How to turn your anxiety into a super power

For years now I have been doing posts on anxiety where I seek out articles and cite them for the purpose of giving people information. Inevitably many of these articles come boil down to a very simple proposition: change the way you think. I mean anyone with anxiety will tell you If they could do that they would. We get these over simplifications in many areas of life and its tiring. I found an article here that somewhat does this, but gets to the critical aspect of the identification process.

From the article: “Suzuki talks about “the superpower of productivity,” which you can tap into simply by listening carefully to the actual content of your worries. “A very, very common manifestation of anxiety is that ‘what if’ list that comes in your head: What if I get sick with Covid, what if I don’t get an A, what if I can’t remember what the professor said on this part of the test? The superpower that comes with that anxiety-induced what-if list is shifting that into a to-do list,” she explains to Newman. “ 

Chronic Anxiety is like having an itch that you can never scratch.

So the critical point here is identifying the source of the anxiety. Worried about an exam? Study more. I know simple right? The point here is identifying sources of anxiety and attempting to address them directly. This action begins the process of the infamous “change how you think” narrative and why this article is so valuable. You are likely never going to escape anxiety completely but if there are reoccurring issues that create anxiety, identifying them and working toward addressing them directly is going to bare a lot of fruit for your mental state.

Many of us, myself included have a multifaceted issue. Meaning it’s never just one thing, it’s an accumulation of many small issues that converge and lead to intrusive thoughts and debilitating mood swings. Take one issue at a time, if its work, well what part of work specifically? Try and drill down here, get into the weed and really figure out what is driving your anxiety. When you do this you create the conditions by which you can recover faster as you can in many cases address the issue directly and resolve it.

One down, hundreds more to go but its progress….

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

How to move mountains

Time – The most valuable commodity in the world

I haven’t done a piece on time recently. As I contend in several of my blog posts over the years, Time is the most valuable commodity in the world. How you spend it largely determines how happy you are. Today’s lesson is relative to “years”. I am going to give you a popular phrase below, you’ve probably uttered it yourself or know someone who has.

“They (you determine who the they are) just turned (you fill in the year) so I have a good “X” amount of years left with them”

Let’s hone this a bit……

“My dad just turned 72, so I probably have a good 10 years left with him”

We usually end there. There is another question we rarely propose and to truly value our time we have to start asking it. With my example above that question is “how many times a year do you see your dad?”

Maybe you see him every day, that’s cool move on to the next person. Maybe he lives across the country and you see him twice a year. That would mean that, by our logic above that you have “a good 10 years left with him” then you are only going to see him 20 more times. Could be less, could be more. That’s not so many is it?

Time is the most valuable commodity in the world and every day we lose more of it.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I truly appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

No formal post today or Monday

Hey folks, very quick post today. I have a very sick family member whom is near the end. This has come up abruptly and I am traveling to see this person one last time to say our final farewells.

Thank you for all of your support over the years, it really means a lot to me. Remember the people you hold most dear are fragile, enjoy the moment.

Your Pagan Friend,

Karac

Anxiety: Back to Basics

Let me start this post off with a link to a great resource the Anxiety and Depression Association of America . This site has excellent information for anyone who thinks they have an anxiety disorder or knows they do and you just need more information. This website has a lot of information and resources and can assist with a multitude of issues. I strongly recommend taking a look at the site and the reference material it offers.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is essentially a catch all for nonspecific anxiety triggers most of us call them phobias. “GAD is diagnosed when a person finds it difficult to control worry on more days than not for at least six months and has three or more symptoms” . When I read this I realized that at several points in my life this applied to me. GAD isn’t a constant condition it can come and go but I’ve found in my travels that more often than not it is always present just to varying degrees.

From the Website: “GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, in any given year. Women are twice as likely to be affected. The disorder comes on gradually and can begin across the life cycle, though the risk is highest between childhood and middle age. Although the exact cause of GAD is unknown, there is evidence that biological factors, family background, and life experiences, particularly stressful ones, play a role.”

stressed-out-woman
Anxiety doesn’t care about your ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.

I thought this excerpt from the site was particularly potent. 6.8 million adults… Ya we aren’t alone. I found it very interesting that they claim women are twice as likely to be affected. I can logically extrapolate some instances why, pregnancy, physical appearance and family pressures come to mind. The worse part though is the multitude of factors and the lack of specificity as to why this occurs.

Essentially anything can trigger this, maybe you went to a concert Saturday and your ears were ringing when you got up the next day “am I going to go deaf?” you ask yourself. A common seemingly sterile situation right? So the next time you don’t hear something correctly are you now delving back into anxiety? Technically yes, again its degree’s but you are anxious about a future outcome based on an example of the past. You can’t absolutely say that your past experience will be identical to your future outcome but it’s your best gauge.

Then you begin to think “god if I just didn’t go to that concert I wouldn’t have this issue” and on and on it goes. That’s just one very simple example but it’s a prelude to Generalized Anxiety Disorder. There is no definitive moment as to when it begins for anyone, but when you are “in the moments” of anxiety you know it. The sensations are unique to everyone but if you’ve had panic attacks you know the gambit it can run. You can be highly functional and then for days struggle to get out of bed because you can’t overcome the anxiety.

Then, one day you feel good. Not perfect, not “wow that was silly I am free and clear” but the fog clears for you and you go on without worrying about it at all. This is GAD and it can flip day to day, week to week for your entire life. Knowledge is power and remember you aren’t alone. There are millions of people all over the world that have anxiety and deal with it sometimes daily, sometimes randomly sometimes just situationally with specific phobias. Hang in there, one day at a time.

Thank you for coming by to support my blog. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

How to be a better man: If you entertain clowns, you join the circus

One of the key aspects of being a better man is really being honest about who you invest your time into in your life. Let’s be blunt here we all have toxic people in our lives, it’s really a matter of degree’s. When you entertain/invest time into them you become part of their circus act. This isn’t gender specific either. I’m not talking exclusively about your buddy from high school who still pounds a 6 pack before going out on Friday night.

I’m also talking about GF’s who are drama queens, exes who float in and out of your life to keep you on the line. Crazy uncles who always seem to need help with something, or siblings/parents who constantly fight and or cause issues. I’m not saying you have to cut people like this out of your life completely but you have to be honest about who these people are. If you are at family functions and Uncle Ted continues to bring up the incident at thanksgiving from 2001 it’s because he has either not gotten over it, or he wants to create drama for the people associated because he thinks THEY aren’t over it.

This is an example of how a clown works. They fixate on something that was painful, embarrassing or a highly emotional episode of the past and just keep hammering on it. Sometimes years later. Now there are degrees of this of course. If your current partner is reminding you of something you said 2 years ago you have to think about that and the current context. If you are hearing about this event regularly it means they aren’t over it and or are not happy about how you handled it.

Unclutter your life

People like this can sap your emotional energy. The circus ensues when you engage in this banter and it is used to bludgeon you over and over. The same theory applies to people in your life who have episode behavior. As an example, you go out for drinks, there is a designated driver or uber. There is always one person who says they can drive (when you know they can’t) even WHEN you have done the right thing and set up an alternative means of getting home they continue on. Another example, you are out to eat with your partner and no matter where you go, no matter what you order there is a problem.

If you continue to indulge these behaviors you are sending a signal that it is acceptable, ergo you are accepting a role in the circus. Maybe the example is mild and you are okay with it/tolerate it. Fine but what you normally find is the circus grows over time and more and more “situations” occur in new settings. You have to identify who these people are in your life and really think about your time investment into them.

It’s okay to have a circus once in a while, life should be spicy. That said, to be a better man you have to have balance and be very careful how much the circus consumes your time.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs Wade? – My take

This blog rarely delves into politics, sadly politics has invaded nearly all aspects of citizen’s life. As many of you probably know a draft decision was leaked from the U.S. supreme court that reads as they are going to overturn the landmark decision of Roe v Wade, effectively ending federal protections of abortion. This is a big deal. This is one of the most controversial laws in the U.S. for the last several decades. I am surprised that they want to overturn this, and even more surprised that this was leaked. First to the leak, whoever did it REALLY stuck their neck out because that in of itself is unprecedented. They could face serious time in jail for that, best of luck…

So if this happens (it is not set in stone that it will) then effectively abortion becomes a state issue. That means every state in the U.S. can set up their own laws. This doesn’t preclude congress from passing a new law pertaining to abortion but the immediate impact will be states get to decide. So depending on where you live, abortion might be outlawed completed. Now keep in mind any state legislation that is proposed to affect abortion law will likely be challenged legally.

This is a polarizing social issue (like we need more of those). You will see protests, maybe riots it won’t be pretty. There is a lot of speculation that this was done for political reasons to invigorate democratic voters. Look that is plausible but I don’t know. Long term this is a good outcome because what this means is states will be responsible for abortion law. This puts it one step closer to the actual voter base. A state senator in Michigan is much more beholden to Michigan voters then the federal senator for Vermont.

Vote
Liberty is paramount

The bad news is in states that do not want abortion, this will affect women in those states disproportionately and that was the underlying strength of Roe v Wade, it protected women’s right to choose in states that would otherwise remove that choice. Now for wealthy Americans you could always go “over the border” and get it taken care of but what about low income individuals who don’t have those resources? Tough questions are ahead for sure.

My take: I am a libertarian. So for me I believe in the liberty of the individual. I believe that government should be excluded from the matter. To be clear, I believe a woman should have the right to decide if she wants to carry a child to term or not. As that child is reliant on her body to sustain the child it is her conscious that has to deal with the reprocusions of the choice.

I believe that governments job is to ensure the health and safety of its population. This means that government should be supporting the woman’s choice with reasonable accommodation. Reasonable accommodation, to me means, not creating obstacles for that woman when she makes her choice. Roe vs Wade achieved this to a degree, it wasn’t perfect but it minimally provided federal protection against a state legislature prohibiting this action.

Ideally, neither the state nor the feds would be involved. A woman who is pregnant consults whom she wishes too on the matter (ideally the father) and then once the decision is made she purchases the service (the abortion).

I concede fully that this issue teeters on many social, spiritual and religious issues. I can’t tackle them all here, what I can do is proceed with my value system of liberty. Some might say “god provides your liberty” fine, you are entitled to believe that. At the end of the day, if Roe v Wade is overturned this will have a profound effect on the social construct. I’m going to lean to the side of a woman’s choice here. I think the best outcome is to have individuals responsible for their individual circumstances and governments should help them achieve that outcome not hinder it.

Thanks for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

Anxiety: How to deal with a Recession

Yes, you are going to hear this word “Recession” more and more. Let’s establish clearly what a recession is. A recession, in economics, is a downward trend in the business cycle characterized by a decline in production and employment, which in turn causes the incomes and spending of households to decline. Inflation is part of this but basically the best way to measure a recession is to check on what the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is in your country. If it decreases for two consecutive quarters, it’s a recession.

The GDP is a broad measure, but it encompasses many different economic factors. In the U.S. the 1st quarter of 2022 declined from the previous quarter. So in July we will get the 2nd quarter results for the U.S. and it’s likely to decline again based on the inflation we are seeing. We also have the oddity of the economic conditions from the Pandemic. Manufacturing was silent for long periods decreasing supply (which makes things more expensive). You also had governments increasing their production of currency in the form of aid (increasing the money supply, makes it less valuable). Last, you had many people leaving the workforce. Boomers retired and many people went to the “Gig” economy.

This is putting pressure on companies as there are not enough workers. When you have a shortage of labor, what generally happens is the higher end positions fill up first. What is left is the lower pay jobs that most don’t want to do. So you get this weird situation where there are jobs to be filled but those looking for work don’t want them. Then you get a war, which impacts commodities (oil and wheat) which inflame all of the above.

A storm is brewing, are you ready?

So this is a perfect storm of economic factors. It would be a real stretch to say that a recession isn’t coming. For those of us with anxiety this is going to be the next fear proposition. This will come at a time in the U.S. where mid-term elections are happening as well. It’s going to be a mess if you have anxiety. I wish I had some wonderful advice to get through this, I really don’t. Over the summer the noise will pick up, you will be bludgeoned with it. If a recession drags through the end of the year earnings will be impacted for companies and the employment situation might flip as well.

Yes, this is a mess. So as someone with anxiety how do we deal with this? STOCKPILE CASH NOW. I normally recommend people have a 3-6 month emergency fund, I would now recommend 6-9 months, a year if you can. What is that? You take the average of your monthly bills time 9 months and that amount of cash should be sitting somewhere for you to easily access it. I know that’s a tall order for many but that cash will allow you to weather a short to mid-term storm.

Start tightening up the budget now. Start selling extra possessions you don’t really need/use and bank that money. Hopefully you don’t need it, but I suspect 2022 is going to be a down economic year for the world. I don’t see things improving much until after the U.S. mid-term elections and even then there are no guarantees. Build up your cash reserves now.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.  

Paganism? What is the Maypole

Paganism? What is the Maypole

Yesterday was “May Day” a throwback to our ancestor’s celebration of spring and the Maypole. Most of us have heard of this, and it’s likely if you haven’t heard of the Maypole specifically somewhere in your culture you have a spring festival that celebrates the season and hopes for (and prays for) a fruitful spring and growing season.

Is it Pagan though? Well yes and know. Like many holidays now, they are derived from rituals in the past which, were for all intent in purposes continuations of customs from our pagan ancestors. Prior to monotheistic religious beliefs there were several gods and goddesses the world over. I know it sounds silly now doesn’t it? Thousands of years from now maybe our religions will be silly to, as a wise man once said, todays religion is tomorrows myth….

Link to Specifics “The origin of May Pole dancing dates back to the Pagan times, and the Maypole was basically a phallic symbol. Trees have always been the symbol of the great vitality and fertility of nature.  May Pole dancing was therefore strongly associated with fertility. Traditionally May Pole Dancing was performed by the young girls from the Medieval villages as part of the May time celebrations. The History of the Maypole and May Pole dancing was connected with both the Druids, Wiccans and the Romans. May 1 was an important date for the Druids as this was when the festival of Beltane held. Beltane marked the beginning of the pastoral summer season and was celebrated by lighting fires. Wiccans celebrated by dancing round a Maypole and choosing a May Queen. Then the Romans came to occupy the British Isles. The beginning of May was also an important feast time for the Romans which was devoted primarily to the worship of Flora, the goddess of flowers when the Festival of Floralia was held. Over time the traditions and rituals of the Floralia were added to those of the Beltane culminating in May Pole dancing, which is still carried out to this day.”

They were more then “cool” symbols to your ancestors, most likely.

Maypole dancing of course requires a maypole so they are directly correlated in that regard. So we have druids, wiccans and romans tied to it, all of which are pagans. Of course “may day” historically is a celebration of a season, and as we do today people decorated, danced, sang, drank, met with friends and celebrated life. Many of the celebrations and rituals we have today harken back to our pagan ancestors. Did you have a Maypole in your area? Did you visit it? Did you dance around it and say a prayer?

Maybe next year it would be a cool unique think to do. IT doesn’t mean you are anti religion or a bad person, you are just celebrating a symbol that has been celebrated for thousands of years. Fertility, spring, rebirth, new life, trees waking up, flowers blooming, the sun is higher, the temperature is warmer, why not celebrate that?

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

3 compensations factors that make companies great.

The great resignation marches on and in the U.S. unemployment is near record lows. Millions of people left the workforce due to the pandemic. Whether it was creating their own income streams or boomers retiring, there are a shortage of workers in the U.S. Now let’s be very clear here, the available jobs are not high end 6 figure salary roles. Sure there are some of those but nearly everyone has leveled up, so your traditional entry level positions are the ones that have the most openings presently.

Regardless of when you get a new job or if you are evaluating your current company there is one truism you always have to remember. Companies need you to perform tasks so they can make money. You wouldn’t be employed if you weren’t either generating income for the corporation, or supporting others who did. So in this sellers’ market (you the employee are the seller) we can now be even more selective of the places we want to work. There are 3 compensation factors that make companies great. This may not be in line with other lists you see out there but from an employee’s stand point, here they are.

Surviving 2020 & covid
Great, another list…..
  1. A robust retirement plan: This includes employer match, Roth and Traditional 401K/403B options. This should be managed through a large firm like a fidelity and the vesting time line is no longer than 3 years. Retirement planning is critical and most successful retirees in the modern era have created wealth through automatic withdrawals via their employer’s plan.
  • Comprehensive benefits: Health Insurance is obvious but you should have 3+ plans to choose from. Dental, LTD, STD, a 1-year life insurance of your salary. There should be A good PTO (Paid time off plan) that scales based on tenure. Every 5 years you should receive 1 additional week of PTO capping at 6 to 8. PTO should be one lump sum, vacation and sick and you get to manage it. Along with major federal holidays. This is where you really get value as this is part of your compensation package. It’s not just the annual salary, it’s the sum of the value of these “perks” as well.
  • Profit sharing: This is one of the rarest benefits you’re going to see out there. If you get into a company with this benefit you really lucked out. Most corporations keep their profits to make distributions to their shareholders. There is nothing wrong with that, they are paying you a salary and offering you benefits. It’s a fair exchange and one that has been the norm for decades. Profit sharing can come in all sorts of forms. Ideally what you get is if the company has a surplus to budget at the end of the year that amount is distributed to employees. Some managers are offered “profit sharing” of some form. I got quarterly performance bonuses based on budget performance in one role.

The 3 items listed above are in addition to your base salary. This is a sellers’ market and employees are now in a situation where they are empowered to create very good deals for themselves. THIS WILL NOT LAST FOREVER. Look, work isn’t meant to be easy. It’s likely you fall into one of two categories. You are either someone who truly loves what they do, or you work to obtain income so you can do the things you truly love.

Most of us fall into the latter category. Work is a means to get income to live life. The more perks you can get the better life becomes. Now is the time to look around, see what’s out there, measure your current work situation. Believe me if the situation was reversed and there was a surplus of workers your company would be looking to see if they could pay you less.

Thanks for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

Oscar Wilde

Trusting Billionaires and Millionaires

I am continually baffled by the ever growing cult of personality we see in modern society. From politicians, to celebrities, to business moguls why is it people gravitate towards the extreme 1%? I understand there is a romantic notion out there of how cool it would be to have that kind of money etc. but have you ever taken a deep dive into how some of these people accumulated so much wealth?

We are seeing this somewhat with the Musk takeover of Twitter. As if this is some heroic attempt to further free speech on a clearly biased platform. Sure that might be a nice residual effect but you do realize that the amount of data alone he would have access too by acquiring twitter would be worth likely trillions? You think Google has a lot of tracking/resale of data? What do you think a genius entrepreneur with billions in capital is going to do with all that? Sit on it and just keep twitter open “for the good of all?”

LOL, he’s going to make it a highly profitable PRIVATE entity. That’s what Musk does, he did it with Tesla. It’s likely going to come as a surprise to a lot of you but Musk didn’t start Tesla. He did what he is doing at Twitter, he made a huge investment into the company to become a large shareholder and then changed the corporation into what it is today, nearly 2 decades later. Look I’m not saying he is a villain here but be careful whom you place on a pedestal.

Hero, Visionary, Villain ?

Same for politicians. I remember millions of people online and elsewhere shouting something like “Trump is an idiot” ya he’s so stupid he made millions in NYC real-estate, then made more millions on a successful TV show, then the buffoon was so dumb he became president of the united states. What a moron…. Look at your state senator, let me guess a multi-millionaire right? What a shocker.

Point here is folks the 1% the ultra-rich are cunning, intelligent and extremely savvy. Sure some of them are lucky but many of them play the cult of personality game very well. They are nuanced in their approaches to business, public perception etc. Yes, many of them had a leg up when they started, like Trumpy (he got money from his dad) but he took it to another level. Be careful how much power and adulation you give these individuals.

The Zuckerberg’s, the Musk’s, the Clinton’s, Trumps. They are the equivalent of your ancestor’s aristocrats. Believe me if their hold on capital, information and power is threatened (which you saw in 2020) they will do everything and anything to hold on to power. They will cancel you, lock you down, create obstacles for you to vote on and on and on. It’s about economic class, not race, not gender, not political affiliation.

The haves want to keep us at each other’s throats. If we are fighting each other over ridiculous “ists”, who is watching them?

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.