Dum De Dum Dum Dee Da (David Deida)

I’m blue da ba dee da ba die, da ba dee da ba die, da ba dee da ba die.

When I was a boy, I thought that was a cool song. But when I was a boy, I thought a lot of things were cool, and boy was I wrong. Luckily for all of us, I grew up, and along the way I learned a few things about desire, love, spirituality, and work.

And thankfully, I am no longer blue. Because who wants to be blue when you can be green? (read: my True Colors test results).

Pursuing knowledge, gaining insights, becoming closer to the truth of the matter. These are the things that those of us with “masculine” energy should chasing after at all times.

Worldwide Trainings

I first decided to pursue personal enlightenment back in 2007, just after I had graduated from University, but before I had really settled into any discernable sort of full-time work. I’ve read books on science, philosophy, business, psychology, sociology, history, biography, and the ever popular self-improvement. Now I’ll admit, the first few years of reading were purely based on whimsy, recommendations from friends, and whatever I came across.

But one summer in 2010, a friend of mine lent me a copy of this book by David Deida, and I realized that I knew little to nothing about anything beyond what I could see.

You see, David Deida is an American author and life coach who specializes in books about relationships between men and women as they relate to each other through spirituality and sexuality. At this point, Deida is an interntational bestselling author with many of his books being published in various languages.

He is also known for hosting workshops on spiritual growth and intimacy, and is one of the many founding associates at the Integral Institute. Some of his more popular books on human spirituality include The Way of the Superior Man, Finding God Through Sex, and Blue Truth and the autobiographical novel Wild Nights.

And back in 2010, he taught me something about women, that I’ll never forget.

Superiority Complex

I decided to reread The Way of the Superior Man this month because I know what my purpose in life is, but oh so many of us refuse to acknowledge it.

Coming to terms with the notion that you may be doing everything wrong in your life is hard to accept, but Deida teaches that it is only when we are in moments of quiet reflection that our purpose presents itself. And it will do this over and over again if we need a refresher, all we have to do is sit in quiet reflection. In fact, it needs to be more important than any relationship you will ever have with a woman, and if you stick to your purpose, the woman you are with will be all the more attracted to you.

Deida has jam packed his book full of tidbits such as this, and while at times it seems overwhelming to read, it slowly starts to make more and more sense.

Masculine energy is about consistency, while feminine energy is constantly moving, it is life itself. He goes on to explain further that no matter what gender we are, we all have both kinds of energy, a sort of yin an yang of sexual identity. Where it gets complicated is in understanding that as a man, in a relationship with a woman (which can easily apply to gay men and women as well as sexual identities) it becomes your responsibility to provide the masculine energy so that the woman may focus on feminine energy, where balance is created in the differences.

Ideas of masculine energy leading the relationship, living according to a persona code, seeking freedom at all times, and seeking challenges constantly are some of the things that Deida expects of an evolved male.

That means learning to enjoy the drama in a relationship, working on your sexual identity and skill-set, while living outside of your personal comfort zone. What that means is allowing the woman in your life to communicate with you. Talk about the problem, but do not seek to solve it. Have fun, bring humour to the situation without making fun of her, and love her as she is.

 

theories Summarized

 

I could spend a lot more time outlining the details of this book, but that would betray it’s intent. It’s about spending time with the ideas contained therein, reflecting upon them, and then introducing them into your own life. I’ll leave you with this thought – You need to be both erect and at peace simultaneously, so that she may crush you with emotion, dance, and sexuality. And that’s no theory.

Tim!motiv

Faithful Blue, Strong Pink (Peggy Orenstein)

I work in marketing. And as of this July I will have worked in marketing for a decade.

That’s longer than I’ve committed to pretty much anything in my life. To this point, my longest romantic relationship was eight years, and the most physical hours I’ve put into being an artist is definitely less than a decade, maybe six years if I’m being generous. And interestingly enough, I’ve worked in marketing longer than many of my active friendships. Yes, I have a few friendships that have stood the test of time, but the point is, I’ve put a lot of time into this way of life.

Secret Secret, I’ve Got A Secret

I’m gonna let you in on a secret too. I originally planned on pursuing a marketing job so that I could learn the ins and outs of the industry, and then go back to school for a masters degree in either sociology, anthropology or fine arts. Because I wanted to research, write, and lecture for a living. Spoiler: I still do.

Somewhere along the line, I got comfortable with what I was doing, and so I stuck it out. My life became automated, like a robot, for about five years. Then I decided to change gears, and really commit to this marketing thing as a career… and I’ve had different marketing related jobs every year since I made that commitment, slowly climbing the corporate ladder.

And this year I finally found something that I enjoyed enough to really want to do it for years, but I’m not going to do this forever either.

Dear readers, I’ve realized that this is a phase, one that I need to grow out of.

But that’s one of the most terrifying and fascinating things about marketing. It’s ability to convert your intentions ever-so-subtly towards something which you don’t really needs, making you believe that the desires are innate and that possession will satisfy.

These Are Not The Toys You’re Looking For

I want you to consider the idea that blue is for boys and pink is for girls is not inherent, for instance.

We are told early on (by pretty much everyone) that boys gravitate to blue and pink is what girls love. But I read an article a while back that stated that it wasn’t until the late 19th century or early 20th century that pastel colours were introduced by manufacturers for babies, and many retailers had actually decided that pink was more suitable for boys because it was a variation of red, and red conveys strength. Blue was long associated with faithfulness, purity, and the Virgin Mary, a symbol of femininity. By the 1940s many manufacturers had flipped the script and settled on pink for girls and blue for boys.

And then I read this month’s 5 L’s Of Language book – Cinderella Ate My Daughter. My girlfriend recommended it to me, and I read it on a whim, not realizing what I was getting back into.

In the book, author Peggy Orenstein takes us down a road about gender norms for girls and identifies the phenomenon of princess culture, dominated by Disney merchandise, and how it has permeated through our girls lives, in television, film, at school, in pageantry, and especially online. One section in particular focuses on the development of the colour pink into everything, and how many marketers emphasis the point of pink and blue to assure parents buy two of everything.

Something Like A Phenomenon

Orenstein has authored several books on women’s identities, sexuality, and how to function in a world conflicted with feminism and femininity. She has also written bestsellers Girls & Sex and Waiting for Daisy. She writes for the New York Times and has been honoured by The Colombia Journalism Review as one of its “40 women who changed the media business in the past 40 years.”

One of my favourite moments of the book came towards the end. I’ll share the quote with you for simplicity.

That said, pointing out inaccurate or unrealistic portrayals of women to younger grade school children-ages five to eight-does seem to be effective, when done judiciously:taking to little girls about body image and dieting, for example, can actually introduce them to disordered behavior rather than inoculating them against it. I may be taking a bit of a leap here, but to me all this indicated that if you are creeped out about the characters from Monster High, it is fine to keep them out of your house.”

Small children are tied in strongly to external signs of identity – clothing, colour, haircut, toys. But as they reach puberty, they’re drawn more strongly by internal factors, that of being accepted by their peers and are also more willing to reject traditional authority from their parents. In other words, when children are small, it’s okay for them to be tied into simple notions of gender, but you shouldn’t mask how you feel for them, and as they age, they should be given opportunities to explore boundaries, especially ones they grew up with.

It’s a rare thing for me to read a book cover to cover in less than 24 hours, but I was able to do that for Cinderella Ate My Daughter.

It contains more than enough meaningful content to sift through, and frankly Orenstein has an ability to break down complex concepts into digestible pieces and do so with a self-reflexive analysis of the minutiae, questioning herself and gaining insights along the way.

I’ve decided this book fits rather neatly into the LABEL category of The 5 L’s Of Language, and at just over 200 pages it’s something you could burn through in a week or two. Or one day if you are insane and want to read for several hours straight.

This books opens with a question about the princess phase, and then rightly closes with a demonstration of the end of the phase delivered via Orenstein’s daughter Daisy.  You see creative cuties, Daisy loves Mulan, and one day Daisy questioned the world that Mulan inhabits as featured in the Mulan sequel, Mulan II. Daisy asked her mom why the princesses in the film would sing about freedom, not realizing that it isn’t always easy to be a princess.

And that’s also why it’s called the princess phase, because kids grow out of it, as they develop critical thinking and healthy skepticism. But I guess that could just be a theory?

Tim!

A Product Of Time (Exercise)

Ah yes, physical exercise. You know that process wherein you harm yourself through activity to strengthen or maintain your fitness level?

When we get right down to it, fitness means being able to perform physical activity. But that’s not all of it. Now I know you know that I know that you want to know what else it also means, so let’s be honest with ourselves for once – having that energy and strength to feel as good as possible doing what you want to do is crucial. Gaining in fitness, even a little bit, is good for your overall health after all. It’s important when you decide to lift that 5 x 6 strainer, it’s important when you decide to hit the high notes, and it’s sure as shit important when you decide to perform that headspin or barrel roll.

I know what you’re thinking my friends.

It’s probably very strange to come to a website which proclaims it focuses on the arts, and which also admits that it sometimes dabbles in philosophy, sociology, marketing, and even psychology because of course theories are not unique to the arts. This I know. But writing about exercise? What does exercise have to do with anything timotheories? But I promise you that what I’m heading towards is important.

I’m going to share a quote from a Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Arnold: The Education of A Bodybuilder. Mostly because I want to make a point, but also because I intend to read the book and this is a good reminder that I should share it with you in the near future.

It was the summer I turned fifteen, a magical season for me because that year I’d discovered exactly what I wanted to do with my life. It was more than a young boy’s mere pipe dream of a distant, hazy future – confused fantasies of being a fireman, detective, sailor, test pilot, or spy. I knew I was going to be a bodybuilder. It wasn’t simply that either. I would be the best bodybuilder in the world, the greatest, the best-built man.

He later admits that family, friends, and strangers all thought he was crazy. It wasn’t a popular sport at the time, but he burned with purpose and passion for life. It was an exhilarating experience for him every time he did it. He did it despite all of the criticism. This is how you should feel whenever you are making anything creative. Do it for you and no one else, that is your day to day motivation. We’ve gone down this path before friends.

Now when you think of your higher purpose, you should make work that is meaningful and important, and people will begin to reach out to you.

But it’s not that simple, after all.

Your motivation is fickle, your mind is weak. It cannot handle stress and pressure without proper support. No matter how much strength of will you think you have, taking care of your physical self is key to maintenance.

You see dear readers, exercise affects your body in so many different ways than just strength and energy. It also forces your lungs to work faster and increase your maximum capacity of oxygen. Your heart becomes more efficient at supplying properly oxygenated blood to you, and your resting heart rate improves too – Not to mention your decreased blood pressure. And osteoporosis is a real problem as we age, but when we exercise with weights we can better maintain healthy bone mass. Last, but most definitely not least, your brain health is directly related to exercise.

Our brains release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) when under stress, and exercise stresses our brains. After the exercise is complete BDNF provides repair and protection to our neurons and calms us down.

AND our brains release endorphins when we exercise. So we get post-workout euphoria and reduced physical pain and discomfort while exercising.

BDNF and endorphins are triggered by regular exercise which will help with your mood and better your cognitive abilities. That’s why you need to exercise routinely. Exercise allows you to be the best version of yourself, for yourself, so that you can lift those canvases and drop those beats. It’s essential.

But you know what, that’s just a theory.

Tim!

Grow Up And Blow Away (Your Image)

Growing up is hard to do.

Or to if I were to rip it off of a writer like E. E. Cummings, it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. Which is why Peter Pan never did it, why Peter Pan syndrome is real, and it’s also why we don’t all get there.

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Also, I’ve never been a large fan of this above meme, but you know what? This seems like an appropriate time to use it, after all, marketing is about communicating a message, and so I’m making a solid point with a message about dummies using a baby to be funny.

Real mature dummies. Way to devalue the importance of marketing.

Hold on a tick, timotheories, are you saying what we think you’re saying?

That’s right, we’re onto post number four in the Importance of Marketing series!

As I’ve already done a few times before, I should start us on the right track by clarifying what an image means in this instance. It could be a representation of the external, whether the form taken is that of a person or a thing. It could also be a metaphor. In most cases it usually means a physical likeness, which can be best demonstrated with a photograph, painting or sculpture.

But what about a mental representation? An idea? a conception? Especially given the weird quality that computers have which allow them to produce an image themselves. And thusly we arrive dear readers. I’m referring to your online image.

An online image is that which houses all of the internet related information available to the public about you, and it can be very unflattering. Your online image is a summation of characteristics and interactions you have with other members of the internet. Most of the interaction happens on forums, content channels, and digital vending machines, but regardless of what you do with your time online, each website builds a profile of who you are and what you do.

Which is why you should learn some basic online hygiene in order to take that road. Yes, I could teach you about branding related image elements, like your logo, mailing list, etc. But upon more reflection, it occurred to me that we can all benefit from the below first, and build up to that level of attention.

So here it is, a short(er) list of things you should do.

  1. Regularly track your Google search results. Are you competing with someone else for  name attention? What kinds of URL results come up when someone searches for you and are the results consistent with the image you want to have? Is someone else with the same name in the top results? If you set Google alerts, you can run interference on both positive and negative feedback whenever someone has something to say about you.
  2. Buy all of the necessary social media names associated with your brand. For example, I have YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter locked up. Your personal URL needs to be in sync with your brand too, so look into that as well. Domain names are relatively inexpensive to acquire, and the internet is the future after all, so make a commitment now. And then make your email signature align – add all of the links.
  3. Participate in the above mentioned online social and business related groups. That also includes LinkedIn, Google+, and other ones like ZoomInfo. Your goal is to structure your profiles, replies, and posts so that you can attract your target demographic and send a professional message about your expertise. By connecting with those who already do what you want to do or are on their way too, you’ll gain access to job openings, freelance opportunities, and networking events.
  4. Blogging. I blog because I love it, but Google and other search engines love blogs too. The content is regularly updated, and as you participate in the culture, which means guest posting, commenting on other blogs with your handle, and sharing useful information. And reference other relevant blogs when you can because the community commitment makes all the difference. Of course, if you can fit your blog into a full-meal-deal website that showcases your career, achievements, and portfolio, all the better.
  5. Share your expertise. That means participating in professional associations that have physical and online forums, and take advantage of their networking opportunities. If you go to Yahoo!, Google Groups, LinkedIn, Reddit or WikiAnswers, you’ll find lots of people that’ll appreciate your help. You should also write reviews of relevant books for online publishers like Amazon and Indigo. And of course don’t forget to link it to your personal brand.

But what do you think? Did I miss anything? Do you still never wanna grow up? I know it’s scary out there, but I have a theory that if you follow the above you’ll get where you need to go on your marketing journey. I’m out of theories for now friends, but I’ll see you tomorrow with something timely.

Tim!

Who Am I? (Finding Your Personal Identity)

One of the biggest questions of life is, who am I?

Questions of “why am I here”, “where am I going?” and “what am I supposed to do?” are functions of that larger question, but important in identifying YOU as both an individual and a global citizen of the world.

Do a quick Google search and you’ll find that everyone has tried to answer the question, from religious and spiritual leaders like the Pope and the Dalai Lama, to business leaders like Oprah, Forbes, and Tony Robbins. And while I agree that when it comes to the larger picture, each leader has something to contribute to the conversation, I’m going to ask you to ignore all of that for a moment.

Think about yourself and your goals.

What kind of creative type are you? A dancer? A photographer? A fashion designer? A sculptor?

The reason why I want you to think to focus on your creative interests first and foremost, is that no matter what your cultural identity has been labelled as and what your life experience has led up to this point, you came to this website because of your creative passions. That is what is unique to you – your driving motivation. And timotheories is all about digital curating at heart. The arts drive the engine of timotheories, so that is what connects us together.

A wise person once told me that you have to separate the chicken shit from the chicken salad, you can only accomplish that by looking inward and paring down the outside world to what you want at personal level.

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We at timotheories understand that it is difficult to reconcile all the various personal and political considerations of life, but if making art is what drives you and what you always come back to, you need to build your identity outward starting with that which gives you motivation. Now let’s consideration motivation.

Think about yourself and your motivations.

I’ve heard numerous theories about motivation but my favourite one is about the levels of motivation. I’m paraphrasing quite heavily from the original source (which I cannot for the life of me find) but I’ll break it down for you anyway, as the concept is very accessible.

You will need to satisfy all of these conditions in order to stay on purpose.

  1. When you don’t want to at all. You need to have a reason to create from a very selfish standpoint when you are in your lowest moments. The instant gratification of being better. Whether it’s to be more attractive to potential partners, to look cool around your peers, or to get recognition from people you want to be. That day-to-day motivation is key.
  2. When you do want to. This is the time when everything lines up perfectly in your week and you have energy to be creative. You know that paying the bills and being a functioning member of society are important – You want to contribute because it feels good to make the work. Use that motivation to be disciplined in your approach. Fit in as much as you can with your routine.
  3. When you feel inspired. The average person would call this true motivation, but it is fleeting. This is when you pour every spare moment into your craft. The natural high comes in and your spirit, moral compass, heart or whatever you want to call it, are driving you. You need to encourage this and align your creativity with your belief system. Focus on how you feel about your ideals and fuse your creative energy (different from regular energy) with it.

Once you begin this process for yourself and commit to the foundational steps of defining your creative motivations, you can also separate the chicken shit from the chicken salad.

And that my friends is the tip of the identity iceberg, which we will dig into over the coming months. Otherwise, I am out of theories for the day! I hope you’ve had an excellent weekend and I’m looking forward to this weeks Melodic Monday, Theatrical Tuesday, Wisdom Wednesday, and Timely Thursday posts. You won’t want to miss’em! I promise.

Tim!