inspirational words from Jenna Marbles

YouTuber Jenna Marbles (whom I find hilarious) posted a very inspiring video a few months ago, and I love it.  You can watch it here.

I also love that another blogger, Mandy Richardson, posted a full transcript of it, which I am taking this snippet from (and now I’m reading Mandy’s blog too, which is awesome!)  Here’s my favorite part of the video:

People tell you your whole life, “You need to have a plan. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll never accomplish your goals.” But what if your goals are vague? Like mine. To be happy. To laugh. Every day. To experience life. To find love. And loss. To just feel what it feels like to be a human being. To feel alive. Where do you go with goals like that?

People associate being lost as something bad. Fear is bad. Confusion is bad. Failure is bad. But it’s not. It’s life. Because the way I see it, no one ever knows what they’re doing. Ever. And if anyone tells you they do, they’re lying. No one knows what life has in store. You can take steps towards what you want but you can’t control where the cards fall.

People focus on how to get somewhere they’re not right now. What’s wrong with the step you’re on? Look around you. Don’t miss what you have today. Your friends. Your family. People you love.

–Jenna Marbles, “My 200th Video”

With this, Jenna has articulated something that I think is really important: that we don’t have to have everything figured out.  That it’s okay to not have specific long-term goals in life.  I can relate to what she’s saying in that first paragraph.  I have some vague goals too.  I like to test out different things and discover what I really enjoy doing.  In the past 30 years that I’ve been alive, I’ve discovered many, many things that I love.  Comedy.  Music.  Dancing.  Writing.  Making people laugh.  Singing.  Exploring my own mind.  Trying new things just to try them.  Traveling.  Hanging out with my friends.  Being emotionally supportive to people.  And a ton of other things that I can’t think of off the top of my head.  I just like experiencing life, and all the aspects of myself.

If you were to ask me what I want to do with the rest of my career, I wouldn’t have a solid  answer other than that I want to be expressing myself creatively, and doing something to either empower or entertain people (or both) or to just help the world in some capacity.  To be of service while still honoring my strengths and what I enjoy doing.

And Jenna, if you ever happen to read this, thanks for sharing this wonderful video with the world.

love,

Kate

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taking somewhat of a break, so I can do The Work

Hi everybody,

I’m grateful that people (family, friends, not sure who else) have been reading this blog.  Thank you for reading it!  I plan to post something at least once a week still.

I’m going to be posting a little less for the time being, at least in terms of writing original content.  I want to spend more time delving into my own thoughts and beliefs, privately.  Already I’ve noticed a few of the earlier posts that I would now reword, because I don’t exactly like how they sounded.  They no longer ring true to me.

Could be a touch of perfectionism, but at the same time, I don’t want this blog to influence you in any single way except for good ways.  Ways that make your thinking more clear, not more muddled.  If I’m still confused about a bunch of things, it means the caliber of the blog is not where I want it to be.  By working on my own fears, judgments, etc. I’ll get clarity for myself.  I want to fully practice what I preach.

I’ve printed off a bunch of Judge Your Neighbor worksheets from TheWork.com, which is Byron Katie’s website.  I plan to fill them out over the coming weeks, and I want that to be my focus for now.

In the meantime, I’ll post some more things but the articles might not be as long.

To your health and mine,

Kate

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understanding the terminology of skeptic, atheist, and agnostic

The word skeptic is one that can be misunderstood.  I used to completely misunderstand it.  I actually thought it was associated with close-mindedness and negativity.  Boy, was I wrong on that one.

For a very good breakdown of what the word skepticism means and doesn’t mean (only a few short paragraphs), see this link.

I married someone who called himself a skeptic.  He was the first atheist I had ever met (or at least the first one who told me he was).  I used to think he was close-minded, when in reality he was just saying that he didn’t believe in God because there was no proof.

It wasn’t until several years later that I noticed that I, too, was an atheist – or at least felt comfortable using the word.  I had questioned the existence of God since I was a teenager, and by this time I was in my mid-20’s.

I have no beliefs about whether or not there is or was a God.  There are many definitions of God.  In this post, God refers only to a pre-existing consciousness that created the universe.  I am not referring to any specific aspects, personality, or history of God, such as the Judeo-Christian God that did certain things, etc.  I’m speaking strictly about the concept of a pre-existing consciousness that set things in motion.

I now call myself an ‘agnostic atheist’ so as to distinguish myself from atheists who believe that God does not exist.  I’ll break it down into sentences of what people think:

1.  God does not exist (or never existed).   I’m sure of it.

2.  God exists.  I’m sure of it.

3.  God might or might not exist/have existed.  I dunno.

Sentences #1 and #2 are both beliefs.  They assert something.  People who hold those beliefs have concluded one way or another (by the way, I’m cool with people concluding either one of those).

#3 is a statement that is not a belief.  People who think this way either call themselves an atheist or an agnostic.  #3 is the category I’m in.

Before I learned the difference, I used to think that all atheists fell into category #1.  A lot of people think this, because the terminology for #1 and #3 is often the same word (‘atheist’).  But as you can see, they’re very different.  The word gets murky and confusing in our language, as do so many other words.  I would much prefer if there were clear, distinct definitions.  If there’s something I’m missing here, please feel free to help me understand it better.

As stand-alone beliefs, #1 and #2 are pretty harmless.  No one kills each other over those beliefs, so I don’t have a problem with the fact that these beliefs are out there.  It’s other beliefs, such as beliefs purporting what God wants, or God’s purported negative stance on certain things, coupled with a belief that we must follow God’s wishes to be moral, that leads to the unfortunate violence, bigotry, and extremism.  That’s maybe a topic for a future post.

Honestly not quite sure why I’m mentioning my particular stance, or non-stance, on the existence of God – it feels like one of the least important types of belief, in terms of how it affects people’s moods and behavior.  In the spectrum of all the beliefs that it’s possible to have – these particular beliefs do not color one’s general sense of positivity or negativity about the world nearly as much as other beliefs do (referring back to the pre-existing consciousness definition that I mentioned).  There are collections of other beliefs that certainly do color one’s outlook in a huge way, for better or worse.

Anyway…

‘Skeptic’ is the term I like the best to describe how I try to be.  Skeptic doesn’t mean negative.  It just means questioning and introspective.  The questions are internal, focused on my own  thoughts.  To practice skepticism feels very good.  It feels healing.  This blog is about how far we can go with skepticism – using it to heal ourselves emotionally, feel better and stronger, and feel more in control of our well-being, while simultaneously surrendering control.  It’s an amazing and wonderful paradox of ideas.

It’s clear that Byron Katie (I told you she’d get a BUNCH of mentions in this blog because she’s just so good at thinking) is one of the most skeptical people who is alive today.  And she is also considered a ‘spiritual teacher’ by many.  She doesn’t believe things, but she doesn’t disbelieve things either.  She goes so deeply into what she calls the ‘don’t-know mind’ that she feels this sense of empathy and oneness with everything, and as a result is very kind, assertive, truthful, and straightforward.  It’s quite incredible, and I aspire to be more like her in that regard.  I’ll be writing some about how she and her books have influenced me, a little later on.

That’s all for now!

<3 Kate

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we could be anyone.

This is the first entry in a series on experiencing life on a less personal and painful level.

I could be anyone, and you could be anyone.

Think about how, given your life circumstances, you turned out. Think about how you were raised. Think about what environment you were in. Think about what your born personality is and was, and which aspects of consciousness were added on by mere circumstance. Thoughts, beliefs, and conclusions piled on top of what already was.

When you take everything into consideration – thinking about how your life has turned out, thus far, could it be any different?  Is it true that you couldn’t be any different than you are today?

Wouldn’t anyone in your shoes be… you?  You could be anyone.

The more I see that I’m anyone, the more I see that you are anyone. The less I can fault you for what you do. The less I take what you do personally.  I see you (at least partially) as a product of the world that shaped you.  A person who would do exactly what you do, given your circumstances. And that’s when the empathy happens.

If you could be anyone, I could be you. I would do exactly what you do. I would understand completely.

If the person who wronged you could be anyone, they could be you. You would do exactly what they do. You would understand completely.

When we allow ourselves to deeply explore our consciousness, this is what happens. The world becomes less personal in a beautiful, amazing way.  Harsh judgments of other people disappear.

Which is not to say that it’s wrong to try to influence people, or stop them from doing certain things.  We can all do that.  Lack of judging does not mean we give our power away or try to keep things the way they are.  It only means our minds are clear as we take action.

<3 Kate

p.s. Coming up soon in the blog I’ll be discussing The Work of Byron Katie.  In her Judge Your Neighbor worksheets, she encourages people to judge other people as much as possible, but only for the  purpose of being able to do turnarounds on it.

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amazing insights from RuPaul in an interview

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”                                      -William Shakespeare, As You Like It

RuPaul gave an interview at the New York Public Library recently.  I just watched the whole thing, and I have to say I’m amazed.  (Side note: libraries are like my second home.)

The interview, both hilarious and philosophical, can be found here.

In it, he touches on many things that make absolute sense to me:

  • Living life within both the confines of the fourth wall, and being the witness that sees that it’s all a play/show/performance/etc.  (This blog is all about breaking the fourth wall of consciousness)
  • The importance of finding your tribe
  • Understanding the one consciousness

And so much more.  He really gets it – he gets what I’m trying to say with this blog.  There are shout-outs and quotes from a lot of the great artists, thinkers, and philosophers of the past and present.  It is awesome.  If you have an hour and a half of time, it’s definitely worth watching.  This is the type of thing that inspires me to keep going with the blog, and with everything else I have going on.

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This is not a blog about “positive thinking”

“Positive thinking” gets a bad rap sometimes, and rightly so.  There’s a certain kind of positive thinking that consists of platitudes or false hope, that are not actually very helpful.  Especially when times are tough.  Some types of positive thinking gloss over the negative stuff, as if that will make it go away.  Positive doesn’t matter if negative is still underneath it.

Principles like the Law of Attraction do have merit and truth to them.  For sure.  They address things like limiting beliefs, which is very important.  I just don’t think some of the popular ‘positive thinking’ avenues are either telling the whole story, or giving the user practical tools to go about creating lasting change.

This blog is about how to have ultra-realistic, grounded, and actually neutral thinking which invariably helps people become more positive and create more possibilities for themselves.  It’s interesting, because when the human brain is in the zone where it truly is not claiming to know things it doesn’t know, a sense of freedom and curiosity is the result.  It’s not a false feeling at all.  There’s an authenticity, truth, and natural joy in it.

Here’s an example of positive/negative/neutral thinking, for someone who wants to attract a life partner:

A)  “I will meet someone I want to spend the rest of my life with.”

B)  “I will never meet someone I want to spend the rest of my life with.”

C)  “I might meet someone I want to spend the rest of my life with.”

Which 2 out of the 3 are claiming to know something that can’t be known?

A and B.  C doesn’t claim to know anything.  Option A is hopeful, but sets itself up for disappointment if it doesn’t happen.  Option B is hopeless and sets itself up to fail at finding a partner.  Option C is curious, hopeful, realistic, and does not limit the thinker of the thought in any way.  It neither prevents them from seeking a life partner, nor does it give a false guarantee.  Byron Katie refers to this state as the “don’t-know” mind.

This blog is all about making our way to Option C , the non-belief.  It’s also worth noting that A and B are both beliefs.  (And as mentioned in the previous post, future projections are always beliefs/assumptions.)

Most of us have beliefs about so many things in life.  Money, ourselves, relationships, life in general, people in general, words and concept themselves, and much more.  I want to help you unravel the beliefs that prevent you from being happier, more at peace, and more empowered than you currently are.

To empowerment,

Kate

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