequence of all the events and influences and emotions I have received through my life. So, my current transformation can't be isolated in a single event that changed my life view. But if we were to pinpoint a specific period where sparks of enlightment started appearing in my daily life and made me (and willing to) think things different then this period would be surely somewhere in the second semester of my master.

It was the time when I was very depressed about things happening in my life, like the fact that I couldn't for another time fight procrastination and even kept being stressed and still failing at some courseworks. I have also seen myself being jealous of other people who worked harder and were more succesful with this even if they had less idea about the subject. This was one thing that struck me too, I was failing and I was going to be misjudged if I let my feelings open about this specific matter. I think I almost did it. It even got worse when I learned the final results of the exams. I questioned myself about things, like the fact that I am making a new life finally not living with my parents, in a nice city studying my own subject and I still can't get a grip! I challenged myself. There are things that you are afraid to ask yourself because they seem hostile to your personality. I managed bravely to ask some of these things. I was so shuttered being on my own and still not being able to relax and enjoy life that I had nothing left to loose. Suddenly the idea of letting loose invaded my life.

I'd have to say that during the same period of sorrow I came across a short book explaining the philosophies behind meditation. This was a pdf someone suggested me on pouet back then. It was just a coincidence that I decided to have a look at it on the same period. Diving into these philosophies was a good parallel to my stressful and dissapointing life path at the time. There was already this uprising inside me, realizing how pathetic I have become, begging for a change. I am not saying here though that meditation is THE truth and I neither took this as an absolute back then. What happened is that most of the ideas of meditation were in a parallel with some of my older thoughts and found me in a state of mind that would open up in the new posibilities of feeling better regardless my condition.

In a nutshell, there was a transformation inside me, based upon older not so well or confidentaly formed ideas, my so far formed personality and personal experiences of course, adding to all these my frustration at this pivotal point of my life and the positive inspiration from reading texts about meditation. That is the period when it all mixed together. And I really felt it's influence during the following days. I felt so free and so happy when I dwelved in these philosophies that I couldn't believe it. I was used in always observing the same mood in myself, knowing the hard truth that emotional change can be hard (that's why I like the effects of alcohol) and so I noticed the unusual changes. I even observed too noticable changes in my pure-OCD struggle. I am not sure how this happened, I only described the events that took place and as I said it's not a single truth you can pinpoint but a combination of personality, experiences, ideas and actually the intention. I actually think now that the intention is a very important part.

I had the intention, the will, the initiative as I recently like to say, to make a drastic change in how I feel. All myself was saying inside is "Never again". There HAS to be change, some kind of emotional evolution, something that will put me in a better state regardless of how things are. I deserve it! This is another thing I said: "I Deserve This". I deserver to be happy. And most people around me would disagree with me now. They would say, how can one be happy when being such failure? Without a job, without a girlfriend, being an outcast in even his one demise in some geeky hobby that also failed? Feeling unloved, a low-life, useless, unreliable, worthless? HOW???

What was written above are some of my fears. I realized it. And I realized that these things are ideas. Nobody is worthless or useless or unloved. People around me tend to criticize the negative things and this is something that I can easilly be driven into. I realized that all I have to do is keeping the initiative to feel good regardless what is happening around me.

I know that it all sounds like some classic predictable new age crap I sometimes despise. And it sounds like something simple you hear on tv for example. In my opinion, some ideas resembling those I read from meditation and eastern philosophy are making their appearence everywhere in the media. Somehow though, I believe there is more into it and we haven't grasped their full essence. My main question is how can it be that somehow these ideas seem to be flooding the media, being somehow familiar to everyone when discussed, even if they hadn't been into these stuff before. And yet, several people being in a similar state as me, driven by anxiety, lacking understanding, being obsessed with ideas, not being able to let the ego away. I think it is because there has to be a transformation through personal experience and evolution and not sheer acquisition of some miraculous "truth". Just like in my case. I think I am in the right path now.

I wrote so many things here that I had to go back to the first paragraph and see where it all started. My current situation. It's drastically better than the first time I came back to Greece. I have to admit, before coming back I told to myself that maybe I was happier because I was alone and that the negative influence of my parents would destroy the feeling. Maybe there wasn't any change and this sprouted fear in myself that maybe everything was vain, maybe the transformation I am talking here about would proove to be a simple delusion. I was afraid that this would shattered my only hope for a change that would matter. I knew however that this thought was a trap. Maybe something that I read in the meditation text kept me cautious. It warned of the common mistake to meditate and have expectations about it so that you get dissapointed and you miss the effect of meditation itself because of it. This reminds me a common pitfall in OCD too. You try to avoid awful thoughts and thus you get more anxious about avoiding these thoughts that you think more of these thoughts. It's interesting what parallels I can see in these two worlds.

All I had to do is to not worry even if this all prooved to be a delusion. If I worried then I would make things worse and fullfill a false prophecy. It's a bit twisted because it's hard for me to believe but I had to take this into account because 95% I would be feeling worse when going back to Greece. I would discover that these things don't work and my last hope for feeling different is in vain. However, I shouldn't focus on the idea that I don't feel better, as I said a trap. I should keep some emotional balance as best as I could and not be in sorrow if I fail even into that.

The first days and months where horrible. Having failed in the exams, going back to live with my parents and hear them about all these and what went wrong and all that stuff, having nowhere to go where I can feel well, with the sense of guilt for failing. It wasn't good. But I kept the initiative, I believed in my will for feeling different, my right to never feel worthless again. I think this initiative also needed a bit of arrogance or this is what it is. I always was a submissive person, taking things and not demanding from others. This can be good but has mostly negative effects into you because people demand and criticize you and they make you think this is justified. They make you fill worthless and because you feel worthless you don't dare to think they might be absolutely wrong. I put "absolutely" which I wouldn't in the past (With more "arrogance" I could also replace "might be" with "are" :P) because I have to believe in something, I have to cut the doubt at some places and ASK for what I want. This is not submissive, this is what I demand from my reality now. This is the power of intention

One would say that other things might have changed that make me feel more confident and strong. My own decisions on some things, like finding a good reason to not stay at home most of the day while still being productive in the city, for example I am studying outside in a university library every day ready to kick ass in the exams next year for my almost failed master. Or the fact that I started working out in a stationary bicycle every day (while watching demoscene.tv if you mind :)) and this has also improved my energy and maybe my mood too. But all things take part together in the evolution of the self, both the conscious thought, the environmental influences, the life philosophy orientation and the right actions. I'd say it again though, it's one thing that keeps all things in place, because things might not work well everyday and one could be shattered. It's the power of intention, my will to feel well. Never again!

In another chapter I'd like to write how my personal transformation helped me also to view my demoscene hobby in a different and more healthy manner. It really taught me taking it lightly and focusing on the things that I love doing rather than worrying about other minor things that kill the good feeling of it. It saved myself from the disaster of hating the things that I once loved to do and becoming some old guy who doesn't understand what a creative hobby is anymore. In fact, this was easier than the challenges I am still having with real life. It's a damn hobby afterall, not a real life job or a failed master :)

I won't say that things have ended. Things never end. There is not a single oracle of happiness. Everyday is a fight. We are in constant evolution. Tomorrow I could be in sorrow because of some stupid random event and so I have to be there and stay strong. As long as I keep the power of intention strong nothing can scare me. I believe.

p.s. There are so much that I want to tell about how different I feel and what I think about all these that there will be more article into this.
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