5 Essential Ideas for Letting Things Go.

Letting go is not always an easy thing to do. Sometimes it’s the most painful thing we have to do, that is also necessary.

But what is it to let go, and how can we make this process easier on ourselves. Well, that is exactly what we are going to look into this article.

Letting Things Go?

To need to let go, obviously implies that we are holding onto something. There is an aspect of life, whether real or in our minds that we are trying to keep alive, and it is causing difficulty. If it wasn’t causing difficulty, then why give it up?

I find that letting go, is an action as well as a feeling. When holding onto something that isn’t right, it doesn’t feel good. Stress builds up, as well as mental-emotional disorientation.

But when we can finally shake loose from the experience, there is finally the possibility to find the feeling of freedom.

Letting go is something that only we can do for ourselves. Only by releasing our personal emotional attachment, can we free the energy our impulses have been pumping into it.

The things the Might Need to be Let go.

Us human beings are creatures that are very similar to one another. Though we may not be similar in the aspects of life which we need to let go. But rest assured, there are many things that each of us would do well to release. Some of those may be releasing themselves for our grasp as we speak.

To adapt and grow in this world, we need to find a connection. That could be a connection to others, to ourselves, to belief systems, to hobbies, to animals, to whatever. When we find a connection it provides stability, it allows us to find a place in this world we live in.

Maybe for a while these aspects of life we have found connection with, work well for us. But oftentimes their usefulness or presence fades, and we are forced to make a decision. To let them be in our lives, or let them go. Allowing ourselves to move on with our lives or deal with the consequences of holding onto what is now a fantasy, for too long.

What is needed to be released might be certain worrisome thoughts, certain opportunities, certain relationships, certain expectations, certain past times, certain areas that provided us with the feeling of sanity and protection amongst many other things.

It can be extremely difficult to let things go, but we can make it easier by having ways to work through this process.

Ways to Work Through the Process of Letting Things Go.

Life continues to move on, whether we like it or not. There is much to lose over the span of a lifetime. But holding onto what doesn’t work anymore, holds ourselves back from the beauty of this fluidly moving world.

The first step we need to take in letting things go is to stop engaging the thing that we must lose or have already lost.

1. Stop Engaging what Needs to go.

To stop engaging the things we are letting of means letting go on multiple levels. On the levels of physical interaction, mental interaction, and emotional interaction.

To physically stop involving ourselves with a person, a place, a thing, or an activity is, of course, an incredibly important step. By continuing to physically engage what needs to go, emotions that need processing, continue to be revved up.

Though when discontinuing contact, our mental-emotional worlds will still certainly need attention. Even if we can keep ourselves away physically, our thoughts, memories, and emotions will continue to remind us of what we think we are missing.

The more we allow these thoughts and emotions to pass, the more these impulses can begin interacting with new areas to grow. Instead of once again getting hooked into the strong “need” to reacquaint with the old.

2. Letting Go of Hope.

When focused on aspects of life that are good for us, hope is a tremendously beautiful, visionary, and important state of mind. It gives us reasons to keep working, even though we can’t yet see the results

But when hope is linked in with unworkable scenarios, the beauty of hope mutates into a potentially dark and delusional state.

Grieving is an essential piece of letting go. Especially if what we are having to send off into the sunset is deeply important to us. For grief to do its important work, we must give up hope for what getting back what is lost. But must also develop hope that our situation will once again get better.

Letting Things Go
Photo by Matt Lamers on Unsplash
3. Find New Areas to Place our Energies.

There is a great deal of energy left over when leaving unworkable situations behind. The more attached and committed we were to the relationship, the more energy that will be begging to be used.

This energy needs new homes, new things to do. Maybe that is getting back in touch with relationships and hobbies that have always been around. It also might be about embarking on entirely new journeys, with new hobbies and relationships.

It may be very difficult to want to do new things with energy that used to be dedicated to someone or something else. All of that energy could easily turn into a depressive state.

Whether it is easy for you to move on from what is being lost or not, staying active with healthy activities and people we help the process of letting things go, immensely.

4. Stay Focused on the Beauty of the Present.

When letting things go, it can be easy to get caught in regret and resentment. And why wouldn’t that be the case?

Time, energy, and effort were all given, and for some reason, in the end, it all didn’t work out. Don’t get me wrong, letting things go can flat out suck.

But even when going through the emotions of letting go, the world around us is full of life, beauty, and great possibilities. In times where I am needing to move on, I often remind myself that this present moment is perfect as it is. This reminder can help me realize that just because I am hurting, there is good all around me.

Giving some effort to being grateful for the present moment, life, relationships, health and anything else I can think of, is a worthwhile effort.

5. Look at the Loss with a Growth Mentality.

When having to let go, it can be easy to feel like time as entirely been wasted. Perhaps from time to time, we wind up spending too much time in a go-nowhere situation. But I assure you that the efforts can and at all costs should be learned from.

A long-time friend often says that we need to have the experience, learn the lesson, gain the wisdom, and do the next thing that is right for our own lives.

It is pointless in getting locked into anger, self-pity, regret, and resentment for what didn’t work. Every situation in our lives, whether it worked out or not, will teach us valuable lessons, if we remain teachable.

It is important to learn these lessons so that we don’t have to repeat them. Then we can better use our energy in the future, making new mistakes, and stumbling our way into success.

Getting on with Life.

Whether you are having trouble letting go of something, someone, some experience, or not, getting on with life is a good motto.

If you are having trouble, I feel you. In the worst cases like coping with death and long term relationship breakups, it can feel like life is all ending. There is always more to our stories though.

Pain in the short term will be alleviated by taking care of ourselves over the long-term. Life is short, so spending as little time as possible letting go is ideal. Just because life moves on, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it. In fact, I think that gives all the more reason to enjoy it! Don’t you?

Letting Things Go
Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash
That is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We sincerely wish you amazing success in letting go of people, places and experiences that no longer work for you. I offer you the challenge of applying what you have read here, as well as experimenting with your own healthy ways for letting things go.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

Developing Connection to the Present Moment.

Developing a strong connection to the present moment is one of the most rewarding undertakings to be done.

What is it? How do we keep ourselves from it? How can we wake up and maintain a connection to the present moment? These are the questions that will be addressed throughout this article.

Connection to Present Moment
Photo by Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash

Connection to the Present is Connection to Self.

Without a connection to the moment, there is no connection with ourselves. And not maintaining a connection to self is most certainly an unintended cause of self-harm. But how you may ask.

It’s easy, without a conscious connection to self, we will likely find ourselves feeling lost. Wandering through life, trying this thing and that thing, searching for something that feels “right.” Hardly ever finding that person, that experience, that thing that will create the lasting feeling of wholeness. Maybe finding that feeling momentarily, but losing it as it drifts off in the wind. It is a sad fact of life that many individuals wander their entire lives vigorously chasing lives that aren’t theirs.

This being lost is not from lack of effort though. But it is most definitely from lacking understanding of who we are and what we are connected to at our cores.

It is through having a conscious connection with the present, that the magic of life truly awakens. Likewise, this is where the magic of ourselves wakes up as well. Things begin to make sense. Our minds begin to make sense, our emotions, our desires, everything about us that is real begin to make sense. And all of those aspects that are just figments of our imaginations, get seen for what they are, unintentional self-deception.

Unintentional Self-deception.

There is much that may stand in the way of our conscious connection to the present moment. All of them being our own job to become aware of and cope with.

A critical part of establishing and maintaining our own connection to the present is claiming personal responsibility for the connections absentness. Not necessarily blame, just responsibility.

Self-awareness is key to understanding how we deceive ourselves out of a connection to the present moment. Without awareness of our ways, changing them is happenstance. We deceive ourselves with sneaky methods. Which are sneaky because we probably don’t even know how or why we are being self-deceptive. We do them behind our own backs but in front of our very eyes.

Waking up to the Disconnection.

We all deceive ourselves, that is a fact of life. What some people have learned to do, more than others is wake up to this process.

To wake up to the ways we are ensuring our disconnection to the moment requires picking up on the clues to our disconnection. When we are lacking connection, the clues are right inside of our bodies.

  • Extra anxiety is a clue.
  • Acting in ways we know we shouldn’t be is a clue.
  • Being generally dissatisfied with life is a clue.
  • Anger and its close emotional relatives are a clue.
  • Sadness and its close emotional relatives are a clue.
  • Blaming others for the way we feel is a clue.
  • Thoughts that seem sticky and more negative than usual are a clue.

When we are noticing any of these signs, our conscious connection to the beauty of the moment is compromised.

We all run into these clues at some point. Not all of us recognize them, realize what they are telling us and take responsibility for negotiating the energies they contain.

It, of course, isn’t enough just to wake up to the ways that we are holding ourselves from this beautiful connection to the present. But without first waking up, relaxing into the present and maintaining our connection is pretty much an impossibility.

Maintaining our Connection to the Present Moment.

Living a good life comes only through understanding and application of principles that will make that way of life possible.

Here we want you to understand how to wake up to present disconnection, and how to maintain a conscious connection to the brilliance of the reality right here. The one that is both inside and around us.

Noticing and Attending to the clues of our Disconnection.

Above we listed some clues to our being disconnected from the moment. We can neglect to take responsibility for these clues and stay asleep, or accept responsibility and have the chance to wake up.

If you notice them, label them for what they are, bodily impulses that are looking for attention. Impulses that if not given our attention constructively, will take us farther away from the moment the longer they are not attended to.

Nobody wants their own energies blocking their connection to the creative nature of the present. But if these impulses are blocking us, they are not doing it without reason. They need attention.

Not all bodily impulses need to the same type of attention. For some, attending to them could be simply taking prompt action to allow them to do what they are meant to do. The impulses we are dealing with may also not require any kind of outward action at all and need to be felt, processed and healed.

Now let’s look into some ways that we can attend to these impulses to ensure that we take proper care of them. As well as allow ourselves to live well in the process.

1. Get Grounded.

Waking up means that we first need to get grounded. We need to come back down to our bodies and back down to reality.

Mindful breathing is a great way to clear away excess stress so that we can settle body and mind back into the moment. It is from this place that we can find more clarity on what we should be doing next.

2. Feel What Needs to be Felt.

Once feeling grounded we will have a better grasp at what emotions are moving through us. These emotions, if not kept in awareness can keep us out of the moment. To the degree that they are painful, the more difficult it usually is to stay in the moment with them.

Feeling our emotions has the added benefit of keeping us in the moment. But resisting them will rip us out of this healing place.

3. Take Mindful Actions.

If we find that there are actions we have been neglecting to take, the impulses connected to these responsibilities will also take us out of the moment. After getting grounded and in our feelings, no matter what the flavor, we will be in the best place to take these actions.

In this state, we can take these actions mindfully, giving full attention to the current activity.

This attention we give brings high quality to the activity. Much more comforting and energizing, than if we allowed our thoughts to think about all other activities we need to do. When acting in this way, we will maintain a connection to the moment, as well as ourselves.

4. Use Mentorship to Maintain Connection.

Helping others allows us to find a connection as well. When connecting with other individuals, we find a connection to the moment and connection with ourselves.

Some people are masters at connection, while others haven’t a clue what a connection to the moment even is.

I believe we need both of these types of people in our lives. Throughout my years in recovery from addiction, I have learned a great deal from mentor types. Though I have learned just as much from being a mentor to others.

By allowing ourselves to be helped, and helping others, while letting ourselves be vulnerable we plant ourselves in the moment, in a powerful way.


Closing Thoughts on our Connection to the Present.

The present moment is all there really is. It is the only place we can think, feel, or do anything. Maintaining a close connection with it is our connection to the best the world has for us.

Sure the future may bring amazing things as well, and spending some time imagining it is healthy. But giving the vast majority of our time to loving this moment, will bring gifts beyond measure.

Pay attention to this moment, bring those thoughts down to reality, because this is where we are. The more time we plant ourselves in what is here right now, the more fruits our futures will bare.

That is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We sincerely wish you amazing success in learning how to wake up and maintain your personal connection to the present moment.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

Guide for Living with Healthy Expectations.

A crucial part of living a healthy life is living with healthy expectations. We cannot escape having expectations. We have them for ourselves, for others and essentially every aspect of life that affects us.

These expectations we carry are both an unavoidable part of life, a potential pain inducing one, and one with important benefits. Let’s find some ways to make these expectations as healthy as possible.

Having Expectations.

Developing expectations is an unavoidable part of our existence. These expectations are grown as we and our brains get busy putting a life together.

Our brains formulate plans naturally and when we start wanting such and such they get concocting. They say, “okay if we do X+Y then I am pretty sure we will get Z.” The more convinced we become that this equation is correct, the more we expect it to happen.

The only ones that can build our lives the way we can live with, is ourselves. But there are many more aspects of life that we will have to rely on others or sometimes sheer luck to bring about the best lives we can. So with the way our brains formulate, it also may have to say that X is the spouse, the colleague, the child, the parent, or our understanding of how an aspect of life works.

Inevitable Disappointment.

Just as expectations are unavoidable, as are the inevitable disappointment we will experience as many of these expectations are unmet. Being disappointed generally doesn’t feel good. But does that mean that all expectations should be avoided so we can avoid that feeling altogether? Absolutely not.

Some would actually say that the way to a healthy life is to have no expectations at all. That this state of not expecting anything would be the ultimate peaceful way. But sorry, there is going to be a lot of disappointment while learning to not expect. Even anticipation of peace from not expecting anything becomes an expectation we will likely be disappointed by.

A Life without Expectation.

What would life be like without expectation? If you didn’t expect to get in trouble for not showing up to work on time, would you? If your spouse or friends didn’t require good treatment to build a healthy relationship, would you treat them the same or more poorly? When you were a child if you hadn’t come to expect that the hot stove will burn you, would you have stopped messing with it?

Of course, the list goes on and on about how our expectations are useful. When we come to learn about the world and how it works, we anticipate at least to a certain degree that it will continue as such. Our expectations can save us from pain, help us predict future becoming’s, and allow us to develop healthy relationships.

Expectations are of course not created equal and we don’t have to live in a consistent state of disappointment because we have them. A big part of this is learning how to lessen the amount of unhealthy expectation in our routine, and developing more of the healthy variety.

Healthy and Unhealthy Expectations.

These ways that we expect, affect all aspects of our lives. They affect our relationship with ourselves, our relationship to life, and relationships with other people. There is tremendous value in taking great care in the way we create these expectations. Our healthy connection to all of these relationships depends on this.

I hope you are getting my point that there are healthy and unhealthy expectations. We could call them necessary or unnecessary expectations. Sometimes they are referred to as reasonable and unreasonable, sometimes realistic and unrealistic. Learning to differentiate between the two is critical for our ability to have an enjoyable life.

So how do we? How do we expect in healthy ways and avoid expecting in ways that could be self and relationship damaging?

Guidance for Creating Healthy Expectations.

1. Set Personal Standards and Purpose for how We Expect.

You have probably heard the old adage that “If we stand for nothing, we will fall for anything.”  This is the statement that rings true when we do not have purpose and standards, guiding our bodily impulses.

To have healthy relationships we have to set personal standards and purpose for how we expect. We need to formulate a go-to way that we will allow ourselves to expect, and for how we do it. Otherwise, we leave our expectations up to chance, maybe it will come out healthy, or maybe a little crazy.

The remaining points here are suggested standards to be placed on how we expect, with the purpose of creating trusting healthy relationships, and reducing personal pain.

2. Communicate Expectations.

Communication is a vital part of developing healthy relationships. That goes for ourselves and our relationships with others.

We need to make sure that we stay informed about what we are expecting. Reminding ourselves of those expectations in some manner. The same goes for our relationships with others, uncommunicated expectations can put great strain on our relations with others.

Without communicating what is expected we will likely be disappointed that those around us or even ourselves are not respecting our wishes. Well, they aren’t respecting our wishes because they probably don’t know our wishes!

We have every right in the world, and even obligation to communicate what and why we expect something. Communicating these expectations may be uncomfortable at first but in the long run, it can save a great deal of unnecessary disappointment and sore feelings.

3. Experience and Knowledge are Key.

The knowledge and experience that we have is the key to developing healthy expectations. A well-informed mind will have a much more keen sense for what to expect than one that is misinformed or uninformed.

As we learn that certain ways of behaving will lead to pain, we learn to expect that pain. So we can have the opportunity to avoid it. On the flipside, when we come to expect positive results by learning what brings those results, then we can engage in more of those behaviors to help our lives out.

Studied experience teaches us reasonable expectations. No there is no substitute for personal experience. But, learning from the experiences of others is very important as well.

4. Practice Intellectual Humility.

Experience and knowledge are essential in living with healthy expectations, but even with these, we can’t always expect them to be accurate. To expect that is foolhardy as all hell.

Life is going to surprise us with curveballs. None of us have all the information, or time to study all the aspects that can affect us. We need to leave ourselves open to be surprised. Being in the habit of closed-mindedness and overconfidence in our personal knowledge is not a good use of our mental and emotional life.

Expectations that are left open to change are expectations that will hurt less when they are not met.

5. Learn a Healthy Level of Emotional Detachment.

Emotional detachment as I am calling it isn’t about separating ourselves from our emotions. That is actually a recipe for losing touch with ourselves when maintaining connection with self is ideal. Instead, it is about separating our emotions from expected outcomes.

The more emotionally attached we are to an expectation, the more disappointment is likely when it is not met. This is not a message to try and get you to rid yourself of excitement for hopes and dreams coming true. But I do recommend being careful.

Life is an ever-changing thing, that being said, our expectations need to be flexible. Our thoughts and emotions also need to remain as agile as possible to deal with the onslaught of life changes in a healthy way. The more attached we are to a certain expectation needing to come true, in a certain way, the harder it will be to let go of when it is no longer useful.

But the more we are able to allow our expectations to adapt and flow, our lives will be filled with the benefits of being grateful.

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Closing Thoughts.

With as difficult as the realm of expectations can be, with some work, anyone with the capacity for rational thought can learn to have healthy ones.

The guidelines in this article are intentionally held vague, use the ideas in it to fill in the blanks with the specific ways you will put these ideas into action.

If you have any ideas and would like to share them, please share them in the comment section below.

Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We sincerely wish you amazing success in living with healthy expectations.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

Establishing a Close Connection to Our Self.

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To have an intimate connection with our self is a crazy rewarding thing. But maintaining a close connection with our self can be difficult, and finding our way back can seem elusive.

In this article, we are discussing the path of losing the connection to self. As well as giving insights into finding a path back to the true self that works for you.

Connection to Self.

First off, we all have a self. Of all of the world around us, we have our own seemingly minuscule perspective in a gigantic picture. In this perspective, we have thoughts, emotions, bodily impulses, ambitions, personality traits, and many other aspects that make us, us.

All of these aspects, though they may change, make up the current state of who we are. Though we should not confuse ourselves with any one of these aspects of ourselves. Getting too caught up in any of these, creates a too limited view of ourselves.

We are the totality of all these pieces of ourselves, each of them hopefully working well for us.

Having a connection with self comes from unconditional acceptance of all these little pieces. Meaning that we accept them when they show up, and experience them for what they are without being over judgmental about their nature.

For example, if anger is triggered inside me for some reason, I am now having the experience of anger. I am not this anger, but it is a piece of my current experience. There is no need to be dissatisfied with myself because this is my experience, I just need to feel it. The same goes for any emotion or any other impulses I am feeling whether they feel good or bad.

To Lose Our Connection.

To have a connection with self is to accept and feel our current experiences. Therefore to lose connection is to deny and neglect to feel our current experience.

We may lose our connection because we are too harshly judging our current state. It could also be because we are caught in resentment of ourselves or someone else. As well, it may entirely be because we don’t know ourselves very well.

Losing connection with ourselves is not a difficult thing to do. In fact, it is incredibly easy to lose ourselves, both momentarily, and for an extended period of time. In some cases, we may entirely forget what it is to have a connection with our self.

The Discomfort of Lost Self-connection.

Connection Lost
Photo by Raj Eiamworakul on Unsplash

To lose connection with self comes with varying degrees of discomfort. That discomfort may be noticeable, and maybe it will seem that nothing is at all wrong with our worlds. It generally shows up in our thoughts becoming negative and in our emotions feeling unpleasant.

If we don’t understand the purpose of that discomfort we may disregard coming back home. In these cases, we may mindlessly wander through life thinking we are meant to be nervous wrecks or have to be hopelessly depressed forever.

It is also the case that if we don’t understand that we have lost our self-connection we may mistake others for being the cause of our discomfort. Bringing discomfort to the lives of others because we don’t realize our lack of self-connection is the problem.

We, of course, don’t have to be in prolonged states of distress because of lack of self-connection. The discomfort of not being connected to ourselves if understood may warn us to come back home to our current experience and get our connection back.

How we can Connect with Self.

Getting back our connection to self is immensely important to our having mental and emotional contentment. But if we don’t know how to get there then getting there is a shot in the dark.

Here are some ideas we can use for getting back to a connection with self. Which can no doubt help us maintain this connection as well.

1. Think in Ways that Supports Connection to Self.

There are thoughts that can aid our having a connection with self and those that make it pretty much impossible.

Thoughts that are overly judgmental do not support self-connection. Because these types of thoughts are, at least the vast majority of the time, not reality.

The types of thinking that best aids in self-connection are those that are laced with self-respect and self-honesty. We need to see reality, but we don’t need to treat ourselves poorly through the process.

When we find that our thoughts are turning overly negative and judgmental we can be sure we are at least a little disconnected. Taking some steps to return them to a more self-loving state is more than beneficial at this stage.

Here is a related article on returning our thoughts to a more self-loving state.

2. Develop Emotional Intelligence.

With emotional intelligence comes the ability to understand our emotions, identify them, and express them in healthy ways. We are emotional beings, these impulses serve an important purpose in our lives.

They let us know when we are on a healthy path to getting what we desire, or not. They let us know if we are currently in a state of connection with ourselves, as well as when there is a disconnect.

By knowing how to decipher what we are feeling, we can tell what our state of self-connection is. We can learn what needs are being neglected and take care of them. The main tools that I go to for learning about my emotions are therapeutic writing, chatting with trusted people and through reading books.

Another great tool a friend showed me is a needs worksheet. One part of the worksheet is an inventory of our needs. The second part is to educate us on what emotions arise when our needs are satisfied and when too many are being neglected.

These lists have been quite helpful over the years.

3. Spend Time Feeling the Sensations in our Bodies.

A door that is always present for entering into a connection with self is through the sensations in our bodies.

If there are feelings of pent up stress or other unpleasant feelings, giving our bodily impulses some non-judgmental attention works wonders.

Simply put attention on the area of our bodies that are feeling stress and gently breathe into them. If it feels uncomfortable, just work at not judging that sensation as being a nuisance. The impulses are just expressing themselves. Often times, unless there is a serious medical problem, the stress being stored in that area will relax away.

Through this process, we are slowing ourselves down enough to experience a deep sense of self-connection. This self-connection happens as we allow ourselves to be in the moment without judgment.


4. Practice Self-acceptance.

Without self-acceptance, there is no self-connection. Through self-acceptance, our bodies are given permission to be exactly what they are.

You may have a couple of questions now. Such as. “Hey, what if my current state is unacceptable? If I accept something about myself that is unacceptable, will that piece of me ever change?”

The answer is this. Acceptance of this current moment as it is a requirement for healthy change. Through acceptance, connection to self allows clarity into what needs attention, and what is best left alone.

Accepting ourselves as is, is an act of self-love, of self-respect. When feeling loved and respected we grow and change naturally. The unhealthy eventually vanishes, and the healthy flourishes.

Through acceptance of ourselves, the sane self within is able to work it’s magic.


Photo by Cerys Lowe on Unsplash
5. Relax on Comparing Ourselves to Others.

Getting trapped in comparing ourselves can be a terribly painful experience. But we all compare ourselves to others, in fact, it is a natural thing for our brains to do. These comparisons help us learn about ourselves. They help us come to terms with what we desire and don’t desire for our lives.

There may be something to learn from comparing ourselves to others, but it can be a slippery slope. We are adequate exactly how we are. The treatment of our current experience as good enough is peace and gratitude-inducing. It settles us into a beautiful state of connection to self.

Maybe we will go get what those people have in a healthy way, maybe we won’t. Either way, we can treat ourselves as the intelligent, resourceful, ambitious and sufficient people we truly are. When we treat ourselves as such, we will likely gain an incredible amount of motivation to obtain all the healthy experiences we desire.


Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We sincerely wish you amazing success on finding a maintaining a healthy connection with Self. We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.
If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.
  2. Join our email list to Enroll in our Free 7 Day Impulse Negotiation Email Course! The course will help you stop pesky unwanted behaviors, as well as develop a healthier relationship with your bodily impulses.

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Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

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How to Keep Desire on a Healthy Path.

Desire is a powerfully creative thing. But even though it is a creative thing, it can also be a dangerous thing.

Let’s look more closely at this highly creative part of us, to see how to keep it and ourselves on a healthy life trajectory.


In many spiritual traditions, desire has somewhat of a bad rap. Though it is true, there is no escaping the pressures of our desires. And these desires, as well as our ignorance of how to meet them in a healthy way creates many problems.

But what would life be like without our desiring? In my interpretation, life would be drab and boring. To desire brings excitement to life. With it comes a renewed energy for creating change, and for bringing about a fulfilling life.

It is actually silly to think of what life would be without desire. We don’t have a choice in the matter. Whether we like it or not, subconsciously and consciously we are going to set our sights and our minds on getting what we want. And those bodily impulses will get kicked up and beg to be used.

Our desiring can be used responsibly or irresponsibly. When used responsibly, it can bring about many beautiful outcomes for our lives. But if used irresponsibly it can be damaging to ourselves, and others that may be in its path.

Irresponsible Path of Desire.






With desire comes the energy to create. But just as easily that energy can be used to do damage, or even destroy.

That harm can be directed either outside of us or inside of us. It can be directed inside of us when we neglect to get out and live. Unused desire can turn into a backlog of unhealthy stress. That unhealthy stress can lead us to excess anxiety, possible depression, and into seeking unhealthy stress relief.

That stress relief seeking can lead individuals to actions that range from personally annoying, like eating a little too much ice cream, binge-watching Netflix or nail-biting. All the way to publicly disturbing.

We have all seen the craziness that can come into the world when someone sees something they want and obsessively commits to go any lengths to get it. The prison system is full of individuals that became obsessive and compulsive with the paths they took to fulfill their desires.

But people don’t need to be behind bars to be prisoners though. Many of us feel trapped and stressed by our own outlets for stress relief. What many of us need is to make the paths we take to our desires, healthy ones.

How to Keep Our Desire on a Healthy Path.

1.  Surround Ourselves with Healthy Peer Pressure.

To surround ourselves with healthy peer pressure is to have healthy relationships. Relationships that mesh well with our goals for life, look out for our best interests, challenge us and encourage us.

The healthier the people we have around us, the healthier life we will be pressured to create. As far as for how we meet our desires, these relationships can play a significant role. They can help inspire us into new ways of behaving, remind us of our potential and warn us of dangers.

These healthy relationships may even jump in to actively participate with us to bring about our desires. They may connect us with others that may be helpful, look out for new opportunities and maybe even jump in and get their hands dirty with us. The benefits they can bring to the table are immeasurable.


2. Live with Healthy Personal Purposes and Set Personal Standards for Behavior.

Our purposes help to guide our lives. They help guide the thoughts we let ourselves think, the ways we deal with emotion, the ways we treat ourselves and others.

We use the purposes in our lives to set standards for the ways we will behave. To set these standards does require commitment and the ability to be mindful of ourselves. But it is with these standards of behavior that we can set a healthy trajectory for the way we go about getting what we want.

Without personal standards our hitting the mark in a healthy way can be much more difficult. We may be distracted away from our destination often by the endless amount of other objects and people that compete for our attention. Without setting them our impulses may wander into the realm of the unhealthy.

So be mindful of your purpose. Set those personal standards. The path to getting to what we desire is much simpler when we do.

3. Keeping Our Imaginations Grounded.

At the heart of desire is a want to have something be, somewhat different than the way they are. Which means our imagination is led to leave our connection with the present moment.

Keeping ourselves grounded also means keeping our imaginations grounded. This doesn’t mean try to use the imagination as little as possible. We do need to make sure that we give some time to using our imagination in a healthy way. Using it to see possible obstacles on the path, and make balanced plans for navigating them.

Imagination becomes troublesome when we attach too much emotion to the story we envision with it. Our vision may be clouded by past failures, leading us to ignore what we want out of a desire, so as not be disappointed. Some imaginings may also become clouded by our own pleasant emotions for certain outcomes, leading us to be blissfully unaware of dangers that are coming.

To keep our imaginations grounded is also to not allow emotion to become too attached to expected outcomes. We may end up pleasantly surprised at our smooth success. Or wind up avoiding danger because we were not blinded by a pleasant fantasy.

Our imaginations are a awesome part of being a human being. When used in a responsible way at least.

4. Stay Grateful.

Practicing gratitude is a powerful thing that really isn’t that difficult to do. Our drives for getting what we want can turn into an insatiable quest of dissatisfaction. This is unfortunate but it is bound to happen for all of us to some extent.

Gratitude is an amazing thing. It can bring a brain that is stuck on obsessively wanting, and pull it back into the moment. Giving it rest, and positive vibes, all because it is able to connect with reality as it currently stands. This gives our brains permission to detach from worrying about the ways things may become.

I said that it isn’t difficult to practice gratitude. Here is a great gratitude practice from a book called “The Magic” by Rhonda Byrne. We at My Life Experiment have found personal transformations from applying it to our lives.

5. Focus on Desiring Good for Others.

Too much time spent on our own wants and needs can lead to neglect of the healthy relationships that have grown and sustained us. It can take us down a highly self-centered path. And not the kind of self-centered that is necessary for a self-care practice.

Part of self-care is also caring for others. It is about taking our attention off of ourselves for a while and giving positive vibes to the lives of others. Whether those others are close loved ones or people we may never have even met.

Desiring good for others doesn’t necessarily mean stepping up to physically help them. Although by doing it often enough we won’t be able to avoid reaching out more often than normal. By getting in the mindset of wanting more good for others, our energies naturally move toward being more compassionate and helpful.

Being more compassionate and helpful for others creates close allies. With our desires on healthy paths and the help of others, beautiful successes are sure to happen. And isn’t that all we really want? Success as we personally define it?

Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We sincerely wish you amazing success in keeping the energy of your desire on the healthiest paths possible. We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.


Getting the Most Benefit from Peer Pressure.

Peer pressure is something we all have experienced. As kids, and as adults our peers influence the direction of our lives more than we may know.

Let’s talk more about peer pressure to see some of its difficulties, as well as some ways to use it for personal benefits.

What is Peer Pressure?

Here is a statement that the U.S Department of Human Services said about Peer pressure.

Friends can influence an adolescent’s attitudes and behaviors in ways that matter across multiple domains of health and well-being, well into adulthood. We often hear about this in the form of peer pressure, which refers more explicitly to the pressure adolescents feel from their friends or peer group to behave in certain ways, good or bad. It can take the form of encouragement, requests, challenges, threats, or insults. Sometimes, peer pressure is unspoken—an adolescent may feel pressured to do something simply because their friends are doing it.

This statement does well for drawing out much to discuss. But even though the statement speaks of the influence of peer pressure going well into adulthood, it speaks only quietly of the amount that these pressures affect adults. But by simply removing the word “adolescent” and replace it with “human being” and focusing mainly on peer group rather than friends, we are given a broader view. A view that may not be thought of often.

We are all Heavily Influenced.

No matter what our ages, peer pressure influences the direction our lives take. Us human beings are social creatures. We all have the bodily impulses for social connection woven into our beings. Whether we like it or not, we are pressured both internally and externally to become a part of groups of people.

To not receive enough social connection within a group is to be left as an outsider. Now as I am sure all of you know, without interaction with other people most of us wouldn’t fare too well. To be without people too much is lonely. And loneliness can cause mental health problems like unhealthy stress, anxiety, and depression. There is also a growing body of evidence that suggests that it may cause physical health problems as well.

Our bodies need social connection, our being more likely to get sick because of not having it is a clear sign of that. We are heavily influenced by our own physiology to engage with people and groups of people. With these groups and the people in them, our bodies feel much safer. Our bodies inherently feel and know that there is safety to be found in numbers.

To be a part of these groups we are subjected to a barrage of relational pressure. There are always rules when it comes to being part of a group (work, family, community, etc..). Social norms that we are expected to obey that are either implied or communicated openly.

It is these norms which describe the nature of the group, that lead to either negative or positive peer pressure. But first, let’s talk about the negative.

The Negative Effects of Peer Pressure.

Photo by Casey Allen on Unsplash






The negative effects of peer pressure are usually why we hear of the concept. Generally, the reason that parents are leery of friends and acquaintances that their children make.

Much is contagious when it comes to the people we surround ourselves with. Surrounding ourselves with people that complain a lot, we are more likely to complain a lot. Hanging out with poor attitudes, you best believe that is likely to rub off. And when connecting with those that are into risky behaviors, we are likely heading towards unwanted consequences.

We become mirrors with whom we most closely relate. Learning to talk like each other, and act like each other. Many people say that married couples even begin to look alike! So, when it comes to those we surround ourselves with, we need to be careful. Based on our level of desire for social acceptance, we may mirror the absolute worst that a peer group has to offer.

Negative effects may come from meeting unhealthy group norms and expectations placed upon us. But also come from not meeting these norms. Not meeting enough of these creates tension with the group and our possible alienation. We may be ridiculed, shamed, and threatened. All in an effort to get us to comply. On one hand, having to deal with the harsh treatment for possibly being oneself. And on the other having to face the thought of being ostracized from a group which we have grown attached.

Though the negative effects of peer pressure are many, these are of course not the only possible effects. There are equally as many positive effects of peer pressure as well.

The Power of Positive Peer Pressure.

In the same vein as negative peer pressure, there can be many positive consequences of peer pressure.

Healthy groups, we participate with can help support us, motivate us, correct our behaviors, amongst many other positive things. And just as there are negative physiological effects of not getting enough social interaction, there are benefits when we do.

Above it was mentioned that we may mirror the worst a group has to offer. But when surrounded by healthy, successful individuals we may just wind up mirroring the best the group has to offer. Bringing about amazing outcomes for ourselves, our loved ones, as well as the group itself.

But there are all sorts of individuals in this world, and groups of individuals for us to join. Since no individual is exactly the same, you better believe no group is either. So there are some ideas to keep in mind when seeking out groups of individuals to interact with. These ideas can help us make sure we wind up being pressured by peers that will bring us many more positives than negatives.

How to be Influenced in the Best Ways Through Peer Pressure.

1. Take Time to Get to Know Ourselves.

Peer pressure does one thing. It pushes us to live by the principles that guide the group. Therefore, to be ourselves within the group, we better come to learn what it means to be ourselves. Which first means, getting to know ourselves.

The path to getting to know ourselves can be a difficult one, but ultimately one that has to be taken. That is if we want to understand how to be our most authentic selves anyway.

Check out this article on self-discovery if you desire more information on how to make this process as painless as possible.

The old adage “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything”, rings true here. If we don’t stand for the principles that best suit our natures we will likely be taken down a path that isn’t ours. That will damage ourselves and our self-respect. But if we do develop our personal purposes, and stand for our own principles, our abilities to respect ourselves will soar.

2. Be Part of Groups that Align with Our Own Life’s Purposes.

When our need for belonging drives us to approach a group we might like to be a part of it is important to be discerning of what their purposes are. What is their purpose, and what they are here to do? That is a great question to seek the answer to. As well as even more importantly, does their purpose align well with my own? Because if we are going to be subject to peer pressure, it might as will be in a direction we truly desire to go.

So if you are an individual in recovery from addiction, getting together regularly with a group that seeks to party all the time most likely won’t be a good fit. If we are seeking to stay particularly cheerful, it would be best to not surround yourself with those will constantly bum us out.

If looking to create big changes in the groups we are a part of, maybe don’t get deeply involved with those that are deeply unwilling to change.

Of course on the flip-side, we will find more personal success with our own lives when we find peers that align with our own purposes. When we find groups with purposes that match our personalities well, we will benefit, as well as the group.

3. Create Regular Positive Peer Pressure for Others.

Not only do the groups we participate with cause pressure for us to act in certain ways. We also create pressure for others. And since we are looking for pressure on the positive side, it only makes sense that positive pressure is what we should offer others.

The positive peer pressure we create for others can be done in many different ways. We can pressure others with solely our actions, showing strong character and integrity while living our lives. As well as doing so more vocally, challenging and encouraging those around us to be their best. While not belittling them so much that our desire for positive outcomes for the group, turns into bad blood with others.

In the end, this is a powerful way to turn the table on peer pressure. It is taking active control of our ability to pressure ourselves positively, not just being swept along by the pressure of others. As well as sharing this pressure we create internally, to push it outwards to be positive catalysts for our peers. This is the work of a true leader.

Peer Pressure
Photo by Karina Carvalho on Unsplash
Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We invite you to take this information given here today and Experiment with new ways to invoke positive peer pressure in your relationships. There definitely needs to be more of it in the world today.



How to Live a Life of Self-Respect.

Hey there! Today we are discussing the concept of self-respect.
To respect oneself is not always an easy thing to do. But let’s find some ways to help disrespect ourselves less. And of course, some ways to respect ourselves more.

Inevitable Disrespect on the Path to Self-Respect.

Self-respect is defined as “pride and confidence in oneself; a feeling that one is behaving with honor and dignity.” It is a beautiful thing to be able to respect ourselves. But the path to being able to respect ourselves is not always an easy one. Quite often on the journey, we learn how to practice self-respect because of the pain of disrespect.

Feeling disrespected can come from anybody in any relationship. But I don’t feel off in saying that who disrespects us the most, is probably ourselves. We show ourselves disrespect in many ways. It, of course, may come from the actions of others. But more often from actions of our own. It is pretty much impossible to feel self-respect when we are allowing ourselves or others to treat us disrespectfully.

We must come to know what we are willing to put up with, and what we will not. Most of us disrespect ourselves often as we go about our days and our lives. The ways that we do this may be subtle, or they may be blatant. They may be something we are aware of, or we may be blind to the reality of our self-disrespectful ways.

Whether we are setting ourselves up to lose self-respect because of the allowing the behaviors of others, or our own, we must set personal boundaries with all these behaviors so they don’t cause harm to our ability to respect ourselves. But to set these boundaries we must first come to know ourselves, to know what is appropriate.

To Know Ourselves.

To respect ourselves, we must come to know ourselves. But what is it to come to know ourselves? We must become aware of our bodies’ impulses, habits, and tendencies. As well as what beliefs and morals are guiding these impulses. In a recent article we discussed coming to know ourselves so if you have any questions about that area please check it out.

Getting to know who we are, enables us to purposely act in ways that will enhance self-respect. As well as help us avoid the impulses to behave in ways that would dampen it. Knowing ourselves and accepting those new realities about ourselves will make behaving in ways that are trigger disrespect, much more difficult to act on. As well as give a powerful tug from our consciences that let us know we shouldn’t have done what we just did. Which may bring a stinging of guilt and shame but ultimately give us the chance to change our ways for the better.

Self-knowledge also allows us to understand and feel what boundaries we need to set with other people. Disallowing individuals to treat us in ways that may harm the way we view ourselves. We are the only ones that can truly figure out what we should put up with, and what we should not.

Coming to know ourselves on a deep level is immensely important, of course. But knowing ourselves is not enough for building the amount we respect ourselves. We also must learn to be ourselves.

To Be Ourselves.

Not only must one come to know themselves to respect themselves. We must also be ourselves to respect ourselves. By neglecting to be ourselves, we are showing ourselves disrespect. It is difficult to feel genuine self-respect when neglecting to act and speak in ways that reflect our nature.

The same goes for when we are consistently treating others with disrespect we are also disrespecting ourselves. Of course, treating people respectfully doesn’t mean just agreeing to everything they say or even refraining from arguing with them. And it certainly doesn’t mean letting them walk all over us. Challenging other people to think, and having firm boundaries with others, respects ourselves well at the same time respecting the other.

Acting by the Golden Rule asks us to “treat others as we would like to be treated.” This universally believed rule is at the heart of most religious thought. It implies that it is in our nature to desire respectful treatment. And in our nature to give it. There are physiological rewards to be found in treating others well. It is a beautiful outlet for our bodily impulses, which are pleased when given a connection to our fellows.

To be ourselves is to allow the energy that flows within us to have its healthy expression which breeds self-respect. To close our energies off from healthy expression, or expressing in harmful ways we as well as our self-respect will suffer. Whether we are immediately aware of this or not.

Developing a Self-respect Routine.

The responsibility for respecting ourselves rides solely on our own shoulders. This responsibility is a great one. Requiring our commitment and vigilance to a routine that will make consistent self-respect not only a possibility but a reality.

1. Self-respecting Routine.

To build a self-respecting routine. We must come to know ourselves, to come to be ourselves, to respect ourselves. A routine is something that we set in place, scheduling in activities that will make results that we desire, possible. To get the most out of a routine it must consistently enough that it almost becomes second nature. Though at first and at difficult times, it may feel like something very foreign, even intrusive to our lives.

But to build self-respect, consistent application of self-respecting actions is a must. All the thinking in the world will not be enough to keep us in a self-respecting state.

2. Resolve to Show up and Be Productive.

It’s, of course, important to show up to be a part of our relationships, as in being physically present. But it’s entirely another thing to ACTUALLY SHOW UP. Meaning that we are engaged, actively listening, and looking for creative solutions to problems.

To really show up to life takes commitment. It requires that we are mindful, thoughtful, and seeking to help. This is whether at work, home or in the community. Routinely seeking to enhance the quality of our surroundings has positive effects on the growth of self-respect.

3. Treating Others Well.

To treat others well is to treat them respectfully. It is to treat others as if they are intelligent and loving creatures. Even if they aren’t able to immediately prove that to themselves or most others. Treating others well means dropping our harsh judgments about there characters. Instead, seeking to honor their positive qualities.

But treating others well is also about developing healthy boundaries. By letting someone take advantage of our kindness, we are not respecting them. We are only allowing their disrespectful routine to run havoc in their, and our lives. Not enabling the crappy actions may not end their unhealthy routine, but it will send a loud message. And just maybe we can help change the course of their life. There are plenty of other healthy places to direct our kindness,

For today I urge you to do something to respect the nature of some individual in your life. Whether that is giving a compliment, offering assistance, or even telling them no and that you can’t allow them to use you anymore. Do this today, and look to do it tomorrow, that is what consistent routines are all about, consistent practice.

4. Engage Routinely in Healthy Activities.

To engage in healthy activities is to do something enjoyable. That could be going outside to shoot some hoops, knitting a sweater in a, calling a friend or writing a novel. It can be anything really, anything that you enjoy. Set out to do something every single day that you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to cause a dime, but it will cost just a little bit of time.

5. Respecting our Emotional States.

When feeling emotionally heavy and run down it can be difficult to feel respected, as well as difficult to keep up with a routine. And that is okay, emotions run through us often that simply do not feel good. It really isn’t even reasonable to think that we will always feel good. But when you are not feeling good, to respect that feeling, is also respecting yourself.

You can also respect that feeling by kindly but firmly letting it know that all is going to be okay. And that getting up and having a little bit of fun, practicing gratitude or processing some of this emotion through therapeutic writing will help out greatly. Emotions come and go if allowed. The more we respect them, the less likely they will trigger our impulses to act in ways that will damage our self-respect.

Continuing with a self-respect building routine will also help with our emotional state. The stronger we adhere to the routine, the more secure we will be to process these emotions successfully. And the more successfully we process these emotions, the faster we will get back to more positive frames of mind.

Doesn’t more positivity and self-respect sound good to you?

Doing our Self Due-Diligence for Living our Best Lives.

The concept of doing our due-diligence is a popular idea. It speaks to doing our own research so that we can think for ourselves in any area in which we care to succeed.

Doing our due-diligence is of high importance for making the best decisions we can. Whether those decisions are able to be deeply thought about, or quick snap decisions.

If succeeding in any area of life is based on the amount of research that we do and apply, then how important is researching who we are as individuals. In this article we talk about applying our due-diligence to become experts in our own lives, looking into a way to get to know ourselves

What is Due-Diligence?

Of several definitions that I took into consideration, I have come to a personal definition based on their consensus. Due-diligence is the thorough investigation and thoughtful actions taken to understand and intelligently respond to the situations we face that affect our personal interests. Doing our due-diligence is doing our homework. It is studying up so that we can get the most out of our decisions and actions. Working to create the best possible outcomes for those we effect.

So now take the above definition. This definition can be used for essentially any area of life. Whether that is for building a career, starting a business, making family decisions, investment choices, etc. Success in our own lives is generally dependent on how much we understand the forces that affect us. It is through the understanding of these forces, that determines the type of response we can have when confronted by them. Maybe sometimes we can get lucky and find success without knowledge. But living a life based mainly on luck doesn’t sound like a recipe for success to me. Our bodily impulses need guidance based on information that is thorough and reliable.

Our relationship with all the individual areas of our lives works best while being well-informed, yes of course. But there is one relationship more important than any of these areas that we can come to know. That relationship is with ourselves. The due-diligence we do on this thing we call ourselves, sets the stage for making the best decisions possible for every area of our lives.

How we Do Our Self Due Diligence.

Saying that the relationship we have with ourselves is the most important relationship we have may seem a bit self-centered. But this statement is self-centered in the healthiest way possible. All the decisions we make are based on how well we understand our bodily impulses, beliefs, weak areas, and strong areas. To make the best decisions for ourselves and all those we influence, time spent getting to know ourselves is a time used wisely.

Where do we start when it comes to learning about ourselves more deeply? Over the years I have learned methods for gaining self-knowledge. Here are some methods to put our due-diligence to work, for getting to know what makes ourselves tick.

1. Question what We Know about Ourselves.

There is an important question to eventually ask if we truly desire to know ourselves. Who am I? This question asked sincerely and openly can lead to an amazing process of self-discovery.

To question ourselves in this manner there are some things we are admitting. We are admitting that we don’t have all the answers about ourselves. As well, we are admitting that we believe it might be possible to come to know ourselves better. When we come to this place of willingness to find ourselves, we need to latch onto it and make a firm commitment.

The act of questioning ourselves in this manner can be unsettling. Some of us believe we have all the information we need about ourselves. But how many of us actually know everything there is to know about ourselves? How many of us know all our personal beliefs, impulses, weak and strong attributes?

I have no problem saying that even the most enlightened individuals on the planet, would be lying if they said they did. We, humans, are constantly changing beings with desires, beliefs, and abilities that transform over time.

This process of coming to know ourselves more deeply is not an easy task. At times it may even temporarily leave our mental and emotional equilibrium all over the place. Though it is a process that will pay us back great dividends on the energy we invest in it. Next, we will move on to investigating what we strongly believe.

2. Investigating our Long-Held Beliefs.

We all have deeply held beliefs. The beliefs could be of a spiritual or religious nature, political nature, ethical nature or any other nature. The nature of these beliefs isn’t important here, but our relationships with these beliefs most certainly are.

Our relationships with these beliefs determine how we view ourselves, and how interact with the world around us. Sometimes we may be able to tell where these beliefs originate from, other times we may not even know we hold them until we act them out unexpectedly. That or someone else brings them to our attention.

Some beliefs are essential for maintaining a life that is both peaceful and fulfilling. Other beliefs may distort our perceptions, and cause us to seek a troubling amount of perfection for ourselves and those around us. Making it difficult or even impossible to live a life that is authentic to ourselves.

If we have held a belief for many years, we may just think it is part of who we are. Maybe that is true or maybe not, us as individuals are the only ones that can figure that out. I believe the only way to find out is to examine the belief, pick it apart, and see if it still feels right afterward.

Due-diligence studying

Process of Belief Investigation.

To investigate a belief, we first must pinpoint what our beliefs are. The easiest way I know to begin this investigation for developing self due-diligence is by writing these beliefs down. List the beliefs that you feel strongly about. Then afterward give some heartfelt effort to thinking about the origins of those beliefs. After some thought, write down if the belief still fits who you are today or if life would be better if the belief was gone.

If you don’t feel like writing, another method is to think about an argument in which you recently partook. Or think about a statement you recently heard that offended you. Ask yourself, what am I believing that caused me to be offended, or triggered me to argue? Then, if you are feeling up to it ask yourself if the belief actually matters to you, or if it is just a reaction from a long-held and hidden belief.

Commitment to a regular examination of our beliefs is a commitment to coming to terms with the depths of who we are. We examine our beliefs, keep what we can still use, and discard what we no longer connect with. Coming to terms with our beliefs is important for being our best selves, but even more important is to get in touch with our bodily impulses.

3. Forming a Better Relationship with our Bodily Impulses.

Our bodily impulses are talking to us continually. Sometimes the communications are pleasant, sometimes they are quite painful. Often times we hear of the pleasant feelings labeled as good, the painful as bad. This good and bad distinction about feelings is unnecessary and misleading.

All of our bodily impulses are neither good nor bad, they just are, and they need our attention. As we learn to regularly pay kind attention to these impulses, we can develop a healthy relationship with them.

To pay kind attention doesn’t mean we give these impulses everything they desire. That is a recipe for an immensely dysfunctional and painful existence. What it means is to listen to them. Now I realize that these impulses may not speak directly to us in a voice we can understand. But as long as we are willing to pause and feel them without judgment when they come, our bodies will understand what to do.

Due-diligence sitting

Simple Process for Relating to Bodily Impulses.

I will walk you through the simplest method I know for relating with impulses in any somewhat free moment. Although I say it is simple, oftentimes it is anything but easy.

Anytime throughout the day simply take stock of how you feel. You could even set a reminder on your phone to alert you multiple times a day to help you remember to check-in. If your mind and body are particularly stressed, take note. And if possible, sit or stand still and take a full deep breath, hold it momentarily, then exhale fully. Continue to focus on your breathing in this way until the stress subsides. While focusing on breathing the stress away, it likely will not give up without a fight. The impulses may spark all sorts of thoughts to sort through in this process. But use this exercise as a break from these thoughts. Continue to breathe through the stressed-out thoughts and they will settle down. You may even find yourself very relaxed afterward.

This exercise is great for developing a better relationship with our impulses. Mindful breathing and non-judgment of thinking naturally help us and our bodies develop a better relationship. Our bodies will do the communicating, the healing, the accepting, the understanding when we let it. Without knowing our bodies, we cannot know ourselves.

Closing Thoughts.

It is clear to me that healthy relationships with our bodies and our beliefs are necessary for knowing and being our best selves. Without a healthy relationship with our bodies, we will not understand what beliefs align well with us. And without beliefs that align well with our bodies, we will be taken down a path that is not ours to take.

To be true to ourselves we must do our self due-diligence. We must diligently work at relating to our impulses and aligning those impulses with healthy beliefs and eventual behaviors. Not for our country, our employers, our parents, but for ourselves. Because when we are true to our sane selves, others around us reap more rewards than when we are not.

That is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you growth in your process of learning to do your self due-diligence!

Finding Freedom by Offering Forgiveness to Others.

Forgiveness: What is it?

What is it to forgive? To forgive is to release the anger or resentment that is felt because of an offense, flaw or mistake. Forgiveness isn’t necessarily about reconciling relationships, though it could lead to that. But forgiveness most certainly is a decision we make to give ourselves the ability to let go. At some point throughout our lives, we are going to deal with making the decision to forgive or not. So why should we forgive?

Why Should We Forgive?

There is a great example of why forgiveness is so important in this article that tells the story of a mother’s journey to forgiving her only son’s killer. Imagine being in the position of having your child murdered, and eventually coming to a place where you could hug the person that so painfully changed your life. That is exactly what this mother was able to do. But why would she?

There are other extreme instances where individuals were able to forgive. After years of holding onto hatred and resentment, they are finally set free to take responsibility for those feelings. And with responsibility comes the ability to move on and take their lives back. There is tremendous freedom to be found in forgiveness. As the mother in the article states “I felt something leave me,” she said. “Instantly I knew all the hatred, bitterness and animosity — I knew it was gone.”

Forgiveness is for unchaining ourselves from the unnecessary weight of our painful pasts. So we may look to the future more clearly and optimistically. We don’t belong stuck in the past, reliving painful events over and over again. It is living mindfully in the present moment that we truly belong. But we must make the decision to release ourselves to a mindful present moment.

The Decision to Forgive.

Above, I stated that we will all come to a point in which we will need to forgive. Some versions of the following questions may arise for you here, such as. How do we know we are ready to forgive? Does this mean we are letting the offenders off the hook? These are valid and important questions.

Forgiveness does not mean we are forgetting or dismissing the actions of an offender. The act of forgiveness does not mean that we are letting the individual who hurt us off the hook. This is where setting boundaries with others comes into play. A boundary such as, just because I am forgiving this offense, I certainly will not be putting myself in a similar position with that individual again.

If the situation allows it we may be able to continue on with a relationship that is meaningful to us. Forgiveness is no walk in the park and there are many emotions involved that need attention and mending. Some of these include but are not limited to, anger, sadness, resentfulness, bitterness, revengefulness, and embarrassment. These are all completely normal reactions when we have been hurt.

The amount of pain that we feel can make the decision to forgive that much harder. We make this decision when we feel that we are ready. But there is a difference between feeling we are ready and believe we are ready to forgive. There are bodily impulses that may be begging us to forgive, sometimes for long periods of time before we learn how to listen. The louder the anger, the louder the anxiety, speaks to the desire of these impulses that are crying out for freedom.

Forgiveness choice


Time to Forgive?

Here is a question to help figure out when it is time to forgive. How do I want to feel? For most people feelings of anger and resentfulness will not be on the top of the list of the way they want to feel, at least not consciously anyway.

Most people naturally want to feel good and these feeling states keep us feeling anything but that. When we choose to not be forgiving of others our happiness becomes a direct target. Being full of hatred and resentment can take over our lives, drain us from our happiness, and make us feel less purposeful. These feelings may spill over into all areas of our lives. Meaning that we won’t simply torture ourselves, but also cause an extra struggle for the people closest to us.

We know it is time when we want to rid ourselves of the powerful emotions that are holding us back from life.

Forgiveness is a Process.

This is a process and healing will come over time. Acknowledging how we feel versus ignoring it will greatly help our journey of forgiveness. Slowly we will start to feel the benefits as we begin to free up from the negative energy that we continue flowing through ourselves. In Steven Taylors article, “Are you ready to forgive”, he talks about four different phases of forgiveness that highlight this process.

1. Uncovering Phase- In the uncovering phase we are becoming aware of the impact the resentment we are holding is having on our lives.

2. Decision Phase- In the decision phase we come to a place where we decide that we are ready to take the step to forgive.

3. Work Phase- In the work phase we come to accept a certain amount of the reality of what has happened to us. It is here where we can begin to empathize with whoever has hurt us.

4. Deepening Phase- In the deepening phase we get to come to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our lives. Hopefully having life makes more sense with the responsibility we have found in taking our lives back.


Closing Thoughts.

Forgiveness is not easy, it is not desirable to be in a place where we need to give it. Although forgiving is not easy, it is necessary. It is necessary for giving back the ability to feel buried emotions and free our impulses to help us live more authentic lives.

If you find yourself in a position where you might need to forgive someone, give yourself a break. Remember how it is that you want to feel and slowly start taking steps from there. And like I said in the beginning, we are not meant to live in the past reliving the same feelings over and over. We owe ourselves the ability to reside peacefully in the present moment. Being forgiving of others won’t necessarily bring us the whole way but will at least point us in the right direction. And that is a big deal.

That is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you growth in your process of learning to be a more forgiving person.

Practicing Discernment for Guiding our Lives Well.

With all of the decisions, we all face daily, learning the principle of discernment is a must. Well, that is if we seek to live in a way that both challenges us and harmonizes with our own personal moralities.

Let’s look a little deeper into the principle of discernment to see why it is so important. As well as to seek ways to better our lives with it.

A Life Without Discernment.

A life without discernment is a life without any sort of personal guidance system. It is a life of having whatever bodily impulse that comes to the surface to find it’s way into reality. The Buddha said that “the root of all suffering is ignorance of the causes of suffering.” This suffering that a lack of discernment can bring is no small thing.

I believe that the philosopher Plato would very much agree with Buddha’s quote above. Since he penned his teacher Socrates to say that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” A life that is not well thought out is guided by our own ignorance and trailed by the regret of wasted time, energy and unnecessary suffering.

I do believe there is some attractiveness in not having to think deeply about the decisions we make. Maybe a sense of freedom arises from dreaming of a life where our decisions are magically made for us. But that sense of freedom is a fantasy. Granted, we should allow ourselves some freedom to quit thinking about the next decisions we have to make. We generally aren’t made for obsessively examining every detail of the next situation that life brings us. We need breaks, relaxation, and possible vacations. But refusal or unawareness of the need to practice discernment for too long can push us into undesired situations.

Discernment Person

What is Discernment?

An Oxford dictionary definition for discernment is ” the ability to judge well.”

Now when I think of the word discernment, I think of decision making. More precisely, I think of being able to judge whether one decision is better than another. And on that note, which decision it is best for us as individuals to act on at the moment. There is a difference between discernment and decision making itself. Discernment is a principle that guides our bodily impulses down a life path that best fits us as individuals. The quality of a decision is based on the level of discernment we use. Our abilities to discern, are based on the level of our expertise.

The principle of discernment is a beautiful thing, though it is not necessarily an easy principle to develop. The principle is developed through learned experience. Through experience, important faculties develop for building our ability to discern well. First of all as we go through life taking risks, whether we fail or succeed, we learn. We learn the ins and outs of the specific areas in which we are taking the risk, developing expertise. Secondly, we learn more about what we are interested in in the first place. We come to learn more about ourselves, our tastes, our passions, and the areas that are most worth our time and energy. By taking risks, experimenting with our creative impulses intelligently and learning from these experiences we can become experts in living our own lives.

Becoming Discerning Individuals for Guiding Our Lives Well.

Above is stated that “our abilities to discern, are based on the level of our expertise.” This happens to apply to any area of life in which we choose to spend our lives developing. For example, your level of expertise in race car driving will guide the decisions you can make on the race track. Now if you don’t know much about race car driving you might not know how to discern what a good decision is on the race track. The same goes for any area of life.

A racecar driver’s expertise helps them discern better decisions on the track, no doubt. Under the same logic, the more bits of information we understand about ourselves, the better guides we can be for the direction of our own lives. Allowing us to take more intelligent risks, and more intelligently use all resources at our disposal.

Here are some tips for developing discernment, so we can effectively be positive guides for the direction of our own lives.

Doing Self Due-Diligence.

Due-Diligence is about doing our own research. We should be doing our own research on any activity that we care to succeed with. Without studying the information available and giving it sufficient thought, discerning the best decision ends up being a shot in the dark. Maybe get lucky, maybe just waste time. On the same note, if we don’t do our due diligence in studying ourselves we won’t know ourselves well enough. We won’t know where to best focus our thoughts and actions, so our ability to discern the best decisions for ourselves will be blunted. Studying and thinking deeply about our beliefs, interests, abilities and the areas of life these will be best applied is critical for living lives of which we can be proud. The idea of becoming experts in our own lives rings loudly here.

Nobody knows more about ourselves than we do, we know us at our cores, even if not consciously. There is a great deal of information I don’t consciously have about myself. I have to continue mining the depths of myself to connect with all of it.

There isn’t a single person that can be a closer expert in our lives, than ourselves. But other people around us have incredibly useful information about us that we may not see. Having healthy people we trust to help us gain knowledge about ourselves and our capabilities is very beneficial. This could be from a mentor of some sort, family members, self-help books, or even a person we don’t know that says the right thing to us at the right time. Only we can make our own decisions, but the discernment of others can often help ourselves discern more effectively.

Discernment Self

Living on Purpose.

Purpose acts as a boundary and guide for the type of lives we want to live. You have probably heard the phrase “if you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.” Falling for anything is not a healthy proposition. Having a purpose means deciding what we are living for, which implies what we are not going to fall for. So my purpose to live a life that will create benefits for my loved ones, but not at the peril of others, keeps me from acting maliciously toward others for our gain. My purpose of respecting myself keeps me from acting in ways that will disrespect myself. Disregarding thoughts, activities, and people that could lead to reducing respect for myself, and focusing on those that will enhance it.

Our purposes and what we believe guide our impulses into the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, what we deem important, what to learn, and how to learn them. Purpose guides us into the areas in which we will gain our knowledge, the areas in which we will be discerning. Finding purposes that align with our healthy desires allows the ability to discern to be guided in a healthy way.



Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you growth on your path of practicing the principle of discernment in your life.