Canadian Twitch Streamers are Making an Insane Living! There is no money like ad money

 There is no money like ad money

Twitch is changing the face of income generation with its promise of live streaming revenues. Now you can earn thousands of dollars on a regular basis if you become a part of the popular streaming website. Internet stardom is just one side of the coin when you are seriously into Twitch streaming today.

Top Twitch personalities confirm their insane monthly income comes through watching online video games, gaining subscriptions, and advertisements. A popular Twitch streamer by the name of “Ninja” even confirmed that he reached a total of roughly $500(k) for his monthly revenue through ads.

Another Twitch streamer by the name Probly_over_9000 also starts his live streaming website where he goes live for his daily stream. He only needs his Playstation4 console, camera, and microphone to work. He welcomes more than 100 people watching his stream called “Destiny”, a first-person shooter game. His huge online following lets him earn subscribers and donations that could amount to hundreds if not thousands of daily income.

There are more than 100 million Twitch subscribers and over two million active streamers daily. Elite gamers play different kinds of games through the Twitch platform such as Madden, FIFA, Social Casino, and Fornite.

Joining the Twitch platform is easy, safe, and hassle-free. You could get a premium account for as cheap as $10 monthly. Advertising partnership is one way of ensuring a huge amount of money through the Twitch platform for live streaming. You can check out other important details when you visit the publisher website today!

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Let’s Stop Calling Girls Psycho

We’ve all been there before… all dressed up with nowhere to go because our boyfriend ditched dinner and drinks to hang out with his bros…

Or maybe we did end up going out for dinner and drinks after all but our boyfriend was glued to his phone all night, texting a girl ‘from work’, ‘about work’ (yeah, right)…

Or maybe when we got home after dinner and drinks he called us Becky while we were having sex… wait, what? Better not be Becky with the good hair we thought to ourselves…

…so we said something, and were called a psycho.

Sound familiar? Yeah, me too. But here’s the deal: we are not psychos (and nor were any of our boyfriend’s previous girlfriends). Calling a girl a psycho is just a guy’s way of shutting down a conversation, of putting the blame on their partner instead of owning their shit.

How dare them for treating you like crap? No how dare you for calling them out on it!

Once the crazy card’s been pulled the tables are turned. The argument becomes less about the guy apologising for doing wrong, and more about you trying to prove you don’t need strait-jacketed and sectioned.

You see, psycho is a word that shames women into submission. Like “slutty” and “bitchy,” it’s one of the worst ways a girl can be…

…or so I used to think.

When I was younger, I was so scared of seeming hot-headed that I pretended I was cooler than cool… or at least I did until I couldn’t keep it up anymore. I navigated most of the relationships in my late teens and early twenties as a self professed ‘ice queen’ in the early stages, only to reach boiling point and have the bitch fit of all bitch fits about 6 months (and 6 glasses of wine) in over ‘nothing’. My boyfriends would do one thing wrong and I’d fly off the handle going from zero to a hundred, because what was ‘one thing’ to them wasn’t ‘one thing’ to me, just the last on the list of several other things I’d kept to myself, bottled up and brewing away.

I’d storm out of wherever we were (which was probably in public, let’s be real) glass of wine in hand and dignity at the door wondering why they couldn’t see what they’d done wrong… failing to see that I’d done wrong myself by pretending to be someone I wasn’t who was okay with things I wasn’t okay with.

Still on Tinder because you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket? Don’t worry about me babe it’s cool, I’d say. Been dating me for the best part of a year but you’re not ready to define the relationship? No seriously don’t worry – that’s even cooler.

As much as it pains me to say it, when I was younger I was the ultimate Cool Girl when it came to relationships, which Gillian Flynn helpfully summarizes as follows:

“Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.”— Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

…shall I let you in on a little secret though? Being the Cool Girl was a far cry from cool. Because Cool Girls aren’t “even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be” (Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl.)

Unlike playing it cool which is something we all do (and probably should do actually), like keeping it to ourselves that we’re a stage five clinger that checks when they were last active on social media when we’ve been waiting a while for a reply, a Cool Girl keeps everything to herself that might make men not like her.

In other words: she makes a mug of herself. Instead of standing up for herself she chooses to lay down on the floor instead and be walked all over like a doormat.

In the words Beyoncé

“What’s worse, looking jealous or crazy? Jealous or crazy? More like being walked all over lately, walked all over lately, I’d rather be crazy.”

Wouldn’t you? TC mark

Article originally posted by thoughtcatalog.

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How To Find The Stunning Beauty In Imperfection

Do you ever feel that no matter how much you strive for perfection, there’s just no reaching the place you have in your mind for what PERFECT looks like?

When I don’t achieve my idea of PERFECT, I partake in what I like to call my daily beat-myself-up practice. You know, it’s like a meditation practice or daily exercise, except that it’s the repeated inner gloomy spiels and negativity I throw at myself, much like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if it sticks. Well, let me tell you that this criticism REALLY sticks! Even when I scrub the wall (of my soul…whimper), there’s still a residue of YOU BLOODY SUCK, LISSA!!

Though, even better (or worse), imagine that knives are being thrown your way. You’re the lady on the wheel spinning round and round as part of a traveling circus act, and some guy (who looks a lot like you) is throwing knives while a rapt audience watches. GULP! How do you like that, self??

I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to be perfect and I know that I’m not alone in this. Many people strive for perfection and when they don’t achieve it, feel disappointed and beat their beautiful selves up. “Send your inner critic on a permanent vacation,” said one friend recently. “That’s what I do.” Well, that may work for her, but I know that mine would take a pass because she’s a workaholic. Heck, she’ll do time-and-a-half if you let her.

SELF FLAGELLATION. PICK ME.

Of course, this narrative runs through our creative work. If you believe that this daily practice of self-flagellation serves you when you’re creating something, then please stop reading right here. Although, if you suspect that it may be hindering you and your artistic endeavors, then please continue…

The question that may be preying on your mind at this stage is—dear Lissa, how the heck do I embrace what I perceive to be my flaws, my incompleteness, and my impermanence and still get shit done?

You’ve probably heard of wabi-sabi, an ancient philosophy within Zen Buddhism. During a Japanese tea ceremony, the bowls are oddly shaped, have an uneven glaze, and contain cracks. The Japanese philosophy celebrates beauty in what’s natural, flaws and all. The antique bowls are prized because of (not in spite of) their rough texture and blemishes.

Leonard Koren, author of Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers, says, “Appreciation for imperfections in others, and even in yourself, is the essential wabi sabi frame of mind.”

So, what if we applied this ancient aesthetic to the rough edges of ourselves. If we learned to EMBRACE, not throw knives (or spaghetti) at the blemishes and cracks in our crazy messed up lives?

I find that simply reading about something doesn’t always help me to put it into practice, so…I have an exercise for you to try, which can help you live or experience this idea more readily.

What if you wrote for 10 or so minutes and didn’t censor yourself or worry about the end result, just took pleasure in how you were experiencing that moment of putting pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard while tuning into your senses and surroundings?

EXERCISE

Open a notebook or your laptop. Write down 10 observations about your surroundings that are connected to your senses. As an example, “the leafless tree out my window,” “the cloudless sky,” “the hardwood floor beneath me,” “the colourful books on my shelves,” “the soft cushion at my back,” “the citrusy, warming tea I’m drinking,” the fragrant candle on the table.” As I’ve shown here, these can be in point form; the idea is just to get them down.

If you’re feeling really groovy and in the flow, then you can put your observations into a juicy poem. No pressure! Whatever you do is great and just the way it should be.

SPACE TO CREATE

I hope you enjoyed the meditation and the writing exercise. While these two things won’t directly help you to finish that half-written novel or copy for your website, it can give you some breathing room to go about your projects without being pummeled with insults from your critical self. The more you allow yourself to see the imperfect beauty of who you are and what you produce, then the less you’ll worry about your rough edges and cracks, and the more space you’ll give yourself to create and enjoy the process and flow of your life.

Wabi-sabi is focused on seeing the beauty in simple things like the curve of a fork, turn of a phrase, a piece of stoneware or piece of writing, and using these things to better engage our senses. I think Stephen Hawking says it best when he relates imperfection to the universe: “One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist…..Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.” TC mark

Article originally posted by thoughtcatalog.

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Love Will Find You When You’re Truly Ready For It

They say when you’re in love, you see butterflies and rainbows—you see your loved one as your world, the reason for your existence. You think you can surpass all the trials that life will hurl at you as long as you’re together and you feel like everything has finally fallen into its proper place—at last, you can say your life is complete.

When you love, you give your all—because you are told that this is how it must be. They say true love is measured by the things that you can do for the sake of the one you love; that you must comply with all that they want, and make sure to give them all the attention and care that they ‘deserve’.

But what if ‘love’ doesn’t happen that way?

What if after all the sacrifices you did and all the reassuring gestures you conveyed— your feelings wouldn’t still be reciprocated by the one you gave it for? What if the love you thought was real is actually just pure imagination because you were overwhelmed by your flowing emotions coming from within, then you’ll be hurt because of the anticipation that has built up in your chest—the hope that maybe you both might feel the same way?

It’s a nightmare—it can damage even the most innocent people with the purest of hearts. It can make a kind person mad—enraged because of the heaps of “Whys” in his mind; left with questions that will forever remain unanswered because his ‘person’ chose another. It can make someone become cautious—wary of the real intentions of people getting close; afraid that if they get in, pain, heartbreaks, and lonely nights will recur.

Love doesn’t always bring smiles to people—that’s a fact, especially when the one you adore doesn’t love you back.

Love comes to those who are ready for it, not to those who think they need it.

And you should never let your past miseries become the reason for you to stop believing in love—you may rest, but you should never stop. No matter how many times your heart breaks, still, you should love. Don’t let sorrows taint your belief in love and your chance of having your happily ever after.

Yes, we don’t always end up being with the one that we love, but maybe that’s just the universe telling us that there is someone out there who are truly meant for us—that maybe, our past heartbreaks were just preparations to shape us for the impending love that is finally meant to last. TC mark

Article originally posted by thoughtcatalog.

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How To Finally Stop Jumping To The ‘Worst Case Scenario’

Imagine having exactly the relationship you want. Imagine feeling free in your body. Imagine having plenty of money. Imagine living in your dream house in the city, mountains, or beach. Imagine being fulfilled in your career or parenting. Then, imagine what could happen next.

“But what if she/he/they leaves me,” or, “My body won’t feel this good for long,” or, “The stock market or housing market could crash at any time and I’m unprepared,” or, “I wonder when the next hurricane will hit,” or, “What if I get hit by a car?’” are just some of the things you might imagine if your tendency is to anticipate loss.

The first time we get that phone call in the middle of the night that announces something terrible has happened, we get wired to go into high-alert-fight-or-flight whenever the phone rings at an odd hour. This kind of wiring due to shock and trauma can set up the tendency to anticipate loss whenever we dare to be happy.

This tendency can also develop through habits we inherit from our families and cultures, like tossing spilled salt over our shoulder into the face of the devil who lurks there, or using amulets to ward off the evil eye, or downplaying the good so that we don’t tempt fate to smack us. All of these stem from fear and set us up to focus on what could go wrong, or what’s missing, instead of what’s great right now.

When I was sixteen, I sang “When I Fall in Love,” for my voice teacher. I’d practiced all week. At the end, she said I sang beautifully, one difficult phrase in particular. I replied that I hadn’t hit the high note well. She said, “If you spend your life focusing on the one note you hit wrong instead of the phrase you sang well, you’ll never be happy.”

I’m still learning how to let the way I do something be good enough as it is. How to stay upright in the awkward pose of imperfection. How to be happy without waiting for the other shoe to drop, without waiting for disaster to jump and mug me around the next dark corner of the unknown.

I used to say that I was wired for yearning, that it was my homeostasis. Yearning was where my poems came from. Yearning made me work hard to improve in everything I do. When I got what I wanted, my mind would quickly turn to what was still missing or how I could lose the thing I now had and I would quickly be back to yearning again.

But anticipating loss robs me of the enjoyment of what I have and doesn’t mitigate the pain when loss actually comes. I end up staying braced for the next onslaught instead of being relaxed and able to enjoy the good that is here now. I’ve also found that if I’m enjoying my life more when times are good, I have more resilience when the inevitable loss happens because I’ve built up my reserves by allowing pleasure to sink in.

How delicious the chocolate bar found only at the shop in Brooklyn I visit twice a year. How wonderful to savor it, let it melt in my mouth instead of chewing and swallowing before the complexities of the cacao have fully revealed themselves. How satiating it becomes to eat a square each day in this way, making it last, instead of gobbling it up and wishing I had bought more bars.

When my partner’s body is wrapped around mine in the morning in that half-asleep swoony state where all I feel is warmth, soft skin, sheets, his still weight nestled perfectly into mine, a deep sigh of pleasure in my bones, it usually takes about 20 seconds for my mind to jump to what time we have to get up, the dog, breakfast, whether or not I’m in pain, if he’ll leave me. It takes willpower to bring my mind back to my peaceful body, to notice and let the pleasure sink in. With daily practice, the amount of time this peace continues into my day after I get out of bed is getting longer.

My mind prefers to be out in front of my body scanning for danger, like an anxious dog pulling on a leash. But one thing I know now is that my body knows. It feels out situations quicker than my mind can. The more I show the anxious dog of my mind who’s boss by noticing what’s happening in my body instead of being the prey of my racing thoughts, the quicker I can discern what I want to do.

The next time you’re anticipating loss or anxious about a decision, bring your mind back to your body. Feel your feet on the floor and connect to your breath. Bring your attention to a place in your body that feels good right now, even if it’s the tip of your nose. Let that good feeling spread through the rest of your body as you pause and breathe for a few minutes. End the exercise by thinking of three things you are grateful for right now. You can train your mind to come back to your body and train yourself to let your body inform your decisions. My tendency to anticipate loss lessened and my enjoyment of life increased when I took up this practice and yours can, too. TC mark

Article originally posted by thoughtcatalog.

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There Will Always Be People Who Hate You But That Doesn’t Have To Affect You

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about life and do you know what I’ve realized?

There are just some people out there who don’t fucking like you.

They don’t like you because of jealousy; because you have a solid foundation in a relationship when theirs, right now, is crumbling. They don’t like you because they could never feel confident enough to pull off those wing-tipped eyes or bold lips, or avant-garde outfits you wear to work effortlessly. They don’t like you because you were promoted to a job that they think they’re better suited in.

I’ve been disliked a lot in my life for no other reason than because it triggered someone else’s anxiety. And here’s the thing, worrying about their self-esteem is not my problem. I refuse to change who I am because they have a problem with it. And you know why? Because, like them, it took me years to dig myself out of the mental state where I thought I was horrible.

Growing up with medical issues, I was consistently ostracized. I had no control of my bladder, and do you think my fifth-grade classmates tried to understand when I ran down to my mom, grabbing a new pair of pants in embarrassment? The quick answer: no the fuck they didn’t. When I liked a guy, made attempts at contacting him via my AOL account when I was twelve, and he told all his friends, making a mockery out of me – I didn’t come out of that unscathed. I didn’t come out unscathed when my “best friend” started a rumor I was gay – and when the teasing and torment was so bad I had no choice but to transfer schools when I was 13.

I was picked last in gym class to the point where I just stopped playing. I was fat, riddled with acne and still had that innocence for playing Pokemon when all the rest of my friends were wearing Bonnebelle lip gloss. I was pushed into pools fully clothed and at one point, such an outcast that my parents came to recess with a boombox and hula-hoops in an effort to make me popular for 45-minutes.

I had to face torment and snide remarks from teachers, when I walked around my high school senior year, engaged. I met those same snide remarks from my brother when I told him I was getting divorced, when he had no idea about the abuse and mental exhaustion I’d endured. I had no money, no car, worked multiple jobs, trying whatever I could to re-evaluate, to re-adjust my life to the point where I felt like I wanted to start living where the bad names didn’t control me.

And then my mom died from cancer, and it was like that self-esteem, that reassuring part of myself drifted from my body, just like hers.

So, life is not always wonderful. The people that you look at, the ones who go after a better job, who wear those effortlessly weird clothes, the ones who seem brave enough to don purple lipstick while chomping on nachos at Don Pablo’s – they’re not as brave as you think because every single action is a contemplation to push outside their comfort zone, to feel more at peace with themselves, to try and grab the kind of life they’ve been fighting for since they were children. You don’t know people’s backstories. You don’t know what make them tick, what make them sad, scared, or even the cocky, “confident” person you hate sitting next to at work.

This is not a PSA to be kind to everyone as much as it is a PSA to be kinder to yourself. When someone hates you for no reason, remember that it’s not about you, it’s about them and their opinion is not a reflection on the life you built. You’re the one who dug yourself out, who faced those criticisms and chose to live a better life. People will always hate you; it’s just the way the world works. But, don’t ever hate someone else convince you to hate yourself. Always be your own reflection. Don’t let someone else who’s still fighting to recognize their worth, dull that pretty little sparkle of yours. TC mark

Article originally posted by thoughtcatalog.

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Can Self-Love Truly Be Defined?

Over the last 15 years, there have been several forms of media, lectures, and books written on self-love. When we now talk about self-love, it seems to be more of a cliche’ than anything with true meaning. Most people would agree that self-love is important, but we basically ignore it in our day to day lives. Do you think it’s because we have so many perspectives on self-love, and it can’t really be defined as a whole?

I teach self-love based on spiritual and quantum concepts. This means that loving yourself can take the form of a very spiritual path and be easily integrated into most religions. It also means that self-love can be a science-based belief with an energy and matter perspective. I believe that self-love is all-encompassing in both spiritual and energy concepts. It is truly when you can put the two together that you gain power in the belief of self-love! Teaching self-love in this way is still very general, and this is why I feel we need to try and dig deeper into our definition of self-love.

Sometimes it is easier to say what something isn’t than actually try to define it. So let’s start by listing what self-love is not!

* Self-preservation. The basic instinct of keeping yourself alive can easily be accomplished without self-love. Loving yourself goes much deeper then self-preservation.

* It’s not being selfish, greedy, or egotistical. These are traits that include only your own wants and desires so that you outwardly appear above others. This is done by people that need to feel above others in order to compensate for lack of self-love.

* Any thought that is not self-serving. This is thoughts you have that make you feel any form of negativity. Negative thoughts about anything is lack of self-love because you are ALLOWING yourself these thoughts and therefore the feelings of disharmony.

* Any action that is not of the highest good for all. This is when you do something that you know in your heart wasn’t the best choice. Think hard about this one. Do you really have loving feelings about yourself when you do something harmful or hurtful to others? This also extends out to anything living including nature.

* Self-love has nothing to do with materialistic possessions. Self-love is a feeling of love held within you, and it is not based on the condition of having things.

* All addictions. Habits that are good or bad are not contingent on self-love. Having balance in your life is important to have self-love. Even too much of a good thing will eventually land you in a position of disharmony in some way because your point of focus is taken away from other important aspects of self-love.

Do you get the idea that self-love also includes others? Yes, it does! Do you understand why it must include others? You would never be able to obtain self-love with a “me” attitude. Selfishness is only a short-lived happiness. Loving yourself first and extending that love out to others is a part of the “whole” self-love concept. Anytime you get in the mind-frame of being separate, it creates feelings of disharmony. When you are in disharmony you are not loving yourself.

Did you catch what I said about loving yourself first? Yes, this is like putting the oxygen mask on to save yourself before you can begin to help others. The process of self-love starts with you! By obtaining unconditional love for yourself first, then the love you have spills out onto all others naturally. Giving love to others is easy when you tackle loving you first!

There are two other points I would like to make about self-love that I feel are extremely important.

First, self-love is a feeling we have and not a thought. When we FEEL love, then our thoughts (mind) are in alignment with our true self (soul). From a non-spiritual point of view, you could look at this as our thoughts just being in alignment with our feelings. Our inner conflict always comes when we think one thing and feel another. This is one of the main concepts that I teach, and it will be addressed again and again in nearly all of my blogs.

Secondly, there is an important fact that we all must know in order to live a life of loving yourself.

YOU MUST HONOR YOUR TRUE SELF!

Basically, this means to recognize your uniqueness and follow your own path with loving acceptance. It’s easy to fall into the beliefs of our parents, friends, and family, but are they truly our own? It’s also easy to just be a “follower” rather than stand out in your own individuality. It’s easier to judge yourself rather than accept the true person inside. Loving yourself is recognizing how YOU feel and honoring this by having the courage to create new beginnings and ultimately a life of peacefulness.

In all my studies of self-love, this is my attempt at a definition: Feelings that are love based and are for the highest good of yourself and others.

This definition is the end result of loving yourself. You have arrived! Keep in mind, it is our thoughts that give us the freedom to allow feelings of anything love based. The thought is the “driver” and the feeling is our “destination.” This concept is prevalent in all my teachings of self-love.

My objective for this post is to get you thinking about what it means to love yourself. It shouldn’t be just a cliche’ that we talk about in conversation. It is important and it should be defined by you. Once you can define self-love then you can take the next step to cultivate it into your life. How do you know what to change or how to change, if you haven’t thought about what it means to you?

All of the things that I teach surround you with options to move closer to self-love. With each person, it is different because of their beliefs, and I try to keep it general so you can integrate this information into your own self-empowerment. I hope this leaves you with some thought-provoking ideas, and this helps define what self-love is for you! TC mark

Article originally posted by thoughtcatalog.

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April Is The ‘Cruellest’ Month

Looking at one of the many calendars I keep (it’s March 31st as I type this) and realizing that tomorrow will be the first day of April, I took down my copy of The Waste Land, which I purchased so I could feel smart and cultured, off of its shelf, and began to read:

“April is the cruellest month…”

Why? – I asked myself – Why is April the cruellest month? What did April ever do to anyone, or to T.S. Eliot for that matter? Why does he spell it with two L’s like Cruella de Vil? Having so many important questions, but only one day until this cruelest month began, there was no time to read his biography or go back to school for my Master’s in English, so I just had to continue with the book in front of me…

“April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering

Earth in forgetful snow, feeding

A little life with dried tubers.”

I’ve seen too many romcoms to not know that flowers always mean something. The azalea means ‘may you achieve financial security.’ The lily means ‘I dare you to love me.’ Lilacs, on the other hand, represent the first emotions of love. They’re coming out of the dead land, which makes April’s true cruelty lie in her ability to make us move on, to start all over again, even after things haven’t worked out for us before.

April is a pusher – she pushes people, mixing memory and desire, which let’s be honest, can be a more lethal combination than red wine and tequila. The dull roots want to stay put where they are, underground – no need to stir them, or buried feelings, up. The snow is a security blanket, it keeps us warm and helps us forget. Tubers allow plants to reproduce asexually – and we’d be fine on our own too if it wasn’t for cruel April and her insistent lilacs.

And that’s about as far into the poem as I can get without help from the English TA I had a giant crush on in college who explained this poem to me in the first place. It requires a wealth of knowledge I do not possess, switching languages, referencing history, literature, popular music from the era. But the challenge was also the appeal.

There is an elitism to it, a depth. Understanding The Waste Land was inherently to acquire some of its cultural currency. It was a secret language I wanted to speak.

The poem isn’t that long, about 15 pages with footnotes, but my Norton copy spans 283 pages with background and criticism. Even Virginia Woolf’s initial reaction is one of confusion – “It has great beauty & force of phrase: symmetry; & tensity. What connects it together, I’m not so sure.” It was a mind game meant to stump even the greatest minds of the time.

Why do we play mind games to begin with? Is it a mere form of entertainment, an escape from our own boredom? Does it stem from a need for attention? Do we enjoy the manipulation and control? Or is it something deeper?

Do they feed the parts of our ego that inflate when we are able to understand, to say I know what this means, the parts that insist on things having any meaning at all? Or do they speak to the depths of our hearts that secretly long to be understood, that admit we’re lonely, that we yearn to connect with someone outside of our own selves?

Because what is the purpose of a poem that only makes sense to the poet? A mind game is only satisfying if we are able to understand it – if there is someone to understand our own games in return. It takes two to play.

April may be cruel, but she comes once a year. She is a part of life. We cannot avoid her any more than we can avoid ourselves, although we certainly may try. She may feel like a push or a shove, but she is that inherent pull we all have towards others, towards something outside of and bigger than ourselves. TC mark

Article originally posted by thoughtcatalog.
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Why We Need To Appreciate The Present Instead Of Living For The Future

“Once you reach the horizon, there’s always another horizon.” – The Minimalists

This week I listened to a fantastic podcast episode of The Minimalists. It featured Dan Harris, ABC news correspondent and author of Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics. The episode focused on happiness. In response to a listener’s question, Harris talked about how ‘happiness’ is actually a poor word to describe what we all strive to attain. He explains that there are more precise attributes, with higher thresholds, that better encapsulates our objectives: kindness, well-being, self-awareness, patience, fulfillment. Most of us conflate ‘happiness’ with these other traits, but they are not the same thing.

This made me think about how ‘happiness’ is valued to the financial independence/retire early (“FIRE”) community. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it’s a movement that seeks to achieve financial independence much earlier than sixty-five.

At its core lies the penchant for freedom. Freedom from the constraints of an unfulfilling job. Freedom from a schedule that we have no control over. Freedom from a boss that bears unrealistic expectations. Freedom to make decisions without financial constraints.

‘Happiness,’ in this context, becomes synonymous with ‘freedom.’ So, are we guaranteed ‘happiness’ once we achieve financial independence? Perhaps. But is that equivalent to love, respect, purpose, well-being and compassion? No.

We could attain financial independence at 40, but find ourselves in the middle of a divorce. Or suffer a debilitating accident and lose important cognitive function. Or experience the sudden death of a loved one. At some point, there is no amount of money that can compensate for the things in our life that simply matter more.

But before we get there: What happens to us in the decades leading up to FIRE?

One, we are unable to truly appreciate the present. The gifts of today, tomorrow and the day after, become overshadowed by our tenacity to reach our ‘perfect future.’ The small, and big, moments of now get moved to the corner, while we fervently hammer out email after email, revise budget after budget, and analyze investment return after investment return.

We start to talk about early retirement to our friends, family, co-workers, and spouses. We become a one-dimensional robot, pruned for a singular goal, unable to connect to others with varied interests and experiences.

What will define our twenties, thirties and forties? Our generation and subsequent hoarding of money. Nothing more.

Second, we subconsciously conflate the importance of money. Suddenly, this one goal becomes our only goal. A sacrifice now brings bounty later. I know what it’s like to forego small pleasures in order for a better financial future. I also know what it’s like to take that to an extreme, which created debilitating anxiety. To consider each purchase, whether it’s a cup of coffee or a much-needed vacation, will always be placed within the context of your FIRE goal.

In striving for financial freedom, we unknowingly allow money to control us now in exchange to be free from its control in the future.

But all we have is now. That early retirement date will, eventually, be now. And we will not be satisfied when now comes knocking at our door until we learn to be full with what we already have.

This is not to suggest that FIRE is an unworthy goal. Everyone can appreciate the idea of financial freedom. But we should be wary about ascribing more meaning to money than we already do. Money can be a useful tool to get to where we want. But it’s only one tool of many.

Alternatively, practicing gratitude and pairing down your wants can relieve some of the stress that builds inside us when we feel we are lacking.

This technique of mindful evaluation is also accessible to everyone. Minimum-wage earners. C-suite executives. Social workers. Auto mechanics. Digital nomads. Regardless of what’s in your bank account, you have the power to make peace with your circumstances (no matter how great or crappy they are).

After all, happiness should not be qualified: Once I’m financially independent, I will be happy. Once my investments reach $800,000, then I can create my own schedule. Once I quit my job, then I can spend more time with my children. This is simply a reincarnation of the grass is greener on the other side perspective, and one that will lead us farther away from our goal: inward satisfaction.

There is another way: appreciating the good and the bad that lies here and now, implementing sustainable habits that’ll lead to an improved future, and deriving meaning from things that can’t be bought. Live for the present, not for some perfect future. Because, really, when it comes down to the wire, now is all that we have. TC mark

Article originally posted by thoughtcatalog.

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The Real Tragedy In Loving Someone Who Cannot Love You Back

People have a habit of wanting things they cannot have. The advertising world calls it aspiration and giving us all something to aspire to. The trouble is, you cannot aspire to other people. Just to yourself. Yet we have all fallen hard and fast for someone who does not love us in return.

It isn’t the fact that they cannot love you. It is the fact that you start presuming you are unlovable. How can, if you have fallen for them this hard, they not feel even an inkling of what you do? Is your passion so easily forgotten? Is your heart not worthy? How can someone see the wholeness, the truth of such a deep love and simply not feel for it at all?

So we cry. We hurt. We beg the universe, we ask what we have done wrong to feel a torment this strong, this tragic, this utterly broken inside ourselves when all we were trying to do was love someone fully and generously. How can the universe have allowed this to happen. How can we allow this to happen to ourselves?

But the reason is this: to learn our own worth. By linking our self worth to the way someone else receives our love, we are causing ourselves more harm than anything. It means we are not sure of who we are.

So this is the universe showing us to have confidence in ourselves in a difficult and painful way. It is telling us to love ourselves even when people we love choose not to love us the same way. It is reminding us that our love will not be wasted if we turn our love onto ourselves and learn to love ourselves the same way we are loving someone who does not love us back.

After all, by giving all your resources of love to someone else who does not care, do you not think all you draining all of your resources of love for yourself? How can you ever give yourself true self love if you are valuing your love only by how it is received by someone else. TC mark

Article originally posted by thoughtcatalog.

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