Win the Long-Game
Do you care about your life?
“The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther
Freedom is a daunting concept for many people. In fact, many of us have “upper-limit” problems when it comes to freedom because we need guardrails in order to be successful. But, instead of realizing we need guardrails, we create limitations instead. In fact, there are three common tools of limitation we all unwittingly employ because we don’t know how to intelligently manage freedom. In other words, we do stupid shit.
Denial creates way more issues than it solves. That’s a no brainer in more ways that one.
Fear driving decisions creates disasters. “If you make decisions in desperate times you get desperate results.”
Stupidity is defined as having the knowledge of what to do in order to be better but refusing that awareness and even worse, not acting on it.
A person has to be willing to be responsible for every decision he or she makes no matter how horrible the outcomes are in order to invite freedom into their lives. This is a skill that has to be cultivated through experience. And experience comes from playing the long-game.
So what are the fundamentals of playing the long game?
In my experience, three things need to happen to combat doing stupid shit.
The first thing is we need more than motivation or goals. We need a compelling vision that creates momentum. This means that our actions and our values line up. If we want to be sexy AF then we join a gym, craft a program that works for the outcomes we want, and do that with consistency so that we are both healthy and sexy.
The second thing the long-game requires is “recycling your pain.” That’s a concept I learned from Eric Thomas who is a top paid motivational speaker. He was once homeless and turned that test into a testimony that became a best selling book. This means that rather than avoid pain, we listen to it. We “lean in” and ask, “What can I learn here?” Then we apply the virtue of tenacity to solving the problem so that we don't’ collapse in the face of adversity; we rise from the ashes.
The third aspect that is required to win the long-game is health. Fuck everything if you are not mentally, physically, and financially healthy. No amount of strategy will matter if you can’t self-direct your health. This is especially true if you have a diagnosis that needs very specific behaviors in order to stave off adverse effects.
Trust that I have interacted with thousands of people who won’t ever live beyond just surviving life. They won’t accomplish greatness. They will die before they ever really live. That’s not who you are. If you hire me as your coach, you are the type of person who will develop the skills to play the long-game and win.
I’m here for that! Reach out.
Text “Long-game” to 303-917-7226.”
I look forward to guiding you to understand the meaning of your life!
Helping Our Helpers
ARE YOU GETTING THE HELP YOU NEED?
What does “self-care” even mean? I’ll tell you what it normally sounds like, “Congratulations, you wiped your own ass, do you want an award?” Or it’s selfies of our feet while we take a bath and post it to show everyone that we are “relaxing.” No we are not, we are not soaking quietly with your phone on silent because the whole time you are soaking, you are like, “I need to do the laundry, check me email, scroll, scroll, what should I eat for dinner, I’m fat, I’m not lovable…..” and to shut that all up we fuck with our phones. And that’s just the ground level. But, there is a special kind of hell that goes along with being a nurse, doctor, lawyer, therapist, coach, civil servant, and “helper”.
That hell entails never being able to fully take care of ourselves on all levels because we run on caffeine and imposter syndrome. Fuck, some of us are fancy and run on Adderalll and Lexapro mixed with spurts of mental health days. The point is that helpers are overworked and under-resourced but somehow because we “know how to help” we should know how to “help ourselves.”
Don’t get me started on the ironies and paradoxes that exist within the “Mental Health” system. Oftentimes, the system is worse than the clients and filled with “half-healed” people who burn themselves out to fund a life they don’t even like. But, “leaving corporate America to live in a van” isn’t the answer. It’s a temporary solution to long-standing issues.
So let’s talk about the solutions.
After ten years helping “hurt people”, I know that the only people I can truly help are the helpers. 98% of the “recovery” community will remain addicts with overdose deaths on the rise. I can’t help that population and remain healthy myself. No one can. I had a supervisor tell me, “You have to be kinda sick to do this job.” Veterans clinics are so overloaded many people slip through the cracks and kill themselves because support couldn’t be accessed. I can’t help them either. One in six women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. Many of them will go on to be sex-workers and continue to be brutalized by men. I can’t break that beast of a cycle. There are a lot of things I can only scratch the surface of: Homelessness, poverty, politics, racism, and homophobia to name a few.
The helpers are the ones who collectively choose to be responsible for the woes of the
The thing about being a helper, is you have to prioritize getting help. You have to actively seek it. You have to feed yourself. And most importantly, we are meant to graduate our roles as helpers because we heal ourselves of the need to fix others. We find different footing that guides us along “less traveled” roads. And I am here to guide you along this long, winding, and at times “fucked up” path.
Reach out and get the help you need!
"I work too much." That is how a gentleman introduced himself when we were going around the table at a network meeting. Contrast that to the "Worship of the Hustle" that teaches us to "out-work" the other guy.
Factually speaking, some jobs are more stressful that others. And all jobs are stressful in that some don't pay well but also don't require intense effort. Other career paths take a decade of dedication in order to obtain a livable salary that results in owning assets. And then there are all the "in-between" or "on the way there" jobs we take that we hate but "pay the bills".
So, in our ever shifting economic climate, is work-life balance circumstantial or can it be intentional?
That depends on how you measure success.
If you care about getting enough sleep, drinking clean water, working out daily, and having meaningful relationships, then what you do for an income won't be conflated with who you are. It may be how other people identify you, but because your identity is not dependent on your work performance, chances are you will naturally invest more of your focus into your life outside the job.
Conversely, if work becomes who you are, then overworking is can seem like a measure of success. Further, senior positions in a company come with a greater sense of responsibility for the well-being of the company; neverminded the sacrifices we make to ensure that.
Rather than parse apart all the nuances involved with the variety of avenues of income, let's focus on what you can do immediately to have work/life balance.
1. Understand balance does not mean equal. It means quality over quantity. The example of this being that if work requires 12 hours of your day and your focus, then you plan how to extend your focus to the other 2-4 hours you will be awake for that day. Most of us want to numb out, and balance in these areas requires a plan.
2. You have a support system such as family, friends, or community groups that hold you accountable for "doing the most" without overdoing it. The best way to fine-tune having work-life balance is to hire a coach that can help you audit your habits so you can be more aware of what is functional for your lifestyle.
3. Have a spiritual practices such as prayer, listening to educational podcasts, or going to a place of worship 1x a week. This will be something that can renew you when you are feeling depleted.
Of course, there are many suggestions about how to be sexy, have a great relationship, and how to make six-figures. But, who cares if that's not what you care about! It's up to you to find the balance in your work-life balance that works for you and not against you.
Let's explore next steps together! Text "Freedom" to 303-917-7226 to schedule a free consultation.
How to Heal
THE MECHANICS OF HEALING OUR PAST (This article is for nerds).
Inflation and national debt are just a few metrics that point to our collective failure to heal our past or achieve a sustainable vision for our future. Why can’t we all just get along and have world peace where nothing goes extinct?
A utopian society is a concept that is in direct contradiction with nature's cycles of creation through destruction. Astronomy has documented explosions and collisions being precursors to galactic creations. Galaxies are thought to begin as small clouds of stars and dust swirling through space. As other clouds get close, gravity sends these objects careening into one another and knits them into larger spinning packs. Subsequent collisions can sling material toward a galaxy’s outskirts, creating extensive spiral arms filled with colonies of stars (Story by Matt Davenport Released on May 13, 2014; reference)
And here we are in our finite natures making decisions that pull on the strings of life in a way that somehow weaves together into the narrative of who we are and what we are doing here; flesh-suits animated by consciousness.
I’m not sure how many strategists, psychiatrists, or life-coaches reference the space-time continuum in regards to framing the presenting issues a client seeks treatment for. “Well Bob, your wife is leaving you because of quantum mechanics interplaying with organic chemistry resulting in neuropsychological reactions.” Bob just wants to think he is a good guy and deserves the love and affection of the person he married.
In a society systematically primed to accept convenience as a measure of well-being, we lose out on the nuanced truth that Bob is an idiot and his bull-shit isn’t good or bad, it’s an inevitable manifestation of gravity pulling stardust together to create micro and macro-ecosystems that manifest as consequences.
Also, fuck Bob. He has a low IQ and is fat, lazy, and stupid. His now ex-wife was also fat, lazy, and an insecure megalomaniac. They are a literal waste of space.
And there are mathematical structures that track the mechanics of why things are the way they are. So, we can’t get along because we are not all on the same wavelength. We have to fight for resources. We, like our primordial ancestors, still practice displays of dominance to mark our territory. We just do it with fancy cars, cash, and beautiful women. Some even use “Virtue signaling” to extract energy from unwitting participants.
We are covering complex concepts. So, let's break it down.
Your life is meaningless. There is no measurable past or future because energy cannot be created or destroyed and yet the infinite universe is expanding. And like the wavelengths of light and sound that our brains translate into patterns, the meaning we make of organic matter will shape what we think matters.
Let’s make it even simpler. Chaos gets translated into order by virtue of our anatomy and physiology. Each system in our body has a mechanical cascade to it that keeps it in balance. For instance too much CO2 in our bloodstream will kill us. So, when we look at a human being through the lens of psychology, to effectively see them, we must also see the science behind what they are before we can understand who they are.
You are nothing. Your body is condensed particles and wavelengths moving together in a complex interaction. Therefore, your soul does not live in your body; you live in your soul.
I offer this perspective so you can get perspective about your life. Certain mathematical equations that are distilled into scientific theory can predict the trajectory of your life. It’s not unique that you dress goth, like the symphony, eat vegan food, or day-trade stocks. The Vanessas, Marks, Ellies, and Chads of the world are destined to live out their algorithmic lives.
But, things get interesting when we invite “healing” into the picture. To do so requires meta awareness. This is where things get supernatural. We become aware of our awareness and move into the territory of the Rosenthal Effect: We see what we expect. In psychology, this is called a self-fulfilling prophecy that can set a person down a path of repeated behaviors and reactions to stimuli. But, now invite a sentient being to examine his or her expectations and the resulting self-fulfilling prophecy. What happens?
By virtue of viewing the pattern we can shift the pattern. By doing so “what” we are can shift into “who” we are. So, the mechanics of healing our past is as simple as being able to see the past as a construct, examine it, and in doing so adapt to a new algorithm.
Everything is happening and nothing is happening. It takes a willingness to co-exist with paradoxical equations in order to access healing. And once you are willing, you will need a guide.
I am that guide. Reach out to gain the perspectives you need to heal and thrive.
Choosing Your Career
Choosing a Career that Funds Your Ideal Lifestyle
At eighteen years of age, High School has been our first exposure to social mechanics, sophisticated learning, and self-discovery. Of course the families we grow up in have enormous influence on the direction our life goes. Economic factors, pressure of legacy, and our own dispositions all have weight when it comes to choosing our career path. And to be successful we must choose our career path early in life. Just like investing, the sooner you get started the better the returns will be.
It’s my belief we should understand what supports the lifestyle that fits our dispositions so that we can choose careers that fund that lifestyle. But, what do we know at age 18? Most of us can’t see beyond the environments we exist in. Kids in the hood have rappers to look up to or sports figures. But, it’s not likely for the millions who survive off welfare to achieve celebrity status. They are few and far between.
Further, children of millionaires or billionaires may have a financial advantage in regards to going to the best schools, getting the best healthy care, and securing high level positions in profitable companies. But, no matter what class we grow up in, what school we go to, or how lucky we are, we all have a price to pay.
Each of us will enter the job market in two different capacities with one thing in common. We will either be employees or we will be business owners. The thing both parties have in common is that we are in service to the masses. Supply and demand fuels the market. Necessity drives innovation. And industries structure the labor required to meet demands and fund innovation.
Simply, by age eighteen a human needs to know what industry they will participate in that will provide an income to support a satisfying lifestyle.
So, what does a satisfying lifestyle consist of?
Many people turn to the “American Dream” as a template for a good life. You grow up, get an education, fall in love, start a family, buy a home, and make enough money to retire by age 55. Seems simple enough. But, a good education costs money. Some children graduate middle school not knowing how to read or write beyond a 4th grade level. So, all the factors that compound to create that lack of foundation determines that kid will only be able to survive by being an employee. So our government funded schools are churning out “the workforce”.
It’s my position that life and relationships have algorithms to them. Some interactions are so predictable they are like basic arithmetic. But, most of life is a bit more dynamic so I like to refer to it as algebraic. The point being, we wake up each day with problems to solve for that day. We have to feed and water ourselves with clean water and nutritious food. Many people can’t even do this; not because of some fatal flaw, but because of the geography they live in. There is no access to clean water or nutritious food otherwise known as “food deserts”. There is little to no chance of thriving in these environments because these barren socioeconomic deserts do not support growing up.
We have now shifted from examining how to choose a successful lifestyle to talking about the foundation required to do so; we must be able to “grow up.” This does not mean we graduate from being Peter Pan into Captain Hook. It means we must create the conditions that support growth and upward mobility. Subtract the genetic anomalies that manifest in individuals as retardation or learning disabilities and then how much of the general population remains?
In 1993, an estimated 1.5 million persons aged 6-64 years in the United States had MR, and the overall rate of MR was 7.6 cases per 1000 population. State-specific rates varied approximately fivefold (range: 3.0 in Alaska to 16.9 in West Virginia) (Table_1). The 10 states with the highest overall rates of MR were contiguous and located in the East South Central (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee), South Atlantic (West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina), West South Central (Arkansas and Louisiana), and East North Central (Ohio) regions. The states with the lowest rates were in the Pacific and Mountain regions. (accessed 6/18/22: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00040023.htm)
You can already see the pressures mounting in regards to choosing a career path that funds an ideal lifestyle. We could spend quite a bit of time reviewing barriers because there are a multitude of them on every level of existence: mental, emotional, cultural, and economic. So, let’s return to the “American Dream” as the template for an ideal lifestyle.
We grow up with the resources that support our maturation and strengthen our ability to learn. Every career has a life-cycle to it. An 18 year old needs to understand that pursuing further education is best if they plan to earn a PhD or specific licensure. We need to participate in compound learning to the degree we become experts in that field. Falling short of doing so makes us less viable in the market.
Fundamentally, we rely heavily on two factors for success: education and relationships. And so many things can “go wrong” in relationships. I’ve made a career out of finding solutions to absolve all the pain that can come from dysfunctional relational patterns. Again, we’ll be here a long time if we explore that. Rather, let’s say the 18 year old has been able to grow up and get an education that results in having a skill set that meets market demands. That 18 year old still has the hurdle of meeting the love of their life, deciding to have a family, and engaging in wealth building, which buying a home or property is a part of.
The passageway of “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” weaves into the fabric of choosing a career that funds an ideal lifestyle. There are few forces in life that can outperform nepotism. One of those forces is collaboration. We are dead in the water without the participation of others or acquiring involvement from corporate institutions. We are totally fucked if we can’t organize our life to create a balance between skill building and relational collaborations.
So, after we sift through all of this, how exactly do you choose a career that funds your ideal lifestyle? We take into account the pressures of growing up and make course corrections. The ONLY way to do this is to have a mentor, therapist, or solution focused coach to help you make those corrections. Otherwise, dysfunctional patterns and survival strategies crystalize into maladaptive behaviors and disease. Catch it early, practice healthy behaviors often.
In concert with having a mentor that teaches nuanced skills that aid in adaptation, we also need to have a sense of who we are. Personality tests like the gene keys, enneagram, or human design can help us better engage with our strengths and weaknesses. Next, we need to research the requirements of the industry we want to participate in. How do we get to the top of that industry? The majority of us will have to begin at an “entry level position”. Many of us will settle for mid-level management.
It’s rare for an 18 year old to have managerial skills unless they started working at 15. The American Military Industrial Complex is a good template for the path to success. We must gain a higher rank. We must understand market demands and provide a service that is valued in our cultural and economic ecosystems. Money is a measure of success. But funding the lifestyle that is right for you is the measure of success.
There are anomalies to this path. We worship the “got famous” or “rich quick” amongst us. We have made billionaires deities. But, the deciding factor on your life is you. Have you chosen to be the best in your field of work? Are you enamored with pleasure or are you invested in personal growth? Are you willing to further your education until you become an expert in your chosen area of study? What matters to you most?
If you didn’t stick the landing at choosing a career path at age 18 and are still struggling to live the “American Dream” in a way that makes sense to you, I invite you to work with me. Together, we will create a map for the years ahead and repair the dysfunction from the years prior. For every problem you face, freedom is the solution. Book your free consultation now.
Imagination is My Friend
Imagination is My Friend.
There it is again. That old crusty bastard I know as desperation. I’m being visited by this energy more frequently as summer slips into fall. Instinctively, my body knows that it wants to be held as the chaos of summer’s frenetic cadence gets traded out for the predictable rituals of children going back to school, Autumn leaves turning warm hues of golden orange and vibrant reds, and pumpkin-spice lattes get reintroduced to a massive fan base of “basic bitches”.
I want a boyfriend.
If I stitched together the 10 “guy friends” I have in my periphery then I’d probably have the perfect man. But, they are all fragmented both in geography and in what forces dominate their personalities. And I’m fond of all of them for different reasons. I’m sure they are fond of me. But, that old crusty bastard I know as desperation reminds me that fondness has not resulted in having a boyfriend that wakes up next to me and greets me with morning sex and commitment.
Actually, I want a husband.
And this is when that old crusty bastard (OCB) I know as desperation really gets under my skin, scratches at my nerves, and plunges me into despair. I’m certain despair and desperation spend the night plotting how they can hijack any good-will I have towards life or men. I’ve found the only way I can muster up any courage to face these hounds is to turn drinking coffee into a ritual. It provides a small reprieve and activates my “reward” systems just enough that I can muster a rebuttal to the relentless assault that OCB and despair hurl at me.
In some ways, these cohorts of distress and me are like an old married couple. We know what the other is going to say.
Oh, I forgot to mention desire. Desire is fickle and tends to be the duplicitous member of the bunch because she teases us all with the idea something good could happen and the notion that it’s not. Bitch.
Just imagine your eyes flickering open in the morning only to see your bed surrounded by familiar assassins who have made you their target and you have the time it takes to make coffee to negotiate with them so that you can live another day. Then desire starts to swing open the double doors of my subconscious like letting frantic doves out of a cage and those awarnesses fly into the meaning making space of my mind, get examined for evidence, only to arrive at the fact that I am fucking single, horny, alone, sad, desperate, dispondant, and no one is here to fuck me open to god--a saying coined by one of my mentors David Deida.
The only solution I can think of is to “find the one.”
Have I mentioned logic yet? She is stoic and examines any solutions I give like a schoolmarm. Further, she slaps a ruler in her hand and looks at OCB, despair, and bunch of bullies in the room, turns her back to them and writes on the chalkboard, “Men ain’t shit.” Logic is also from the inner-city and feels slighted that although she is brilliant, her primary function is babysitting all of my emotions.
All of this transpires within the first hour of the day. If I have something to do that day that requires my focus, this still plays out behind the closed doors of my subconscious.
It would be nice to have someone to talk to who wants to listen. It would be nice to have a partner to pay the bills, go on trips, and navigate the intricacies of life with.
I’m certain, every single person feels this way at some point. They wake up and are too tired from being assaulted by their emotions to masturbate them away. Single touch isn’t the same as being touched by a partner. It doesn’t compare. But, then you have to be mindful of who the fuck is touching you and why.
There needs to be a quality control aspect of dating. I swear to god I need an emotional TSA guard to screen all baggage before I get on board that dick!
I hear the squeaking of chalk as logic underlines, “Men ain’t shit!” And the reason that statement rings true is that somehow trauma and grief got hired on as my TSA agents. They were blind and deaf and were like, “Let him through.” All of those relationships self-destructed in three months or less.
By the time the second hour of the day has passed I’m digging through my “medicine kit.” I’m listening to Ram Das spout some shit about our egos, our karma, and how we are all love. But, I don’t feel that way. I feel lonely as fuck. I feel frozen in my chair sipping lukewarm coffee, and participating in imaginative scenarios where I’m skinny, rich, and somehow impervious to the desire for companionship.
Entering hour three of my day, I’ve probably considered working out but have been too capsized by this emotional onslot to actually move my body in a constructive way. So, then I move into the frantic rhythm of “getting my business off the ground (for the 1000th time)”. I think about all the ways that I can reach people, all the formats I could use to make a difference, and somehow this quasi-benevolent state shuts up OCB.
But, then the fraud department comes bursting in by the time I’m socializing with others. “Scan the content of her statements for validity.” Humor normally keeps them at bay.
And now I really want a husband. I want a fuck’n dad. I want my mom and dad back. I need someone to protect me. I need someone to defend me. I need so much support.
All the layers have been stripped down by one in the afternoon and my inner child is exposed. She is very very upset. Her stomach is grumbling because I forgot to eat anything substantial since all my energy was being poured into survival strategies. She has no structure to grab onto since we are still figuring out how to make it in this world without parents to guide us and money to pay for substitute parents like doctors, therapists, and healers.
We eat together in silence, defeated and aware we should probably know what’s for dinner.
Desire never let up.
The afternoon is turning into evening and she wants to be hanging out with our husband. She wants company. She wants sex. She wants to be praised for what a good job she did. She wants to make dinner and have him do the dishes. She wants, wants, wants.
I’m exhausted at this point.
Sometimes my imagination will try to soothe me. “He’s out there”. She’s been a really good friend all these years. And she’s had her ass kicked by loneliness. I’d say she’s the most resilient partner I have in all of this mess. In return for her kindness, I grab a book or watch a movie so we can escape into a place where desire can’t find us and desperation will retire for the night.
I imagine that as I drift off to sleep imagination sorts through my hopes and dreams to prepare for the inevitable attack that will begin again around 7am. As she sifts through fractured parts of my identity, lessons from grief and loss, the brilliant performances I give as a counselor, and as she digs deep into the treasure trove of my lifetimes as a witch, I dream. I’m removed from the world and she is busy making sure that the world I wake up to will be filled with all the things I’ve not yet been able to experience.
*If this resonated with you and you want help managing your emotions, reach out to me at
303-917-7226. Text "Freedom" to that number and I will get back to you ASAP.
Pricing Freedom: Your path forward.
I have a responsibility to my clients. I owe them quality care, transparency, and exceptional guidance. And I have an even bigger responsibility to my craft. Psychology is a multidisciplinary study that includes aspects of biology, philosophy, world religion, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and clinical literacy. Further, psychology has been legislated meaning it has national regulatory boards that qualify practitioners because it is a branch of the medical field.
Millions of hours of research has gone into the theories students of psychology commit to memory. We learn about various aspects of psychology that date back to the early 1900’s and all the successive theories that were born over the last 100 years. Then we go on to learn when, how, and to whom we apply those theories. But, those are only the basics.
For those of us who go on to get our masters in counseling psychology, we explore the interplay of the mind and body that are represented by a variety of behaviors. Those behaviors have been studied and placed into a complex taxonomy that is known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The symptomatology of a particular disorder is listed and coded with a specific number in The DSM-5. So, a clinical psychologist uses that book to diagnose their clients and apply a modality to “treat” the client.
Again, we are just touching on the surface of what it takes to step into the role of a professional counselor because beyond the general areas of study, there are counselors that choose to specialize in a particular area of psychology such as early childhood behavior, adult development, sexual assault, war veterans, and personality disorders (just to name a few).
So, all of that adds up to about 7 years of a person’s life between undergrad and graduate schooling. Then that graduate goes on to practice in the field for 2 years under supervision as well as takes state and national boards to get a licensure (that just means they retained the information that was on the test and they gained 2000-3000 hours of experience in mental health.)
But, none of that qualifies someone to be a good counselor or therapist. It doesn’t guarantee a person will develop empathy and one’s ability to self-reflect and do their own work. In fact, most counselors are burnt out because they get paid low wages for difficult work, get bogged down in paperwork, and get caught up in insurance company drama.
Most agencies pay counselors around $36,000 and take a percentage of that to supplement that practitioner's benefits.
So a person who is working with people coming off of heroin, who have been raped, who have been abused, who have been trafficked and exploited gets paid a poverty wage with sub-par insurance that has a high deductible
So, think about that. A person spends 10 years of their life building towards a career that pays them not enough to have a comfortable lifestyle. So, the other option is that person goes into private practice and builds a 6 figure business.
But, most of us graduate with 70k in student loans. So now, we have to get our own insurance, we have to pay rent for an office, we need a website and a marketing team to get the word out, we pay to be on list-servers, and we fight like hell to stand out from all the other psychologists that are “here to help”. So, we take side jobs, full-time jobs, and stretch ourselves thin. We risk our mental health to work in mental health.
Some counselors do cocaine to deal. Others hide their addictions. Some of us are jaded and cause more harm than good to the unassuming people who think they got a bargain by using their insurance to hire us for help.
This brings me to why, while I have an extensive background in counseling psychology, biology, and philosophy, and world religions in addition to 10 years experienced with functional medicine, I work as a coach and charge around $300 per 90-minute session. I could get really angry at people who think $300 is a lot of money. But, I don’t fault them. As a middle-class we have been programmed to “look for bargains” and live a bargain basement lifestyle in the process. Even now I’m tempted to justify my prices. But, the reality is that I’m 20 years into my career as a counselor turned coach.
Nothing needs to be justified.
Rather, the perspective shift that needs to happen is asking oneself, “Am I willing to do what it takes to have the lifestyle I want?”
Freedom is something we all want. We want financial freedom. We want personal freedom. We want freedom to express ourselves. We want sexual freedom. We want all aspects of freedom like peace of mind, focus, accomplishment, and much much more. But, most people go to counseling to “fix” a problem like infidelity, heart-break, or a mental health issue. Very few seek to learn the path of freedom; meaning they stop at fixing the problem and never focus on having the lifestyle they want, which is a life of freedom.
If you have read this far, chances are you don’t care about what goes into a person being able to help you and guide you. Very few people actually study the mechanics of a car before buying it. They just want the fucker to run and not cost too much.
But, then there are real car-heads, like myself, who geek out over the aesthetic of the car, the engine, and the origin of the car. So, if you are a person who cares about getting quality care, dare I say luxury care, top-tier, best in the world...you get the idea, then it costs $1500 for 5 sessions to be given the roadmap to living a life of freedom.
Not convinced? Then go to PsychologyToday.com and work with someone else. Otherwise, book your free consultation and LET’S DO THIS!
COPING WITH SUICIDE
Bringing Peace to Your Life: Coping with suicide
Suicide is a serious topic. Death is not. Death is something we are all going to experience. According to thermodynamics and the stuff Einstein postulated we are just going to change the form of energy we are in; from tangible to intangible.
Speaking of energy, I’m really tired today. I’m the kind of tired that happens when the caffeine wears off and about 6 months of stress starts to set in. Sometimes I like to call this tailspin tired, because my self-care goes to shit. The time I do spend in bed I feel guilty for because I could be doing something that is advancing my mission of making six-figures and be a global leader. I have to fake caring about humans when I’m this tired.
And that’s pretty much what adulthood is, you are tired and a puppet to various substances to control your mood. Further, as an adult you are tired because the bliss of ignorance and wonderment that came as a buffer to the outerworld in childhood has totally worn off. In fact, many of us are in therapy to deal with the shocking awareness that our childhood was full of abusive or neglectful authority figures.
That’s just the baseline of what we have to negotiate in adulthood. Then add onto it the fact we don’t die in our thirties due to plague anymore. Some of us live into our 80’s. Eighty years of life is long and redundant. And within that timespan some of us start families. Families! The nerve.
Families are like a petri dish for dysfunction. Yet, every day, someone gets pregnant and then attempts to impart sub-par survival skills to their offspring. Then those children grow up and commit suicide; sometimes as young as 8 years old.
There is no one reason why a person takes their own life. However, thematically speaking, despondency or disillusionment are often the underpinning energies that justify the act. It’s a right we are all given once we develop into a place of metacognition--being aware of ourselves. We, at any moment, can bring a halt to our bodies aliveness and choose to die.
Some people get really up in arms about suicide and deem it a sin. I feel neutral about it. In fact, I consider killing myself about once a month for various reasons--mostly because my vision for a better future becomes marred with images of destitution. Sometimes I will feel suicidal because I have to do laundry--again. Other times I will want off this planet because the gap between what I want and getting it seems insurmountable. And then there are those moments where I’ve completely depleted myself by trying to give others what I need in an attempt to experience reciprocity. That cycle is a real black hole.
Thinking about ending your life is natural; even philosophical. However, as a species it seems we share a collective understanding that bringing an intentional end to one’s life violates the laws of nature. We are supposed to let disease take us instead or some other random act of violence that eviscerates us from the face of the planet will be the thing that ends us.
The real intellectual quandary is that sorrow and anger always seems be the experience of those who are in the line of suicide; meaning they are the ones who lost a loved one that died on purpose.
So now, imagine, an adult with all the adult pressures being compounded by the unbearable pain of sorrow and anger. Their mind has to do some form of acrobatics to rectify the injustice that they must go on living while their loved one has simply chosen to exit life. This process of rectification often is experienced as guilt echoed in the phrase, “If only I would have known, I could have done something.”
It’s rare you can convince a person to do anything once they have committed their mind towards something. In this case, most people feel great relief once they have chosen to “end things”. But, then there are those individuals who don’t want to die. They want the experience of death without bringing an end to the life in their body.
Addiction is a type of ambivalent suicide. And I only bring this up to say there are degrees to which we begin to die before we start to truly live. The erosion of the soul happens to be the path to such a life.
So how do we bring peace to our lives in the face of such difficulties?
We let things die like old worn out attachments. We reconcile past hurts. We actively participate in forgiveness. We fully participate in the grief process. We devote ourselves to spiritual practice that reinforces non-judgement. There are so many things that activate peace in our lives. But, for the sake of this conversation let’s elaborate on the items I just listed.
Let Attachments Die
Nature is full of cycles and rhythms. We are not meant to stay children forever. We are not supposed to cling to our youth. Rather, we continue to grow and evolve. But the “stuckness” every life-coach on the face of the earth is working to solve comes from an adaptation to feeling comfortable in “what we know.” The distillation of Buddhist teachings refers to this as grasping. We hold tightly to ideas in a way that defines our limitations. Then we begin to romanticize those limitations as wishes that are on the precipice of being realized if we just give them a little more of our time and life-force energy.
That is the natural way of things. We all must experience seasons of our lives and relationships. We all must embrace winter as a time of internal reflection and spring as a time to weed the garden. So, the first step of bringing peace to your life, especially when if you are in the line of suicide, is to experience it as a season of your life that carries the promise of transformation in it.
Reconcile Past Hurts.
When we focus more on what we gained more than what we lost, reconciliation can begin. I mean, that sentence would make a good meme. But, the reality is we want to lose weight, gain friends, lose pain, and gain pleasure. So loss and gain are relative. So are the things that hurt us because sure as night follows day, when we endeavor to understand why we hurt we not only heal, we become more skilled at existence. We become more nimble and less encumbered by seeking justice for wrongs. Instead, when we reconcile past hurts, it is often through the mechanism of realizing that we have been the recipient of hurt as well as the perpetrator of it. The score card gets thrown away in favor of offering ourselves and others grace.
And when suicide is the source of hurt, it can be reconciled through compassion and recognition that just as there are many ways to live so to are there many ways to die.
Participate in Forgiveness
Forgiveness, like love, is a verb. The essence of it is acceptance that the past is unchangeable but the relationship we have with the past is malleable. In fact, beyond forgiveness is blessing all that was, is, and will be. For all things can be transformed into good.
Devote Ourselves to a Spiritual Process
There is an element of life that defies logic and spirituality resides there. My sense of having a spiritual practice is engaging in being defined by no-thing. There are different pathways such as prayer or meditation that facilitate that experience. But, it has to be intentional. And when we allow ourselves to melt into the universe, some part of us can feel a connection with those that end their lives. We can offer them sacred space within our practice.
Peace is not a static state. Like all of life it ebbs and flows like the tides. Bringing peace to our lives is an active practice. It requires attention and intention. There’s so much more I can say, but I’m tired.
But what I will close this article with is that it’s up to you to live your life above the noise of pressure. It’s up to you to gain the skills to bring peace to your life. It’s up to you to practice forgiveness. And it’s up to you to not let the suicide of someone you love also take your life.
I'M HERE TO HELP YOU.
What is Grief?
"Grief does not cause pain, it clears it."
When my clients choose to work with me, they step over the first threshold that has all of us in its grips--survival. Finances cause many of us undo stresses. We worry about our bills being paid, if our jobs are a waste of our time, and we long for wealth, abundance, and prosperity as the keys to freedom.
Of course, there are other aspects of life that bring us grief such as divorce, the loss of a loved one or pet, and feeling like we don't belong on earth. Financial stress and the stress that arises after we experience a loss have one thing in common and that is that both of them trigger our survival instincts. We loose sight of what matters and spiral out of control.
Some people start drinking more to numb the pain. Others double down on their dysfunctional habits. Most of us cling to the painful past because it's familiar an a little less frightening than the unknown future.
What we don't realize is that the process of grief is our ally and not our enemy. It helps us remove what no longer serves us. It loosens our worn out attachments. It helps us reflect on how we are living our lives and how we want to be living our lives.
My parents have been dead for half of my life. And honestly, after all this time, I'm glad they died legends in their 50's. They didn't die while living and leave me to care for rotting bodies with tempestuous souls. In fact, as time has passed, their death has taught me to live. But, I've had to grieve first.
I gave my 30's to the grief process. At first I tried to escape it as most of us do. I drank a little, then I immersed myself in my Masters program, and then I tried to date someone who was more of a poison than medicine. Grief has also healed that relationship because after 7 years apart from one another and me using our breakup to fuel me becoming the author of Breakup Rehab, we reunited as comrades. He spent the night with me. We made out. He let me know what I taught him. And the cycle completed with a sense of fondness between us.
In fact, grief is a cycle as well as a process. The gift of grief is that it results in acceptance, which is synonymous with forgiveness. We let ourselves have the experience of life without judging it. And in time, we begin to notice that grief is a visitor that comes to clean up our lives. It is there to clear the clutter and create fresh soil for new dreams to germinate and blossom.
However, when we are in pain, the chances of us fully processing our grief are slim. That is why you hire me. You hire someone who has walked the path, knows the tools, and can teach you exactly what you need so that you can experience the freedom on the other side of grief.
I offer my clients a very specific and tailored education. Henceforth, I require a tuition fee of $9000/6 month or $1500/month to be your professor and impart all the knowledge and wisdom required to live a happy and healthy life.
It's the best money you will ever spend because you will be getting an education on embracing freedom and living the life you want to live before you die!
We all want to feel "good". So why does feeling lonely feel so "bad"? Let's walk through the sequence of events that results in the feeling of being lonely.
Loneliness is rooted in us facing ourselves. We are searching for something permanent; some reassurance that our life is valid. And our self-concept is derived from our interactions with others. We require reflection to determine if our life is indeed valid. So, when we experience loneliness we are facing impermanence. We are staring into the void.
The vastness of our souls as connected to infinite time and space are juxtaposition to the mortal body we inhabit. In fact, many of us choose to live between worlds by using substances that numb our bodies. We are attempting to make the limitations of the flesh diffuse. So, we smoke, drink, and manipulate our nervous system with food and drugs. Our orgasms often ride the edges of trading bliss for injury. That is to say, we give of our life force in order to feel vital. It's the great paradox.
So, loneliness is a symptom of an existential awakening. It's aches.
And if we place ourselves in the witness seat, we observe our impulses, we will become aware of how we react to pain. Most of us will attempt to fill the void. To this point, I witnessed myself binge watching a TV show called "Affair". And I was watching it as a form of socialization. It was the closest to "touch" that I could muster.
And loneliness comes in many forms. It shows up when we are single as the lack of touch. It shows up as resentment when we are married but with a partner who is blinded by their self-preservation. It presents as self-abandonment or rejection when we expect more from ourselves than our lives than we have invested. In other words, we feel like losers because we are not "getting the results" we want. But, this preoccupation with outcomes often results in repeating the process over and over. We become encapsulated by our disassociations and become identified with the narrative that "I'm the only one lost inside my life." This hurts so we make ourselves busy and further reinforce the existential split from creation.
Now is where I tell you how to face loneliness.
You must create. You must dance. You must paint. You must write. You must participate in the vital production of art. You must create more than you consume. Because creative energy always replenishes the person doing the creating. It is how we reconcile the void. It's how we make sense of life.
And on a practical note, people who use drug to try to escape life have failed themselves. They become consumed by the void and treat loneliness as an enemy instead of an ally. When you intend on living life to the fullest, then you divorce these zombies. And if you catch yourself becoming a zombie, then you snap out of it through movement.
Loneliness is awareness of your existence. If you deny this awareness, you deny your life. You invalidate your existence.
So, the next time the ache of loneliness rises inside of your body, create. Don't reach for you lover. Don't drink alcohol. Don't get lost in nostalgia.
Instead, be with yourself. Sit inside the vastness of your pure potential. Stay there until you feel and understand that the essence of life is love. Love is infinite. It is a wellspring. Breath.
You will die. Rest in this fact.
Loneliness is asking you to make a deeper commitment to your life.
Face it. And smile.
If you need guidance to alchemize pain, please reach out to me. I'm one of a few people on this planet that can help you embrace freedom now.
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I'll do my best to write about real world issues that stress us out and provide solutions to manage life successfully.