About Oliver Kaufman

Oliver Kaufman just is who he is. Like anybody, he's got a lot of stuff going on inside of him, and, having found a way to share it, created this website to share what he has found that brings value to his own life. He also likes to talk in third person and sound genial and relatable. He has a thing about not being defined by the groups he's been a part of, the schools he's attended, or the kind of people he hangs out with. That's not important to him. What he really likes is finding out stuff in life that is helpful to other people and himself, things that make life better, more enriched, more empowered - and without cheap tactics like fooling yourself into thinking life is better, or more enriched, or that one is empowered when they really aren't. He's not into that. He knows that some people put high standards on themselves and others, they hold up certain people as heroes and ideal people to be like. He doesn't like this. He thinks that everyone has stuff going on inside them, and that paying attention to how things are right now for each individual is what's important. Maybe he's wrong, but talking about all this in his biographical information sure makes him feel good. Also doubtful. He wonders if talking this way, when you the reader probably expected a long-winded list of past events, is off-putting to you. But, in the end, he has decided to just stick with what he likes, and that means sticking with exactly what he wrote. With that, he bids you farewell and hopes you enjoy this site. Thank you!

Barriers to Feeling

Let’s face it, as much as we might be able to admit the benefits that connecting with or facing one’s feelings, there are some serious barriers that can block us from those feelings.

For one, feelings are inconvenient. They tell us things that deviate from any plans we might set, any beliefs we might have, and may require time from us that we’re not ready to spend. They may completely call us to change our lives. And this change is for the better, mind you! But it’s still change.

Fear can also be a factor, and guilt, and various other things. Below I’ve compiled a list of major blockages to feelings that can stop one from really working and connecting with feelings. Continue reading

Dependence and Independence

Today, I’d like to talk about dependence and independence, what each of them is on the emotional level, and how one can become more independent.

Many times, when we talk about independence, it’s in reference to an interest in being able to do what we want to do. For instance, “financial independence” refers to being able to live without working. But for some, this still can mean dependence on financial independence, always living with the tension that one’s current stability might fall through, and fearing it, or otherwise letting that fear drive incessant action to control one’s financial stability, without having peace.

Indeed, the freedom to be where one desires isn’t necessarily freedom at all, since one can still feel dependent upon that desired circumstance remaining. And when one’s desire isn’t there, it can feel as though things aren’t right until it is. What people are talking about here is independence as freedom from circumstance. Yet, it’s still very much dependent upon the circumstance one wishes to escape to, and remain in.

So what is dependence? I posit the following definition:

A state of being that involves “looking to get to” a circumstance, such that one craves it, feels one needs it, feels things are wrong without it, or may fear its absence. It can involve impatience, fixation, imbalance, suffering, emotional pain, fear, panic, and anxiety. It can lead to escapism, negativity, and frustration.

And what about independence?

A state of being that involves openness to all circumstances, whatever the current circumstance happens to be. Involves flow, and a sense of detachment from circumstance and everything outside of one’s control, including direct control. Generally a positive, free, authentic, open state, devoid of shame and very fluid, not holding on to the things that come and go in reality.

Thus you can see the differences between the two. Yet, all too often, we can slip into feelings of dependence, however ideal independence might sound. Continue reading

Social Interaction: Apologist vs Positive Strength

Hi all – this is going to be a post about a pattern I’ve seen in social interaction – mainly the contrast between two different approaches. I’ll just call them “Apologist” and “Positive Strength”.

The General Features of Each

The first, Apologist, is marked by anxiety, fear, and not wanting to “bother” other people. There’s a sense of reduced value here, as if one’s contributions will detract from the other person’s experience, or at least be highly questionable or vulnerable to criticism and rejection. There’s a big sense of risk involved, but it’s seen as necessary in order to even have a chance at positive interaction.

The second, Positive Strength, is more grounded in a sense of one’s own value and personal goodness. You can approach the other person in good will because you know the value and goodness of your own intentions. There’s nothing to hide, and so there’s a sense of openness here, and that includes to however the other person might respond, even if that means rejection or criticism. One is far more likely to be concerned about the state of the other person, too, and wanting what’s best for them. With openness, there’s also more of a heartfelt sense of empathy, as well as acceptance of the other person. Sometimes, there’s a sense of courage and vulnerability here, in that you’re open to such criticism, but for the most part, there’s also a sense of ease – social interaction flows more naturally from this position, rather than operating in starts and stops as little anxious bumps are overcome. You both give and receive openly.

How Value plays a part

Value contributes here because if you don’t value what you’re putting forward, you’re going to feel more like that you’re looking for something to be given to you, without having anything to give of value of your own. Continue reading

Update: Strengths and Tension Pages, Patreon

Just wanted to give an update on some new content that you might not have noticed.

First off, I added a page entitled Strengths, and is available in the main menu. This page serves as a counter-point to the Ailments, and details various forces, states, and principles in the inner world that can give benefit, healing, and great value to a person on an inner and personal level. There’s a lot there, so check it out if you’d like! I may be adding sub-pages in the future, for the various strengths listed, but for now you can find a brief summary of each. I’ll add more in the future as I find or think of them.

Second, an Ailments page on Tension. Tension can be a pretty basic experience, but it can also get quite severe and widespread, and negatively affect one’s life. On this page I share some of my findings on it, mostly with respect to its connection to attachment, and underneath that, an resistance to vulnerability. Given these things, I give some steps on how to go about putting awareness on areas of tension and relaxing them, potentially through noticing, too, the attachments involved.

Lastly, I now have a Patreon page! If you’d like to support this website or any of the content therein, you can at: https://www.patreon.com/oliverk. Thanks!

That’s all for now! Enjoy the new content.

-Oliver

Writing for Emotional Healing and Personal Transformation

As part of the online book tour I’m doing for my book, The Windless Echo – A Short Story Collection, I did a guest post over on the blog Mythical Books. It was on “Writing for Emotional Healing and Personal Transformation”.

It’s relevant to the topics here, so I thought I’d post it. If you want to check out the article, you can do so here: http://mythicalbooks.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-windless-echo-short-story.html

The article relates to the principles I talk about over on the Inner Storytelling page, but is geared specifically towards those who might be interested in writing, but might not have found a way it can be personal and impactful for them as a writer.

Sensing Inner Energy

Inner Energies

Different elements of a given internal environment can have different energies to them, awareness of which can inform you about where you are.

As you begin to explore the inner world, you may notice that different aspects of it are composed of different types or kinds of energy. There is a unique flavor or “signature” to everything you come across, and it’s this energy that can inspire the forms we see inner entities take in our visions of them.

Take for instance a vision of a lush, green, open landscape, on a sunny day. The landscape itself might have an energy to it, representing, if you sense it, feelings of ease, openness, relaxation and an energized mood. As your awareness explores the landscape, you might sense these aspects, and might be able to explore them with greater specificity: the sun might be inner brightness, the grass has a soft comfortable sense to it, the earth below a solid, stalwartness. And maybe over there, a forest with a sense of mystery and relaxed ease, or the sky, full of a spirit of openness and freedom. You might see a bunny hop over to where you are in this picture, and sense its simple curiosity, as it explores, and goes on its way.

The experience of the inner world, then, can be explored in this way – sensing, with simple awareness, the elements of your inner reality, shifting between images and the energy behind them whenever you choose. Continue reading

Recent Updates

Hello! Just wanted to put out a post on the main blog, about some of the changes I’ve made that haven’t necessarily shown up through subscriptions.

Recently, I added the following:

  • Relaxation – An article about relaxation as a technique for self-awareness and inner balance. Essentially, it seems to me related to what many people call meditation, though this is my own take on it. It seems a relaxed state of being can help one become more aware – and one can let one’s self relax in many areas: physically, emotionally, mentally, in terms of focus, awareness itself, and perhaps others
  • New Video Walkthrough of Drawn Processing – a little over an hour long, this video walks through what a typical session of working through something might be like. Starts with the basics, then explains how processing would proceed from the starting point, and what one might be able to expect as one goes along, through it.
  • Article on Powerlessness – this ailment article goes into the condition of powerlessness, and how indecision over what choices to make can result in this sort of state. Feeling stuck in this state can leave on feeling helpless, since no visible options, sometimes, can seem good. Includes a method for approaching powerlessness, aimed at helping one know what dilemmas one’s going through, and easing you through the process of working through those dilemmas.
  • Article on Shame – another ailment article, this time on shame. Touches on subjects of how shame may relate to the fear of vulnerability, how it functions as a coping mechanism, and how self-kindness can help with it. Includes a process for helping you to work through any shame you might be going through.

I also made some changes to the following articles:

  • Negativity – I went back to this article and reflected on how I expressed things, and refined and edited things a bit where I felt it was appropriate. Specifically I went into certain states and conditions that can emerge from negativity (such as Martyrdom, “Trying to make due”, Complaining, and Addiction), as well as certain principles that are likely helpful when approaching negativity, such as observing and allowing feelings, keeping an open mind, and connecting with what positive states are like. I’ll likely add a step-by-step method soon.
  • Anxiety – Again, I’ve had some new experience working with this ailment, and so I reconsidered and rewrote a lot of the article. I also streamlined the method you can use, which involves uncovering and processing through worries, as well as went into new details about what seems to cause anxiety, and what the experience of it is like. Its root seems related to a lack of trust in one’s self and one’s own capabilities of handling an experience. It can feel like constriction. Furthermore, I go into how anxiety can lead to a desire to control circumstances, in order to avoid what one feels anxious about.

And that’s it! I did some minor other updates to some of the other Ailments articles, but, that’s about it