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!
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
This guide is from a side of me who goes by “Oogloog”. I’ve come to know him recently through how he’s helped an often anxious side of me to calm down, relax, get patient, and reflect on reality from a more meditative, centered state. It can get easy to get caught up in emotion and the urgent picture one’s own perspective can sometimes paint, so it’s been extremely helpful to have this voice of calm that a more erratic side of me can turn to. Like many cases I’ve seen, this interaction seems to be an example of balance, where two perspectives can inform each other, and move towards greater equilibrium and harmony – in this case, through one side imparting a calming perspective.
In any case, when I queried my inner world recently about whether anyone might like to make a guide, this side of me seemed to speak up, answering that he wanted to write a guide to panic. Again, for those unfamiliar with what I’m doing – these are sides of myself, aspects of my being that I try to sense and distinguish as individuals, marked by their own particular energy, which can express itself in an individual way.
Oogloog’s energy is much like that of stone – patient, steady, solid, grounded. The name itself comes from an attempt to translate that energy into a name, and the throaty, deep pronunciation of “Oogloog” may give you some idea of where he’s coming from – or how to be in that place yourself, in a sense.
That said, this guide on panic is not a definitive guide. I try to let him talk in his own way, without many disclaimers or caveats. However, I encourage you to take this as you will, and not as something that will guarantee you better success with panic. It may help you, indeed, and this approach may give you something valuable for your toolkit. Just know, there may be many other aspects to the issues of panic, and more specifically your panic, when you encounter it.
Take a deep breath.
Take one more, and one more. Another.
Relax your mind.
If you cannot, try. Get yourself eased down into a calm, relaxed state. Even in your present circumstances, try, for now.
Hi all – today I would like to share another guide, this time from my inner character I call “The Warrior”. He seems to be an integral part to the way I make choices in life, and, as I looked for parts of me who might want to give a guide, he stepped forward. This guide has no explicit purpose, but in a way is a chance to work with the warrior, perhaps learn something – about him, or perhaps about focus, or yourself. I’ll leave it at that, and let the guide speak for itself:
Rebecca Silverblade is another one of my inner characters. She embodies such traits as presence, precision, discernment, and the ability to handle situations without reacting to them. And one thing where precision can serve an important purpose is in discerning the truth from falsehood. This doesn’t just include facts, but also things like the truth of what’s important, the truth of how to act, and the truth of the basis for one’s own emotions and emotional responses. For example, on an inner level, I’ve found that she’s been able to give invaluable perspective at times of confusion or self-doubt.
Like was explained in Creativity’s Guide to Problem-Solving, the below guide was written by way of me trying to let the perspective, embodied by Silverblade, speak on the subject of how to discern the truth. This topic was the prompt, basically, and what follows is my sense of how “she” handled, or would handle, speaking on it.
So you want to discern the truth, do you?
I suppose you expect me to give you some hint, or proffer some guidance, is that it? This is called a “guide”, after all – I would hardly expect you to expect any less.
And here it is – the question of the truth. An inquiring mind, looking for it. And what truth are you looking for, pray tell? Continue reading →
Hi Everyone! This post is going to be a little something different. So, part of my experience in working through things, as I’ve talked about in many places on the site, has been different aspects of my inner life experience being embodied by characters, whose appearance mirrors what their nature is like on the level of their feel, energy, approach to life, etc. One such character is one I call Creativity. She seems to specialize in solving any and all kinds of problems, utilizing things like creativity, lateral thinking, consideration, and playful experimentation. As a character, I’d say she’s generally good-natured and fun to be around, too.
I came up with the idea of having some characters “speak” out guides to things they are strong in, and the first one that came to mind was Creativity and problem-solving. How did I write this? Well, like any storyteller or actor might – I have a sense of Creativity, of her energy, and of how she might go about approaching giving a guide to this topic. So, without further ado, here is Creativity’s Guide to Problem-Solving: Continue reading →
As the possibilities increase for why what’s happening actually is, so too can ideas about what will happen as a consequence. Without being able to narrow things down, we can become overwhelmed by trying to handle all possible outcomes
Sometimes, in trying to prepare for the future, we may find ourselves contending with a large number of possible outcomes. Some of these may be easy to handle, but others might seem like an incredible challenge. And, while we might be up for such challenges, it can be impractical, sometimes, to try and prepare ourselves for all the many outcomes we might feel ourselves anticipating. Reality can end up feeling like it could go many different ways. What, then, do we prepare ourselves to face?
One of the things that can be important to remember in moments of overwhelm, is that there may be many explanations for why things are as they are right now, but that some, or many, of those explanations may be false. After all, say someone is late to a dinner party. It could be that they were late because they don’t like the host. Or, maybe they got caught in traffic. Or, maybe they had an accident. But, without access to more information, the people at the party don’t what’s actually happening, and thus, how best to respond. They could end up thinking its one thing, then recognize the reality of another, then be caught between every imagined possibility, and become frozen, overwhelmed, and unable to act. However, if they knew this – there is always the response of trying to gather more information. And if they had more information, they might be able to handle the situation much more effectively.
The importance of information and learning
One of the important things about information is that it helps us to narrow down the possibilities. Instead of wondering what is actually going on, we then know it, and can respond to it more directly.
Imagine you see a person in distress and you want to help them. Without information as to why they are in distress, how would you know what to do? If you tried too many things, you might do more harm than good. But let’s say you talked to them and they were able to tell you that they were hungry – yes, it might still be a bit of a task for you to help them, but at least you’d be able to form an effective plan for action: to get food. You won’t have to spend time wondering, urgently trying to figure out the situation before something happened to this person, if in fact they were in danger, which is something else you might not know.
The above example also shines some light on how possibilities can lead to anxiety – when a situation is such that it might be urgent, you may find yourself scrambling to either address it or to find out enough so that you know whether or not it is urgent.
That said, here are a few of the ways we can gather information in life and help ourselves narrow the possibilities:
testing, trial-and-error, or experimentation
continuing our experiences
beliefs (more on this later)
and, in general, learning
One of the ways we can reduce our sense of overwhelm in life, and to try and narrow for ourselves the possible explanations for reality and our experience, is to try and hold beliefs. That is to say, we can claim something is true without actually knowing whether or not it’s true – beliefs don’t have to involve learning. In a way, beliefs protect us from feeling overwhelmed – but at the same time, it may limit our openness to learn and to be curious about what the truth behind our experiences actually is. And it may inhibit us from being able to make more informed choices in life.
Sometimes, then, questioning the things we thought were true – our beliefs – can be a distressing process. If what we thought was true might not be, then what else might be true? How might it change our lives? How do we actually figure it out at all? What if we continually fail to figure it out? What if it’s something we can’t necessarily figure out? How do we conduct our lives? What choices do we make? How do we move forward? – These kinds of questions could come up if a belief is questioned, and it may be difficult to deal with the even just the uncertainty of those questions, never mind how difficult it might be to find the answers.
But, over time, through questioning and opening ourselves up to the process of looking for the truth, we may find ourselves not only getting a better understanding of life, but also being able to make better choices, and perhaps solve problems that we may have been stuck on before, because we’re freeing up room in ourselves to look for the truth of how to resolve the problems in our lives. Possibilities, in that sense, can not just be overwhelming, but also empowering, because in exploring the possibilities, we may also find the truth. We can narrow down the possibilities, and reduce our overwhelm without having to lean on beliefs.
Despite trying to find out the possibilities in life, we may never fully eliminate certain ones. The nature of something in our lives may indeed be something we write off at an earlier point, thinking we learned that it wasn’t true. But by testing things against experience and remaining open to the challenge that comes when multiple explanations and possibilities emerge, we can still refine our sense of what is true. And while we may not always be able to say what the truth for sure is in every aspect, we can still gain a better and better sense of what is strongly probable, or of how things seem to be. And this can help us with things like the practical matter of what choices we will make, and to be a little more at ease with that process, and with taking action.
So, that’s all for now ^^ Drawing out this structure helped me gain some understanding of my own overwhelmed feelings, so I thought I’d share. Good luck to any of you who are going through something similar, and just in general, I hope this may be of help to you if at any point you feel overwhelmed or afraid, and would just like to have a better sense of what’s happening and how you might be able to respond to it. That’s not to say that what I wrote is 100% accurate, or that it captures complexities, of this issue, that I may know nothing about right now, but all the same, you can weigh this for yourself, and this perspective may prove to be helpful to consider as you’re finding your way, and feeling things out for yourself.
Take care, and be well,
Fear – The above structure seems integral in terms of what it tells us about how fear operates. We can fear the future possibilities due to our theories and ideas about why things are as they are, and about what they are.
Anxiety – Anxiety also seems illuminated by the above structure, because one can see how one might become anxious when it’s possible that there are urgent situations in the present with us. The more possibilities are open, the more anxious, and then overwhelmed, we might become, as we can seem to be at least potentially threatened from many places at once. And it can be hard to adequately prepare for all eventualities when the possible situations are not only complex, but demanding in terms of how much work it takes to be prepared for them in a way that we find satisfying.
Stress – Stress can also be seen as a form of overwhelm. The solutions in this article may help to inform positive ways of handling overwhelm: by reconnecting with that which is experienced within our in-the-moment awareness, and is at peace with not knowing for sure the reasons for any of it, but just takes note of everything it can.
By increasing our awareness, we can improve the effectiveness of our choices
When do we make one choice vs another? In life, we have lots of choices, and we can learn about a greater variety of choices all the time. But then, what do we choose? We have lots of options – even in typing something, we can type out one word, or another – it’s our choice. So how do we know what choice to make?
Take for a moment this example: you’re blindfolded at a table with knowledge of a fork, spoon, and a bowl of some kind of food in front of you. How would you know whether to use the fork or the spoon? Now, you might try the spoon and run into salad, and find out through experiment what’s there. But the very act of doing so increases your awareness. By increasing your awareness of what kind of food is in front of you, you’re able to know better which choice to make in order to eat the food in front of you in a more optimal way. Knowing it’s salad, you can then choose to use the fork.
So awareness can help in the realm of making choices. The more aware you are of the situation you’re in, the more informed your choices will be. Another way of putting it is that awareness helps establish the context in which you make your choices.
While awareness can be increased through things like gathering information through the senses (such as in the food example), there’s also awareness of one’s feelings, thoughts, emotions, and the situation one is in internally. For instance, inner dilemmas may be felt, but they can also be ignored, or be more slight and go undetected. By looking for feelings of dilemma and trying to become more aware of what that dilemma is all about, you may ultimately learn about the situation you’re in, as well as be able to develop choices that can better respond to that situation. This, to me, seems to speak to the importance of inner awareness for inner well-being. The more aware we are of our inner situation, the more informed our choices can be as we look to positively influence ourselves on that inner level.
This is also one reason why being honest and sharing what you’re aware of can help other people. Sharing your sense of what’s true can help them to make more effective choices for themselves, because they then know more about the context in which they’re making choices. Now, not everyone may handle your sense of “the truth” very well, but there are ways to handle this as well, such as not claiming certainty or authority, being tactful, being gentle, and being respectful.
Anyway, I just thought I’d share that little connection between awareness and choices. It seemed to me like a simple, perhaps obvious, but important distinction. Because of how important choices are, in that they govern how we respond to and can influence reality, consequently this shows how important awareness is. After all, while we can make uninformed choices, how much more effective might we be if we’re able to make informed choices? Thus by becoming more aware, the quality of our choices can become improved. Yes, perhaps one could become obsessive about awareness, but that’s also something one could become aware of, and respond to.
That said, take care, and all the best ^^
Explore Your Inner World – all the techniques described here have to do with both increasing inner awareness and assisting the process of making choices that can affect us on an inner level.
Denial – denial seems to directly have to do with the tendency to try and limit one’s awareness in order to avoid problematic situations or feelings. This can nevertheless cause big problems, because the quality and effectiveness of one’s choices is diminished with denial
Find Yourself: A Quick Self-Discovery Activity – an article going over a fun little technique for meeting a part of yourself. These kinds of inner forces play a part in our lives, even if we’re not aware of them, thus, exercises like this that increase our awareness can help to better inform our choices with respect to such forces