A True Team Mate and My Path of Self Discovery

I had a fantastic weekend and took a couple days off of work. I had a friend come over and help take care of me. I got a new vacuum, cleaned up my apartment, and relaxed, focusing on me – I needed it. I’m very grateful to her for coming to see me and am glad I know her – she’s awesome.

I’ve thought a lot about what I want for myself. I’m on a path of self discovery. This path is the most important thing to me right now. I need the freedom to explore whatever that path means to me. If that means experimenting with marijuana edibles, so be it. If it means exploring a threesome with two girls or having many girlfriends, then so be it. If it means I need to barricade myself and do research for hours on end, that is what it is. Whatever this path I am on is the absolute most important thing to me because I know that for me to become who I am meant to be, I’ve got to go through the experiences and experimentation to do so.

I’ve thought about what a true team mate is – I see that happening some time in my future (I don’t know when), where me and a woman form a dynamic duo team. A team mate who fully supports me and my journey. A team mate who would fully support me and my back situation right now with full care and love. A true team mate who doesn’t disconnect from me because she doesn’t know how to communicate. For those disconnectors, slow faders, or shitty communicators, I’m flat out disgusted with those women. Every single one of them. Why would I want to spend an ounce of energy on someone who doesn’t see me as I am and wants to be a loyal team mate?

This realization is a very important part of my journey – a piece of the puzzle. And that realization is that anyone who doesn’t treat me with respect, kindness, love, admiration, and a strong desire to support me on my journey can go suck an egg or take a hike ;) I’m sure there are other pieces of the puzzle to my journey to come. In particular, the issue I am having with my back continues to test and teach me. I’m sure I will learn even more after I have surgery.

That’s what I’m thinking about – what do I want in a team mate and what am I going to learn on this path I am on. It is the most important thing to me right now.

Becoming What You Fear -VS- What You Love

I’ve been thinking about my mindset the last week and a half. I have a really hurt back – lower back. It’s on fire and my legs are numb and weak. I don’t have the fluid motion that I usually do, being able to zip from place to place quickly. More than likely, I will have to have surgery and be laid out to recover.

The reason I bring this up is because of the effect it has had on my mind. I’ve let myself become diminished and degraded. The last few days, I’ve just laid in bed when I’m not at work, just staring and feeling the pain and agony. I don’t like being that way. I think life can be much more than that. But it’s important to feel as well and I really let myself feel the shit for a few days. It flowed through me like a river full of shit :)

This brings me to something I heard someone talk about today. And it’s who we are becoming – the person we fear or the person we love? This last week, I have become the person I fear. Here is what that person is like:

  • Is afraid of growth and new experiences
  • Is afraid of getting out there and meeting people
  • Is afraid of rejection
  • Is afraid of pain and failure
  • Is afraid of having nothing
  • Is afraid of losing my health

The person I love and believe I am capable of becoming is different than this. I know because I have been that person at different times in my life. I have been in the zone. The person I love looks like this:

  • Loves growth and new experiences
  • Loves meeting new people
  • Loves to put himself out there and face the result
  • Loves to learn about himself through difficult and hard times
  • Loves who he is and what he has
  • Loves his DNA and potential for health and performance

The language of who I love is so much different than the language of who I fear. I’ve focused on who I fear over the last week and that focus has created more of who that person is. Well, even though I am grossly affected by my back issues at the moment, I can still do what I can inspite of that challenge. I can still exercise for what I can do, write about what I’m learning, meet new people online, and create new experiences through work and whatever else I have going on.

It was sort of like pulling out of a tail spin on an airplane. I let myself get on a crash course trajectory, but was able to pull out. I recognize this weakness in myself. I’m much more emotional right now than in my strength. I don’t judge myself for this either, but just accept it for what it is. And then, I am working to become more in my strength. Life is the journey to do what you can and the best you can.

The Fantasy of the Past

Think about a moment from your past. Perhaps it was a moment with your dog that is no longer alive, with a brother or sister who has passed on, or with that special man or woman that is no longer your spouse. Whatever it is, think about the past. I’ve noticed this pattern in myself and others that the things in the past that are no longer a part of the present become more valuable. They become much more than they are, almost like a fantasy. Past situations with people and things breed nostalgia and an emotional response because of a wondering and attachment to that thing that is no longer there. It becomes valuable because it no longer exists.

This is a fascinating phenomenon to me. My childhood videos of my basketball games are continuing to become more valuable to me because they are more rare to me – more in the distant past and represent part of my life as a youngster – a part of my life I can never get back. I can see videos with me and my two daughters becoming more valuable over time as well, even though at the time of creation, they aren’t really that valuable – because the situation just happened, it’s fresh. For those things in the past that create attachment (ex’s, things you used to own, etc…), the challenge is realizing why that thing is no longer in your life and being able to see past the fantasy that is that person or thing. It’s not easy – it requires feeling and allowing your emotions for that person or thing to flow through you and pass and to come to terms that that door closed for a reason.

In the Harry Potter movies, there is a powerful scene with Dumbledore (a powerful wizard) and Harry (the lightning bolt scar kid wizard) where Dumbledore finds Harry sitting in front of the Mirror of Erised that shows his parents. This mirror shows a person what he most wants to see. Harry’s parents are dead and the mirror represents a chance for him to see his parents (even if it isn’t them), and it draws him in for many hours at a time as he lives nostalgically in the past. Dumbledore cautions Harry that the mirror gives a person neither knowledge or truth and many have wasted many moments in front of it – and have forgotten to live.

This lesson hits home for me – in many ways. I lived in a really nice house for many years with a family, seeing my kids every day, and living the American dream. In high school, I played basketball in front of thousands of people. I’ve met some people where there are good memories, but those people are removed from my life. The desire for nostalgia and living in the past is very real and strong. I don’t know the mystery of this. I do know that I’ve made a very strong effort to live in the present moment and to be free from outcomes. It’s a lifelong pursuit.

Today, I feel the challenge of letting go of the past and those memories that prevent me from living in the present moment. Indeed, as Harry did in the movie, it’s very easy to think about and focus on the past that is no longer in the present and wish for it to be so again. But this is folly and prevents new and better experiences from happening now.

Facing the Kolrami

Steve Pavlina wrote an article about defeating Kolrami. Steve’s description is great and I’m posting it here for your convenience:

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Peak Performance,” the master strategist Kolrami competes with the android character Data in a game of Strategema. The crew expects Data to win, just as you’d expect a modern chess-playing computer to kick your ass at chess. They confidently advise Data to take the shortest path to victory in order to put a dent in Kolrami’s smugness. However, Kolrami soundly defeats Data without breaking a sweat. Data is stunned by the loss and assumes he must have some kind of programming defect, going so far as to remove himself from active duty until he can figure out what’s wrong with him.

Later in that episode, Captain Picard informs Data that it’s possible to make no mistakes and still lose. This leads Data to challenge his assumptions about the game. He accepts Kolrami’s offer of a rematch, and this time he plays Kolrami to an endless stalemate, leading Kolrami to eventually surrender in disgust. The crew celebrates Data’s victory and asks how he did it.

Data confesses that he couldn’t defeat Kolrami by playing to win because that’s what Kolrami expected him to do. Every advantage-maximizing move that Data attempted was blocked by a superior counter-move from Kolrami. So in the rematch, Data used a different strategy. He bypassed obvious avenues of advancement and played for a draw instead of trying to win. This visibly frustrated Kolrami and allowed Data to theoretically play the game indefinitely, rendering defeat impossible.

I haven’t written on my website here in almost a month. Why? I can’t say for sure, except that I haven’t felt the inspiration to write. Each time I sat down to write my next article, it felt like an utter piece of shit and I deleted it. I don’t like writing articles just for the sake of writing and I deleted a number of new article ideas over the past month. I even paused my work on the series, 30 ways to be a real man and meet a great woman.

What do you do when you’re experiencing a drought through writing or other things in life? What do you do when you really want things, but aren’t getting them? I want to write articles that thousands of people read every day. I want to attract a powerful sorceress woman in my life with ambition, beauty, and a strong desire to see and witness me who wants to know everything about me and work together with me on my flaws, shortcomings, and the adventure of life. So why hasn’t any of this happened yet?

First, I think it’s incredibly challenging with so many blogs and websites to find an audience and grow it. Why? Because I’ve been trying it since 2010 – over 6 years now, and barely get over 100 visitors a day on average, most of which are coming to me for my article on twin flames. And many of those people are just plain bat shit crazy in their situations as they seek guidance. I’m not sure that’s who I want to attract, but for whatever reason, I have… I should mention that there are some very awesome and thoughtful people too that I’ve read comments from and talked to.

Back to the Kolrami

What does the Kolrami from Star Trek have to do with anything here? Well, I am approaching date # 100. Let that sink in for a moment. Almost 100 dates, each with different women. I’ve met some incredible women in those dates, had many flake out, disappear (ghost), or I lose interest. Why after that many dates have I not found that one woman – is it even possible at this point?

Data beat the Kolrami by simply playing to draw and not to win. I’ve tried both playing to draw and playing to win.

The first case is when I play to draw, I back off in my interest toward a woman and only respond when she texts. Those women get pissed off at me for not communicating and eventually disappear.

The second case is when I play to win, I pursue a woman, showing interest and regular communication. That woman invariably stops responding as much until she goes completely silent.

The third case is where a woman pursues me, but I lose interest in her and the spark and energy is gone from the interaction. Most women I talk to fall into this camp – I’d say about 75%. The rest in the first two. There’s a pile of women that would see me in a heart beat, but they aren’t the powerful sorceress/high level woman I’m looking for… Or, I have a flawed mind that rules out women who pursue me.

This paradox I’ve experienced perplexes me a great deal. On the one hand, it’s evidence to me that attraction has an expiration date with a woman. Either I or she will lose interest eventually and I suppose I should be at peace with that. Sometimes it’s a few seconds, minutes, days, weeks, or months. On the other hand, it’s simply a reality of life to me, that dating and relationships where there is great connection don’t come easy at all.

When it comes to women at this point in my life, I feel like part of me is more clueless after 95 dates than it was before date # 1. However, the smarter part of me knows that I have gained an immense amount of knowledge and experience about myself and women. I’ve learned to be at peace with all the ways things can occur and have built up a sixth sense for when I know something is coming to an end – and can safely shut off my feelings and move on. Is this good or bad? I don’t know. But it is how I’ve evolved to this point in my life.

Needless to say, I’m still learning a lot about myself and women, even after 95 dates. Will I need to go on 1,000 dates to really figure this shit out? :) Who is to say. All I know is that I am compelled to keep doing it, testing myself, and learning and growing. Perhaps, one day, I will beat the Kolrami and find that powerful sorceress woman, that one woman who is a cut above the rest and fully wants to adventure with me.

After Date # 50

After date # 50, the quality of women I started meeting started to go up and become more common. If you read my book, 50 dates to be great, you’ll see that on average, I dated women with a score in the ESIP connection of around a 6 or 7 on average – emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical.

Since date # 50, the average score has been closer to an 8 or 9, with a few 10’s (physically) entering the mix. Those women help me see where the chinks in my armor are. I remember one in particular, date # 80, who was a very successful business woman, incredibly fit and beautiful, intelligent, and could pitch and catch with me. She is one who I dated a couple times, but then she slowly faded and stopped responding to me. She ghosted me.

She taught me a lot about myself. I don’t agree with how she treated me – the ghosting, but I’ve learned the lessons I needed to and haven’t reached out to her asking for an explanation, but just allowed the situation to dissipate and be at peace with it. I’ve called out women in the past on their ghosting, but it never has ended well, they either say sorry and still never respond again, or get pissy about it.

There’s a multitude of websites offering guidance on women, dating, relationships, and pickup. The common theme among them all that I’ve taken away is to have a strong inner confidence and sense of self. Be accepting of who I am and all my flaws. Don’t over-pursue and try to bring as much value to the interaction as I can. Be playful, fun, charming, and take the lead. These are things I continually try to work on as I learn and grow through dating.

Work

Another avenue is work. The company I work for is doing very well. There’s some people at the very top becoming extraordinarily wealthy (10 to 100’s of millions of dollars wealthy) due to the company’s success. When I look at that, I feel like a piece of shit in what I earn. But then, I realize, that I still earn likely in the top 10 to 15% of earner’s in the United States, which is doing really well. It’s best to look at the glass half full here, but I can’t deny that it feels so unbalanced seeing those at the top making so much money. I don’t have an answer for it at this time.

I’m working on a project with my twin brother, a space game. I spent 3 hours on it last night, working on the options screen and learning more about Unity, a game development engine. It felt good to do that work. Part of what is missing from me right now is my ambitious pursuits, to work hard on projects. I’m focusing way too much on dating and women (which is a money and time sink), and less on ambitious projects. That’s going to change. I feel all this talent and potential within me and at least giving it a go gives me a sense of worth and value.

I continue to progress at my day job. I’m helping key projects get done and progress. That’s a good feeling. I feel that in another year or two, I will be a Director. That’s one more level up the corporate ladder to CTO. Will I become CTO some day? It’s possible. I have to stay alive, keep building rapport with people, have a little luck in my projects succeeding in that people don’t quit, get sick, mutiny against me, etc… and continue to learn and grow so I can become the kind of person that can help drive success. We’ll see what the future holds here.

Perhaps the path to CTO is exactly like defeating the Kolrami. It could be to not try and do it, but to just continue to offer value and go above and beyond my duties at work all the time without expectation. To go above and beyond because I can and I know my gifts that I have to offer. Something to think about.

Grateful

I’ll end this article with thanks. Thanks for the 95 dates I’ve had. Wow – Wow! What a ride. I’ve met some of the most incredible women through that experience and don’t doubt more will continue to come to test me, the adventurer seeking the powerful sorceress. I say to that, let them come and smite me with whatever magic they think they have. I’m pretty fucking resilient at this point :). I have much to learn in Facing Kolrami and not trying so hard to win, but to simply and effortlessly flow through life.

Your quest: Get out there and write, experience life, and share your journey. Perhaps it will touch a soul or two.

What the Next Level Brings

Life is an interesting thing. When you gain a level, you increase in your capacity as a person. I’m noticing a funny phenomenon that comes along with this. You start to increase in your opportunities and challenges you face as well. You truly never arrive at a level without a new set of opportunities and challenges.

How do I know this? Since I experienced my rebirth, I’ve met some incredible people. These people operate at a higher frequency than I am accustomed to. They stretch me and cause me to examine, once again, where the weak areas are in myself so that I can shore them up and work on becoming the next strongest version of myself.

I remember when I first moved out on my own in October, 2014. I started to put myself out there and date. The quality of the first few women I dated -vs- who I’ve attracted into my life now is a world of difference. With the higher quality women, I find myself looking inwardly to see where the cracks are in my armor – where am I weak or where could I falter. Indeed, I am not perfectly formed yet at this time.

The cool thing about this is I can point to weaknesses in myself and I’m not consumed by them. At the level of thinking I’m at now, I’m much more conscious about myself and feelings. I don’t just dismiss a feeling of anxiety, fear, or insecurity as something bad. I actually allow myself to feel that emotion and give myself the time and space to think about why I am feeling that. I’m a much more supportive and forgiving person of myself.

I think about going to the gym and that pertains to this as well. At the gym, you progressively get stronger and lift more and more weight. In all good things in life – career, body, friends, relationships, etc… the higher you go up, the more weight there is to push and the more you need to be the type of person that can hold space for whatever it is you have attracted.

This next level I’m at now is a bit overwhelming, I have to be honest. There is a part of me that pinches myself wondering if this is real or not. I’ve met some incredibly amazing people – people who are enthusiastically interested in what is going on in my life and there is an effortless interaction with them. I feel like I am living in a story book, it’s that surreal.

I’ll end by giving thanks for the journey I’m on and how much I’ve grown by doing self work, cold approaching people, and getting out there and dating a ton of people. It is that work, in all those areas, that continues to mold me into a better and better person. I have many flaws still, but I couldn’t be happier with my progress and where my life is at right now!

Patience

To find peace and a calm and strong center, learn patience. Learn to meditate ala Qui-Gon Jin from Star Wars (don’t worry, Darth Maul isn’t there waiting to attack you ;)). Take your time. Do not rush. Choose. Breathe. Feel your emotions and body. Let it all out. Good things come to the one who waits.

patience

Pecking Order

In life, there seems to be an order to things and what you are able to get. Call it evolution… call it hard work. But to get and become more you have to put in work and go through the pain of growth. This is true as you workout in the gym, run to increase your stamina, learn a new skill like programming, or are trying to just become a better person.

The last year has been full of a ton of growth for me. That growth continues today. Every time I think I’ve “arrived”, life decides to knock me silly and humble me. I appreciate being humbled. Each time it happens, I recover quickly and take new-found lessons with me moving forward.

The pecking order I speak of for this article is that life and people very much seem to be segmented into ranks. You could describe the ranks like this:

  • Peasant
  • Serf
  • Jester
  • Squire
  • Knight
  • King

The Peasant

When you’re just starting in life, you’re a peasant. You depend on everybody else for you to live and you cry your head off until you get it. You have no capacity to feed or care for yourself and thus you are a leech to everyone around you. However, you can do pretty cute things at this age like laugh, giggle, and make silly facial expressions that make up for being such a leech.

The Serf

Eventually you become less of a leech. You’re able to hold your bottle, get bigger, and hold a spoon with which to eat your oatmeal with so someone else doesn’t have to have their arm fall asleep holding a bottle for you to feed from. The serf has begun the process of learning about life and caring for them self.

One can stay a serf well in to old age. Anyone who isn’t able to hold a job or contribute to society in a meaningful way stays stuck at a serf – able to do a few things for them self, but still leeching off others for most of their needs.

The Jester

The Jester is the next breakthrough one can make. It’s the next step in the pecking order. To become a Jester, you must learn to contribute some value to society with some consistency. You have learned to crack a joke or two and to not get fired from your employment for the most part. You play your part, but aren’t doing anything too spectacular except working, coming home, and having the occasional moment of connection with someone.

The Squire

The squire is the next level of the pecking order. To become a squire is to begin to learn that you can actually improve your living situation with your body, your work, and the people you interact with. But it’s only a spark at this point. It’s the realization that all of this is possible and that you can take steps to do it, such as going to the gym, being proactive at your job, and taking courageous action to meet new people who are beyond your level in the pecking order.

The squire still screws up in his learning with his work and others and has yet created the stability to become a knight.

The Knight

The knight is a highly valued member of society. They are the one’s who lead and direct others. They contribute regularly to those they know with their thoughts and ideas. They are value creators – constantly thinking of how they can better society and others. They fearlessly slay the obstacles in their way rather than looking at them as impossible to overcome.

Knights in society are rare. Look around for them. They are the leaders who courageously try to help others.

The King

The king (and queen) are the highest members of society. They create vision and direction that most are envious of. They create value and wealth through thought and idea and have the charisma, expertise, and intelligence to lead and direct others toward that vision. King’s are valued for their ability to take situations and turn them “to gold”.

Where Are you?

Where are you on the pecking order? I’m somewhere around a squire right now. I have not learned the lessons I need to, to become a knight or king. But I’m trying and working on it. It’s the journey and the small steps of progress that matter and learning from your setbacks while smiling.

Don’t fight the pecking order. You likely aren’t as high up as you think on it. And that’s OK. Accept this reality and that hard work, dedication, and a renewed focus when you fail are what are required to advance.

Year In Review, 2015

My friend Sam just wrote up on his 2015 goals and his 2016 predictions and this will now be the third year I’m doing this. Sam is someone I admire. He is a positive influence to me and has been since early 2010 when I first met him.

And wow… Another year is about to come to a close. Where does all the time go? I turned 38 this year and the big FOUR OH lingers its head to me and challenges me to stay young and energetic. I love doing these year end reviews and predictions for next year because it gives me a chance to test my ability to reflect, predict, and provide some sort of guidance for myself and where my life is headed.

2015 saw quite a bit of things happen for me in my life. It’s not a stretch to say that I experienced more this year than I did the previous 10 years. What’s funny is that I said the same thing about 2014 when I did my year end review for it!

Let’s look at what happened in 2015, what my predictions for 2016 are, and what some of my personal goals are for the next year.

What happened in 2015?

2015 was my first year being out on my own. This little apartment of mine is starting to grow on me. There’s a part of me that still finds it strange living on my own after I had been married for 14 years. But I’m starting to get used to it – comfortable with it. At the end of today, I’ll have spent my first full year on my own.

Trips to California

2015 saw THREE trips to California. It was such an amazing experience to go there on my own. I really felt like a kid in a candy store there and I feel California continue to beckon to me – particularly San Francisco, the Bay Area. There is such a free spirited feel to that area and an energy and enthusiasm that is contagious. I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up there before the end of 2016 – but more on that later.

I visited San Francisco, Santa Clara, and spent time going to Apple, Google, and speaking at a Technology Conference. This was all very fun! I love public speaking and any time I have a chance to do it, I go for it. You can read more about these trips from these articles:

Many more dates

I went on date # 50 (and then some) this year. To me, that is a mind blowing feat, especially with most of those dates being in Utah where there is a predominant Mormon culture and I am not an active follower of that religion. To go on the 50+ dates I’ve been on, I’ve had to go through many rejections and “ghosts”. At this point in time, I don’t view things as rejections anymore. I look at finding those who want to be in my life and seeking them out and those that don’t want to be in my life should be free to exit my life and be in other people’s lives that they want to be in. This is a shift in mind set about what rejection ultimately means. I view it as freedom now – freedom for others to be happy out of my life and that makes me happy :).

I learn so much each time I go out on a date with a new person. I believe that I need to go out and meet many more people to grown and learn. This process may never end. I feel called to do it – to date as much as I can and to learn and grow from that experience. In fact, I finished a book about that that I self published today.

Finishing another book

I wrote my second book and published it today. It’s called, “50 Dates To Be Great.” Here is the book cover:

50_dates_be_great_book_cover

You can get the book on Amazon now and learn all about my dating adventures, perspectives, success, and failure. See what dating is like for a newly single dad at age 36.

I really like writing. It helps me convey thoughts and ideas while not being put on the spot by someone in a conversation. This book was a labor of love because I’m taking all the knowledge and experience from these 50 dates and injecting it into this book for others to learn from. Some chapters are short because the date was uneventful. Some chapters, like chapter 22, are many pages long and taught me about my flaws and imperfections. I made some mistakes in these 50 dates!

The main thing this book taught me is that I am a worthwhile person who also has work to do on himself. I’m sure I will come up with another idea come 2016, but more on that below.

Managing multiple teams and more people

At my day job, I was given more responsibility. This happened a few months ago and I’m starting to get the hang of it. It’s a challenge – to manage projects and be successful with them while keeping my people happy. But, I feel I am qualified to do this because of the kind of person I have become through life’s challenges.

Battling myself

I wrestled with myself and my own emotions in 2015. I had some really dark and depressing days that I won’t go into detail here – that’s more for my journal to tell. But I’ve realized that depression is a real thing that hits me and many others and feel much more empathy for those who struggle with it.

What do I predict will happen in 2016?

What will happen in 2016?

Hillary Clinton will be the next president. Barack Obama has done a good job in my view at being president. I know that many would crucify me for saying this, but I honestly think that many just hate whoever the president is regardless because there are so many different view points about the way things should be. Is Barack Obama perfect? No. Any president will have faults. At a high level, this is my best view. Others who like to scour details and facts can give you a better perspective on this, but realize that we as humans will often create bias to support our own view of the world and so there is difficulty in trusting any written source. This applies even to me as I try to write objectively.

Why will Hillary be the next president? Because she resonates with more people and liberalism is winning the day in society.

Stocks will be flat. I don’t see the stock market surging up this year like it has been. I see it staying about the same. Why? Gut feel, I suppose, but it’s more the saying, “no king rules forever.” It’s this universal truth that tells me stocks are about to go flat and maybe even go down.

Society becoming more liberal. With gay marriage becoming legal in the United States, I see society continuing to become more liberal and free thinking. This won’t sit well with religion – those who are strict to religion anyway. Believers of organized religion will hold stronger to it as they look to see the challenges of society as evidence that the world is crumbling and that a “second coming” will take place. I believe the opposite. The world is getting better and events that are happening are the simple disruption for a more free spirited and liberal world that is continuing to be more deeply connected through technology.

Golden State wins the NBA championship. This prediction isn’t really that hard. Golden State (with Stephen Curry) is far and away the best team in the NBA. If he is able to play and stay healthy, they win the championship with ease.

What do I hope to accomplish in 2016?

Limited Facebook for the entire year, until Dec. 31. Use Instagram to post what’s going on in my life. Cease senseless checking of websites and social media. Check Facebook once a month to post a picture or see if someone is trying to get a hold of me. This one is a biggie for me. I feel I’m in an unconscious loop where I check things online. There’s no need to do this. Instagram provides a better way to share what’s going on through pictures and video and isn’t as easily accessible to me. I feel this will greatly help me focus on other projects.

Decide on going to California. I will decide to go to California or not this year. The Bay Area beckons to me and I will either heed that call or not. This is a big one for me as my kids live here in Utah. California will open up so much to me – I can feel it, but there will be challenges there, the first being the cost of living.

Write another book. I’m having so much fun writing that I’m going to do another book. I have no idea what it will be about, but I will start that process as I brainstorm ideas. I want to write dozens of books about my life, learning, and the adventures I’m having.

Make $7,000 passive income from Peer to Peer Lending and invest $6,000 more into it. Prosper has been an amazing vehicle for earning passive income. I’m still making over 10% from it. It’s been the first successful venture of mine to make money outside of my day job! I’m still going to work on side hustle projects, but I can’t say enough good about Peer to Peer Lending so far.

Get my body in incredible shape through CrossFit or the gym. I’ve sort of let my body go these last few months of the year and that’s unacceptable. My goal is 210 pounds and 14% body fat. I can measure these easily. I’m going to a CrossFit studio today to check it out and see what it is like.

Spend at least one day a week for 30 minutes going out and meeting people. One thing I always feel good doing is going out and meeting new people. It stretches me and cold approach is easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done. That’s why I know I need to do it more and keep at it.

Get some new clothes and professional photos done. Part of coming across as someone of value is creating that perception. Whether I like it or not, perception of other people matters… I must look the part. I’m going to go clothes shopping and get some professional photos done for this.

Wrap up

2015 was a good and challenging year. I have a feeling that 2016, if I stay the course, will be even better, full of many more new experiences, challenges, and growth. Have a happy new year everyone!

Shadow Work

I have learned recently about “Shadow Work.” This seems to be the facing of the part of yourself that you suppress or are ashamed of (or have been made to feel ashamed of). A term for this part of you is the shadow. I suppose it makes sense because the shadow is the part of you that is dark.

I’m starting a personal journey of my work to understand myself more – my childhood trauma, my early shyness, my frustrations, failings, and all the things that I don’t like about myself. This is the shadow part of me.

What I’m learning is that rejecting this part of myself – trying to pretend it isn’t there is denying myself of who I fully am. I do have fears, pain, and doubts. I’m learning to allow myself to feel exactly what I feel at any given moment without judging myself. Instead I just feel it.

Earlier in the week, I had a nasty diarrhea stomach bug. That kind of thing triggers my emetophobia – my fear of vomiting. I can recall very vividly sitting here at my computer, my heart rate increasing, my breath becoming rapid and shallow, and going into a state of panic. What I would normally do in this case is go outside, walk around, and try to ignore the feeling I had to avoid throwing up.

Instead, I allowed myself to feel shitty. I paid attention to my shallow breathing and rapid heart rate. I told myself it was OK and that there was nothing wrong with me because this was happening. I accepted that whatever happens is what happens and if puking is what it comes to, then so be it.

Fortunately, I did not vomit, and the panic attack I was having went away after another minute. I also have a challenge when I go to public speak – or speak or read in front of a group. I get really nervous, my heart rate increases, and I get sweaty. I allow myself to feel that way. While sitting in front of 50 people, I allow myself to feel nervous and afraid. I tell myself it is OK and if it doesn’t go away, I will do the best I can with the nervousness. I then go and speak any way.

When I was a youngster in 7th grade, I had my first panic attack reading out loud in front of a classroom because I was called on to read – but I wasn’t paying attention and I told the teacher I was sick and needed to throw up and I just got up and walked out of the class. This was an out of character thing for me to do. What’s funny about this is that I could do it any time I wanted – even on purpose and not many people would have cared. It goes to show that you can do some pretty bizarre and outrageous things and people don’t care as much as you think they do.

There’s other areas of my “shadow” such as feeling inferior, useless, rejected, and an outcast. I’m learning to accept all these things and not fight them anymore. I’m also working on accepting my thoughts and desires as natural and acting in a way that a person of the caliber I am trying to become would. That is definitely some of the hardest work I’ve had to do.

For instance, I’ve put on about 20 pounds in the last year. I have used food as a crutch to deal with stress. Rather than using food as a crutch, a better approach is to acknowledge my stress and why I feel stressed. It’s because I live alone, work a high throttle job with big responsibilities, and have two children to continue to support. I and I alone am responsible for a shit ton of stuff. It all feels like a house of cards sometimes – I could just become homeless any moment and it could all come crashing down.

These are the kinds of things I think about doing this shadow work on myself. As I see it, I must become at peace with all aspects of myself, unafraid of going for what I want, and never giving my power or energy away to another person or situation, no matter what is before me.

I’ll write more about this as I think and make progress. For the first time in my life, I am doing battle with myself and understanding how to fight that battle. Hugs to you…

What Does It Mean to be Emotionally Unavailable?

I had a conversation with a friend of mine recently who when I first met her, she could tell immediately that I was emotionally unavailable. I asked her how she knew this (because she was right), and she said she could just feel it from me – her intuition. I asked her if there was anything verbal or non-verbal she could pick up and she just said it was her intuition. I don’t know the mystery of intuition, but I know I feel certain things and am right and therefore have to conclude others feel things too and can deduce reality through their own gifts.

It made me think about what being emotionally unavailable means. I think in my case it means I can’t commit myself to one person at this time in my life and I can’t give one person my 100% undivided attention. But I don’t think this necessarily means I’m emotionally unavailable, because I appreciate the people who are close to me in my life and I most definitely give my time and attention. But I agree with this woman in that I don’t give it fully and at a 100% level.

Someone who is emotionally available will give their full attention to another person. They will think of them often and look at how they are feeling. They will regularly communicate through phone calls or text. This is something I’m terrible at right now. I have a good reason for being terrible at it. I was once the opposite of a terrible texter. I would communicate through text in the past, but get pushed away, and therefore, my brain has evolved that too much texting is going to simply push people away so I don’t do it.

Emotionally unavailable means that someone won’t give as much as they receive. I don’t like the feeling that I am this way, but in all honesty, I am right now. It’s a humbling thing to admit. I’d rather admit it to myself than try to hide it though. I’m still just over a year freshly single and am still figuring myself out and all my past wounds. I have many wounds even from childhood that I’m working through. This self work is very tiring and difficult. Much of it is done by myself through thought, meditation, and pondering.

Being this way gives me greater empathy for those who haven’t been emotionally available in the past year that I’ve encountered. Everyone has a reason for the way they are. For all of you reading this, have a little compassion and kindness for those men and women you know who are emotionally unavailable. There’s likely a good reason for it.

Your quest: Seek to understand those you know who are emotionally unavailable and why that might be. Having empathy for them might cause surprising and positive results.