Site Origins, Lessons Learned, and What’s Coming up in 2016

It’s been a tremendous year of learning and self-development for me. And producing content for this site has brought up new challenges of self-expression and authenticity for me to work through.

I’ll be sharing all of it with you as I unravel these challenges and begin to move through them.

But right now I’d like to take a look back at the year that was 2015 and reflect on everything that’s gone down.

This post is a big one, so I’ve split it into three parts for easier digestion:

  1. The Story Behind b is for being. – How this site came to be.
  2. The 3 Biggest Learnings of 2015 – The most significant learnings from sharing myself publicly this year.
  3. Moving Forward in 2016! – An overview of what’s coming up in 2016 including a project I could use your help with! (see: Pocket Guide of Gentle Reminders)

 

1. The Story Behind b is for being.

My whole life I’ve been fascinated by people who freely express themselves. People who seem to act from their own center instead of following what others think they should do.

How did they come to this place?

What were they doing that I wasn’t? Why did they feel free to express themselves and I didn’t?

I was aware that I was holding myself back, but overtime it became the normal-mode of my life.

I could feel the desire deep down to share myself with others. To express myself authentically without changing how I shared due to a fear of being judged or criticised.

This desire for authentic expression grew stronger and stronger, and so did the fears and doubts which were telling me this was not a good idea.

This back and forth continued for quite a time, and began to cause trouble in my everyday life. My connection with those around me began to suffer as I was highly critical of their actions and beliefs, as well as my own.

In a nutshell: life wasn’t so fun at this point.

Finally I reached a point where I’d had enough. I was tired of this repressed way of living and I was ready for a different way of living.

I went looking for anything which would help me. I went through a lot of self-help books, all of which helped but never seemed to cut to the core of the fear and self-criticism I was experiencing.

And then I discovered this thing called self-love. I began taking tiny baby steps toward cultivating a loving relationship with myself.

Each day I would wake up and tune-in to what I needed that day to feel safe and appreciated. I began taking myself for walks, spending afternoons simply laying in the park and buying myself amazing stationary. (I really like stationary.)

After only a few months of tuning into myself and treating myself compassionately I was expressing myself more freely, and the people around me were actually enjoying it!

More and more people were looking to hang out and I had way more energy to share. I also began feeling lighter as the heavy fears and doubts began to grow weaker and weaker.

Being naturally introspective, I began to explore the ins and outs of what self-love was and why I’d felt such a hugely positive shift in myself.

Often I’d be talking with others about the changes I was experiencing and the things I was learning about self-love. I received a lot of positive feedback from this. People were finding what I was sharing really helpful. To be sharing what I was learning felt great!

I wanted to share what I was learning with more and more people, but at the time I felt like I had no authority to be sharing publicly. Another wave of self-doubt hit me.

I knew what I wanted to share but I didn’t feel good enough, or wise enough, or anything enough. Who was I to teach others?

I compared myself to spiritual teachers, self-help gurus and other wise celebrities, telling myself that if I was going to be sharing I needed to be like them.

Over and over, I talked myself out of doing what I wanted to do.

But then in March of 2015 I discovered a podcast episode by Sean McCabe about why you should be teaching what you know. From that episode I was reminded that there are people out there who would benefit from the things I’ve been learning about self-love and authentic self-expression.

Just being reminded of this uncovered a huge reserve of energy inside me which I used to start the website and begin sharing. Thank you, Sean!

2. The 3 Biggest Learnings of 2015

Since sharing on b is for being I’ve learned a lot more about myself, and in the process, uncovered new areas of self-expression for me to learn about and grow with.

Still Finding My Flow

Even though I’m sharing on the site I still feel like I’m getting in the way of my natural flow.

It’s all due to the thought, “What if I’m not doing things the right way.

I know I’m holding myself back out of fear of being rejected or coming across as ‘crazy’ or ‘strange’. But even though I know this I still need to work through this fear bit by bit.

Over the Christmas break I gave myself the time to express myself in whatever way I wanted; usually verbally, and recording it all with an audio recorder.

I call this form of uninhibited verbal-expression – freetalking. It’s purely stream-of-consciousness with absolutely no rules as to what comes out. It’s the verbal equivalent of freewriting.

Since doing this I’ve already noticed a flow-boost in my expression. It feels great and I’m going to keep making time for these ‘expression sessions’ so the flow can keep on flowin’.

Committing to Long-term Projects Requires Passion and Compassion

You’ve got to have a passion for what you’re working on, as well as the compassion to treat yourself kindly so you don’t burn out.

I burned out a few times producing episodes for the podcast this year, and it was all because I wasn’t giving myself enough down time. Time to spend with friends and family and being out in nature.

So I’m going to balance my work with a good amount of play next year. So I can keep sharing with a good amount

Returning to My Home Town Was Overwhelming but No Match for the Quality of My Self-relationship

After almost 3 years abroad, living in Berlin, I returned to Perth, Australia where the bulk of my self-doubt and insecurity had originated.

I was terrified that returning to my home town would see me overwhelmed by old fears and doubts and I would stop sharing.

The first few weeks back did see a lot of old negativity come up. But the thing which got me through this was the quality of my self-relationship. Instead of treating myself harshly I acknowledged how I felt – anxious, critical, insecure.

And by letting those feelings just be there I was able to move through them and continue sharing on the site.

This was a huge milestone for me.

3. Moving Forward in 2016!

I have a lot more to share. Almost everyday I add a new topic to the list of things to blog or podcast about. And in 2016 I’ll be exploring a few different ways to share with you.

Pocket Guide of Gentle Reminders

I’m creating a digital Pocket Guide of Gentle Reminders for the more confusing and turbulent moments of life. Those moments when we don’t feel so happy about ourselves or other people; those moments when we feel completely shutdown by fear and unable to express ourselves honestly and openly.

It’s not my goal to provide an escape from these hardtimes, but to share insights which can help put these difficult moments into perspective as we’re going through them; to help us move through these moments while connected to self-compassion enabling us to act in ways which will benefit both ourselves and those around us.

I need your help to make this guide great! If you’re reading this and would like to shape the content of the guide so it directly relates to you – you can help me by answering this one question:

What have you struggled with the most in expressing yourself freely and authentically?

  • Send your answer to me via the Contact page and I’ll be sure to include some gentle reminders which apply directly to your situation.

I’m giving this guide away for free once it’s finished. If you’re already signed up to the email updates list then you’ll receive the Pocket Guide in your inbox as soon as it’s launched. If you’re not on the list and would like a copy of the guide you can sign up to the list here.

The Podcast – New Adventure Episodes

I’ll be producing some different podcast episodes this year. Sitting down and saying stuff into a microphone is fun, but not as fun as going on an adventure and saying stuff into a microphone!

I’ll be using these ‘adventure episodes’ as a platform to further explore my authentic flow, and encourage my outward expression in the world.

I can’t promise mind-blowing, awe-inspiring adventures. They’ll be more like mini outdoor excursions, but adventure episodes sounds way cooler!

Sharing Through Audio-visual Experiences

This year I’ll also be exploring how I can explain more complex topics through films and interactive experiences.

I feel some of the topics I talk about would benefit greatly from an experiential component, as an experience can translate the nuances of self-love and the nature of reality way better than words on a screen or voices in your head (I’m talking about the podcast, not actual voices in your head.)

Hey, Thank You!

Thank you for following along for the journey so far. I’m just getting started here and looking forward to a big 2016!

At the beginning of this year I couldn’t have imagined interviewing so many amazing people who shared so many amazing things about living authentically. A big thanks to all the wonderful people who sat down with me this year for the podcast.

I’m looking forward to meeting many more amazing people in 2016, and uncovering more of the many things which help us, be us.

See you in 2016!

b is for being. Benjamin Hammersley
Benjamin Hammersley