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There is a much richer experience available to you than just building yet another productivity habit

A man looks in the mirror and sees himself as a king.
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

When you feel angry for seemingly no reason, it’s not because you’re a bad person. More likely, it’s a reflection of your past experience. The same goes for jealousy, laziness, sluggishness, and all the other feelings that stop you from loving yourself.

To really see this for yourself requires a high level of self-awareness — or, a conscious relationship with yourself. That’s what self-awareness is, in a nutshell: an ongoing awareness of the self and of how you behave towards it.

I’ve recently become a bit bitter about self-improvement. Or at least, about that part of it that positions “positive…


Building self-awareness resembles building a house. Here’s how to find the bricks, cement, tools, and architectural design to construct one that’s uniquely yours

Image of a self-awareness house
All illustrations by the author (using Creative Commons graphics from Pixabay).

Self-awareness is such a complex idea. We all want to improve it, but many find it hard to unpack the concept. What does it mean to be self-aware?

Over the past few years, I’ve explored this question from many angles. At first, self-awareness seemed to be a primarily spiritual endeavor. I discovered that all my experiences, at any given moment, can be used as raw material for discovering my essence, i.e., that part of my consciousness that remains unchanging.

Even now when I write these words, I feel chills of excitement.

As I kept meditating and exploring other self-awareness techniques…


When people sit in a circle, they can see what used to be hidden.

Photo by VisionPic .net from Pexels

On the last Full Moon, I did it again.

I know I shouldn’t have. The current limits on social gatherings are still quite strict. Yet, the promise of what we would create together was much greater than the perceived risk.

(Note: Although the gathering was bigger than allowed, we did follow social distancing rules and met outdoors.)

Under the cover of the night but with the guidance of the Moon, ten women went into the forest to sit around the fire. Each made her way through the darkness and to the sacred space. There, we knew we could feel safe…


Teaching what you need to learn can have immense value for the world

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

I recently came to terms with this:

If you’re doing something for the first time, you won’t feel ready for it. That’s impossible.

How can you feel confident about leading a workshop if you’ve never done it before? Confidence is an aftereffect of experience — not a prerequisite to it.

For a long time, my perceived lack of “readiness” paralyzed me. I felt a strong urge to organize a workshop, a sharing circle, a personal growth event. I needed it, and I sensed people around me did, too. Occasionally, I’d support a workshop when someone else put forward the idea…


True growth isn’t about trying to fit your experience into a narrowly defined box

Author enjoying breakfast in the Welsh countryside and learning to embrace “full catastrophe living.” Photo by Marcin Karpowicz.

When you decide to consciously pursue personal growth, you may eliminate things from your life. You get selective about your experience so you can better understand yourself.

A smaller number of stimuli helps regain clarity.

You engage in productivity systems by eliminating distractions. You cut out (or minimize) certain relationships to better hear your thoughts. You choose elaborate morning routines at the cost of chatting with your partner over breakfast. You don’t do parties, happy hours, and small talk because that’s a waste of time.

But this only helps you grow to a point. You cannot shield yourself from “unproductive”…


Our culture puts self-actualization on its head.

Photo by Candice Picard on Unsplash

A while ago, my friend posted this poll on Twitter.


My first tandem cycling tour reminded me about this

Author with the tandem, photographed by the one and only Marcin Karpowicz

Both bloggers and travelers are storytellers. They just function in two different spaces.

I’ve been both and let me tell you that people seem way fonder of the traveler type. As I recently crossed the UK on a tandem with M, I saw this as clearly as ever.

During this time, I got used to telling stories in a different way. Typing on the keyboard feels unnatural now. Who am I talking to? Hello?! I can’t see or smell you. …


Not getting it would have made me feel like I’m a selfish elitist

Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

What do you do when you have no clue what to believe — and, you can’t see any way of deciding how to choose what to believe in?

What do you do when, presented with two options, you have no idea which one will keep you safe?

I know that people who read this on either side of the barricade will say: “But how can you not know? There’s evidence that getting vaxxed is your moral duty/the silliest thing you’ll ever do.” Then, those people will show me their evidence that I don’t know what to do with anyway.

Do…


Connecting deeply with those closest to us is often the hardest — here’s how to make it happen

Cartoon of potatoes sitting on a couch together, one suggests playing a game.
For some reason, creepy colorful potatoes seemed like a good way to illustrate what Authentic Relating is all about. I hope you enjoy them. All illustrations by the author.

Since I can remember, I craved more connection than I knew how to create.

As a school kid, I considered myself shy and awkward. I was that geek you’d copy your homework from — but not have much fun hanging out with.

The awkwardness continued through teenagehood and into my adult years. Even with close friends and partners, I often mumbled my way through surface-level conversations. Getting to more juicy topics or activities seemed out of my reach, and only happened by accident.

The pandemic certainly didn’t help improve my relational skills. However, it made it painfully clear how much…


Yet, more people than ever focus on churning out the latter

With such a workstation, people have the power to influence society. The question is, how are they using it? Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

I thought that being a content creator would grant me a life free from conformity. Ironically, it’s done the opposite.

The concept of “creator” hints at the freedom of expression. But, when prefaced with “content,” that changes. Creating content, by definition, means filling up a pre-existing container. Whatever comes into that container needs to fit its shape and size.

Similarly, content creators need to adhere to predetermined standards and expectations. This means 99% of their work regurgitates what’s already been said.

It reinforces echo chambers and information bubbles.

Meanwhile, the world desperately needs art. Art opens doors to new conversations…

Marta Brzosko

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