Self Improvement


"I feel trapped." It can feel overwhelming to think that all decisions are final with no way of changing. If you are unhappy with your job, you can look for another one. If you don't like where you live, you can explore alternatives.

Carefully consider the necessary information to make a good decision. While changing course can cost you and others, you can still reverse course if it becomes necessary.

Thea Newton (@theanewton) - Profile Photo



Self Improvement

We wrongly connect our self-worth to our level of success. We chase success with the hope to build our self-worth, then anxiety increase when we think we may fail.

In truth, our self-worth is not determined by our success, degrees, education level, physical abilities, looks or earning power. Your self-worth is part of your humanity. You are worthy being you are human.

Life often throws curveballs. And just before you regain some order, life adds more challenges. You may stack your problems in a pile instead of addressing each one. Anxiety increase as you become overwhelmed by it all.

Instead, list your concerns from the most to the least anxiety-causing. Then go over each one at a time.

The most common thought pattern that causes anxiety is when we ignore all the possible scenarios and settle on the worst possible outcome, even if it is improbable.

Many of our biggest worries never come to fruition. Take some time to think of the odds that your fear will become a reality. Also, focus on taking reasonable precautions to protect yourself against the worst possible outcome.

Your inner critic may say, "It's your fault" for not meeting expectations. You blame yourself even if it's not your fault. For example, not earning a promotion, but then you fail to consider that many highly qualified candidates applied. The decision to promote a different applicant may have been based on external factors such as luck.

Refrain from adding undue self-criticism.

Negative thought patterns

The function of the brain is not to keep us happy. The function is to protect us from possible threats.

Our brains create "what if" scenarios of what could go wrong. Achievers are familiar with the brain's stories it tells itself that may increase anxiety. Identifying these patterns is a vital step in reducing anxiety and reclaiming inner peace.

Thinking in extremes simplifies decision-making but neglecting to consider more possibilities can give you excessive anxiety.

There is a place for all or nothing thinking, such as surgery or flying an aeroplane. However, many daily actions do not carry that level of responsibility. You can make a mistake on an exam and still have a successful outcome. You are a work in progress. Give yourself the grace to make and learn from your mistakes.

The foundation legends of Rome
  • One legend is that Ancient Rome was founded on 21 April 753 BCE by two brothers and demigods, Romulus and Remus. But Romulus killed Remus in an argument of who should rule and then named the city after himself.
  • Another legend is that the city was named after Roma, a woman. The fall of Troy caused the survivors to move on. When they landed on the banks of the Tiber River, Roma and other women objected to moving on.
  • Others think the city came from Rumon, the name for the Tiber River.
  • Roman warfare made the ancient city a powerful force. The Punic Wars (wars with the North African city of Carthage) helped the city to grow. With Carthage defeated, Rome dominated the region.
  • But with growth, the city of Rome started to suffer from the effects of greed and corruption. Unemployed Romans hired themselves out as thugs to whatever wealthy senator would pay them.
  • In the 2nd century BCE, Tiberius and Gaius, the Gracchi brothers, led a land and political reform movement.
  • Octavian, Antony, and Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate of Rome. They were all very ambitious.
  • It was agreed that Lepidus should rule over Hispania and Africa, Octavian should rule the Roman lands in the West and Antony the lands in the East.
  • Antony was involved with the Egyptian queen Cleopatra VII and caused a war with Octavian. Octavian emerged as the victor and sole power in Rome. In 27 BCE, he was granted extraordinary powers by the Senate and took on the name of Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome.
  • Julius Caesar ended the period of the Republic by having the Senate proclaim him dictator. He was popular among the people and created a strong and secure central government that increased prosperity for Rome.
  • He was assassinated by a group of Roman senators in 44 BCE. They feared that he was becoming too powerful and might abolish the Senate.
  • Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony), Gaius Octavius Thurinus and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus joined forces and defeated the senators in 42 BCE.

Rome was a small town on the banks of the Tiber and developed through trade. Seven kings ruled the city as it grew. Greek culture and civilization came to Rome from Greek colonies and gave the Romans a model on which to build their own culture.

From early on, the Romans improved upon the skills and concepts of other cultures. When Lucius Junius Brutus overthrew the last of the seven kings in 509 BCE, Brutus reformed the system of government and established the Roman Republic.

Rome was divided across the class line. The ruling class called themselves optimates (the best men). They favoured the power of the Senate of Rome and the superiority of the ruling class.

The lower classes were known as the populares (the people). They favoured reform and democratisation of the Roman Republic.

Three men with opposing ideologies unwittingly brought an end to the Roman Republic.

  • Marcus Licinius Crassus was the richest man in Rome but also corrupt. Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and Gaius Julius Ceasar were great generals who made Rome wealthy.
  • The three, vying for power, could keep each other in check, but Crassus was killed in battle. With Crassus gone, the First Triumvirate disintegrated, and Pompey and Caesar met each other in battle where Caesar's forces defeated Pompey's.
Prepare The Environment
  • A calming environment is conducive to meditation so that you can engage all of your five senses - sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch.
  • Remove any clutter that might distract you;
  • If you choose to light a candle, be sure to have it away from any items that are hazardous to fire;
  • You can also prepare a drink to sip during your bath, just make sure that it is in a non-breakable cup and it has a stable surface to rest on. It can be a glass of wine, a cup of tea, or even iced coffee.
Create The Time To Relax

It is sometimes difficult to find some time to relax in our busy lives. However, it is important to set aside some quiet and uninterrupted time to be able to meditate, relax, and breathe.

  • Find a time where you can have some peace and quiet where you won't be interrupted;
  • Set your intentions to be held in a positive light. What do you want to happen during this time? How long will you be spending here? What are you trying to free yourself from?
Prepare The Bath
  • This is dependent on your preferences. You can have a milk bath, salt bath, or a bath without any additives.
  • You can have a deeper bath experience by adding fresh rose petals or citrus rinds for texture. 
  • Bath salts, bubbles, and essential oils can also be added to your bath.
Get in The Bath and Relax

Now that you've prepared everything for the bath it's time to climb into the bath, close your eyes, relax your body and breathe. Here are things you should do while in the bath:

  • Practice the 4-7-8 breathe work. 
  • Pay attention to the sensations that you are feeling at the moment, from your body - warmth, freshness, serenity - to your environment - fragrant and relaxing.
  • This is also when you can address your anxieties, focus on the feeling, and then let them go.
Easing Back Into Life

As the bath comes to an end, your skin is soft, you feel light and unburdened, don't quickly get out of the bath, instead, take it slow, carefully get up and do your usual routine after a soothing bath. 

While doing so, keep in mind to still notice what you are thinking and feeling - physically and emotionally - let yourself fully experience the moment until the moment you put your clothes on.

The Fresh Start Effect

When we want to change ourselves anew, we often set a date on when to start changing our behaviors or our habits. This is the concept of having a "fresh start".

The effect of the "fresh start" is that we're able to overlook our past mistakes and imperfections of our daily lives and have new beginnings. We are then more likely to take action towards our goals.

  1. Be strategic about when you want to start changing your behavior. If you want to trigger the fresh start effect you must think carefully about the meaning behind the days for yourself.
  2. When you start to drift away from your target, don't lose hope. Focus on a new fresh start date. We often forget that motivation's biggest problem is that it ebbs, it flows, and will often fail you without notice.
  3. Connect with your future self. Every action you decide to do now will affect your future inevitably.

Temporal landmarks are the days that stand out as being more meaningful than other days, mainly due to it producing the feeling of having a "fresh start"

These temporal landmark days make us feel more distant from our past failures.

Black History Month

Since 1976, the United States celebrates the achievements of African-Americans during Black History Month.

Black History Month started as "Nero History Week" in 1926. Historian Carter G. Woodson was bothered that many textbooks and other historical reviews did not consider the contributions of black figures. Woodson allocated the second week in February to raise awareness of these stories.

Carter G. Woodson chose the second week in February specifically because the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and Frederick Douglass (February 14) were during that period. The publicity led many mayors and college campuses to recognise the week.

In 1976, President Gerald Ford made Black History Month official, urging people to use the opportunity to honour the often neglected accomplishments of black Americans.

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