Personal Demons

Hello, my dear. You do not know who I am, but I know you. I am one of the three demons that were assigned to you at birth. You see, some people in this world are destined for greatness, destined to live happy, fulfilling lives. You, I am afraid, are not one of those people, and it is our job to make sure of that.

Who are we? Oh yes, of course, how rude of me. Allow me to introduce us:

Shame is my younger brother, the demon on your left shoulder. Shame tells you that you’re a freak; that those thought you have are not normal; that you will never fit in. Shame whispered into your ear when your mother found you playing with yourself as a child. Shame is the one who makes you hate yourself.
Fear sits on your right shoulder. He is my older brother, as old as life itself. Fear fills every dark corner with monsters, turns every stranger on a dark street into a murderer. Fear stops you from telling your crush how you feel. He tells you it is better not to try than let people see you fail. Fear makes you build your own prison.

Who am I, then? I am the worst of your demons, but you see me as a friend. You turn to me when you have nothing else, because I live in your heart. I am the one who forces you to endure. The one who prolongs your torment.



original appeared in this article on reddit.

Where are you on the personal development ladder?

There was a time where I thought that personal development was something linear, where you would go from level 1 to the next, until you reach enlightenment. Later on my life I read on one of Osho’s books about a spiritual path where one would sort of climb on a mountain and started climbing it by going on consecutive smaller circles around the mountain and closer to it’s summit. On that path you encountered 7 steps, each with it’s own challenges. But Osho was clear on one thing: this is not linear, you will many times find yourself back in previous steps if you’re not careful.

In Kung Fu Lotus we talk about a spiral of personal development where sometimes it seems like you are at the same level but in fact you are seeing the same but from a different angle in the spiral.

Luckily I’m not the alone in thinking about these things. There’s a ton of work already out there covering all kinds of ways to assess where you are in several areas/aspects of your personality. One such example is the Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale.

It’s funny to think of a personal development scale. What would you put there? The closest I got was a scale for self-compassion.

For me a good way of measuring personal development is to see where a person has traveled. If a person is well traveled he/she is likely to have been exposed to many different aspects of life, cultures, human beings and is probably able to see things in a different light. Like a good friend of mine used to say: “I do not evolve, I travel”.




Work-Life Balance

What does it mean?
Wikipedia defines it as the balance between career/ambition and other aspects of our personal life like health, pleasure, personal development and spiritual, family, etc.
For the past months I feel like it has been all work and no play and we all know that makes Jack a dull boy.
Going forward I feel I must be more strict with work goals and schedule to allow more time for myself, time to think, time to refuel and just have fun.
After all, every passing minute is a miracle and a mystery that we tend to easily forget.

WordPress Orderby rand not working

If you’re working with the orderby parameter in get_posts/WP_Query to ‘rand’ beware of this report:

“I was developing a site on WP Engine. They actually disable the Orderby Rand Function. If you happen to be using WP Engine, in the dashboard area they put in the WP Admin go there scroll down and make sure the Orderby Rand function is not disabled. You would not believe what I went through before I deduced that it was the host causing the problem.”

Feelings we experience vs what we really are

Knowing yourself is the greatest ecstasy in the world.” – Osho Rajneesh

Back in 2012 I came across the concept of enneagram of personality by attending a session with Gonçalo Eiró. I’ve since learned a bit more about this tool for self-knowledge and one of the things that is encouraged is that we keep a record of our feelings and emotions throughout several days or months in an attempt (or pursuit) of finding patterns and providing evidence for ourselves of where we live internally. You can think of it as an emotional diary log (or journal).

I’ve been writing on my emotional diary log since January 2013 until know (some months on and off) and I must say it’s quite valuable to be able to review my internal state in such a detailed structure.

The way I’ve structured it is:

Date / What I’m feeling / Why? / In the light of enneagram

Date – the date of the entry log
What I’m feeling – how I’m feeling at the moment
Why – the reasons why I’m feeling that way (to the best of my knowledge)
In the light of enneagram – how does this relate to my personality type (according to the enneagram)

Today I decided to share some of my findings after two years of keeping an emotional diary. What have I found?

Top negative feelings of 2014: anxious, bored, stressed, worried, demotivated, blocked, tired, sleepy, feeling like I’m about to go crazy, overwhelmed, lazy, sick, incapable, raged, disturbed, sad, revolted, disappointed, pissed off, hurt, confused

Top positive feelings of 2014: happy, well and relaxed, challenged, well

After a while of keeping the emotional diary log I’ve also started noticing patterns that usually resulted in certain feelings. I’ve noticed and took note of some positive and negative patterns I observed:

Top negative patterns of 2014:

  • Read about a competitor -> Go back to client work -> Feel sad because I’m not progressing
  • I want to Write in blog ->What should I write about? -> No idea -> Go back to client work -> Feel sad
  • Daily scrum -> I don’t know what to say -> I mumble -> I feel I’m not good enough

Top positive patterns of 2014:

  • Arrive early at work -> Do more things than I would normally do on a morning -> Feel productive -> Feel I’m progressing
  • Think of a good idea for a blog post -> Write it on blog -> Feel good
  • Make a quick experiment -> See results -> Feel I’m progressing
  • Make a list of important outcomes to achieve during the day -> Check one by one until all or most are complete for the day -> Feel I’m progressing
  • Do an affirmation with Ana of what we want to accomplish and how we are going to achieve it first thing in the morning -> Feel inspired and happy
  • Have a difficult task that can’t be done -> Set myself to accomplish it -> Feel motivated -> Track how much time I take -> Solve it
  • Chunk things into smaller items -> Accomplish at least one of the items -> Feel progress -> Feel motivated

Noticing these patterns (especially taking conscience) and writing them down causes myself to feel I’m more experiencing these states rather than thinking “I’m like this”. It’s a bit difficult to explain but I hope you can relate somehow. It’s so easy to identify ourselves with the feelings that most of the time we assume that we must be like that! It’s the fight of “the feelings we experience vs what we really are”.

How about you? What are some of your patterns? I hope to continue discovering my patterns and deepening my knowledge of myself this year. After all knowing ourselves seems to be an infinite source of happiness, easily in reach as long as we’re brave enough to tap into it.