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Axen Ft. Lauderdale Message Board › Dragons


user 19537791
Group Organizer
Miami, FL
Hi AXENites,

The coping mechanism we all use to avoid our anxiety, negative feelings, blockages, low self-esteem or confidence, etc. Is worse than facing the root cause and addressing the truth.

The coping mechanisms just prolong the problem, they sedate us but they don’t remove the root cause, the problem. Problems we have ARE THE FUEL that POWER THE ENGINE OF PROGRESS. if you find yourself with a problem be glad, that’s an indicator of something you can work on to improve yourself or your process towards your goal. Problems are indicators of things that need to be addressed, the biggest misstep is that as humans we avoid problems because of the personal meaning we attribute to those problems, making those problems become Big Scary Ferocious Dragons.

Imagine you were able to stop doing the things that you do to waste time or escape the feelings of anxiety surrounding your goal. Imagine you’d be able to stop self-sabotage, imagine you were conscious of what you were doing when you were doing it and were able to become better capable of taking decisive action towards the things you wanted instead of acting on auto-pilot and staying within your comfort zone, not doing the hard thing that would cure the anxiety…you know what it is, the thing that if you were to do it would solve your worries.

Most of the problems we have in our lives are opportunities wrapped up in fear and stress. We avoid them because we are afraid of the Dragon. Have you ever noticed though that in every myth on Dragons, the big bad ferocious Dragon sleeps on piles and piles of treasure?

Why do you think that is?

Because at the base of all that terror and anguish of facing your Dragon are discoveries more valuable than gold and rubies where Dragons slumber – the discovery of true worth, the lessons of our true selves and our true potential if we confront our fears.

We all use methods to distract ourselves from ourselves, I still do it, but less and less everyday.

Sometimes our Dragon uses confusion, fear, anxiety, false promises and other lies to tell us something to keep us scared.
For example, many people come to AXEN not knowing what they want, but I always know that really that’s a coping mechanism because they’re afraid to admit what they want to themselves truly, deep down they know. Or some come knowing what they want but not knowing how to get out of their own way to stop procrastinating so that they can attain it, whatever it is, in their lives or some still don’t even know how to even start taking steps to get the thing they so desperately desire, they become paralyzed by fear.

Often times the biggest obstacle in route to our achievement is ourselves, we are the Knight in Shining Armor AND we are the Dragon, the Dragon is us. All wrapped up in one human sack of fear and insecurities as well as courage and passion.

Ok Dynamo, enough with the Dragon talk...what does this have to do with my goal? Stick with me here, you'll see how to slay your Dragon by using the ultimate weapon.

I have been known to get in my own way and still do in many ways, particularly by doing habits that aren’t conducive to getting the result that I want? Does this sound familiar or am I the only one? Anyone started a new gym routine to only quit after they were getting momentum? What about a great new diet to only fall off the bandwagon? What about that business idea that you’re still contemplating, yeah, you’re right, you gotta pick the right font for the logo – that should take 6 weeks and then another 4 weeks to pick the right color for your banner…

No judgement, Dragons can be sneaky, they're master tacticians and self-doubt and procrastination is their favorite tactics.

Last year I achieved many goals – I created care-packages for the homeless, I completed the book the Artist Way and journaled for 12 weeks straight 3 pages a day (with a few hiccups), I made my first animated cartoon, I made a documentary, I got my motorcycle license, I dove from an Olympic High-Dive, I practiced my realistic drawing and sketching, I started more AXEN clubs, I painting again and another half dozen or so goals.

I also failed at goals – I’m still not an extra on Game of Thrones, I didn’t get close to my bodybuilding goal eventhough I hired Miss Olympia 2005-2008 (for perspective Arnold Schwarzenegger, became famous for winning Mr Olympia, a world champion was training me and I still couldn’t get swole.) I haven’t focused on scaling AXEN, I created a project to plant a Million Trees in Miami-Dade that has floundered after Hurricane Irma, I have paintings I haven’t painted that I wanted to, I have poems I want to illustrate that are laying dormant, I have an Un-Calendar Planner that’s gathering dust and my time management mastery is not as effective as it could be and another score of failures.

Before starting AXEN a lot of my self-worth was wrapped up in achieving and doing, I’ve gotten to the point to understand that the process of doing anything as varied and as dynamic as the goals I’ve chosen for myself involves both failure and success and that I am worthwhile regardless of the outcome. I’m not striving for perfection. I believe if I’m not failing I’m not trying things that are hard enough or challenging myself or pushing the envelope. So I'm not striving to eliminate failure, but I can be honest with myself and see that I use certain methods to sedate myself with coping mechanisms that don’t get me closer to the things that I want in my life. Dealing with the cause of those habits that distract and demotivate me or take up my time and drain my energy -- dealing with the underlying stimulus that makes me use these vices as a form of escapism through these coping mechanisms, dealing with the root cause -- is how you slay the Dragon.

I'm lucky, essentially I only have 3 vices;
a) Oversleeping/Wasting Time online (leisurely relaxing as a form of escape and overdoing it, hiding from the world.)
b) Sex/Porn (a way to change my mental state by changing my physical state)
c) Food (another way to change my mental state by changing my physical state)

This might be TMI (too much information) for some of you, but I don’t have any shame around these topics and I encourage you all to examine if you have shame around your coping mechanisms because shame is toxic. Bringing consciousness to your coping mechanisms and shining a lite on the hidden drives will help to create space for potential liberation. I have recently been quoting Carl Jung a lot lately and one of my favorite quotes of his is;

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

We are all running unconscious programming that is getting in the way of the things we want consciously. How can you change it? First by being honest with yourself and realizing what it is you’re really doing to yourself and how you’re masking whatever anxiety or stress or whatever emotion it is you’re running from. Often times we don’t get our goals because of an emotional blockage more so than some outside factor in the real world that’s preventing us from getting what we want.

So back to how do you slay this Dragon?


You realize it’s a Dragon and you face it, Dragons are born to be slain and here's the biggest secret of them all...


I'm going to do something that is rarely done in Miami and use the word literally correctly. DRAGONS are LITERALLY FAKE.

They are figments of our imagination, both in this example and in reference to our lives, the fears we fear are as real as Dragons are -- they're not real.

Things that aren't real can be battled with the best weapon all humans have in their arsenal, it's what's made us the rulers of the animal kingdom, our minds. We can use logic to deconstruct and dismember our Dragons.

I’ll give you an example , my bodybuilding goal is going to happen…eventually. The problem with this goal last year was that I have a stressful as fuck business that I’ve poured my heart into to make happen. I know maybe I can say to myself going to the gym is a stress reliever, but it isn’t when I was having to worry about the financial feasibility of my business as a series of events took place that sent me and my business into scramble mode. I had to leverage myself to make my business continue to work and scramble to make it back to where I was before. When I was in that position after a series of unfortunate events, I wanted the comfort of a cheeseburger not of a dumbbell or a burpee, fuck burpees.

I’ll give you an example of one of my biggest failures from last year. My bodybuilding goal is going to happen, but last year I failed miserably.

The problem with this goal last year was that I have a stressful as fuck business that I’ve poured my heart into to make happen. I know maybe I can say to myself going to the gym is a stress reliever, but it wasn’t for me, it was a form of added stress. When I was having to worry about the financial feasibility of my business as a series of events took place that sent me and my business into scramble mode, I had to leverage myself to make my business continue to work and scramble to make it back to where I was before. When I was in that position after a series of unfortunate events, I wanted the comfort of a cheeseburger not of a dumbbell or a burpee, fuck burpees.

Is it an excuse? Absolutely.

Is it real? Also yes.

What can I do about it?

I focused on solving my financial worries through my business (now it’s been resolved) and get to a place where I can relax and feel at ease that my business and my finances are back to excellent shape (they are soon going to be even better than before). I can now breathe a sigh of relief and realize that I am human, I can't focus on bodybuilding that is this important to me personally and requires me to dedicate myself entirely with the added anxiety of the world caving in on me and my business, somethings got to give.

Could I have maybe continued to tough it out AND also work on my bodybuilding goal? Sure maybe I could’ve also found the cure to Cancer, but I didn’t.

I’ve learned spending too much time on what could’ve or should’ve been is a waste of time, WHAT DID happen and WHAT IS, is that I couldn’t handle both.

So what’s the Dragon in this scenario? The Dragon is my sense of safety and security financially and in my business, if that’s resolved I have the mental and physical energy to dedicate to my bodybuilding goals (and also the finances to hire a meal plan which is the key to success in this area to begin with). But I would feel stress over dealing with it and drag my feet in doing the difficult things and having the difficult conversations I knew needed to happen for me to have a breakthrough. It's part of the reason I was in the position I was in to begin with in my business, because instead of dealing with what I was feeling and the anxiety associated with it, I was using methods to escape dealing with it all together. I was being a coward.

Once I confronted my underlying Dragon of dealing with my business in a proactive manner and having to do the difficult thing I was avoiding, I got the resolution I needed and the anxieties disappeared, I slayed the Dragon.

That’s how I’ve stopped looking at Porn, when I realized it wasn’t the Porn or any addiction to it, I was just stressed out. So instead of stressing and looking at porn to de-stress, I picked up meditation, things started to change.

It’s not as exciting as porn (lol!), but it’s a lot healthier for me and my limbic system. I don’t judge pornography or anything for that matter and am not making a value judgement, I just know that for me it was becoming destructive and counterproductive, it wasn’t getting me closer to my goals and I wanted something that was more constructive towards the outcomes I wanted. Meditation in those times of stress where previously I would typically visit a porn site to escape has made all the difference.

Furthermore, I get a better sense of relief now through meditation because I get answers to what’s stressing me while I meditate. I face the anxiety and get resolution instead of losing myself and escaping from myself, avoiding the issue. I stopped using porn as an escape, I realized it was only prolonging the underlying problem, I have become more conscious.

You know what else stopped happening when I did this without even focusing on it? I stopped oversleeping and emotionally eating, those were symptoms of the anxiety as well, not individual problems. They all related back to my issues around security and dealing with stress. Now I've been waking up without an alarm clock at 7:00-7:30am consistently, even on weekends, well rested, not groggy. Do you know what a miracle that is for me, I use to sleep until 3:00pm in the afternoon when I was depressed and now waking up at 7:00am with a feeling of excitement is amazing, it's a miracle, really waking up and being up without the struggle.

What about the stress eating? I'll eat a slice of pizza or a cheeseburger, but it's not the binge-ing to not feel my feelings or eating myself to an emotional state change feeling that I had before. It's different, there's no more Dragon, it's been slain.

Does it sound too good to be true? Well if you know me I don't think in magic bullet solutions, I think it takes courage and consistency to get to a real place of resolution, but it's there and it does feel like magic.

The things that block us are our greatest teachers, Oversleeping, Porn, Eating Junk Food to Escape, all of these methods of escape have taught me valuable lessons. But ultimately I’ve learned how to value my own consciousness and realize that in that awareness is where the Dragons that impede our path lay and where our treasure exist.

So enough Dragon talk, how do you implement this?

FIRST if you've never come to AXEN Club, show up.

SECOND, make a list of all the things you do in your life to escape doing the things that move you closer to your goal. What are the things that you do to cope with your stress? What are the habits that you do that don’t give you what you want, but you do them anyway because they’re a way for you to sedate yourself from your problems?

THIRD answer what are you “Dragons”, what is the underlying problem you’re protecting yourself from feeling when you use these coping mechanisms? This is the Dragon.

For my bodybuilding goal or any goal for that matter I deal with the stressor instead of trying to escape it. In terms of my bodybuilding goal it was my finances and dealing with my business and business partners that caused me stress, it had nothing to do with fitness, I wasn’t being lazy I was being stressed out by my finances.

Now I just focus on my problem and I ask myself how can I solve it, instead of looking to jump into a way of escaping it.In the use of Porn, it wasn’t the Porn, it was the underlying stress and my inability to confront it.The Oversleeping and Stress Eating was the same, a good sedative but it didn’t help me deal with the problem the way meditation does, now I mediate on a problem when I’m stressed and in 15-20 minutes I either have answers, calm or clarity or I look to how to remove the underlying stressor all together, we don't have to live with the anxiety, that's a choice, if you run from your Dragons they'll chase you forever, if you turn around and confront them you'll slay them and can claim the treasure horde they sleep on as your own.

Post your responses in the comments below or send me a private message of what your vices are and what is your Dragon?

I’ll be happy to help you in anyway that I can to find the courage to confront your personal Dragon.

See you on the MountainTop...on a pile of gold with a slain Dragon,

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