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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Fagen

28

Updated: Nov 19, 2022

Birthdays are a great opportunity to reflect on your previous year.


365 days of life have somehow scurried on by 🏃🏼💨

Personally, I've considered year 27 to be the "Year of Knowledge" 🧠


Sure, I could label it a number of things.


"Year of Doubt"

"Year of Reunion"

"Year of Gratitude"

"Year of Reflection"

"Year of Meditation"

I could go on all day ⏰


For your benefit, though..


Let's get right to the nitty gritty 👀


Here are some of the strongest lessons I've learned in year 27 👇🏼

(1) Smell the Roses


Metaphorically speaking, of course (as this would result in me sneezing up a storm for approximately 24 hours straight) 🤧


What I mean to say is that in times of crisis, it can be immensely beneficial to take a step back from the hustle & bustle of life and solely observe.


Focus on responding, rather than reacting.


Ask yourself things like:


"Am I aware?"

"Am I engaged?"

"What am I grateful for?"

"Have I spent time outside today?"

"What have I done for myself today?"


The answers to these questions can speak volumes for your current state of mind.


Additionally, I like to look around at wherever I am in the moment (no cheating).


Notice if you can spot some of the vibrant colors that today's experience of life has to offer.


After all, every day is particularly unique (even if it may not feel like it).


Even while I write this, I can quickly spot green, blue, yellow, orange, and red.


Take in all of your surroundings.


The airplane flying miles overhead...

The hint of a sprinkle of cinnamon...

The butterfly on the window...

The echo of birds chirping...

The hue of fallen leaves...

The beat of your heart...


Find items, people, places, and moments to be grateful for.


Live life colorfully!


(2) Anxiety: My Old...Friend?


Just as mistakes have countless benefits, so does anxiety (believe it or not).


In fact, what if anxiety is trying to teach you something?


Hear me out...👇🏼


We're so busy with the "I do not want to feel anxious" distraction of a feeling, that we're ignoring the message behind the anxiety itself.


Believe me, I'm no "zen guru" and have multitudes of uneasy moments on a regular basis.


However, consider asking yourself about how you would respond if a friend came to you with your current concern(s):


"I'm so stressed out with _____ and ______," they tell you. "I'm not finding any time for myself."


What is your involuntary response?


My guess? Probably something along the lines of "everything will work out" or "worry only makes you suffer twice."


So...why is it so different with ourselves?

Talk to yourself as you would to a friend.


Instead of working so diligently to rid the feeling of anxiety, try welcoming it.


I know, it seems counterintuitive. No doubt about it 😅


But again, hear me out, though 🙏🏼


What if you listened to your emotion(s) instead?


What if they weren't strictly labeled as: GOOD or BAD?


After all...You are not your emotions.


Let me say that again for more emphasis: You are not your emotions.


However, it couldn't hurt to learn from them.


What is the anxiety trying to tell you?

What is the underlying message?

How is it trying to help you?


Enough with the "get over it" mentalities.


What good does that bring you in the long-term? 👀


By temporarily ignoring or numbing an emotion, you're only delaying the inevitable and future discomfort...


It's okay to feel your feelings, my friends!


Just ensure that you do not become your feelings.


In the words of Dr. Joe Dispenza:


Emotions are the end product of an experience.
Wisdom is the memory of an experience without the emotional charge.

I swear 90% of what that man says blows my mind.

Still, it rings true.


Imagine thinking of an ex, a former bully, or a even a cliché DMV employee that might've rubbed you the wrong way...


Before losing your cool, think about the wisdom you might've gained from those experiences (forget the emotions behind them entirely).


Your brain has approximately 70,000 thoughts per day 🧠


That means that a typical person will elicit a minimum of 3-5 involuntary feelings every day.


But what if we became allies with those feelings?


What if we stopped viewing them as a symbol of brokenness?


We're human beings, after all.


Never forget: Nobody is openly discussing their failures.


Be kind with yourself, breathe, and witness the sensation of uncomfortable emotion(s).


Next time you're sad, focus on what needs attention or additional care.


If you're joyful, discover what's eliciting that feeling of purpose & awe.


If you're angry, what is your motivation behind the passion?


Your feelings aren't the problem!


It's your relationship to your feelings that's the issue at hand.


Did you know that the life span of an emotion is 90 seconds anyways?!


Why do we allow these feelings to linger?


Notice them without attaching to them!


"This is all temporary.
Love yourself through it." - Lalah Delia

Say sayonara to "Get over it."


Say hello to "It's okay to feel that way!"


That's step #1 to creating happiness from within, rather than from a necessity of change in external environments 🙌🏼


Oh, and if you've got extra time, here's Dr. Joe Dispenza speaking on Jay Shetty's podcast (an episode that I've more than likely listened to 50 times).

Remember: If it's not going to matter in 5 years, it's not worth ruining your day over!


(3) Don't Let Someone Else Write Your Story


People are going to try and tell you what you should be doing with your life, based on their ideas of happiness.


But life doesn't work that way.


You've probably heard this before, yet without fail, we find ourselves in these similar situations again and again.


Even if you're listening to beloved family and friends who wholeheartedly support you, the definition of happiness is different in every human being's eyes.


Some people adore money to their core. And that's okay.


Others crave authentic connection and relationships.


Some choose to make movies.

Or music.

Or art.


But what will make you most proud of you as you leave this world?


That is the magic question


For me, that's writing.


(Though I wouldn't recommend that if you adore money!)

But my point is, life is waayyy shorter than we tend to believe it is.


You've been given verryyy limited time on this planet 🌎


(Approximately 41,000,000 minutes - 8 hrs of sleep/day = 27,202,340 minutes)


That's 453,000 hours or 19,000 days 🤯


And while others may have your entirely best interests at heart, their definition of happiness might not be the same as yours and that's okay ❤️

Take them on that journey with you.


Keep them informed of your progress.


Celebrate each momentous stepping stone along the way.


At the end of the day, they simply want to see you smiling!


You're the main character of your own story, though.


You're going to have to do whatever is best for you.


Nobody else can live this life for you.


So own the story that you create!


& Make sure that you're the one holding the pen ✍🏼


(4) Nobody is Paying Attention


We've all heard this one before, yet it still bears repeating.


Because the majority of us consistently forget (I know I do).


Nobody is paying as much attention to you as you think they are.


Don't worry, like I said, I still forget this one on a regular basis 🔁


The uncomfortable idea of the spotlight forever sends me running for the hills.

But if you stop for a quick second...


You'll recognize how little you think about someone who...


- Slips on the ice

- Has a stain on their shirt

- Spills water while taking a sip

- Accidentally stumbles on the sidewalk

- Drops the popcorn bucket on the theater floor


etc. etc. etc.


Quite honestly, when I see those instances, my instinct is to help the person.


I think that's many of us, if we're being honest.


What if we identified as our true selves instead of the facade we socially project?


What if we ridded ourselves of the automatic programs that work to cover the most vulnerable parts of who we are?


Sure, the world is scary. No doubt about that.


But 👇🏼


Courage requires a little bit of fear, does it not?


Besides...👇🏼


More people suffer from social anxiety than we tend to recognize, especially if we're busy thinking about what someone else might be thinking of us.


The majority of human beings steer 110% clear from any & all uncomfortable ideas and situations to the best of their ability.


For some, it can be legitimately horrific.


But fitting in is a pointless activity.


What valid evidence do we have for the majority of these all-of-the-sudden rushes of panic in the first place?


Did you know that 85% of what human beings worry about never even happens? 😅


Sure, I wish I could go back in time and tell my 14-year-old, 18-year-old, and (even) 21-year-old self that, but he probably wouldn't listen.


But guess what?


No one is perfect and nobody ever has been or will be.


Sure, certain opportunities and ideas can be petrifying.


But that's a recipe for growth 📈


Plus, you cannot control how others perceive you.


You've got to be able to acknowledge that you will be judged.


But trying to please everyone is a waste of your time and energy.


Take the pressure off of yourself!


Speak up for your passions, beliefs, and relationships.


It may work out, other times it may not...


But 👇🏼


Sometimes, we actually need to suffer a bit, in order to improve our current situations.


Ever heard any of these legendary quotes?


"Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
"Suffering provides depth to humanity."
"The wound is where the light enters."

I could go on and on spiritually, but how about scientifically?


Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before inventing a form of energy that we use every single day.


While we're at it, here's a few more failure ➡️ success stories:


Walt Disney was rejected for "poor ideas" and a "lack of imagination"...


George Lucas's Star Wars was denied by several major studios...


J.K. Rowling heard 12 "NOs" on Harry Potter before one yes...


Dr. Seuss had 27 openly dismissed manuscripts...


Stephen King's first novel was refused 30 times...


Oprah Winfrey...

Jerry Seinfeld...

Eminem...


These are all people who used rejection as redirection, giving no power to any cynics along the way.


We just need to remember that the opinions of others is irrelevant.


What others think of you is none of your business.


Think about it for a second ⏲️


None of us will exist in 100 years.


So...why would you spend your limited time worrying about the thoughts of others?


I promise, they're not thinking of you nearly as much as you think they are.


And even if they do, change that negative narrative to a positive!


Enough stirring an unnecessary pot of burdensome, pointless hysteria ❌


Never let someone else control your mentalities & mindsets.


Only you know your full potential.


It's your story after all, remember?

(5) Meditate. Meditate. Meditate.


Oh, and meditate.


Why didn't anyone tell me to meditate before I was laid off? 😭


Just kidding. They did.


But...I didn't listen 😬


However when the hopeless feeling of February 2022 arose, I earnestly needed to try something new.


So, I finally listened 👂🏼


(Took me long enough, am I right?)


The end verdict?


Stubborn pre-2022 Nick Fagen was kind of a bit of a sucker!


Sure, I loved the guy and he's still earned a soft spot in my heart, but...


Meditation and rhythmic breathing has truly re-written my life in all the best ways.


Sure, it helps to read 10+ self-help books simultaneously 😅


But the tools learned throughout a meditation journey can be carried with you far past your meditation 💭


& that is the real difference maker 🙌🏼


It's easy to feel great amidst happiness galore 🥳


The truest test of meditation effectiveness is when triggers arise 😡


But triggers can also act as teachers!


In the present day, I'm able to immediately alleviate any feeling of anxiety, panic, sadness, anger, sensitivity, distraction, boredom, or loneliness in a handful of minutes!


Sounds nice, huh?


Not just at home on the couch, either!


But more more importantly out & about at:


- Dates

- Airports

- Festivals

- Concerts

- Job Interviews


...and more!


The best part of it all?


A meditation can be done as quickly as 2-3 minutes!


Sure, mine tend to last 10-30 minutes, but yours don't have to!


Do you enjoy Netflix?


Give this interactive feature a quick try sometime ⬇️

The bottom line is this 👇🏼


Meditation isn't the "mumbo jumbo" that many of us were traditionally raised to believe.

Meditation allows us to change our brains, bodies, and state of being without any physical interactions from our external environment!


It's the installation of neurological hardware that will eventually become a fluent software program.


Wouldn't it be nice to stop living in the past and future?


The sanctity of now can never be replicated, no matter how hard we may try.


Meditation is what helped me to do that for the first time in 28 years!


Just like your first time that you drove a car, eventually the pieces of process become second nature and creating your future reality suddenly doesn't seem so far-fetched.


Even so, if meditation is not your thing, make sure to always do something for yourself at least 15-20 minutes per day.


That's not a luxury.


It's a physical & mental necessity!

Well, I've been told that my blog posts have been running a tad too long as of late, so I'll cut this one off a bit short!

Which of these lessons are you inclined to start practicing first?

  • 0%(1) Smell the Roses

  • 0%(2) Anxiety...My Old Friend?

  • 0%(3) Don't Let Someone Else Write Your Story

  • 0%(4) Nobody is Paying Attention

Until next time...


Live a little 😊


& Have an incredible week! ☀️

To see what else I've been up to on the day-to-day, check out this link!

❤️ 🧡 💙 💚 💜

❤️ 🧡 💙 💚 💜

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1 Comment


geenadavis176
Nov 16, 2022

Use rejection aa redirection. Inspirational words!

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