Take a look at the core of everything I share.
It’s been a big week. I’m in the process of refining what I share with you and part of that process has involved me asking myself a lot of questions. Some of which are: who exactly am I trying to reach with what I’m sharing, and what was it that inspired me to start sharing in the first place?
All of these questions got me to look back at my own journey.
As I looked back at the last 3 years of my life, I realised a lot has changed for me. Two areas of my life have undergone significant change. My creativity and my relationships with others.
In this episode I share the journey leading up to the realisation which compelled me to start B is for Being and take a look at why it’s at the core of everything I share.
Buckle up, it’s story time!
Highlights and Takeaways
- I was creatively blocked.
- I felt insecure in my relationships with other people (friends, family and partners) and never felt like I could just relax and be myself.
- I was having a hard time in a relationship I was in and went search for answers on how to stop feeling so bad.
- Self-awareness and acceptance was the main theme of all the self-help books I read.
- Fear-bound energy (fearful thoughts and feelings) can be cleared with self-awareness and acceptance.
- Our authentic state of being is always there. And it’s always been there.
- The combination of self-awareness and acceptance, present moment awareness, and a compassionate self relationship form a powerful tool for self-transformation.
Creativity and Relationships
- Ben: I could feel this desire to create and express myself. At the time I was doing a lot of video projects, writing short stories and film scripts – but all of these projects I’d quickly lose interest in or find myself procrastinating about working on them and never get anything done. So I ended up with hundreds of unfinished projects.
- There were some times when I would get lucky and feel really inspired and sit down for one or two days and produce a video or even a song. But that didn’t happen so often. I was often waiting to feel that inspiration instead of working on a project progressively until it was finished.
- I wasn’t having such a flowing time with my relationships with other people. So my friendships, my interactions with family, my interactions with partners. This isn’t to say that these interactions were all bad and horrible, we still had great times, but I never felt like I could completely relax around others. And that might sound strange to some people who know me because on the outside I seem very relaxed and calm and chilled out. But on the inside I was always alert and watching what I said and did. I made sure I always had something interesting to say or that I was trying to be funny or crazy. And for me this felt like a necessity, like I always had to keep proving that I was interesting and likeable and intriguing for those around me to stay friends with me. And I even had the thought that people were just hanging around me because once upon a time they’d seen something interesting in me, but it was kind of an accident; like they’d seen me do something when I was having a really good day and then they thought, “awwh, Ben’s this really cool guy, he does those things.” I thought it’s only a matter of time before they discover how un-interesting I was. So I felt this pressure to be someone I wasn’t in order to maintain that connection with the person.
- Obviously all of this insecurity is going to be compounded in my intimate relationships. I was really fearing that the person I was with would uncover this complete mundaneness, this complete uninteresting part of me that I thought was the default me. I thought they would discover that and then lose interest in me and leave.
- I just want to be clear: what I’ve just described with my creativity and my relationships, that’s how I lived the majority of my life up until the age of 27. But around that age something changed for me. And it wasn’t due to my biological age, it was due to events which made me realise certain things.
- I was in a relationship at the time and it came to a point where the relationship was coming to an end, and my insecurities had come to a peak. I didn’t even know it was possible to feel so afraid and so insecure. My mind at the time was a full-time runaway train and I was getting lost in endless loops of thought. I had fear and anxiety raging through my body and I was completely exhausted. I knew that things couldn’t keep going like this and knew something needed to change.
The Search for Answers
I began reading a lot of self-help books. I was trying to understand why I felt so fearful and so insecure – where had all of this come from? And how could I come out of feeling this way?
- I started to notice a pattern with all of the self-help books I was reading. They all seemed to point to the same themes of awareness of how we’re feeling inside ourselves and an acceptance of those feelings. Accepting them to give our feelings the space to be exactly as they are and express them in however feels necessary or right for us.
- I began to read The Power of Now and started to explore the present moment more and more just by paying attention to the sensations I felt in my body as I was walking and completing tasks like washing my hands or riding my bike; paying attention to how my legs and toes felt inside my shoes and how the wind felt on my face. I was using those sensations to bring my awareness back into the present moment. And I was beginning to notice some relief from all the fear and insecurities I was feeling and my thoughts weren’t as out of control, and my emotions weren’t so overwhelming.
- I was also spending quite a bit of time in nature. I was taking myself on little adventures to the park and just laying in the sun on the grass. I was in Berlin at the time and would ride wherever I felt like riding, down streets I’d never been down, just really taking myself on an adventure and spending time with myself.
- I did a lot of writing during this time. I wrote and wrote about everything that was going on in my head and how I was feeling. And it just felt good to be with myself and tune in.
- Just from practicing coming back into the moment and spending quality time with myself, I already noticed that my mind had become calmer and the insecurities had become much less intense.
I thought, ‘What’s going on? Am I just having a string of really good days or are things actually starting to change?’
Things Began to Change
- I kept spending quality time with myself and listening to what I needed in any given moment. If I was at a party and I wasn’t enjoying myself I’d realise, ok I need to take myself to a place where I’m enjoying myself, whether that be home, to another party, to a friend’s place. So I would just give myself that space; so if I was at the party I would say goodbye to my friends and I would leave.
- There were so many time where I failed to take care of myself, but that didn’t seem to stop the progress of my mind becoming calmer and my insecurities becoming less intense. Because my intention the whole time was to take care of my needs whenever I could, whenever I was aware of them.
- As I kept doing this I noticed that I felt way more energised in social situations and I wasn’t afraid of being the center of attention which was strange to me because often if I was in a group of people and they would look at me as I was speaking I would get quite nervous and stumble my words and forget what I wanted to say in the first place.
- Another interesting thing started to happen. People started inviting me to events and inviting me to hangout more and more. And I was like, ’What’s going on… Usually I’m the one chasing other people to see if they want to hangout and now suddenly there are so many people asking me if I want to hangout that I don’t have enough time in the day to spend with everyone.’
- It was also at this point that my creative drive felt like it was being supercharged, and it was beginning to flow more and more freely. It felt like someone had removed the dam in a river. If you can imagine a river and there’s giant dam that’s been there for a hundred years, and then suddenly it’s removed and the whole flow can just gush out. That’s how I felt.
- I wasn’t as concerned with what other people thought about what I was creating. I was just enjoying creating because I wanted to create and enjoying how it felt to me.
- It was becoming clear that something was changing. That things were actually beginning to change not just temporarily but actually quite a significant change was going on.
- My relationships were starting to reflect that. They were feeling easier, more dynamic, more alive, more fulfilling. It was at this point I was like, ‘ok, what’s actually going on? What have I noticed in all the moments that I’ve felt energised in social situations and my creativity is freely flowing?’
I noticed that one thing had remained consistent through all those times of flow and ease.
The absence of fear.
- I had a little bit or almost no fear present when those easyflows were happening. That’s all I was doing.
- I wasn’t trying to express myself creatively or be more engaging in social situations, I just was. At that point I realised this is just flowing naturally and the only thing that’s different here is less fear.
Clearing Fear with Self-Awareness and Acceptance
- I began to see that this process of self-awareness and acceptance was allowing the energy that was bound up by this fear to be felt and expressed. And once that happened I realised the energy which was bound up in the fearful thoughts and feelings was being cleared and because of that I was enjoying an overall increase in my own energy and well-being every time this happened.
- This was when I realised that it’s the fear that’s blocking my creativity and my flow in social situations. I already had that within me. That energy was already there. Those flows just wanted flow, all that I needed to do was remove those blocks.
- I talk a lot about this in detail in Episode 011: How to Live Authentically – I go into much more detail on removing the fear blocks.
Why I Started B is for Being.
- As I just mentioned, the reason why I was so creatively stifled and feeling socially anxious and having really big insecurities and fears in my relationships was all because of fear.
- That’s all I want to share with you. That’s why you’re listening to me right now.
Our authentic state of being is always there. And it has always been there. It’s simply covered up by our fears.
There’s nothing we need to do, or get, achieve, become, learn, grow into… We don’t have to do anything to experience the full richness of our lives.
All we need to do is become aware of the fears we’re traveling with, in this present moment, and accept them with compassion and understanding. That’s all we need to do in order for that natural authentic flow to burst forth.
Summary of The Things Which Helped Me
- I’ve mentioned a few different stages to my process of understanding back when I was having a hard-time in that relationship.
- I started reading self-help books, trying to understand where all these fearful insecure feelings had come from and how I could stop feeling that way.
- Then I noticed that all the books were pointing to becoming aware of how we feel inside and accepting that with open compassion and understanding. Just allowing that to be there as it was in order to heal it and move through it.
- I was practicing coming back into the present moment using my senses, using my sensory experience of touch, taste, smell, hearing, sight. By doing that I experienced quite a bit of relief. I noticed that things were becoming easier because I was just being in the present moment and my mind had quietened down and my feelings weren’t overwhelming me anymore.
- I was spending time with myself. I was spending time to appreciate myself, time to take myself to interesting and fun places to so fun things with myself. And this was building up a caring and compassionate relationship with myself, which is something I’ve talked about a lot of the site (Episode 006: The Self Relationship)
- These were all working together to form a powerfully transformative force. These are the tools I’ve been working with, these are the tools which have caused such a shift in my life. I can’t not share them with other people. But particularly the realisation that our authentic flow – our creativity, all of our expression in whatever we do – is already authentic, it’s already dynamic and and ever-changing, fascinating and intriguing. – It’s incredible.
- That’s what I wanted to share with you today.