New Year – New Material

Hey everyone!

Being that it’s the start of a new year and I have a lot of intentions to write more, I’m starting a new type of post on here. I want to begin working on novels, so I want to start practicing more with fictional writing.

If you are unfamiliar with the Twitter account Meta Prophet (@metaprophet), it is a social media experiment. It is a bot that is designed to share meaningful sentences on Twitter. It has been one of the more interesting follows I’ve had on Twitter and a few months ago, I started to explore more context behind the tweets being put out. Most of them, I realized, could be turned into short stories, or even books.

So, I’ll be selecting a phrase every week or so, constructing a world around the phrase, and writing about it. I’ll also include the phrase itself separately so that you’ll know where I started. The only rule I’ve given myself is that the phrase has to be included in the story somewhere. It can be a basic short story, a poem, anything to create a narrative around the phrase.

I’m very excited about this and I’d love feedback on my stories if you’re so inclined.

Happy 2019 everyone!

Peace, Love, and Positivity,

Liam Silas

Vesuvius

Sitting deep within

Laying dormant for too long,

The lumps begin to meld.

The slow process starts,

One offense melting next to another.

The temperature begins to rise,

Each incident becoming one with another.

The lumps coalesce together,

The magma beginning to boil.

There is a brief moment of indecision.

Everything floats in stasis,

Waiting to be tamped down again.

This time is different.

The mixture of anger, fear, cowardice;

The feelings of shame, regret and despondency,

All start to rise.

They won’t be tamed this time.

The fiery substance comes rushing toward the surface,

Gasping for oxygen, needing to breathe.

Just as quickly as it flooded to the one place it could escape from,

The lava overwhelmed the only person it could,

And left her crystalized,

Frozen in a wave of hate and anger.

 

This Is What I’m Gaining In 2019

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Resolutions, intentions or whatever you choose to call it, the new year inevitably brings about change. Each year is a blank canvas on January 1, of which we have total control over what type of pen, pencil or brush we use. We can make it black and white, with shading or without, or with an explosion of colors. We are the artist, and every day we add to our creation.

Resolutions have started to develop a negative connotation. They are viewed as much more of a pass/fail system. Intentions are a little less intense, viewed more as a behavior to work on instead of a goal that is either met or not achieved.

I know my new year will not be filled with resolutions, and if you want to look at them as intentions, go crazy. I prefer to think about 2019 as my year of growth. I’ve spent the past six years in a whirlwind of indecision, learning decisions, and trying to find my right path. 2019 is the year I start applying my gained knowledge. It is time to start increasing my gains. #gainz

I have four things that I will be gaining this upcoming year. No matter what happens this year, I will be accepting these things into my life. How do I know? Because for six years, someone else has been painting my picture. I’ve pushed Bob Ross out of the way and I’ve got the brush now.

A Clear Inner Voice

With 2018 firmly in the rearview, I can safely say that the thing that I’ve started doing most is listening to myself. It’s easy to get lost in the everyday bullshit of what to wear, who’s talking about who, and which show Netflix is releasing this month. It’s hard to hear through all that noise. But listening to yourself in the quiet moments, when it’s just you and your thoughts, that’s your inner voice.

Listening to what your core being is crying out for is game-changing. I feel like I’ve spent 28 years totally unaware that there was another person inside of me. That when I started to hear him, he grew hope that there was a way out. That he grew stronger as I fed him and took more care of him. And now, he’s strong. He’s ready for the real world, using the pain and lessons learned from my first spiritual vessel to be the best version of himself now.

True Self-Care

How can you take care of yourself if you don’t know your true self? Taking care of two vessels has been exhausting. Feeding one person is a lot cheaper (in time currency) than feeding two, and now I’ll have a lot of free time.

That means more time for meditation, new opportunities to learn about everything I have questions about such as chakras, crystals, digging in deep on astrology, tarot and new ways to take care of myself. I’ve been lighting candles at night and received a weighted blanket over the holidays. It’s already making noticeable changes.

I want to experiment with things like oils and other natural remedies. I don’t have any drastic medical issues, but I want to take better care of my physical and spiritual self because I deserve it. We all deserve better self-care.

My Decision Making

My entire life, I’ve been a second slow. I’ve usually been picked on because I don’t have a sharp comeback at the ready at any given point. Over the last ten years, I’ve certainly gotten more quick-witted, but I now view that as a weakness. “A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of sheep.”

In my pursuit to end the back and forth with people, I’ve started to drift the other direction, sometimes being too harsh. That is weakness. That is my insecurity throwing up a shield to stop the barrage. But it’s not just in social interactions that I have a more visceral response.

I have a massive sweet tooth. It gets me in trouble when I’ve tried various forms of eating better. Inevitably, someone will offer me a sweet, or I’ll wander down the candy aisle in the grocery, and before I’m even paying attention to what I’m actually deciding, I’m in my car eating a Twizzler.

Letting your subconscious make decisions for you is a losing game in every aspect of your life. Listening to your true self and making decisions with the best information you have is the key.

Control Over My Destiny

As stated above, someone else has been painting my picture each year for a while now. Grabbing that brush this year has been unnerving at times, even a little scary. But it’s also empowering. Just like with any new venture, there will be times of self-doubt, of hardship. But there will also be moments of pure joy, strength, and accomplishment.

In 28 years, I’ve never felt this at peace with my decisions. I’m on my right path and it’s because I started listening to myself. I can’t stress enough how game-changing that was. I’ve had a lot of mentors along the way. Women like Robin Arzon, Jameela Jamil, Tala Ashe, Candice Burt, Mirna Valerio, Lena Waithe, and many more. Men like Rich Roll, Jedidiah Jenkins, David Goggins, Wim Hof, Preston Smiles, Gary Vaynerchuk, and many others as well. If you don’t recognize some of the names, look them up. You won’t regret it.

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Regardless of the changes you want to invite into your life this year, I wish you luck. More important than anything for our long-term survival is our need to find a sense of community and looking out for each other. We have to have the back of our fellow human before we can make a lasting change toward a better future. So happy holidays, and remember that we all have the keys to our own destiny. Let’s fucking go.

Is it really just a name?

What is in a name? A logical mind might suggest that every name, and really every word in any language, is just a made up spelling using made up inflections derived from made-up symbols. A more free-flowing mind would suggest that our names are a reflection of who we are. Names, just like any other word, do have meanings. But so few of us think about them in that way.

We may not think of our friend Nolan as “a descendant of a chariot fighter or champion. He’s just Nolan. And Mackenzie is our cousin, but is she actually a “child of a wise leader”? While some of our parents may not have given much thought behind the meanings of our names, some parents spent hours trying to find the exact right name for us before we were born.

My parents named me after my father (Daniel), and William was, to my knowledge, a fun throw-in. I was never overly fond of my name. I’ve been called Danny by most everyone in my life, save for the four years of high school where I went by Will because I viewed it as a chance to have a clean slate. But Will didn’t stick, and I’ve never really felt settled in my identity with that name.

When it came to social media, I was always trying to “brand” myself; anything to get people to call me something else. It’s not as if I have a great disdain for my name, my family or my life in general. I truly didn’t feel “right”.

So, I started digging. I wanted to know the origins of my name and understand more the disconnect with it. My first name, William, means “resolute defender”. Very apropos considering the layers of my life that I’ve been pulling back over the past few years. And remember, this is where I drifted to when I was feeling lost as a teen. But we’ll come back to this.

Daniel, on the other hand, means “God is my judge”. Now, I don’t begrudge anyone’s religious or spiritual practices, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone. But organized religion isn’t my thing at all, and I’m still very much figuring out my path in the spiritual realm. Which, to me, points the finger directly at that name as to why it wasn’t resonating with me.

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I began my search for a name that spoke to me on my level about a month ago, maybe longer. I poured over web pages of names, their meanings, and really anything I could find about them. It sounds unromantic, but I didn’t want to just have a name that was elegant and looked good on paper. I wanted the meaning to back up this new era of my life. I wanted something that honed in on the changes I’ve made in my spiritual, emotional and mental life. And most importantly, I wanted to feel good when I introduced myself, to feel confident that this was who I am.

I love my family, and in no way is this an attempt to distance myself from them, nor do I desire them to call me by anything other than what they are comfortable with. And to be honest, I’m not sure when I’ll have this discussion with them. It’s a weird feeling trying to bring up that you don’t want to go by your given name anymore. But at the end of the day, you have to be true to your authentic self, and that is what I’m doing.

The name I chose is William (Liam) Silas Beaumont. I wanted to keep William because I still value that name, its meaning and hang on to those ties. But when I was known as “Will”, it never felt natural. Better than Danny, but not quite right.

Silas means “of the forest”. There is no greater peace that I find than being in the forest, amongst the trees, with my feet firmly on the dirt. I’ve talked about that ethereal experience before here. It fit so perfectly for me, and it’s a beautiful word.

Beaumont means “beautiful mountain”, which is in reference not only to where I want to live (near the mountains) but also the beginning of this journey for me. Two years ago, I took a trip to visit a friend in Colorado and it changed my life. To this day, I’ve never been in such a beautiful environment as the Rocky Mountains, and it started me on this long, slow, winding path.

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To those of you that aren’t happy with your names, you have the power. Don’t change it flippantly or for a superficial reason. Be yourself and let your name come to you, however that may be. And to those that have names that they love, congratulations. I know I love mine.

The Real Reason You Don’t Like Gary Vee

My introduction to Gary Vaynerchuck was through a podcast episode he did with Rich Roll back in March of 2016. Gary spoke with a zeal and vigor that I’m not sure I’ve heard in my life, even now.

I have a level of trust in Rich Roll that probably isn’t normal for a person who has never met another person, so when Rich described Gary in the intro as “a bit of a maniac”, I was intrigued. Not just because I consider myself to be a bit maniacal when it comes to work, but because Rich doesn’t do intros like that. Usually, his California surfer looks bleeds into his voice, giving more groovy, go-with-the-flow vibes to his already glowing introductions for his guests.

Once I finished the podcast, I was hooked. Over the next 3 months, I binged every episode of #AskGaryVee on YouTube and watched many of the other videos on his page. In addition, I bought all of his books. As I said, I was hooked. Call it young naivety.

Now, before I get into defending Gary’s point of view, know that there has been PLENTY that I’ve heard him say that I didn’t agree with. Even stuff that irritated me. Hell, I used to think what Gary was saying was impossible too. But honestly, that’s kind of the point of what Gary says. Let me explain…

Gary works more hours in a day toward his business than almost anyone. How do I know? Because he documents almost every hour of his day on social media. And this leads to the primary reason so many people are writing articles disavowing his advice and claiming they “didn’t learn anything” from him: you can’t do what he does.

Are you actually willing to put in the time, effort and energy into elevating your work, whatever it is, to that level? For most of us, the answer is no. I’m coming back to this point, though, so bear with me.

Gary does take time off. He’s not a machine. He works anywhere from 16 to 20 hours a day if I had to guess, and uses those free hours to spend time with his family and workout. He doesn’t sleep a lot, he enjoys the occasional New York Jets football game, and every year he takes a vacation, and then it’s back to business.

As I said, I’ve had my disagreements with this viewpoint before. I mean, how the hell is someone supposed to work this much and actually enjoy life? Doesn’t Gary do ANYTHING to de-stress?

And here’s where we get to the WHY of your dislike of Gary. He is able to work so much and stay so focused because that’s what he wants to do, over anything. People like you and me, we have other things we want to do more than work. We want to watch Netflix or play video games. We want to bullshit on our phones or even do worthwhile things like volunteer.

The world needs all kinds of people. Very few can be like Gary Vee, which means the rest of us have to balance things out. And this was when I knew that trying to be like Gary Vee was causing me to miss the point.

Gary has done several videos recently explaining everything I’ve talked about. He never once said that it was not okay to live your life, to do things you enjoy and work a regular job. He encourages people to do what they want to do, what inspires them.

But you can’t have both. You can’t work 8 or 9 hours a day and expect to start a successful business. Hell, until you have your own business that you are earning a salary from, you most likely can’t work 12 hours a day and be successful.

You can’t work your 9–5 day job, then watch Netflix on the couch for 4 hours and then work on a “side hustle” for an hour or two and expect to grow your own business that will allow you to quit your day job. It just doesn’t work like that. That’s why there are so few entrepreneurs and people that commit to putting the time in. Because it’s not as fun as what we COULD be doing.

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My point, and Gary’s, is that you have to put in the work to get what you want. You have to want it more than anything. More than Netflix, more than the movies, more than your phone.

We don’t have to be Gary Vee to get what we want. In fact, I recommend you don’t try to be like him. It’s going to burn you out and you’re going to hate it. But if you tap into your authentic self, and you put in the work there, you can be as happy as Gary Vee.

Defining Family This Holiday Season

As we’re all smack in the middle of the holiday season, and those of us that are lucky enough to have families to spend time with, will. And while we’ve all read the articles talking about how to deal with your racist grandma or sexist uncle (pro-tip, cut them off), we usually have to put up with some unsavory behavior from our relatives. We aren’t confined to our programming, though.

The primary definition for family is “a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household”. The second definition is “all the descendants of a common ancestor”. And even as a younger person, I never felt that these were suitable definitions, although I didn’t have a better alternative at the time.

We’ve all had those relatives that we can’t stand or we fundamentally disagree with about basic things that make sense to us. Blood relation shouldn’t automatically mean that we are a family. Why should we be forced into making nice a few times a year with people we can’t stand? In a developing age of self-care, spending time in negative situations is near the top of the list of things you should NOT be doing.

I have to acknowledge that I am fairly lucky in that the family I spend time with at the holidays usually keeps the drama to a minimum. We have had our share, a few members either fading out or coming back into the fold, but for the most part, our holidays are spent catching up on everyone’s lives. But not everyone has this luxury.

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So how should we be defining family? To me, it’s a group of people with a shared energy connection. You can have friends, coworkers, relatives, or anyone you’ve ever met be considered family. You know that feeling of connection you get occasionally when you meet someone new? That’s your energies connecting. Everything on the planet has vibrational energy, and when you encounter something or someone with a similar energy, you can feel that connection.

You’ll often see different groups such as sports teams, organizations, and businesses try to push the narrative that they are a “family”. And I won’t say that it NEVER happens, but just because a group of people is pushing toward a common goal doesn’t make them a family.

It’s hard to define physical groups as a family because we’re focused on the wrong connecting point. As it is currently constructed, a family is centered around an idea or belief. “We are a family because we all have the same bloodline. We are a family because we all want to win a championship. We are a family because we all eat a plant-based diet.” This is how we end up with people in our familial circle that we don’t feel connected with.

Instead, we should be centering the idea of a family around ourselves. My family is very different from my brother’s family, who is very different from our friend’s family. Some members of our families may overlap, but each person’s family is unique to that person because we are all individuals with different beliefs, ideas, and motivating factors.

At first, this seems harsh toward people we currently view as family. But as we start to hone in on what clicks with us, what sparks us and makes us feel at home within ourselves, we start to realize that there are only certain people that fit that description. There’s nothing wrong with coming to this conclusion, but we’ve been conditioned to be led into the definition rather than defining it ourselves.

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Regardless of whether you are interested in pairing down the people in your life to those that you have that strong, familial connection with, being more mindful of the people you choose to spend your time with is a step in the right direction. You can only give as much as you’re willing to give, and being around people whose company you enjoy is critical to maintaining that willingness. Taking care of yourself first will always be the most important thing to giving your best self, and your family, no matter how you define, deserves the best version of you.