From Raving to Adulting

1340 Relax and Succeed - We should consider every day lost

Over the last few years, as people mature and their relationships and job responsibilities become more serious, I have heard from more and more people who want to shift some of their focus away from their party-lives and onto their adult lives.

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has been a wonderful trend in human experience in that its venues have generally provided wonderful spaces in which people could feel free. With few ‘rules’ for dancing or dressing, people could really immerse themselves into the music, and that lead them to experience periods of true bliss. These can be genuinely profound experiences.

While the above is true, it is also true that much of the reason that EDM culture and raves are known for being so ‘loving’ or ‘free’ is because there is a much larger percentage of drug users at those events. But by their 30’s most ravers have seen drugs ravage many friend’s lives if not end them entirely, so concerns are natural. And they are increased by recent changes in the trustworthiness of drug purity. There are a lot of people who want to quit.

The favoured drugs tend to tip people towards temporary, drug-induced feelings of strength and energy (cocaine, methamphetamine etc.), emotional freedom (ecstasy, molly, MDMA, alcohol etc.), relaxation (ketamine, opiates) or spirituality (LSD, DMT, Salvia etc.). In a busy, stressful world, it is easy to see why searching for quick paths to those sensations would be welcomed by many.

These are often referred to as ‘lifestyle’ drugs, because they, together with the music and certain fashions etc., all form a subculture. It is valid as a subculture, but it can also be a legitimate impediment to developing a successful adult life.

1340 Relax and Succeed - Man is fully responsible

It’s one thing to date someone at 23 and spend your weekends on drugs raving to your favourite DJ’s, but eventually the job promotion thing, or the biological clock thing happen, and the people who want families tend to desire less partying and more responsibility. This is often when people first face the idea that they may have a casual addiction.

In truth, I rarely work on the addiction itself. For the most part, what’s needed is a helpful identity shift that allows us to keep the most important parts of ourselves from an earlier incarnation of our life, while we make a legitimate shift into our next phase of life –and until that final curtain, there is always another phase, so it’s a good skill to develop.

Once people have been taught how to make this shift comfortably, the drugs rarely disappear, but they do become more events than a lifestyle. Parents that used to go to every summer festival and rave possible are suddenly having children, serious jobs, and now they hit one or two big festivals a year as their adult time without the kids. Even then, most find their drug use trails off quite naturally and comfortably.

People should not feel strange or feel as though they’ve made a mistake if they’re wrestling with this change. It is never enjoyable to have to surrender freedom to assume responsibility for our life partners or children, but we’re not looking at the whole picture if we think we don’t gain in that trade. We don’t lose our old selves and go backwards, we build on that person and we go up.

There are other ‘highs’ in life. People don’t have to hate or be ashamed of their previous selves to find them. They merely need some guidance on how they can make that shift in ways that make sense, that foster growth, and that feel good. Because no one ever felt weaker by feeling more capable.

peace. s

The Friday Dose #71

If you just want a quick two-minute way to get really happy then just watch this first video. It’s a lot of fun. But if you’re looking for some longer term solutions then watch the video and keep reading.

Pretty cool huh? Okay, are you ready?

We’ve got to clear up some confusion here on Earth. A small part of the planet is doing extremely well but they’re also famous for being completely unhappy about it. Meanwhile half of the planet is struggling with things so basic that only a few dollars would change their lives. One group has so much it’s a culture that is actually comfortable calling each generation 700 FD Relax and Succeed - One day we will realizeincreasingly lazy, increasingly entitled, and increasingly selfish because it’s fully aware of those truths. Meanwhile 35 million—the largest number of people in history—are actual slaves, working brutal hours at backbreaking work with their only reward being they are allowed to continue being barely and painfully alive. And still the human spirit goes on in both groups. One group feels lost, disconnected, lonely and meaningless, while another would benefit so much from compassion that their gratitude would extend for their entire lives.

While it seems difficult to believe, more men, women and children are disabled or die from domestic abuse and sexual violence than from malaria, car accidents and war combined. If a woman where I live has someone break into her house to rape her she can call 911 and she at least has a chance of being saved and of the attacker being brought to justice. In a poor country the rapist will not only succeed in the rape, they’ll also take the home and all of the possessions too. And why? Because the odds are that person is painfully poor as well.

The hoarders aren’t happy, the weak live in fear and these are two sides of the same problem. I often have business friends ask my aid friends how they can work in refugee camps or do that “sad” work. What they don’t understand is that the reason these 700 FD Relax and Succeed - It is not happy people who are thankfulpeople can sustain themselves in those jobs is precisely because it is so much more rewarding to actually help a fellow human being than to purchase another object. Your new clothes will never look so good in a mirror that they will ever allow you to feel as good as you do when you see your good works reflected in the face of someone who really needed your help.

It’s not our fault. We got confused and it’s difficult to understand parts of the world that we only see snippets of. But take heed—nothing improves a life more than the feeling that you have enough to give, because that must mean you most certainly have more than you need. And that is the only abundance we can truly appreciate.

Yes, parts of these are hard. But like the gym or school, they’re also very rewarding and it’s easy to enjoy the results. You have more to offer than you realize. And the act of offering it is one of the healthiest spiritual acts anyone can undertake so I do hope you’ll consider changing your life in this direction. Thank you.

Jack Black and Felix on Red Nose Day:

Gary Haugen explains the hidden reason for ongoing poverty:

Be grateful today. Take note of all of the things you would not have or be able to make use of if you weren’t living in one of the richest places on Earth. Feel so much good fortune that you bubble over and your happiness spills on to others as good works. Because we can not only change the world, but we can get happier doing it too. I do hope you’ll join us.

Have a wonderful day.

peace and love, s

The Friday Dose #28

The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Enjoy.

443 Relax and Succeed - You were born with all the unique

There are have probably even been times where you were sick and tired of listening to yourself. Well often other people are sick and tired of it too. We’ve all been slowly convinced that our value comes from our suffering, and that the most respected among us should be those enduring the most pain, versus those who share the most love. It’s time to put away our petty complains for our sakes. Doing this really, seriously, truly and honestly will make a difference. It really will:

45 Things No One Wants To Hear You Bitch About Anymore

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Next is a fascinating radio documentary featuring James Carse, an author and philosopher who makes a powerful and extremely well-thought out case for how we interact with our own beliefs and both the absence and presence of religion. His book Finite and Infinite Games is one of the best I’ve read on the subject of understanding how the principles I impart on this blog come alive in our societies, cultures and personal lives. There’s some big thinking in here, but if you’re the right kind of person these are fascinating meditations that will encourage your growth:

James Carse on After Atheism: New Perspectives on God and Religion

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And after all of that seriousness we need to feel free and enjoy ourselves. People can judge and comment and have their opinions, but enjoying yourself is enjoying yourself and I never get tired of watching this human being have a great time being himself:

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And finally we’ll close with a graphic. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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443 Relax and Succeed - Science of Happiness

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peace. s