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A reflection of the most significant events, resources, and realisations of 2018.

So much happens in a year that it’s difficult to share it all in one post. So in this review, I’m sharing the most relevant happenings on my journey of authentic expression and included a list of resources for developing self-awareness, connection, and a sense of purpose. I also share what’s coming up for B is for Being in 2019.

This post has five sections:

  1. Noteworthy Happenings
  2. The Most Helpful Resources of 2018 (Books, Podcasts & Videos)
  3. The Parts That Limit Me – 2018 Edition
  4. Looking ahead to 2019
  5. Thank You

Noteworthy Happenings

While the podcast was on pause, I had the chance to create some new video content and take myself on a self-retreat.

I launched my first video series on YouTube – The Courage to Create.

The intention was to go out into the world and document myself exploring different areas and share quiet moments of being as they arose. I’ve produced five episodes so far and have a few more to edit and release. You can watch the series here.

I recorded and released my first videowalk.

For me, a videowalk is a continuous recording made while walking through an environment The inspiration to start recording these came from watching a videowalk through Japan made by Rambalac.

These walks have a calming effect on me. I feel they give me space to rest and reflect when there’s a lot going on in life. Keep an eye on the YouTube channel as I’ll be releasing many more videowalks in 2019.

I spent five days alone with no internet or phone.

I wanted to reconnect to my inner sense of self after realising I was feeling dragged along by life and disconnected from a sense of purpose.

I wanted a quiet environment where I could be alone and not take in any external ideas or information. I was able to find a house which I could use for five days.

I decided I wouldn’t:

  • Read
  • Watch TV or movies
  • Listen to podcasts or music

Over the five days, I was able to tune into a deeper sense of myself. I slowed down and felt I could see more clearly both inside myself and outside myself.

My mind had space to breathe, and as a result, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of part of myself which I call ‘The Caretaker’. This is a part which has kept me in a constant state of hyper-vigilance around other people and also suppresses my emotions to not upset anyone by expressing my feelings. I talk more about this part of me in the section, The Parts That Limit Me – 2018 Edition.

The Most Helpful Resources of 2018

This year I came across a handful of books, podcasts, and videos which gave me tools for connecting with others, deepened my self-understanding, and provided me with some inner-calm. I’ve shared them here as I feel they are valuable resources for the journey of authentic expression.

Books

Non-violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg

Front cover of Non-violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg

As a professional mediator, psychologist, and teacher, Marshall outlined a method of communication which promotes empathic connection between people.

He presents a language that allows people to identify and express their own needs and acknowledge the needs of others.

I highly recommend this book as it is a clear guide toward connection and heart-based communication with others.


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Front cover of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Santiago, a shepherd boy, travels the land in search of his ‘personal treasure’. Paulo’s writing is smooth and enchanting. He has a knack for communicating the intangible meaning of life through his writing.

I first read this book when I was around 15 years old. This year I began reading it before going to sleep as a way of relaxing my mind and unwinding from the day’s events.

There is a calming and wondrous quality to this text, as well as a reminder that we each have our own personal treasures to discover.


Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Front cover of Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Originally published in 1951, this book follows a man named Siddhartha (not the Buddha) who embarks on a spiritual journey of self-discovery in a region of Nepal.

“The word Siddhartha is made up of two words in Sanskrit language, siddha (achieved) + artha (what was searched for), which together means he who has found meaning (of existence) or he who has attained his goals.”Siddhartha (Novel), Wikipedia

With similar properties to The Alchemist, I feel Siddhartha dives deeper into the spiritual world and the journey of self-discovery.


Podcasts

These are the podcasts which made me stop and reflect on the quality of my life with a sense of belonging and gratitude. Both podcasts happen to be from The Tim Ferriss Show.

Jack Kornfield – Finding Freedom, Love, and Joy in the Present – The Tim Ferriss Show

Podcast artwork from Jack Kornfield on The Tim Ferriss Show
Click the image to listen

Jack Kornfield is a meditation teacher and bestselling author. I first read his book, A Path with Heart when I was in high-school. I can’t remember much from the book apart from the calming and reassuring feeling I had after reading it.

In this podcast, Jack shares his early experiences with meditation and a wealth of information about mindfulness practices and resources for self-awareness. Highly recommended for anyone interested in learning more about mindfulness or looking to revisit some of the principles of meditation.


Brandon Stanton – The Story of Humans of New York and 25M+ Fans – The Tim Ferriss Show

Click the image to listen

I find Brandon Stanton’s journey particularly inspiring as I can relate to his search for meaning and a sense of purpose in his life and work.

This interview explores the time leading up to the project which became, Humans of New York. Brandon shares the books and experiences which helped form his few of the world and some stories from his side of the camera. Highly recommend for anyone interested in how a creative life (and career) can form.


Videos

I greatly appreciate the content which The School of Life puts out. They produce videos, essays, and games for developing emotional intelligence. This year I enjoyed many of their videos, but there were two which deepened my understanding of the ‘less productive’ behaviours which can show-up in my relationships.

What Is Your Attachment Style? – The School of Life

‘Attachment style’ or ‘attachment theory’ is a physiological model which attempts to describe how human beings respond within relationships when they feel hurt or perceive a threat.

This video reminded me that I tend to be more avoidant when in relation with someone who I perceive wants to spend ‘a lot of time’ with me; and I can be anxious and clingy when I feel the other person doesn’t want to spend time with me.


Why We Are Mean to Those We Love – The School of Life

A refreshingly real look at the expectations we sometimes place on our partners and the incredible frustration we experience when these expectations aren’t met. This video turns the spotlight back on ourselves in an attempt to understand why we can become difficult to be with sometimes.

The Parts That Limit Me – 2018 Edition

This year I’ve become aware of some parts of me which don’t align with my intention to live to my fullest potential.

I’ve decided to share some of them here in case you can relate to any of them and perhaps gain some insight on your own parts.

I’ve listed each part’s name, driving belief, and the ways in which these parts show up in my life.

PartHow It Shows Up
The Caretaker“I need to manage other people’s emotions, and suppress my own, to prevent myself from being judged, criticised, or blamed for other people’s feelings.”
  • Constant state of vigilance
  • Not speaking up when I have something to say
  • Holding onto anger and frustration
  • Agreeing to do things even when I don’t want to.
  • Sense of building resentment
The Achiever“You always need to be working and achieving to be worthy of receiving acknowledgment.”
  • A sense of obligation to work continuously
  • Feeling impatient and frustrated when other people or tasks ask for my attention
  • Judgmental of others who aren’t achieving
  • Dismissing past achievements as undeserved or pure coincidence
The Love-Blocker“It’s dangerous to open to a person’s love. If you do you’ll make yourself vulnerable to being hurt.”
  • Feeling uncomfortable at direct expressions of affection
  • Sense of disconnection with those closest to me
The Externaliser“It’s your fault I feel unpleasant feelings. You need to change so I feel better.”
  • Justification of my words and actions to make them appear more ‘normal or reasonable’
  • Difficulty accepting the effects of my words and actions
  • Judgmental thoughts about others
  • Feelings of impatience and resentment toward others

In 2019, I’ll be exploring these parts more deeply on the blog and sharing the things I’m doing to heal them. If you’d like to know when I post these to the blog, you can sign up to the email newsletter here.

Looking Ahead to 2019

In 2019, I’ll be launching a newly designed site, new content, and providing a way for people to support the growth of B is for Being if they wish.

New Site Coming First Quarter of 2019

I’ve been working on a new design for the website to better represent the three main types of content on B is for Being. The three categories in 2019 will be:

  • Podcast – Conversations with thought-leaders, psychologists, and teachers on the most effective tools and techniques for uncovering personal expression and living to our fullest potential.
  • Slow-Videos – A new section of the site dedicated to rest and reflection. This will be a space to recharge when the road of self-discovery becomes a little bumpy. (The videowalks I mentioned earlier in this post will appear here.)
  • Ben’s Journal – Blogposts on the moments of insight and self-discovery I encounter on my own journey of authentic expression. I’ll share how I’m using the tools of self-awareness and acceptance to heal the parts which limit my expression.

Patreon Is Coming!

Patreon logo

It’s one of my biggest dreams to research, investigate, and share the most useful tools for authentic expression, full-time. In order to do that I need to be able to cover the cost of running the site and basic living expenses. So far I’ve been covering the site costs through the income from my job but this means I only have a portion of time and energy remaining to put into B is for Being.

I’ve wanted to open a Patreon page for almost three years now. But the thought of opening a page where people can give me money triggers a great deal of insecurity for me.

Hey Ben,
You aren’t good enough to receive money from others to do what you love. Your content needs to be better! Your content needs to be world-class! You need more followers. You need to be better before you can launch a Patreon page.

Sincerely,
Ben’s Inner-critic

Thanks for the input, Inner-critic. But I think I’m going to launch it anyway. I’ve already received feedback from numerous people that the podcast has been helping them. So I’m going to launch the Patreon page in the case that anyone feels like supporting the growth of the site.

I’ll announce the Patreon launch via the newsletter and social media in the first quarter of 2019.

Thanks for Joining me this Year!

Thank you for continuing to follow my journey and tuning into the podcast. I’m still clarifying and crafting my voice and discovering the natural ways in which I enjoy investigating and sharing the journey of authentic expression. But I’m excited for what’s coming up in 2019 as I feel I’m getting closer to creating the things which bring me to life while simultaneously provides genuine value for others.

As always, if you have any feedback for me or would like to share part of your own journey, I would love to hear from you. You can share it with me here on the Contact page.

In the meantime, stay well, connected, and kind to yourself and those around you.

Until we meet again in 2019!

Adiós Amigos

The Blog

The B is for Being Blog is an open journal where Ben shares his thoughts, insights, and experiences as he uncovers his authentic expression.

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About Benjamin

Hi, I’m Benjamin. I podcast and blog about authentic expression and self-discovery. I also make slow videos for rest and reflection. You can read more about me here.

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