Picture Perfect Cravings (Tony Litster Success Stories)

Everyone loves a good success story. It stimulates a part of our brain that is linked to the reward centre. It’s likely why motivational speakers have been really populariz over the past 70+ years, at least in western culture anyway.

Quite a few years ago, I got serious about the teachings of man by the name of Tony Litster. I could have selected from many different coaches, gurus, and experts, but I landed on him. Mostly be accident. Tony Litster is a success coach, who focuses on success over addictions, namely pornography. Now, I’m no chicken, and will admit that I have struggled with this exact challenge in the past.

In fact, I bawked at the idea that I’d ever find someone who understood the struggle. But then I found Tony.

Tony Litster Straight Talk

Litster teaches that pornography addiction is quite often a result of the shame cycle, which comes out of childhood challenges and continues right through our adult lives.

The shame cycle makes you believe that your self-worth is tied directly into what others think of you. And that’s just not true. Each of us is invaluable and infinitely worth our lives. Learning to separate yourself from your behaviour, and more importantly, your behaviour from your sense of worth, is what allows you to move away from stimulants like pornography that ultimately do not satisfy. How you do this is by reinforcing the new idea of who you are:

One of the ways is by speaking positive belief statements to yourself, and repeating them over and over again (through recorded tracks set to classical music) – positive affirmations.

Another way is through meditation, which means settling into exhaustion for only a brief period of time, and then allowing yourself to experience all of the thoughts racing through your head while you focus on breathing in and out.

A third way is through regular and exciting forms of exercise. This could mean time at the gym, rock climbing, playing team sports or preparing for a marathon.

But there is so much more that he teaches then those three concepts. From drinking lots of water regularly, to maintaining a neutral pH balance, to visualization routines, to paying off high interest debts, this guy is in it for the long haul. He really focuses on dwelling within reality, while dealing with the chemical imbalances of serotonin, dopamine and adrenalin that result from a lifetime of pornography addiction. Better yet, there are effective ways to combat these high levels of chemical stimulation from porn watching…

Biological Peacekeeping

Adrenaline is easily fed through competition – sports, games, exercise or frightening activities like public speaking. Serotonin can be kept in check via meditation, and also by practicing Yoga. Lastly dopamine is released when we get creative – writing, playing music, painting, and using our imaginations.

Seems simple right? But it’s just another example of the importance regular exercise, meditation, and creativity play in a balanced life. I only discovered that my body was out of balance because I was constantly drawn to watching pornography whenever I would come home from work, and my girlfriend at the time couldn’t really understand why I struggled with this compulsion (read: the shame cycle). It stemmed from challenges of my youth, which probably deserve a whole other post to themselves, but this is just another layer to purpose of timotheories, and why digitally curating at heart is essential for me to live.

If I didn’t make art, take care of my body, and my mind, I’d be a hot mess. And no use to anybody.

theories Summarized

Maybe this post would’ve been better served for a timely Thursday entry, but when I sat down to write this afternoon, and saw the topic Facebook Success Stories, I thought to myself, no one really cares if I share success stories from other people. You’re all here because of my authentic experiences, and at the core of my stories are tales such as this one that I’ve hinted at. Picking up the pieces and fighting against something which I did not want for myself was imperative dear readers.

My theories all stem from this desire to live a life completely chosen of free will, and pornography was limiting me from doing just that. So I to you without motive or expectation, #liveyourlife and you will learn to #loveyourlife.

Tim!

The Bends (Decompression)

The past few weeks have just been nuts for me, dear readers. On top of it all, I got sick not once, but twice. I’ve already written about this experience in my post about community, but today I wanted to focus on the practical side of dealing with a seemingly never-ending illness, jam-packed days filled with meetings, hundreds of emails to wade through, and all of events that happen over the holidays, plus the holiday aftermath.

Normally I pride myself on being calm no matter what the circumstance, working through the pressure, deadlines, and workload. But sometimes our bodies just shut down, and we get sick.

You see friends, stress suppresses the immune system, and as a consequence it becomes easier for you to get sick. So while stress cannot “make” you sick, it definitely contributes to the environment.

You have to make time to care for yourself when in stressful situations.

Decompression

What that really means is that you have to teach yourself some decompression techniques. No, I’m not writing about decompression sickness (also known as the bends or divers’ disease) but that is another type of illness that requires treatment early on.

What I’m referring to creative cuties is decompression from stress. I may have written about this in a different capacity once before, focusing on things like self-care, taking breaks, reviewing previous successes, enlisting support and seeking inspiration, but today I want to focus on things you can do immediately to help with the decompression process.

Most of these actions are physical which is good when you’re sick or stressed. We hold a lot of tension in our bodies from stress.

Here are some of the best options:

  1. Deep breathing. Take a breath in, slowly exhale, and start over again. If you do this for about ten seconds each time and keep at it for ten minutes, you’ll feel it quick.
  2. Self-massage. Tense and then relax each muscle, from your toes to your head.
  3. Take a walk. A five minute walk in the midst of a stressful day does wonders.
  4. Exercise. This can be great for quiet thinking AND all of the chemicals your body releases while exercising are great stress relievers.
  5. Get outdoors. Just connecting with the outdoors can be helpful, but the fresh air helps too.
  6. Sex. An obvious choice. Just ask my girlfriend.
  7. Vacation day. Take the time to focus and recenter.
  8. Meditate. Be somewhere quiet, close your eyes, relax, and focus on your breathing. Your mind will be very active during this process, so embrace the thoughts and allow them to leave.
  9. Read. Whether you read fiction or something more practicaI like a biography. Taking some time with a good book is great exercise for your mind.
  10. Love. Get in some hugs and cuddles with your loved ones. It’s a win-win-win scenario and helps strengthen intimacy for all involved.
  11. Disconnect. Technology can be both a godsend and water torture. Do yourself a favour, and turn off the phones, computer, and ignore the outside world for as long as you can.
  12. Take a nap. A shot nap does wonders for refreshing the mind and the body. Thirty minutes should do the trick.

Now with that said, finding and using different ways to reduce tension is important but it should never add to your stress. You need to pick the techniques that best suit your lifestyle, but I have this theory that as you add different habits, you’ll be hungry for even more.

Another thing to consider folks.

On a really busy day it might feel like you are faced with an impossible task and that none of those techniques will do the trick. Just stick with it though. I can assure you that taking the time to unwind will be huge for your health and I have this theory that you’ll be more productive in the long run.

Tim!

Reflection Injection (Positive Affirmations & Happiness)

Our days our filled with observations and analysis.

Whether it’s dealing with social hoops of family and friends, the inherent differences between the opposite sex or the tedium of the work week, we have to take in a ton of information and process it rather rapidly, so that we can then move onto the next thing.

As someone who is always thinking about things critically, this can be especially frustrating for me to personally deal with, and I know that we are all victims of our own over-analysis. What we really should be doing, is separating ourselves from our problems and reflecting on the week, REGULARLY, so that we can apply the critical model to ourselves.

But in order to get there, we have to be receptive to the process.

6FUl7

That means looking into healing practices so that you can properly begin the process of self-reflection, and I just so happen to have a couple of tricks up my sleeve to make that happen for you without too much effort, and right out of the gate to boot!

Positive Affirmations and Mindful Meditations

Introspection is an amazing thing dear readers, but you don’t know what you don’t know, as they say. Who are they anyway? Well, let’s not get sidetracked, the word they is just a generalization to avoid citing sources.

So you want to be more introspective folks, because as you examine those negative thoughts, feelings, and insights, you’ll start to feel overwhelmed. And listening to pre-recored audio affirmations that you voice yourself will train your brain to listen to yourself in a different way. As you do this each day, when you wake up and then before you go to bed, your brain sub-consciously takes in these ideas and shifts away from negative self-talk to more positive self-talk.

This next part is important – You need to make declarations, especially ones that you don’t believe at the moment.

The reason for this is that these statements will slowly become things that you believe about yourself over time, and because it is as simple as listening to the statements, you aren’t working to accomplish anything. But they need to be statements that without an end or a goal. Statements of being, identity and purpose.

It’s kind of difficult to explain so rather than dwell on it, I’ll show you. For example, this is my list and it’ll help contextualize the purpose of the exercise.

I am a child of God with infinite worth.
I am always taken care of.
God loves me and accepts me.
I am always more than enough.
The worth of my soul is great.
I now fully accept myself.
My body is now in perfect balance.
I am always healthy and strong.
Everything I touch prospers.
Other people experience their worth when they are in my presence.
Everything works together for my good.

Now I don’t think you need any of the points around a spiritual purpose, but it is important to be balanced in terms of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. So if you have a belief system or you have no belief system, you can replace “God” with whatever works for you. If you are an atheist for instance turn “I am a child of God with infinite worth” into “I am child of humanity with infinite worth”, and “God loves me and accepts me” into “I am loved and accepted.”

Another key component to consider is that when you are recording these statements, you should replace I with you where appropriate so that you are saying these messages back to yourself, and it has been shown that classical music elevates the mind, so why not put some Mozart, Bach, or Beethoven as a backing track?

Next, loop the audio track so that it comes in at about 15 minutes, and export the mp3. You have the basis for your positivity. If you can commit to this process over a month, you’ll be shocked at how much of a difference it makes in your mood, and then see how you feel after three months.

Yes, I know that this wasn’t entirely a “timely” post friends, but this is routine something that I recently got back into myself, and coming off the heels of a break-up, I’ve felt significantly better following this protocol than I would’ve if I had just kept my thoughts to myself.

The results are truly staggering, but that’s just a theory.

Tim!