Tag Archives: self

The Ramblings of a Weird Author

MichaelHibbardGreetings, Dreamers!

I wanted to take a moment and talk a bit about who I am and what I write.  I’ve gained quite a few new followers so I though it was time that I gave you a little more insight into me, what I write, and what inspires me to continue.

I am laying it all out there, because I am a communicator, well, online that is.  In real life, I’m a bit of a recluse, and am not really good in social situations, which I am working on.

Who were my inspirations?

I’ve been an avid reader since I was really young.  The first adult book I read was “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving.  I’ve always loved the supernatural, so I continued with other authors such as Poe, Lovecraft, King, Bradbury, F. Paul Wilson and many others.  Oddly, my two biggest influences were Lovecraft and F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Lovecraft is an inspiration because he loved description, words and his creation of the Cthulhu Mythos.  Fitzgerald is an inspiration for his writing style, his ability to expose the dark underbelly of our society, and for giving us my favorite book, The Great Gatsby.

The Waking Dream is not all that I write, but it is a huge focus on my career because it spans so many genres and deals with many social issues, both for adults and young adults.  I love to write horror, especially Lovecraftian Horror, because I do love a good scary tale, and it seems that there are not enough new ideas coming out.  I have not been scared by anything that has come out lately.  I abhor slasher type books, because the news does a pretty good job of covering that genre.  It’s all too real and close to home.

The inspiration for the Waking Dream truly came from my personal quest to understand the nature of reality.  I am inspired by a variety of things: the change of seasons, weird happenings, interactions between people, philosophy, religion, science and the paranormal.

When Did I Start Writing?

I really started writing stories when I was 12.  I was attending a Catholic School in Woodbury, New Jersey.  It was very old, and the basement was very creepy.  I wrote a screen play about dark rituals happening in the basement at night.  My teacher at the time, Mr. DuBois, fully supported me filming it and got permission for me to do so.  Unfortunately, before we could do the film, my parents moved to Pennsylvania.

I was an avid Role-Player, and I’ve played just about every table-top game there is, and I enjoyed being the storyteller more than the player.  I would write very involved campaigns, which were essentially interactive stories.  Then when I got on the internet, I went crazy in the chat rooms with story lines, and had three channels devoted to different settings.  Castle Nightshade was a high fantasy storyline set in a world I created with over 100 people playing at any given time.  Night City was a vampire based storyline with many of the same people playing back and forth.  And then finally, The Waking Dream which only had 12 players as a private group.

My first novel, which was published by Phantasm Books, is my crowning achievement as an author.  I was very pleased to have my book recognized so quickly without having been published anywhere before.  Waking Dream: Devlin is just the first of many to come.  I enjoyed writing it, hated the editing process, and have stressed the promotion.  But in the end, I am happy with what I have produced.

Here is the list of books I have written to date:

What is the Waking Dream All About?

I do get a lot of people who are very confused about the subject matter contained in the Waking Dream.  I have many journals with all of the particulars about the Waking Dream Universe, because it is quite expansive.  I am trying to create a world that is wholly unique, but emulates Cthulhu Mythos, or Frank Herbert’s Dune.

I am fascinated with the universe.  I rarely watch any non-science shows, because I want to understand the nature of reality.  So, I started the Waking Dream as a synthesis of all the concepts I feel to be true about our universe.  If the universe were just a dream we should be able to control it.  It’s just a matter of learning how to.  We are all children, no matter how old we get.  But, we tend to start to disbelieve that we have the power to change it.  We get wrapped up in politics, our daily jobs, acquiring things, and we stop believing that life really is very magical.  The fact that we exist at all is magical in of itself.

The Waking Dream is targeted to people who want to believe and it is appropriate for young adults, as well as adults.  I explore social issues, so there is a lot of allegory in the novel.  I also explore topics that plague our children today, such as coming of age, self-mutilation, poor self-esteem, dealing with loss, and how to fit in.  On the social level, I address self-sustaining communities, religion, reincarnation, the degradation of society, politics, and the struggle between good vs. evil.

What Do I Do for My Day Job?

Currently, I am a data analyst, and I do enjoy it, because it has helped my ability to market my book, and self-promote.  It all comes down to numbers.  But, on the side, I am a programmer and I can program in 11 different computer languages.  All of it self-taught, as I am a true autodidact.  Structured learning is not my thing.  I tend to learn better when I can move at my own pace.

However, I did not start out in this field.  I have had many many different jobs in my 43 years.  Here are the ones I can remember:

Gardener, Greenhouse Worker, Pastry Chef, Sous Chef, Line Cook, Toy Store Manager, Video Store Manager, Blockbuster Assistant Manager, Medical Sales, Web Designer, Project Manager, Grounds Keeper,  Coder, Software Architect, Business Architect, Graphic Designer, and now Published Author.

All of the jobs I’ve had contributed to my experience as a writer.  I have learned something valuable from each of them, though I wasn’t necessarily happy in each job.  Working at a toy store during Christmas was an absolute nightmare!

What Are My Hobbies?

I am a firm believer in the saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”.  Those of you who frequent my blog know that I try to post at least once a day.  But I also have my facebook pages, my four secret twitter accounts, and my main @arkangyl account.  So I do love social media.  But my other hobbies include:

Drawing/Illustration (I have designed all but one of my book covers), Guitar, Drums, Music in general, Cooking, Console and PC Gaming, Role-playing, Poetry, Reading, Philosophy, Quantum Physics, Mathematics, Programming Apps and Board Games.

Writing I do not consider a hobby.  This is what I ultimately want to do for a full-time job, and I feel confident that I will get there.  As I’ve said to my other fellow authors, who are just starting out, it takes patience.   Everything requires work and honing one’s craft.

Why Did I Do This?

First, I really did this because I wanted you all to know who I really am.  I believe that it is important to engage my friends, (I hate the term followers).  I do no spend all night looking for people to follow.  I tweet and if someone follows me, I’ll follow them back if it seems we’d be friends!  I always respond to everyone who engages me, because I do not want to sit on some pedestal and have people adore me.

Second, I am what I write.  I am not writing to become rich and famous.  I doubt I could deal very well with fame, as I am a recluse, as I mentioned.  If you know who I am, perhaps you’ll be more interested in the stuff I write, and more importantly, you’ll understand why I write the way I do.

Again, thank you for listening, and I am always interested in a good conversation, either here, on Facebook or on Twitter.

If you hit the Interview Menu at the top, you can listen or read about my other interviews.

Happy Friday the 13th, my friends!

Why the Waking Dream?

DevlinI get asked on many occasions why I’ve spent so much time working on this series before I wrote the book.  Part of it was procrastination, but the biggest reason was the allegory behind the Waking Dream.

When I was a kid, I was very much enamored by H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos.  The idea of a writer creating a framework for other writers to contribute to was fascinating to me.  And since the story “The Call of Cthulhu” was released in 1926, scores of renowned authors have taken their turn to try to rouse the Ancient Ones from their slumber.

I initially came up with the idea for the Waking Dream in 1995 as a Dungeons and Dragons style role-playing game.  It was first premiered on Internet Relay Chat, where I had over 100 people playing at any given time.  But as I began to write these elaborate story lines for others to interact with, it occurred to me that it would be more useful to write stories and novels, rather than a bunch of rules and dice play.  The Waking Dream began to evolve.

I stepped away from the online role-play world and began to do serious research on how to make the Waking Dream a framework.  But along the way, it started to become something much more than that.  It started to become a philosophical debate on the nature of existence – a subject that has haunted me my entire adult life.  I have for a long time stopped reading fiction, and jumped headlong into physics, cosmology, religion, philosophy, mathematics and metaphysics.  And along the way, I created an entire universe populated by Dreamers, Sleepers and Immortals and solved — in my mind — the answers to our universe.

It does not matter really what comprises the universe, how it came to be, or where it will go from here.  What does matter is the voyage and exploration of the self and understanding that we are all connected at a fundamental level, and the universe is our playground.  We have gone about our search for the answer in the wrong way.  Rather than trying to understand our consciousness and our spirit, we’ve leaped into the abyss, searching for answers in the stars — but the answer is in each and every one of us.

The Waking Dream books and stories and framework are to give us a way to be children again, when we looked at everything with wonder. Magic and Monsters are everywhere, we’ve just chosen not to see them in the same way we once did.  We’ve allowed what we call the “common reality” — what the majority believes to be true — to make us blind to the true nature of the universe and thus, ourselves.

For me, the Waking Dream is not about making money, it’s about throwing a new idea out on the table for everyone to see.  And in turn, I expect others to take up the mantle and submit their own stories about the Waking Dream.  Because, in the Waking Dream anything is possible.  And if we all take a moment to realize the Dream as something wonderful, it will be wonderful.  But at the moment, we are creating a nightmare.

Waking Dream: Devlin is just the first of many novels to come.  If you are looking to escape for just a little while, and you believe in any of the things I have said, I believe you will enjoy walking with me in the Waking Dream.

Waking Dream (Part 1)

Waking DreamGreetings, Dreamers!

Today I start a new series of posts describing the philosophy behind my upcoming novel, Waking Dream: Devlin Book I. The book will be going on sale on September 22, 2013 — The first day of Autumn.  As an side note, all dates in the book and the actual release dates all play into the overall mystery of the series.

Let’s Begin!

At the basis of it all, the concept of the Waking Dream stems from my own personal studies in a variety of areas.  Its more than just a series of fiction novels, it is an interwoven collection of things I have come to understand to be plausible with reference to the nature of our universe, the formation of life, the human soul and consciousness.  I assert that our present scientific endeavors are looking for the wrong things and that some of the things presented as fact are indeed quite wrong.  There are far too many unknowns, and most of all, we cannot understand nor explain the most fundamental aspect of our universe, Gravity.  In addition, there is this lack of unifying the physics of the big things in our universe (stars, galaxies, planets, life) and the physics of the very small, quantum level (atoms, electrons, singularities).  Even though there has been significant effort in this area, we are still no closer to a true Theory of Everything — well, not an accepted theory that is.  At the end of this post I will list some of the books that have helped shape my understanding of the universe.

The Story of Creation

I began with the Unmoved Mover principle posited by Aristotle in his work Metaphysics. I had been struggling with my own agnosticism at the time, and had been reading the works of St. Thomas Aquinas as a part of my theology curriculum.  After much study in this area, I determined that I had become more of a Deist and that we are responsible for how our lives unfold.  The essence of Free Will.  If the Creator is intervening in our lives, then we do not truly have Free Will.  And I think this is personified even in the bible as “If a man will not work, he shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) [“God helps those who helps themselves” is an ancient Greek derivative of this, yet not found in the bible thusly quoted]

In the Waking Dream, the Creator set the parameters for the universe, then moved on to other places, perhaps checking in on us from time to time out of curiosity.  I have always found it quite paradoxical to think that an all supreme being would need us to worship him.  We have created a God to worship for a variety of reasons — mostly to explain the things we cannot explain.  But as time moves forward, we will require God less and less.  This is the fundamental aspect of my philosophy behind the Waking Dream.  Once we realize we are all One being, with each of us a facet of that one being, we will no longer need to rely on a God because we will realize that we are all God and One.

In the beginning, there was One — the first Immortal.  It is he who set into motion the creation of the stars, galaxies, planets.  And through this, other consciousnesses began to form in a place called The Spaces Between, the source of all the energy necessary for matter to exist.  Souls/Spirits coalesce much in the same way stars do, swirling thoughts that accreted from this primordial energy.

One is just the first, and not God.  And through him, the other Celestial Immortals were created through a predefined equation.  From his essence, the Magician and the High Priestess came into being.  They are the ones who created the parameters by which the incorporeal enter the physical realm of the Waking Dream. They also are the ones that defined the ability to affect the Waking Dream, known as Weirdness, my form of magic.

From the Magician and High Priestess, came the last of the Celestial Immortals, the Triad.  They are the Dexter who governs Order, the Sinister who governs Chaos, and the Charnel One who governs death and reincarnation.  And through the Triad the shells that our souls inhabit in the Waking Dream were created, the Sleepers.

All souls, or Dreamers and Immortals, must inhabit a body in the physical world to exist.  Once they have done so, they live out their lives and eventually Awaken to understand that the universe is a Waking Dream.  From this point, they are able to use the inherent Weirdness within all Dreamers to subtly affect the Waking Dream, making the world as it is today.  And when they die, they return to the Spaces Between to begin all over again.  A Dreamer does not consciously remember their former life, except through the phenomenon of Deja Vu.  But when they return to the Spaces Between they retain all of the knowledge of their multitude of lives.  This continues until they reach the state of Immortality, the goal of every Dreamer.

The next part in this series will explore Immortality and the differences between the Celestial Immortals and the Planet Bound Immortals.

List of References I’ve used to create the series:

Connections

neural network rotatorGreetings, Dreamers!

I apologize for the hiatus on something meaningful and thought-provoking, but the common reality has a way of getting in the way of what I wish to explore.

Today, I am going to discuss connections, for I feel that there is a need to further explore how we are all One, and how this is possible.  The more we can accept this simple truth the more chance we have of saving ourselves — and yes, it is a truth that I firmly and staunchly believe.

“Things fall apart — the center cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere. The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” – The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats

This was the first poem I ever read when I started my English degree.  The class was British Modern Age Literature and this poem, of all the wonderful poems in Yeats’ body of work, has haunted me for my entire adult life.  But to put it in context of how it relates to our world is that We are all the center that cannot hold because we have lost our connections to the hub that is our Oneness — the singularity that binds us, yet allows us to explore our universe from different perspectives while sharing our observations.

My day job is filled with data analysis and I use artificial intelligences, namely neural networks, to process data.  But, coding these automatons requires a deeper understanding of the biological construct which inspired them — the human brain.  In the figure pictured above, you see how the billions of neurons in your brain are connected.  When the mind is thinking, it is a storm of electrical surges that ripple like lightning over a rain filled thundercloud.  Each neuron is connected, directly or indirectly to the whole through cause and effect.  Each neuron processes a bit of information, and signals other connected neurons to fire and assist in the deduction of the appropriate response.  For instance, when you see an apple, neurons fire that process color (red), shape (apple), ontology (fruit), context (edible) and spacial (distance).  All happening at the speed of light, to deduce that what you are seeing is in fact an apple.  But this does not happen without learning — i.e. positive and negative reinforcement.

An artificial intelligence is like a child.  It must be trained and given experience.  We train it by giving it known things.  Such as, if we want a neural network to be able to recognize faces, we given it pictures and have it find them.  When it is right, we “reward” it by telling it that it answered correctly.  When it is wrong, we “scold” it.  This process continues until we feel that the AI has a good grasp on what the general shape of a face is, but we do not over teach it, because we know that not all faces are created equal.  Also, if we are processing photos, lighting, age, weight and other obstructions, can be hard to distinguish.  We want the AI to be able to come to a conclusion on its own, with our gentle nudging in the right direction.

Simple ANNThis is a typical layout for a very simple AI.  We have three inputs, which are the variables or traits we know.  The hidden layer connects all of the input neurons to the output neurons, and acts as the “memory” of known answers.  This memory is all governed by very simple equations that strengthen or weaken connections between certain neurons.  The stronger the connections, the more likely they will fire and produce the correct answer.

Now, you may be asking, why do I care about any of this?  It’s very simple.  If you look at the world, with every living organism as a neuron, we have connections.  And, when we work in tandem, we produce an outcome.  Sometimes we stay “wired” to one another, and produce a similar outcome, other times, we drift apart and make different connections, different outcomes.  I have observed people in different settings.  In one setting they will come up with different outcomes to the same inputs, depending on who they are with.  As an example, you what to go to a movie.  If you go with Group A, you will probably see a Romantic Comedy.  If you go with Group B, you will probably go see a Horror film.  The outcome is governed by the collective behavior and connections within that group.  And if you decide you don’t want to see Romantic Comedies any longer, you will drift further from Group A when it comes to movie going, until the connection is weakened and possibly lost.

The point of this particular rambling is to punctuate that we as living organisms, not just humans, but all living things, function as a global mind.  It is a very difficult concept to accept for many because it infringes on the “self”.  However, every neuron in your brain is an individual, yet it must have input and connections to the rest of the brain to be of use.  If it is not being used, it simply dies.

This is just another example of how we are all connected.  Our global mind produces the outcomes that we experience in day-to-day life.  And if the outcomes are not what we want, we must relearn, retrain ourselves, until we can achieve what it is we want.  “Things fall apart”, yes, they have and do.  But it within our power to make amends before the “rough beast slouches towards Bethlehem to be born”.

This is my hypothesis on Oneness, and I am opening the floor to be challenged on the validity of my analogy as I formulate a cogent theory of Oneness and Global Consciousness.

The Universe (Part 2)

OneGreetings Dreamers!

Continuing with our exploration of the universe, and all its glory, I want to talk about Oneness.  Now you may think that this is not something related to the existence of the universe, but it is its most fundamental aspect.

The universe is an isolated system.  Which means all of the energy — and subsequently matter — is finite.  Which means, no new energy can enter or leave the universe.  It can only change forms, and it constantly does.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of Oneness, let us talk about the fundamentals.  Every atom in your body was created by a star. From the carbon that forms all the molecules that make up your cells, to the iron in your blood, to the hydrogen and oxygen that make up the water, to the gold in your wedding band.  Every bit of it was created by a star.  This means, that we are literally made up from the cinders of burning stars.

We gain our energy from sunlight.  All of the energy that drives us in one form or another is derived by the sun directly or indirectly.  We consume plants and animals that are nourished by the sun.  And when they die or we die, we give up that energy for new life to be reborn, and the cycle continues until this planet is no more.  We cannot escape this.  And to think that any one of us is any better than another is plainly and simply wrong.  We all come from the same thing — no matter how much money you have, or what color your skin, or what religion you believe.  We are all connected physically this way.

But now, let us move onto the spiritual or energetic relationship we share.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I believe that all the knowledge and experience we create is shared amongst ourselves.  We are all teachers and students.  We thrive when we are learning from one another and sharing what we know.  This extends far into the past, as we learn from our collective histories, and into the future as we know what is to come.  It is only when we recognize that we are all connected that we can truly shed our differences and embrace each other as kin.

In my last post, I mentioned the existence of a creator, and I wanted to take a moment to discuss that, because our individual perceptions of a creator are as varied as there are people on the planet.  Since I cannot prove nor disprove God, I would never make a statement that there is no God.  I spent most of my life as an application programmer and architect. I know that an application does not write itself, nor can a house design itself.  The variables that define the universe are so exquisitely defined that if just one of them were changed infinitesimally, the universe would not exist at all.  If gravity were just a little strong or a little weaker, nothing would be as it is now.  All our atoms would fly apart, or the universe would crush in on itself.  So, being a programmer, I am willing to say that in the beginning there was an architect, but I cannot tell you whether he is within or without of our system.

But now that the universe exists, and it has balance.  We have become the stewards.  There really is no need for a God figure because we have been given everything we need to exist. And now we all are collectively God, because we are in control of our reality whether we accept the responsibility or not.  Accepting this responsibility is the most difficult thing we humans struggle with.  Some of us accept it openly, while others want to believe that they need guidance by a supernatural entity.  That is not necessary, because we have one another to admonish ourselves when we are wrong, and praise ourselves when we do amazing things.

The glue that makes us One, is that we are connected through a complex web of inter-relations, vis-a-vis, love, compassion.  When we make a friendship, we become connected to the friends of our friends, ad infinitum.  Social Media can show us that we all are connected at nth degrees of separation.  And though I’m not a fan of Facebook, it has shown me that you can follow a trail from one of your friends to just about anyone else on the planet.  It has exposed that we are all truly connected either directly or indirectly.  But I will take a leap and say that we are connected a much more fundamental levels.

Last night, a friend of mine posted this reply in response to my last post.  It is one of the most poignant observations I’ve read and I wanted to share it with you all.

It’s hard for Me – that is, everyone that I am, anyone that I am – to come to terms with being God…but once I know Myself, well, then, I know I am old and young, good and evil, man and woman, sick and healthy, straight and gay, and so on – how could I not have compassion, acceptance, love, and understanding of Myself? – Dr. Erik Andrulis

I urge you to check his blog, because he is on the same path as I am.  And his insights might give you further food for thought.

So today, I will end this post with another question, and I ask you to step out of yourself before answering.  Look at your friendships, your relationships, your family: Do you believe that every human on this planet is connected at a spiritual level or are we just islands in the sea?

Exploring Humanity (Part 5)

Compassion-3Greetings Dreamers!

I wanted to end this series with a positive message, and discuss the only thing that will fix our world, truly — Love and Compassion.

We all talk about love and compassion. Love is a word that is often thrown around with little earnestness.  Do we do it because we feel obligated because someone else has said it? Do we actually really mean it?  We should mean it, or not say it at all, because it can give the wrong impression, or make us appear as if we are just parrots.

How about compassion?  Do we really empathize with others and show them compassion?  In today’s world, so many people are hurting.  This is just the reality we live in right now.  For instance, here are many more homeless people in the world as a result of all the financial strife our country is facing. I see at least 10 of them every day.  It’s hard to know which one’s are for real and which ones are just looking for drug money, or are scammers.  This is where you have to listen to your inner self.  It is a very difficult thing to learn how to tell those who are earnest, from those who are not.  But if you have spare change, perhaps you should just give it away, no matter what.  In the end, it’s not our place to judge one another.  We must judge ourselves by our own actions. It really doesn’t matter if you give money to someone who doesn’t really need it, because it grows us all as people.  We shed this judgmental aspect of our being, and foster compassion in our hearts.

I don’t want to talk about all the bad things going on in the world — you don’t need me to remind you of that.  My simple message today is that we have to learn to be more compassionate and understanding to those around us.  I know that we are all individuals, but as I’ve said we are all One.  And when one of us is hurting, sometimes it just takes a kind word or gesture to completely change someone’s mood.  And it also means we have to pay attention to our fellow humans.  Some people hide their hurt deep inside.  I personally am very observant of the people close to me — family, friends, co-workers.  It doesn’t help to pry.  But it does help to just show the person you care, and be earnest about it.  When you say you are sorry to someone because they are hurting,grieving, or depressed, say it because you mean it, because they can tell by the tone of your voice whether you are earnest.  If you can’t be earnest, don’t say anything at all, because that will just make things worse.  Trust me, I know how I feel when someone says, “Aww…I’m so sorry.”  But i can tell they don’t mean it, and that just makes me feel more alone and hurt.

So I am ending this series on Exploring Humanity, and next week I intend to move onto a less serious topic — The Universe.  Feel free to suggest something to me.  I’m always open to exploring new ideas.

But before I go, I just wanted to sum this series up by saying that the only true way we can change our world, is by first changing ourselves.  These short essays were not intended to lecture you, or admonish you.  There are many good people in the world, and everyone has good in them — we must believe that though finding the good may take more digging in some, than in others.  Reach out to one another, befriend people and get out of your house.  Enjoy this wonderful world.  Revel in the company of friends and family.  Find happiness in each and every day, even if it’s just for a moment.  It has been a very rough ride for everyone on the planet for the last decade.  But we can change it.  I believe this and I hope you do too.  If we can truly love one another, then we can accomplish anything.

So I leave you with this final question:  Have you reached out and told someone you care about them today — and meant it?

 

Exploring Humanity (Part 4)

selfGreetings, Dreamers!

A friend pointed out to me that I haven’t really given you much to help you explore these topics inwardly.  The purpose of this particular series is to get us all to look at ourselves, because we cannot change the world unless we start with ourselves, because we are all collectively a part of the problem. To today I will discuss self-reflection.

It is very hard to look within ourselves and see what is wrong with us, if anything.  But I know that I personally have things to work on with my own self, and I suspect there are many others like me who do.  There are so many people out there trying to sell books to tell you how to help yourself, but the simple answer is that the only one who can help you is you.  When we look at the world, it is a reflection of all of us, each and every one.  And it will take all of us to change the world to be a better place — no poverty, no violence, no fear, no greed, leaving nothing but hope, peace, love and compassion.

There are much more personalized ways to explore yourself, uncover the things that you don’t like and change them.  The first step is to recognize your problem areas.  Once you’ve recognized them, you can find ways to deal with it.  There is always hope, and no problem is insurmountable if there is a will to do something. Everything begins with the realization that there is something you want to change.  That’s actually the easy part, because deep down inside you know the things that you want to change about yourself.  The hard part is the discipline to fix it.  Nothing is easy, and changing things about yourself requires training and perseverance.

I have spent a great deal of time working with meditation and a form of assisted meditation, known as hemi-sync.  I am fortunate that I live close to the Monroe Institute, here in Virginia, who have been the pioneers in binaural beats.  They sell audio files, both music and self-paced instruction, to teach you how to meditate and explore the depths of your psyche and how to find inner peace.  Their Gateway Series is the best place to begin, and it is reasonably priced.  But there are other ways to explore yourself.  I find that I learn more about myself through my creative outlets, something we all have, and through my works, the things that make you unique will expose themselves over time.

When I find something that I want to change about myself,  I create a little rhyme, poem or mantra that I tell myself whenever I find myself falling into an old, unwanted pattern.  Living with OCD has helped me in this case.  I tend to be attracted to shiny things — I’m probably a raven in disguise.  When I am at the store, and I want to purchase something, I think about it over and over, telling myself “Do I really need this? Or am I going to use it for a few months then toss it to the side?”  I say this over and over until I have either listed enough logical arguments that I need it, or I come to the conclusion that it is just the raven in me that wants it.

I do not have the answers, and though there are many people who will tell you they have the answers, the only person who knows you is YOU.  It’s okay to ask for help, but you’re the one that has to decide what it is that you want to change about you.  It is up to you to take personal responsibility for your actions, and the direction of your life.  We all have things that have happened in our pasts, but we also are the one defining our futures.  No one is directing you or controlling you.  If you feel that way, you simply say no, I’m not going to allow this to happen anymore.  It really is that simple, and I’m not trying to sell you a self-help book.  It’s all about realizing you are the captain of your vessel.  And once you have accepted this, you can change yourself for the better, and thus we can change the world for the better.

I’ve said this throughout these posts.  To create a utopian society, which I firmly believe can exist, it must begin within each and every one of us.  Even tough we have all these terrible things in the world that I’ve mentioned before, there is hope, the future does not need to be grim.  Our planet is beautiful and amazing.  Each of us is beautiful and amazing.  We all have dreams, we all have thoughts, and we all want to be heard.  Life is an amazing gift. On twitter, I posted this today

Take a moment to see some of the responses that people left. There are always positive things about yourself and our world.  We are so mired down in the negative, because that is all we are fed, day in and day out.  So when you look inside yourself, also look around you.  See the good and bad in you, see the good and bad in our world.  The answers to fixing both ourselves and the world will be similar.

So today I will leave you with this question, which you do not have to post or answer for me:  Look inside yourself and find is there something you really need or want to change, and how can you achieve it?