old native american grandpa: there are two wolves inside my heart fighting for dominance, one made of light, one made of darkness.
grandson: which wolf will win?
o.n.a.g.: whichever one I feed.

It's mainly a mental game; where you put your attention next is the little invisible wake we push ahead of us that determines what follows. There is nothing but illusion; it may be comforting to seek truth and stuff, but it's not a goal you can expect to realize. And wanting to be "happy" is a sure recipe for a perpetual state of judgement and dissatisfaction. One of the best strategies I ever heard was to just endeavor to accept whatever is true. Whew.

Try this: figure out what you think you want, imagine that you have it, how do you feel? Comfortable with it? Open to it, how does it feel? Remember that feeling; you generated it without the actual presence of that thing you want. Practice that, better to resonate than try to attract. The cure for loneliness is being alone for awhile; whatever you lack, find it in yourself, or create it. Habit becomes form; affirmations should be in the present tense, nurture the future in the now, fill it with the things you want here.

"Chance favors the prepared mind"

How to prepare? Where to next?

For your basic problem solving, writing can be a lot more effective than just thinking; put it down on paper and it may look very different than what you thought you had. Try having two separate hats/modes: one for absolutely unchecked spew, venom, naivete, pettiness, joy, anything goes*, and another for scrutinizing and evaluating; letting yourself have both those disparate modes lets so much more onto the desktop than if you just forge straight ahead with one edited voice. Continue as necessary; just write, see how it changes and where does it go. If nothing else, just describe whatever aspects of the problem you can, nibble on any available corner (including writing that you're stuck). Just listing the questions is a good start, break them into specifics as best you can (like how to make $1,000 and enjoy it), and don't try to solve everything in one paragraph, let it wander for a few pages, ease up and let the cracks breathe. Also try when stuck just writing faster and faster, outrun the editors. Occasionally check back into old writings; unsolvable problems you wrote down just for the hell of it have a strange way of actually working out, whaddya know. Knowing this can make new Total Impasses seem a little less threatening, and often it's really a game of inches, so that can really help.

And watch your language; seemingly trivial phrasing can make a huge difference**. Avoid settling for copout words like should/shouldn't, good/bad, and right/wrong, and "can't" is only allowed when it refers to actual physical limitations, not emotional ones. Substitute "want to" for "should" and see how different the sentence feels, or if it even changes altogether. The universe needs no assistance, and you don't have a mission. Sorry. Consider well the possible consequences of your actions, then do what you think you want, and if you pick well, you'll like where it ends up. It's really all we have to go on.

If you are willing to just put in a little time, there really is no telling where the page will go. Things that seemed of marginal significance reveal themselves as having critical connections and move to the top of the list; things that seemed so important and stuck crack open and show an essence that can be attained or postponed, and you figure out steps you can take now to help you work towards things that seem so distant.

For specific plans, it can be helpful to build your way back from your goal, even with a diagram. Figure out what would immediately precede each step, and keep going and going, branching and branching, until you have an array of next-action executable tasks you could probably do right now. Note that being well-fed, hydrated, and rested are necessary pre-conditions to many goals.

The rest is do-lists and breathing. Yoga is a great aid.

*Whenever therapy clients say "okay this is going to sound incredibly stupid and I probably shouldn't even mention it", the therapist secretly goes oh hell yeah, because that usually signifies something really important about to surface.

**I would suggest you try to keep everything grammatical, and watch the logic/syntax of your statements, because lots of previously-convincing stuff falls flat when you really insist on that, but it's also fine if you just save that for the editing mode, and in spew mode just write up and down and sideways and completely non-paragraphically, make diagrams, whatever.

Pain is a luxury of the living, and often precedes growth.
yeah, sing it with me...sounds like grrrrrrrr...

see also my page on depression,
and another on mediation

remarks on solving problems by Emmet Fox

Getting Things Done, by David Allen
very enlightening book on organizing tasks

See also Cynthia Heimel's excellent rant on getting what you "deserve"

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