Oral Health

The Receding gums and inflamed known as periodontal disease,This is a condition in which the gums are infected, reaching such inflammation, sometimes to the tissue at the base of the tooth and whole bone in this article you will find possible causes of receding gums and how to regrow receding gums at home.

Dangers of Receding gums

More than just the pain and discomfort related to Receding gums is the possibility of another oral issue, gum disease.  In the same manner, blood can exit the tissue of the gums; harmful bacteria can be carried into the tissue.  Bacteria entering the bloodstream can lead to a host of secondary health issues.  These health problems are of major concern and include:

  • Digestive system disorders
  • Respiratory problems
  • Higher risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Pancreatic cancer

Possible Causes of Receding gums

There are many possible causes of Receding gums or gingival bleeding. The main cause of Receding gums is poor oral hygiene.  Improper brushing and flossing techniques can lead to the formation and accumulation of plaque at the gum line. Other causes that can exacerbate gum receding include:

  • Placement of new dentures
  • Tooth or gum infection
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Leukemia and Malnutrition
  • Use of aspirin and anticoagulants such as warfarin and heparin
  • Hormonal imbalances during puberty and pregnancy

Other less common causes are:

  • Vitamin C (scurvy) and vitamin K deficiency
  • Dengue fever

The bacteria build up and invade the pocket. You will notice some bleeding as this occurs and may be redness or gum swelling.  As the bacteria hide in the pocket, it turns into toxins or poisons and starts eating away at the gum tissue.  This leads to receding gums and possibly a loose tooth. When it is deep enough, the bacteria has access to your bloodstream and the next thing you know you are faced with multiple health issues and overwhelming dental bills.

Following a good oral hygiene plan is the most effective way to prevent Receding gums.

Signs and symptoms of Receding Gums

Receding gums can be a reaction to gum disease as above mentioned, but it is yet another symptom linked to canker sores or mouth ulcers

  • Changes in occlusion or the way teeth fit together
  • Formation of deep pockets between your gums and teeth
  • Gums that bleed after and during brushing teeth
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Receding gums

Receding gums is a serious condition, and anyone that suffers from them should be concerned.

How To Regrow Receding Gums At Home

Tea Tree Oil

This is the first Remedy to regrow receding gums at home. The oil of tea tree is an essential oil derived from the melaleuca species, and has powerful antibiotic properties. In case of gingivitis and periodontal disease topically applied gum plenty to brush your teeth, or directly on the brush, a drop twice a week.

Blueberry

This is the 2nd remedy to regrow receding gums at home. Cranberry Juice is used medicinally to combat periodontal disease . The right thing would be to consume it in the form of a drink, taking 1/4 liter per day.

Massage

This is the 3rd remedy to regrow receding gums naturally. Massaging the gums twice a day for 5 minutes each time, it helps in cases of periodontal fermented, to stimulate circulation and encourage the process of healing of the gums and removal of bacteria.

Naturessmile Gum Balm

Brush with herbal gum paste of Nature smile to totally clean the mouth area from pathogenic agents. Natural components of Naturessmile Gum Balm is very effective for treating all kinds of oral health problems and also regrow receding gums naturally.

Dare To Express

The Triumphant Return – Lessons Learned and DareToExpress 2.0

I swore to myself that I would not fall victim to inconsistency, to a lack of effort, but – guess what – I did. I took some time off from blogging to immerse myself in other areas of life, gaining the experience that will allow me to write bigger and better pieces here at DareToExpress.

I took the time off to focus on school. I took the time off to focus on my social life. I took the time off to focus on sports. I took the time off to focus on almost everything else in my life.

In some ways, it paid off. In other ways, it didn’t. Such is life; we try and do things to pursue a specific end, but, more often than not, things don’t go as planned. Hell, I’d even say that every time, things don’t go as planned.

Like Marcus Aurelius says, the art of living is more like wrestling than dancing: it is about being prepared for whatever life throws at us and responding to it the best we can. (Interesting note: though that wasn’t a direct quote from the Emperor himself, he did use the word respond instead of react) That’s one of many lessons I’ve learned during my relatively brief time away from the blog. Instead of trying to predict what will happen, and adjust accordingly, it is much more efficient and effective to adequately prepare oneself for every possible outcome. While this may sound daunting, it isn’t in reality: often, each outcome only requires a slight shift in a response. With a response, you are minutely adjusting and fine-tuning your default action to suit your outcome; with a reaction, you change your entire action based on an outcome. You change yourself in order to fit the situation.

With a response, you just are you and act from that base.

But I digress – I’m fond of doing that, because it lights my creative fire to go on these random tangents. It’s fun for me and I get to weave an interesting picture with my words.

Damn, I’m digressing again, aren’t I?

Losing Myself

What brought me back to the blog?

Passion.

Passion for what?

Creating.

During my time off, I’ve immersed myself in a lot of Eastern philosophy – Zen, Taoism, and I’ve been reading The Bhagavad Gita, to name a few. As such, by osmosis, I’ve been falling into a more serene, calm, and desireless state. I’ve been content, and slowly, my standards have been lowering. My work hasn’t been as good in school – and I’ve accepted it. I haven’t been the dynamite personality I usually am. My play has gotten worse in hockey, and, overall, I’ve been slacking big time.

There’s another word that I could use to describe myself: lazy. That’s what I’ve been for the past month-and-a-half or so: lazy. Utterly, completely, lazy. Of course, my inner Zen guru is telling me right now that there is no such thing as lazy because words are illusions and don’t exist and so on, but my ego’s telling me I’ve been really lazy.

I stopped caring about a lot of things, but paradoxically started caring about a lot more. I became more in tune with my own emotional state and those of others, and got more social. However, with my no-thinking state in place (that’s what this Zen-state is all about), I started to play into other peoples’ realities, to get sucked into their games, because I was allowing them to define me. In a way, by letting go, I wasn’t being myself, because I equated no-thinking state with not actively deifining my reality.

Ergo, I made no-thinking state and becoming a sheep, a follower one and the same.

I let other people dictate what I should do, and how I should do things. I gave my power away, because I wasn’t stepping up and acting, or, rather – being who I’m meant to be. By refusing to take action, I passed my power onto the next person, who used it to use me, in a way. In fact, around my closest friends, this has been the phenomenon at work – and I can see how they’ve been leading me more lately, which has been followed by an almost-imperceptible-but-still-there loss of respect.

I’m a natural leader, though sometimes I’m quiet and reserved. But I’m solid as a rock, am dependable, am a man of action – I get things done on time and with utmost quality. I provide an example for others to follow, I do everything with 100% conviction and faith in my ability and that of others, and am prepared for anything. I take pride in my ability to get things done and get them done well. I take pride in my ability to make decisions, and make the right one consistently.

During this time of Zen Apathy (as I’ll now call it), I renounced my position of leader. I seemed to give it up as I became more introspective and more concerned with my emotional state, above all. I became no better than any other man, who just sought to get happiness at any cost, and that’s it.

As I looked at myself, I realized that, by making feeling good my #1 priority, I was no better than the alcoholics and drug addicts of the world. Sure, their solution is external and mine’s internal, but the fact remains the same: we both predicated our existence on whether we felt good on any given moment. They lived for the buzz or the high they get from their drugs; I lived for the high and the buzz I got from myself and meditation.

The addicts’ addiction makes them get tunnel vision: all they see is this high or the next high, and they neglect to take responsibility for anything else in life. Their lives become eternally focused on the high, and they never take their eyes off of it, even while everything else in their lives crumble around them.

I, believe it or not, became the same way. I was so focused on whether I felt good or not that everything else in my life took a big dip in quality. Everything started to decay, and I didn’t even care, because I was just focused on feeling good, not doing what was right. I got away from who I was at my core because I didn’t care about anything other than my emotional state.

Weakness to Fullness

Something seemed to be wrong. I knew something was wrong because I stopped caring about so much and started worrying about other people so much more than usual. I thought that was just a natural byproduct of my Zen Apathy state – one of which was feeling love for just about everything, but not caring about it all that much. I fell in love easily – it was a strange thing to see, because I’m usually not like that. I found myself becoming attached to other people as I renounced my world and my responsibilities. In one way, I was unattached and free, but I quickly used that newfound freedom to attach myself to others. By trying to be free, I shackled myself in reality to a bunch of obligations I don’t think I chose for myself.

I finally woke up, realizing that, in my Zen state, I was being profoundly selfish and weak. I was being a coward. I was being all sorts of things that I didn’t want myself to be, just because I had made my decision to feel good eternally as the end-all-be-all of my existence. That’s weak. I deluded myself into putting up a shell of avoiding everything that might’ve tarnished my good state – especially making any effort. I was afraid, subconsciously. The subconscious is a tricky thing, but I think I’ve conquered it – and the ego, that dreaded three-letter-word – for now. Why?

Because, I’m back, with a vengeance. I’m not going to accept the laziness and apathy of my previous state. I will try to harness all the good feelings I can, but I realize that I’m going to experience a full range of emotions, running the gamut from pleasure to pain and everything in between.

I’m now starting to realize that happiness is nothing. True meaning in life goes much deeper than just happiness – happiness is just a starting point to a larger mission in front of us. Reaching “happiness” – as abstract a concept as it is – is a beginning.

The Buddha used to count peoples’ age from the time they were enlightened – enlightenment was the beginning of their life, for him. Their previous lives were just an illusion to him; they didn’t exist.

I think along the same lines. I’m not enlightened, and I’ll never pretend to be, but reaching that point of happiness is just the beginning, for me, not the end. From now on, I have the default polarity of positivity – that’s all it means. Nothing else. Before, I had accepted happiness as all that mattered in life, because I was desperately seeking good feelings, having been deprieved of them for so long during my depression (which is a long story in and of itself).

Now that I’m here, it’s nice, but it’s not… Amazing on its own.

Ironically, people spend their entire lives looking for happiness as some sort of end to life, some sort of “enlightenment” where life just is bliss for the remainder of your days. No, sir, it is not like that. I’ve still got things to do in my life, before I die. I’ve still got gifts to give, love to spread, and amazing experiences to be had. Just because I’m no longer seeking my happiness in these things doesn’t mean I have to stop doing them altogether.

Becoming an Artist

The real reason for doing these things: making them into artful expressions of my personality. That’s what it’s really all about, this life we have. I want things to be done artfully, to be done to perfection – not that things have to be perfect, but perfectly me. Everything I touch should be infused with the energy of my soul itself, so I leave no gift left ungiven in my life. I want everything I do to become integral pieces of the masterpiece that is my life stream, so to speak.

So I developed the Masterpiece Mindset, as I call it. Its tenets are:

1.I must treat everything I do as if I were crafting a beautiful work of art, from the soul.

and

2.I must give my full effort and attention 24/7.

I bet some of you are thinking – “Whoa Brett, if you treat everything as a work of art, does that mean you’ll do it really slowly and deliberately?!”

My answer: nope.

It means I do everything to the best of my ability, and so I project my personality in doing so. Everything touched my hand instantly bears my mark, in a way – I leave a distinctive style in how I do things from now on. This will be particularly evident in communication – writing and speech – but I’ll extend this to everything I do. In reading books, I’ll read fast, as is normal, but I’ll read every sentence fluidly. No skipping lines like I usually do. I’ll constantly measure my posture 24/7, so I’m never slouching. I’ll move fluidly, but always at my own pace – never matching the speed of the crowd.

I’ll make everything I do burst with pure energy, and channel that energy however I choose – as long as I am actually choosing how I do that.

That’s the goal: to make everything be completed with full effort. By allowing myself to fall back into “woo woo happy do nothing” state, AKA Zen Apathy, I didn’t do anything well because I didn’t see the point in it. If I wasn’t deriving happiness from doing something, why do it, right? That’s how I thought then.

But now that I recognize that there’s something more than just happiness. There’s a reason to do everything, and treat it like a piece of art…

Creativity.

By losing myself in Zen Apathy, I totally shut out my ability to create. Shut down, 404 Error Page Not Found, Blue Screen of Death, all those computer metaphors. I dismembered creativity and chose to be a mirror. Mirror of whatever anyone else threw in front of me…

…and then I wondered why life seemed dead and cold.

I know that the earth is not a dead cold place – in fact, I was so attuned to life that I wondered why a world I KNEW to be alive seemed to be deceased, or, at least, comatose.

I was holding my gifts of life back, my creativity, which reflected back on my environment. I refused to create, and life was struck from my world. You only receive what you give in this world, and because I wasn’t giving my best by being creative, at all times, the world wasn’t giving me anything back.

Notice how I said both me and the world were mirrors? It shows that everything in my reality was second-hand, wasn’t created or molded by any one sculptor, any artist. You know when two mirrors are next to each other and you just see the reflections get smaller and smaller into infinity? That was what my life was like. No originality; just synthetic copies.

On the bright side, I felt good. I felt really good, actually, during this period. This only serves as motivation for me to really step up my creativity and live my life like the piece of art it is. If I felt that good during a time of stagnation, I can only imagine how high I’m going to be soaring once I use my creative spark to set every waking moment I have ablaze in a fire of ecstacy and love (as woo-woo as that sounds). I don’t see any limit to my potential.

From now on, that’s my commitment. Full expressiveness through artfullness. Everything’s an art, baby – and I’m not the most artistic guy in the world, in the traditional sense. But I do have a deep love and appreciation for traditional art, and I look forward to making my life one of the world’s great artistic works.

Sound megalomaniacal?

Yeah, I know. It does. It’s ambitious, but I have the tendency to use a lot of hyperbole.

Vigilance

One of the quotes that drove me to try and create art with every moment of my life was this:

“In the way you do anything, you do everything.”

That was a clear spark into my shift to adopting the Masterpiece Mindset (patent pending). I couldn’t choose to “turn on” my artistic, expressive self when I needed it most – I simply needed that part of me to become a permanent part of my persona by making myself create everything into a masterpiece in whatever ways I can.

Hell, I know that I’ll always be asking myself, “What can I do to make this beautiful/artistic?” whenever I do anything from now on. The results: breaking down everything I think about what I do, and building it back up, brick by brick, stone by stone. I’m not sure whether that metaphor made sense. But from now on, I’ll make everything artistic like that, getting creative in how I do things.

Pause. One idea: taking a shower while standing on one foot. Sounds cool. Sounds potentially beautiful. But, above all, it sounds damn creative and a lot different from the mundane things that seemingly permeate my life.

No more. This post is one of those artistic things that I’ve been talking about here; it’s creative, it’s lengthy, and above all, it’s a representation of what’s going on in my soul. All I can do is share my experiences and hope that it strikes a chord with some people. That’s the exact opposite of what people normally do on blogs; they share tips they’ve learned from their “experience”… Or not. Maybe some of their lessons weren’t learned from experience. But we never know – and I’m hoping to break down that barrier by sharing exactly what’s been going on in my mind and in my life and giving some information that you guys can apply in your own lives.

With that in mind, here’s my advice for you guys:

You must, must, must get happiness handled. You can do it, but it will not solve all your problems on its own. Be happy with who you are, but realize that improvement is possible and is NOT inevitable. You can certainly go downhill if you decide to let go – but, then again, downhill is only in the eye in the beholder. I love being happy, but… There’s something else that fills me.

Simple shifts must be made in your life. You must take complete responsibility for everything that comes within your sphere of influence. That means your emotional state, in addition to every single one of your actions. If you can’t take responsibility for actively creating your reality, the little bubble of your existence, you will see yourself rise up and claim something new out of life. You will actively create a new life before you – a masterpiece, for the whole world to see.

That masterpiece, though, is you. You are already a masterpiece. Your life, your actions, can then take on what you are if you give of yourself fully, in the moment. 100% effort. Nothing left ungiven. You’re leaving your soul bare with every action that you take.

Through action and dedication, you will let the world know your value. Your gifts, your beauty, your masterpiece-ness, are all worthless if you hold it in. All is lost if you don’t give it and throw yourself out there, for every man, woman, and child to see.

Don’t think you have gifts or love to give? You do. There must be something you’re good at. Start there. Then work on your ability to really express love with everyone you meet. Make unconditional love your mantra. Once you lock eyes with anyone and they smile, you know you’re on the right track. You just have to smile back in order to fully give your gift. Other gifts include your presence, your focus, and your ability to do anything. If you’re even competent at something, just doing that is a gift you can give to the universe, for competenece is one of the steps on the way to mastery (and, by the way, you’ll never reach mastery, so start enjoying the process).

You must remain eternally vigilant, so your quality and effort never declines, so you always stay true to yourself and never let mere good feelings stop you from doing anything. Those narcotics in your brain, that good feeling, mean nothing whatsoever. Yes, it feels good, but that’s all it is. Reach higher, reach beyond pleasure and pain, and make your life into something truly worth living. Anyone can harvest good feelings internally; but it takes someone extraordinary to elevate themselves to something between a demigod and a trapeze artist, something between divine and down-to-earth painter.

Want to know why it’s so difficult?

Because it takes a tremendous amount of effort. More effort than you or I have ever expended in order to do any task in our lives. It requires constant vigilance and dedication to every single task you’ll ever do for the rest of your life in order to best harness your creative energies. This means full effort, every single second of your life. How radical are you prepared to be? Are you willing to give full energy and effort every nanosecond of your life? Can you do it?

Yes you can. You have an unlimited well of creative energy within you, ready to access at any moment. All it needs to come out is a little bit of prodding and determination. Nothing more than that. It’s literally on standby mode at EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of your life, ready to spring into action and turn your life into something exciting. All you must do is trust it’s there and BOOM! It’ll come out, simple as that. But the effort and the will to win (though I can’t tell you what you’re winning) must be there before anything else

DareToExpress 2.0

I’m now calling this era of my blog “DareToExpress 2.0″. Why?

Because there will be a marked shift in focus and style of my posts.

Everyone of my posts will be a masterpiece in its own right, a work of art. I won’t create any “throwaway content”. I’ll only post the best of the best that I have to give, whatever form that takes.

Sometimes the posts will be personal, like this one. Other times they’ll be completely focused on personal development, and things you can do to improve your life, yadda yadda yadda. Truth is, “personal development” is pretty simple from behind a computer screen; you can just read read read and think that you’re getting somewhere. You can implement little tiny “life hacks” that add something close to 0 to your life and delude yourself into thinking you’re living a better life. You can do some productivity hacking and boost your efficiency by about 5%, and then pat yourself on the back. But, in reality… That’s all one giant illusion designed to make you feel better about yourself.

Ask yourself: does productivity truly matter? Do any of these lifehacks really matter?

Nope.

Which is why I’m going above and beyond lifehacks in order to truly liberate people from the shackles of their past.

Each of my posts, from now on, will be totally and utterly complete. They’ll probably be over 1,500 words, at a minimum, and wil probably go much, much, much higher. In the interests of art, I’ll probably also make some pithy posts that may clock in around 200 words. Either way, my posts will be unpredictable.

Well, except one thing. They’ll be of great quality, every single time.

If I look at a post’s concept, and I don’t think, “Wow, I can’t wait until people read this. Their minds are going to be blown and world peace will happen,” I won’t write the post or even bother posting it up. Same goes for when I draft a post. I’ll be merciless in my selectivity. I’ll cut down any post that doesn’t reach my standards of quality.

Obviously, though, with my posts becoming longer and longer, I’ll be posting much less frequently. My posting will probably be anywhere from 1-2 times a week, but it depends on the concepts I’m throwing around. Each one of my posts will be published whenever I feel like it, but I’ll mainly publish on the middle days of the week – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – to maximize exposure.

I’ll also be pursuing my democratization plans I talked about earlier. I’ll hop back on the ol’ tumblr. and see what kind of magic I can build with the community here.

And, after all, community is all I’m looking for, besides love, hope, and… Art.

Strangely, I think all I’m looking for is inside me. I’m just lettin’ my gifts flow freely, no matter how much effort it takes or how “good” or “bad” I’m feeling.

 

Dare To Express, Real Return

The Real Return

No more return posts, then vanishing into obscurity. I’m home, and I’m here to stay for a very long time.

I learned quickly that I was stretching myself too thin, trying to keep a three-pronged attack of blog, school, and hockey. In order to perform at my best in each area, I was compromising my health, trying to juggle too many things at once. I was trying to do too much, and that led into the inevitable war between my health and the quality of my work. In order to perform at my peak in all three areas, I’d have to be up ’til midnight every night, hammering out blog posts and homework, exhausted after a long day.

I knew I couldn’t survive long on a sleep schedule where I’d consistently be getting about 5 hours of sleep each night – my play in hockey and my performance in school would go down the drains faster than the speed of light.

I got my priorities in order and realized that this blog – the blog I treasured so much – would have to take a backseat so I could focus on school and hockey.

The results?

I’m still number 2 in my class (by a scant .03 GPA) and I had my best hockey season ever. After a slow start to the season – which, not-so-coincidentally, happened to come at the time where I was still working on my blog in my spare time – I stepped up my game a lot and ended up finishing in the top 10 in the division in points, as a defenseman. I averaged over a point-per-game and was the team’s shutdown defenseman, playing against the other team’s top line every single game, and doing well to prevent them from scoring. I had a lot of fun, but we endured a heartbreaking loss to our archrival in the district finals for the second year in a row, ending the season. We’re losing a ton of seniors, and, as such, I’ll probably take the reins as captain of the team next year. I’ve got my work cut out for me.

I’m glad I took time off from my blog. I’ve grown in many ways in such a short period, and a lot has happened. Let’s get you up to speed…

Life In the Hiatus

My life, especially in the past 4 weeks or so, has felt ripped straight out of a TV Show or some Hollywood drama.

In the past few weeks, I’ve seen amazing highs, and some dreadful lows.

I’ve gotten incredibly close to some people, and had the most poignant and heartfelt phone conversation I’ve ever had.

I’ve broken someone’s heart, because I moved on after we hung out on Valentine’s Day and nothing happened.

I’ve been a part of the most exciting hockey game I’ve ever seen or been a part of. We were down 3-1 going into the first intermission, and gave up those 3 goals within the first 5 minutes of the first period. We crawled our way back into it, scoring the tying goal with 9.1 seconds left in the third period to force overtime. We won the game in overtime, capping off a legendary comeback. We never gave up, and we were rewarded for it. I nearly collapsed after the game out of pure exhaustion. Simply the best feeling in the world.

I’ve started talking to this girl after I scrawled my number on her mirror with a dry-erase marker. That was pretty fun, and if anything comes of it, I’ll be thoroughly pleased. She’s… “cool”. Other than that, I can’t divulge any other information.

I’ve seen a couple of guys one day, then heard they got in a near-fatal car accident the next. One’s out of the hospital. The other’s in an induced coma and will probably never be the same again and will be a vegetable for the rest of his life. This just in: the kid in the coma was taken off life support and just died. HE DIED.

I’ve become incredibly social and make a habit of saying hi to everyone I know, everyone I go. I do it completely unconsciously and feel totally at ease in almost every social situation I’m thrown into – I stay centered and happy and active, even when I’m around people I don’t know or I know don’t like me. It’s quite an amazing transformation that seemed to happen overnight. I feel like striking up conversation with everyone. I’ve become a go-getter instead of the closed guy who opens up around his close friends. I just expect good responses from everyone, so I make an effort to meet everyone. It’s a blast.

I’ve experienced lows like I’ve never experienced before, feeling like I was hitting rock bottom on three or four occasions – questioning everything I believed in, renouncing a lot of the relationships I had, and, in general, feeling lost. I’ve grappled with a lot of tough questions, and found a lot of answers. But, still, I feel a little empty.

Why?

Again: during this time I wasn’t really creating anything. I didn’t have any ideas to really fire me up, to light my soul alight. I lacked direction – I was just wandering from adventure to adventure, lacking any sort of unifying purpose. While I reject the idea of a universal purpose to my life, or anyone else’s for that matter, I do think there’s something to be said for a temporary purpose, a purpose that sets us on the path to success for a certain amount of time.

Hell, if I were a fan of universal purposes, I’d say that everyone’s purpose in life is to create more than they consume. I’ll leave that up to interpretation. Creation can be whatever you want it to be, as long as it is the product of creativity and you put some effort into it.

Life After Hiatus

And now that I’m back, what will I be doing?

I’ll be relentlessly marketing the hell out of this blog and become one of the most prolific writers in the blogosphere, and THE most prolific in personal development. I’m not talking about post volume; I’m talking about WORDS. On pure word count and material, I will beat everyone. I’ll guest post everywhere, and try to generate as much traffic as possible to get my website up to C-List status, as hilarious as that sounds. I’m not looking to be the next Leo Babauta – I just want to be something closer to the next Glen Allsop. I know my inconsistency hasn’t helped me any, but I plan on returning with a massive vengenace.

You’re gonna see my name a lot all over the place – guest posting like it’s going out of style. I can’t wait to see what sort of material I’m going to produce – I can assure you that it will be awesome. In my time off, I’ve learned a lot – and shifted from idealistic to a more pragmatic philosophy. Life ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, fellas.

I’m also going to revive my ambitious plans for the DareToExpress Community. I really want this to become a hub for people interested in self-development and making their lives better, day by day. Though, I’d argue that any hub, without people being involved outside of it, is totally useless. We need a balance between time spent outside self-development, and time spent inside self-development.

Each of my posts is going to be pretty epic in its length – I’m shooting for no less than 1000 for guest posts (depending on the subject) and somewhere around 2000 for typical posts on the blog. I’m going to get deep, deep, deep into this stuff, people. I’m going to be cranking out these essays like they’re going out of style.

Not that the quality of my posts will suffer – I can promise that they’ll be top notch and well-thought-out.

Just expect to see a lot of activity around here.

 

Dare To Express

Being Naked and… Glowing. Now With 72% Identity!

Naked! Completely Naked!

I’m sitting here on a beautfiul Sunday morning, typing up this post, looking outside at the white, splotchy snow and listening to some Passion Pit. I just had a great breakfast – the usual green smoothie plus protein/oats shake and some almonds on the side. Oh, and I had an amazingly hot orange chili before I “ate” any of that. Now that’s the way to start off a morning, fellas.

Adding to the glory of my morning: I’m sitting here, completely naked, with my office/bedroom door open. Other people are in the house. They pass by and see me sitting here, typing away, in my PJ’s, then stop they do a huge double take. Upon further examination, though I may be fully clothed, I’m actually naked.

Sounds paradoxical, right?

WRONG.

Identity Digression

I don’t mean naked in the sense of clothing, I mean naked in a more spiritual sense, even though I have no idea what is and what is not spiritual. For all I know, all this spirituality stuff could be some serious self-delusion, much like people trick themselves into believing existential myths via some serious abuse of the placebo effect.

So, to appeal to the more grounded ones among us, as well as to keep both feet on the ground, I’ll just say I’m being naked in identity. That is, I’m always projecting whatever my “true” identity is at that given moment – I’m using “identity” as a substitute for something like the “soul” or “core”. Identity, in this context, is actually not one that is assumed or is feigned – that realm belongs to the ego – but instead, is basically “who you are”. Your identity, essentially, is your self-concept (how you see yourself), your values, and your behaviors, rolled into one.

I would call this the “true identity”, as it is indeed possible to stack on a bunch of “false” identities and caricatures on top of yourself, but I prefer to call those things, collectively, the ego.

Moving On… No Mind

Now that I’ve established what exactly identity is, I can finally reveal how I was – and am, I think – completely naked, despite wearing a few pieces of clothing.

It’s having your identity on display at every second of the day. That’s what being naked is: it’s about showing the world – and yourself – exactly who you are at every single nanosecond of the day, and never compromising yourself for anything or anyone. Compromises like that, again, are the realm of the ego. One lesson I’ve learned, which never ceases to impress me, is this: never, ever, ever, compromise yourself or your values with the world. To do that is an instant identity-killer and a downer to your self-esteem.

I suppose the above paragraph didn’t really help you at all, since I’m speaking in euphemisms and random pseudo-intellectual jibber jabber. Time to get down to business.

I guess you want to know how to “unlock” your identity and rock your core self like it’s going out of style, every single day of your life, right?

Alright. Ask and ye shall receive.

Here’s how you do it: DON’T DO ANYTHING AT ALL. Or, rather, don’t think. Just let your life be one, flowing stream, rather than a bunch of bricks broken up into little sections.

I realize those are two different things. For distinction’s sake: if you want to really express your identity at any given moment, shut your brain off, then go from there. The first time you do this in conversation, it feels like magic, man. I still remember it to this day: in the car with my dad, coming back from an early morning hockey pick-up game. My dad asked me a question, and I wasn’t thinking anything at the time – I was locked into the moment – and whatever I said rolled out of me in such a natural, effortless way. It felt like someone had cast a spell on me. It was that awesome. I kept up the state of no-mind, and I was a master conversationalist and master-everything-else-I-touched for the rest of the day. I seriously felt like King Midas.

Why?

Because, by shutting my mind off – keep in mind that the mind is the ego’s favorite place to live – I just allowed my true identity to shine through. I did what I wanted, with full focus, just because that’s who I am. I do everything well, and pride myself on that. By shutting off my mind, everything I did flowed out of me effortlessly, even tasks I didn’t even feel like doing, because I removed a lot of the resistance that my mind would normally create.

If you’re looking to not think, then just pull your attention back to your breath at every moment. If you do that, then you will fall into the no-thinking state pretty easily, and the rest just flows. Another way to remain present is to focus on every action you make intently, so you’re doing everything “on purpose”. This pulls you into a nice state of moment-to-moment focusing on all of your actions, while cutting out unnecessary thoughts.

Consistency is Flow

So now that I covered that, time to tell what this “life as a flowing stream” concept is.

Most people tend to divide their lives up into little sections – such as “home” and “work” and “family” and “crazy drunken party times with the girls”. In each section, they change up their personalities – or their existing ego structures – a lot. Oftentimes, they only allow their identity to show in one of these sections (mostly crazy drunken party times…), and cover themselves up with 80 layers of clothing and ego everywhere else. They stifle themselves, trapped in their heads, trying to think of ways to build up their existing ego structure so no one will see the “true them” under the surface, that shiny, irresistible identity lurking and just waiting for a chance to come out. They shut him away and hope he doesn’t emerge… Until the night out in the club. Or with friends, out in the town.

If that isn’t self-sabotage, I don’t know what is.

Being able to strip down so you’re naked requires a few simple, big shifts.

You must shed that “nice guy” persona you have at work. You know, the one that sucks up to your boss, is incapable of smiling anywhere but at board meetings, the one that whines about the workload or the new guy in cubicle 43A (that’s the one in front of yours), the one that stalks twitter and facebook when you should be working on a project, and the one that secretly hates all of your coworkers.

You must shed the “nice family guy” persona you have at home. Love your family with all your heart, but stay away from the problems after making a nice attempt at fixing them. Don’t compromise anything for a family get-together, ever, and don’t let them guilt trip you into doing anything you wouldn’t do for a good friend. Learn to distinguish between things that are your responsibility for the family and your family’s responsibilities that are being shoved onto your back.

You must shed every single persona and ego structure that you’ve built for yourself. This means that you can’t be a different person when you’re with different people – you can show them different angles of your personality, but you can’t be a different person. Consistency must become the rule. If you’re a positive person – and most people are at heart – then you must be one at all times, in all places. If you have core values (more on these later), you must stick to them everywhere you go.

If you change who you are to fit someone’s mold at any time, you are reacting to them. If you react to anyone, you are allowing them to define you and you are giving your power away. Moreover, continued (unwitting) reaction gives birth to a persona that you assume when you are around that person or group of person; you get away from who you are at the core. This creates cognitive dissonance, as you are supposed to be yourself, but are assuming another persona. As the dissonance increases, interference in your life increases proportionally – you start to unwittingly hurt yourself as you suck yourself into a black hole of social feedback.

Living in a life of reaction is not good. Your moods will constantly be at the mercy of other people. You will be a slave, constantly switching up which ego structure you adopt so you will please whoever you are around at any given time. You will be juggling multiple personas and will be afraid to let any of the people you hang around know that you have any other personas other than the one you adopt around them. You’ll be afraid of letting people getting to know all sides of your personality, and you will constantly be an actor or even a puppet, dancing for them in order to please them, forever playing a role.

To be you, you must be completely consistent at all times. You cannot react to other people; you can only respond. The former is an adaptation, the other is simply an action that you perform automatically. If someone asks you if your car is the blue BMW outside, and that’s really your boss’s, how would you respond to their question? “No.” It’s simple, and requires absolutely no thought at all. All responses should be like this. If you’re responding to a situation, then you’ll do it automatically, on-the-fly, in real-time. You don’t need to think about it, all you need to do is trust in yourself to come up with an appropriate response, and it will come.

Reactivity is borne of the subconscious belief that whatever you are isn’t enough. That is, you don’t believe that people will like you as you are, so you decide to be reactive to other peoples’ desires and form ego structures to compensate for that. Responsiveness, on the other hand, is borne of the total conviction that you are enough, that people can and will like you for who you are. Or, rather – your happiness isn’t dependent on what others think of you; as long as you are being who you are, you’ll be happy. You are all you need to be happy – your happiness isn’t determined by anything else, like if you’re adored or hated, or if you’re a “good man” or a “bad man”. Of course, being congruent to your values is essential to the belief that you are enough, but that’s a whole ‘nother post, folks.

But being naked and living truly authentically is totally different.

You’re going to wake up in the morning and your first thought should be, “Today, I am going to lay my soul bare,” and mean every single bit of it. You have to give of yourself every single bit of energy that you have in your body and soul, or else you’ll never reach your potential.

Never.

Most people save that soul baring moment for some defining moment in their life, like creating an artistic masterpiece, or competing in the biggest athletic event of their life.

Living naked is different. You’re going to lay your soul bare, every single day. You have to give 110% effort in everything you do, and lay yourself out there for all to see. You’re going to make public all of your deepest desires, all your major flaws, every last one of your fears, all your regrets, and everything that makes your heart sing. You will do that through completely authentic self-expression – and you won’t care who knows. (There is something to be said as to the tastefulness of laying your soul bare though – don’t just go around telling people about your deepest desires and whatnot; you’ll just look like a crazy person)

You’ve got nothing to hide, no energy to save, and nothing to lose. You have to expend every last bit of energy you have in order to live naked – for you will truly give everything of yourself. And the world will give you back what you give. So why should you waste your gifts?

You’re fighting against the worst possible odds when you’re doing this, as all heroes do. You will be under immense pressure to get lazy and not give everything of yourself – all of society practically lives this way. They try to reap the best rewards while giving the least possible amount of effort. And that’s just because they’re following their evolutionary programming – we are hardwired to be conserve energy, as we used to live in times of scarcity. Now, in modern society, even in a time of prosperity never-before-seen in the world (yes, this is the best time to be alive, ever. I’m a firm believer in that), we still stick to the old evolutionary rules and expend as little energy as we have to in order to get by.

This is why most people are mediocre (even though I love them). They don’t push themselves to reach greater heights, so they stagnate, forever stuck at mediocrity.

To break through and be exceptional – and acquire that glow – you’re going to have to lay your soul bare. And when I say your soul, I mean it. It’s work, but, strangely, you’ll love it. It’s almost paradoxical, but I love that feeling of pouring all my energy into something I’m working on (like this post, for instance). It just feels so good, and almost pure. This is what you have to do when you do anything.

And you can’t look to other people for help – not in this situation. This movement is all of your own making. I can help get the ball rolling, but the onus is on you in order to carry the load. And, really, it’s a lot of fun to do so.

It’s still incredibly difficult to live up to these high expectations every day. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve even fulfilled 40% of my potential yet… And, instead of looking at it like I’m a failure, I look at it the other way: I have the potential to be one incredible human being. If this is what <40% of me feels like, then I can’t wait to see what happens when I’m really making some remarkable growth. I’ll be unstoppable. And, you know what, you can be too. It just takes a lot of persistence and dedication… All I know is that my potential is nearly unlimited – there’s no way I’ll ever reach my “full potential” because such a thing doesn’t exist. It’s just a limit. And that’s alright with me.

So What’s This Glowing Stuff You’re Talking About?

If you’re living “ideally” – living in the present and assuming your identity, otherwise known as living “naked” – then you’ll start to see a glow around your person, or at least you’ll swear you’re glowing, because it feels that good. It’s crazy – everything seems to go right, you feel immensely powerful and energetic, and life is the best it has ever been. You feel like a demigod, ready to conquer anything that life throws at you.

That’s the best that I can describe this state – and that’s only when your energy is dialed really high, like during physical activity or just plain ol’ socializing. In other portions of your day, I’ve found you can maintain the feeling of “perfection” without the ridiculously high energy – that is, you maintain your glow, all on your own. I’ve found that sometimes, when I get in the super-high energy perfection state, my energy feeds off of others’ energy, and eventually dies down a little when I’m on my own, but the glow still remains.

After taking a look back at my best days, I found some unifying characteristics in how I approached those days.

The first, and most obvious, is getting enough sleep. This is so critical that I can’t emphasize it enough – you need sleep in order to function at your best. Sometimes, I can get around 6 hours (and even as low as 4 hours) of sleep and still perform at my best for 80% of the day, but towards the end of it, I go into free fall and become completely glow-free. When I consistently get 8 hours of sleep, I feel really good. Thing is, you can’t freak out about your sleeping patterns either – don’t fret if you get less sleep if you need to. Oftentimes, I’ve found that if you worry that not getting enough sleep will ruin your day, it will drag your state down. Accept however much sleep you get, but do everything in your power to get what you’ve determined to be “enough”. For me, 8 hours is vital, since I am extremely active. Also – one thing I’ve heard is that your best hours of sleep come between 10 PM and midnight, so try and get to bed before then.

The second is meditation. On days where I get enough sleep and about 45 minutes of meditation in the day before, I feel absolutely unstoppable. High energy, very positive, no negative thoughts, full range of expression and overall just having a ton of fun. Those days are how life should be lived. Man, I wish every day could be like that. But, looking back on my best days, these were the two essential ingredients. 30 minutes of meditation gives me a regular old “good day” (which is why I never have bad days anymore. Anything above 30 makes my days even better, and over an hour makes things great, independent of how much sleep I get. Throw in enough sleep, and… BOOM! I feel like Superman and Batman, rolled into one. It’s crazy. However, it means nothing if…

You don’t eat right. Eating right must be a giant priority if you’re ever going to reach your full potential. Basically, this boils down to the following:

-Getting your body enough fluids, and
-Getting your body the right building blocks (macromolecules like carbs/protein/fats as well as vitamins and minerals)

Getting your body enough fluids is easy. Rule of thumb: don’t drink anything that’s not water, unless you’ve made it yourself with water as the only liquid. This might not make sense to you, but I’ll clarify.

Every morning I make myself a green smoothie plus a protein and oats shake. In my green smoothies, I mix a couple of pieces of fruit (often pear and banana) and some organic baby spinach (gotta get my greens!). I throw in some frozen berries (blueberries are fantastic), add 3 cups of water, and blend. There, I know everything is healthy, and the only liquid component was water. Even though the smoothie itself isn’t just water, since I put other foods I could eat independently of the smoothie in it, it’s fine to drink.

Getting your body the right building blocks is a lot tougher. I’ve found that multivitamins don’t do the trick because of absorption problems (you think your body can absorb all of the nutrients found in that relatively tiny pill?), so I take as many single-vitamin/mineral supplements as possible. It’s actually a little more cost effective, even if you do have to swallow more pills. Plus, you can tailor your supplementation to your own preferences. Right now, I only supplement with an ACES (vitamins A, C, E, plus Selenium) supplement, a B-Complex, and fish oil (which I recently added). I’m thinking of adding calcium, magnesium, zinc, and a few others in the near future.

Even though you can cover slight nutritional deficiencies with supplements, you still need to eat healthy. That means as few grains as possible (though oats/brown rice/quinoa/etc. are all great), no processed foods, no desserts, no cookies/ice cream, and so on. Maximize things that were living, like fruits, meat, and green, cruciferous vegetables. In particular, adding greens to my diet makes me feel like I have more energy and vitality – I highly recommend it, even if you hate the taste.

Which reminds me – you don’t eat for taste, you eat for performance. Keep that in mind, and eating right shouldn’t be a problem.

(I know I haven’t covered things as in-depth as I could, but I’ll save that for a big-giant health post)

If you take care of your body, meditate, and sleep right, you can unlock an amazing life, right from inside you. Notice how it’s all in your hands.

You control how much sleep you get.

You control what you eat.

And you control how often or how long you meditate for.

Doing all those things will make you shine. You’ll have this glow about you that will make people stop and look at you, and wonder, “Damn, why is this guy/gal so happy?!”

Except you won’t even notice all the onlookers – you’ll just be so swept up in your own life and just doing what makes you feel best that they’ll fade far into the background while you go out and have a ball. You just love everything a bit more, nothing fazes you, everything turns into a joke, but yet, you are able to be the most productive you’ve ever been. Everything flows out of your mouth effortlessly, and smiling becomes your default expression.

This is what an amazing default state is. This is what you can feel like nearly all the time if you have the consistency and determination needed in order to pull it off.

I can’t waste any more time describing it – it doesn’t do it justice.

The Final Frontier

This is truly the final frontier for most people – a nearly permanent state of what I’ve deemed to be bliss.

Actually, come to think of it, it’s just an experience of true, pure life. The golden, glowing state of nakedness

But it’s not permanent at all – like all things, it goes in cycles and is constantly in flux. Once you taste it once, you’ll expect it to keep coming back again and again, no matter what you do.

That’s wrong, holmes. This golden state is entirely dependent on the process.

You’ve gotta pay the cost to be the boss, and this is no exception. You have to meditate, eat well, sleep well, and give everything of yourself every single day if you’re going to experience this.

But this is no salvation. Yes, your days become great, partly because, in some ways, you start lowering your expectations. You stop taking the people around you for granted and cherish every moment you have with them. You become grateful for the time you have to do anything you enjoy, and you make a point to enjoy everything you do in some way. Maybe your days objectively don’t improve, but your perception of the things that happen during those days becomes incredibly positive.

And, honestly, I believe this is 100% worth the cost. These things started coming together for me about 3 months ago, and, I really think that this is what it is to be truly living.

I strongly believe people die unhappily because they never feel as though they’ve lived. This is what they’ve been missing out on – the feeling of pure awesomeness with every word that I write, with every breath that I take, and with nearly every muscle I move. Everything feels beautiful… But it requires constant presence (ironically, I kind of left that out of my secret ingredients list to golden state). Intense focus and effort is needed, but the rewards are great – you feel alive.

When you let go of everything that used to define you and live from your core, you feel secure, yet, when you wake up every morning, you think to yourself, “Man, today’s going to be a good day… I wonder what’s going to happen.”

And you’ll begin to surprise yourself, and the people around you will begin to surprise you in ways that you can’t imagine. Crazy coincidences and opportunities will fall in your lap, and it’ll be up to you to take them and run with them.

Trust me on this: your life will begin to take turns in ways you wouldn’t have ever guessed before.

But, at first, most of your days will be just “good”, and not the mind-blowingly amazing experience I’ve hyped up this state to be in this post.

That’s OK. Most of my days are just “good” too, since, honestly, doing all of these things is really hard. With my time constraints, it’s nearly impossible for me to get enough sleep/meditation in a given night. That certainly effects the quality of my days.

But if you can step it up, and claim your potential like I believe you and I can, you’ll see: there are many, many great days ahead of you. I’ve experienced a lot of them lately, and they are something to be cherished in abundance.

And, really, you’ll start living, with a glow about you.

Shine like the brightest light the world has ever seen, and nothing can stop you.