Good Debt Vs Bad Debt; Good Pain vs Bad Pain

A couple of weeks back, I edited an article that explained Good Debt vs Bad Debt.

The main point I took from it was that bed debt offers no return, while good debt increases in value over time. Sure, you have an epic new wardrobe sponsored by MasterCard, but you're not going to be getting anything back from that. Shares, bonds and houses were examples of "good debt."

Since I'm an artist, I naturally find a way to relate everything I read to life itself.

I often find myself pondering if *said task I'm scared to do* is scary because I know I will grow, or scary because I know I shouldn't do it.

The good debt/bad debt philosophy works a treat, I realised.

Will it bring you a return on your investment?

If you say the thing you're worried about saying, will your relationship with that person improve?

If you dive into that freezing cold water, will you build your resilience and courage?

If you break up with this person, will you be better off or worse?

 

Looking objectively, and from a future vantage point, ask if you will receive any benefit from either course of action, and always choose the one that expands you.

All my love <3

Arrived, Not Arriving

The past 6 months… A transition from arriving, to arrived.

Over the past 6 months, I’ve been focusing on three main qualities to embody: integrity, patience and feeling.

It all started in March of this year, when I set off to the US and Canada to attend a 2 week spoken word residency at Banff Centre. This turned out to be hugely expansive experience for my art. Witnessing the standard I’d need to reach in order to do this professionally was exactly the motivation I needed to continue working on the craft when I got back.

 All of us at Banff Centre after our show :)

All of us at Banff Centre after our show :)

However, as I’ve learnt in the past 6 months, motivation is a fickle asshole and it will disappear quickly. A lot of self help books will say you need “determination,” however I’ve realised that I don’t like this word as it implies a hardheaded, stubborn approach. Instead, what I have been cultivating more and more these days is integrity.

integrity

ɪnˈtɛɡrɪti/

noun

  1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

“The quality of being honest…”

This resonates with me so deeply. Now, when I say I am going to do something, I follow through simply because I said I would.

I was never like this. I would have big bursts of “I’m gonna exercise and get fit and never eat sugar again!” Then after the excitement wore off, I was back to old habits quickly. Drastic life changes like this barely work, and since I valued staying true to my word, I started setting smaller goals that I knew I could achieve. I did this in order to continuously prove to myself that I always do what I say I will.

Instead of saying “I’m going to play piano for 2 hours everyday,” I would say to myself “10 minutes of piano for the next 7 days.” 10 minutes is not a long time, and I’d often find myself staying for longer since I was already at the piano.

Now, I can say with certainty that if I said I’d do it, it will get done. The most important places I’ve seen the benefits of this aren’t really in the day to day tasks that I achieve, but more in how I feel. Living with integrity allows you to experience greater self love and confidence because you feel goddamn proud of yourself... Imagine waking up, looking at yourself in the mirror and just fucking smiling so big because you know you’re living how you want to. This is my life right now, and I’m so intensely grateful I can’t even comprehend.

The next quality I have been cultivating in droves over the last 6 months is patience.

patience

ˈpeɪʃ(ə)ns/

noun

  1. the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

The part of utmost importance here is the “without becoming annoyed or anxious.”

When you have big dreams, it is sometimes easy to think… “why isn’t everything I want here right now?!”

I used to hate that my singing voice wasn’t where I wanted it to be, or that 3 days of exercise in a row didn’t make me fit, or that staying in time with a beat is a difficult thing at first.

These days, I know that I have everything I need in this moment, and I am so happy and content with it. I’ve relinquished my need to control my world through manifestation (which is a big trap of spirituality), and I just work on feeling good about what’s in my current environment.

There are still some things that I want in the future that aren’t in my experience right now, but I am 100% okay with that. Can you imagine having every meal you’re ever going to eat for the rest of your life in front of you in this moment? It would be good for 2 seconds then you’d be overwhelmed and stressed about what you’re gonna eat for the rest of your life…

This is why combining integrity with patience has been alchemy for my wellbeing. I set small tasks for myself that I know will improve my life skills gradually, and trust that there will be some point in the future where the reward will be huge. Everything isn’t going to fall into place, nor is it falling into place, but every time you ask for something, is instantly placed somewhere downstream, and you just gotta follow your good feelings (aka just stay in the water and don’t hold onto anything) towards it.

20170812-DSC_8528.jpg

The last element of my life that has been coming into shape is simply … feeling.

feeling

ˈfiːlɪŋ/

noun

  1. an emotional state or reaction.

In the past month, I’ve finished listening to an amazing book called “The Astonishing Power of Emotions.” This book has provided me with a magical framework for how to live my life by using feelings as my guide (look, I know it sounds like hippy bullshit, I’m well aware of this, but its working for me so I’m rolling with it).

We live in a vibrational universe. Einstein's theory of relativity states that “every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” In the book I’ve just finished, this concept is reframed as  “that which is of a similar likeness will be attracted unto itself.”

You attract what you are (not what you think, but what you are). And you can translate what you are into how you feel. This is why, for the last month or so, I have been working on feeling as good as I can in each moment, and following thoughts that lead me to relief. If I constantly feel like I need to be healed, or I am carrying around baggage, or no one appreciates my work, then I will draw to myself situations that are of that likeness. If I, however, focus on thinking thoughts that give me a good feeling, then I continually have that reflected in my world (I’ve just summed up an 8 hour long audiobook in a paragraph, I hope the idea comes across).

This is where the title of this piece comes in. Arrived, not arriving. I am not looking for some future date to be the person I know I am. I’m here already. I am already living to my fullest potential, taking actions that I know my best self takes, and living AS the person I AM, not living in perpetual waiting for the person I want to be. Do you see the difference there?

That's the past 6 months for me. Shout out to all the people who continuously support me (Race You to Greatness crew, Rhys and Nery, Eva and Georiga and God Queen Tribe), and also to the new ones that I’ve met along the way (Banff Centre I love you!)

I’ll be doing a blog post here once a week from now on, so looking forward to communicating with you all :)

All my love,

Nars