Anxiety Taught Me to Be a Better Person

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

A recent anxiety attack taught me that there are things in my life I must change if I want to feel better. If I don’t make these changes, I will continue to grapple with the awful feelings that brought me here.

Unless you have a disorder, which I do not, an anxiety attack can signify that there is something – or many things – you’re doing that do not sit well with your mind and/or body.

If you repeat this behavior every day, you do so at the mind or body’s increasing discomfort. Your body will communicate this, and if you ignore it, the day will come when these feelings erupt on their own.

Along with alerting you to the consequences of destructive behavior, an anxiety attack can signify that there are unresolved and deeply-rooted emotional problems you must address. Continue reading

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Update #2: New Roof Fundraiser

Water damage in the ceiling of our front porch

Go Fund Me link: https://www.gofundme.com/help-wes-amp-his-family-get-a-new-roof

Update #2:

Thank you again to everyone who has donated and supported us in replacing our roof. We are halfway to our goal on GoFundMe, and I am continuing to call roofing companies for an estimate on the cost of replacing it.

The past couple bids we’ve received are higher than we would prefer – one was around $7,500 and another was around $8,500 – but we’ve received one cheaper estimate that is more in our price range.

The companies giving us the higher bids want to do more than the basic roof replacement. Besides some costly improvements they want to make, they are factoring in the price of replacing some of the wooden beams in our ceiling that have taken water damage. Continue reading

New Roof Fundraiser Update

Go Fund Me link: https://www.gofundme.com/help-wes-amp-his-family-get-a-new-roof

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to our new roof fund and sent us positive comments. With the donations made to our Go Fund Me and the donations sent via PayPal, we are closer to our goal than I would’ve ever thought possible.

I’m currently calling around, having a few more companies come look at the roof and give an estimate of what it will cost to replace. One roofer said while looking at it that it has taken a great deal of hail damage, which has caused the nails to loosen and water to get in.

This is why our ceiling has taken water damage, as you can see in two of the pictures below. Showing me up-close pictures of the asphalt shingles, he made it clear that hail has significantly damaged the roof. This confirms that it needs replaced ASAP.

I don’t yet have the pictures he took, but I will update this (and the Go Fund Me) as soon as he sends them to me. I have two other companies coming by in the next few days to look at it and give me an estimate, so for now we are unsure what the final cost will be.

As I mentioned, we are closer to the amount we think we’ll need. But we’re not out of the woods yet. I cannot express my appreciation enough to everyone who has donated, and apart from the contributions made via Go Fund Me – for which I have not yet thanked all the donors – I am trying to thank each of you individually.

If we can continue to get contributions, then I’m confident that we’ll have enough for this frighteningly expensive repair. As I wrote in my original post, we will greatly appreciate anything you can give. If you enjoy my writings and want to help support the blog, then right now this is the best way to do so.

I shared the Go Fund Me link at the top of this post, but here it is again:

We are also accepting contributions via PayPal – my PayPal email is wesremal@yahoo.com.

Words are insufficient to express how much I appreciate everyone who has donated in our time of need. So many amazing, compassionate readers have helped us either by donating or sending love and support. Because of you, we are inching closer to our goal. Thank you all again, and much love. =)

Wes & family

I’ll post another update for the roof fund in the next few days – likely after Thanksgiving as it will be a busy time for everyone. The original post, along with photos of our damaged roof, is below.

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For anyone who can help – our roof is badly damaged and in need of replacement. It is sagging in some areas, and in some rooms of the house, the ceiling has visible water damage.

One roofing company estimated that it will cost at least $5,000 to fix, but it could cost more if the roofers discover more damage.

Here are some pictures of the damaged, sagging areas of the roof as well as two photo of water damage in the ceiling in two of our rooms.

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We currently have no money for repairs, and so I’ve set up a Go Fund Me page with a goal of $6,000. We need to raise the money for this ASAP, as the damage is getting worse. We hope to replace the roof this winter.

If you enjoy my writings and want to help ensure I can continue to write, please donate to the emergency fund we are raising via Go Fund Me. You can also donate via PayPal (my PayPal email is wesremal@yahoo.com).

This is our last chance to raise money for the new roof we desperately need, and we will greatly appreciate anything you can give.

We would also appreciate if you can share our Go Fund Me page on your social media. The more people who share it, the more who will see it and the more who can potentially help.

Thank you all, and much love.

Wes Annac & family 🙂

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Emergency Fundraiser: We Need a New Roof

Emergency Fundraiser: We Need a New Roof

Go Fund Me link: https://www.gofundme.com/help-wes-amp-his-family-get-a-new-roof

See also: Important: Note from Wes – My Breaking Point

For anyone who can help – our roof is badly damaged and in need of replacement. It is sagging in some areas, and in some rooms of the house, the ceiling has visible water damage.

One roofing company estimated that it will cost at least $5,000 to fix, but it could cost more if the roofers discover more damage.

Here are some pictures of the damaged, sagging areas of the roof as well as a photo of water damage in the ceiling in one of our rooms. Continue reading

(Updated) Important: Note from Wes – My Breaking Point

Update: I have set up a Go Fund Me for our roof, which you can find here: https://www.gofundme.com/help-wes-amp-his-family-get-a-new-roof.

We also accept donations via PayPal (wesremal@yahoo.com).

We greatly appreciate anything you can give, and we would also appreciate if you could share our Go Fund Me page on your social media.

If my words in this article make it seem like I’m giving up on writing or running the blog, I promise that is not the case. I plan to continue writing for the blog and the Weekly Awareness Guide, but for this post, I needed to get out some stress.

I’m also (pretty badly) in need of financial help to ensure I can continue to run the blog, which is one reason I’m experiencing so much stress and anxiety. But, to reiterate, I’m not going anywhere for now.

Dear readers,

I need to be honest about why I haven’t been posting to the blog this week. It’s been a rough week for me emotionally, as I’ve been experiencing intense anxiety and panic attacks over a few things I will elaborate on here.

Last Friday night, something happened in my home that I’d prefer not to explain. A problem we were having in the home that we didn’t know the extent of had suddenly become much worse. For whatever reason – I think there were multiple reasons – I couldn’t handle it.

I had a massive panic attack that lasted for over two hours. Throughout most of it, my wife couldn’t calm me. I was shaking, breathing uncontrollably fast, and crying hysterically.

I’m not proud of it, and it’s very, very embarrassing to admit. I’m a grown man who had a huge panic attack and could not stop crying or freaking out over something I should have been able to handle. I only admit it to give you context as to why, again, I haven’t been around this week. I promise it was not out of neglect.

Eventually, I was able to calm down. In the days following, we’ve been dealing with the problem in our home the best we can. It’s not completely dealt with, but we’ve made significant progress. Our family has been great about helping us, and I can’t thank them enough.

My fear and anxiety did not stop when I finally calmed down Friday night. In the aftermath of the panic attack, I’m still struggling with bad anxiety and panicky feelings.

Last night (Wednesday night), I had another panic attack – this time over something else I’m afraid will go wrong in this house. This was a much smaller panic attack but was nonetheless overwhelming.

In a moment I will explain what I believe to be the source of this overwhelming anxiety. But last night, I was again feeling freaked out.

Something is going on with me. Everyone has been telling me it will be okay and recommending I take things one day at a time. But I’m fighting a continuous battle with fear, stress, anxiety, and more recently, depression.

I’ve been working hard this week on things that have to do with my home, and staying busy does help me occupy my mind. The moment I stop working and try to relax, however, it all comes rushing back. I feel too afraid to relax my mind, which means meditation is not an option right now.

I’m trying to stay busy, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. I need to get this out in writing – for my sake and for those of you who may wonder where I’ve been and if everything is okay over here. I wish I could say it is, but if I’m being honest; I’m struggling more than ever.

My anxiety stems from the fact that I’m not making enough of an income through writing or running the blog. My dream is to work from home and make a living doing what I love – writing, podcasting, and all that great stuff.

At the same time, my biggest fear is something going horribly wrong in my home and having no money to fix it. Right now, we have no extra money for anything. Ever. We barely make enough to cover bills, and some months we don’t even have enough for that.

Our car broke down almost a year ago, and since we’re broke, we’ve had to live without a car.

That means walking our child to school every day or finding rides when weather doesn’t permit walking. It also means relying on family for our grocery shopping each month, as well as anything we need to do that is not in walking distance.

It sucks, because I know my problems are not my family’s responsibility. And yet, I have no choice but to keep asking for their help. It’s not fair to them, and it too is embarrassing to admit.

Before my panic attack last weekend, I would experience regular anxiety over the thought of anything going wrong. It’s not unwarranted, as there are a few ticking time bombs in this home ready to go off any minute.

First, our roof is badly damaged and in need of replacement. It is leaking and visibly sagging in some areas, meaning that any day now I could be dealing with a crisis far worse than what caused my panic attack Friday night. The snow and winter weather are worsening the problem, and we’ll be lucky if our roof makes it through the winter.

To get it completely replaced will be at least $5,000 (which is what a roofing company told us last summer when they looked at it), and again, we have no extra money for anything. Maybe this puts my anxiety in perspective. It is by far the biggest expense that has been causing the most anxiety.

The roof problem has been weighing on us for the past 2+ years, but I’ve been continuing to write and run the blog in hopes that it would earn us the extra money to deal with it. We currently have no money saved up for a much-needed rainy day fund.

Next, we have a furnace that was built in the 80s (this is an old house) and is due to be replaced any time. It is still working at the moment, but I’m afraid it won’t make it through the winter. If it goes out, that would be another $2-3000 at least.

Last winter, the furnace needed parts replaced which cost over $400. Fortunately, we had family around to help. But the repairman told us the entire furnace may need replaced in the next year or 2 years if we’re lucky.

I’m also worried about our water heater, which seemed to make noises last night that it doesn’t usually make. This was the cause of my smaller panic attack last night, although it could be nothing.

This is one reason I think something is not right with me. Lately, these small stresses have been causing me intense fear and panic. Then again, maybe the stresses aren’t so small. Maybe I’m just at the end of my rope, and having so little money but so many expenses is weighing too much on me.

I intend to start a Go Fund Me for the roof and make an urgent post asking readers for help with all this, but I’ve been so busy this week that I haven’t had the time or energy. I will do it soon, in hopes that readers can send funds we can save up to start dealing with it all.

As much as you have all helped us in the past – including being the reason we have this home in the first place – I hate asking for help with money. I wish I could make content you will enjoy without money being a part of the equation. Sadly, life is showing me that this just can’t happen. I need to start saving up, but to do so, I need more of an income.

For me, what went wrong in our home Friday night was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It had nothing to do with the roof, furnace, or water heater. It was a totally different problem that we knew about but did not know the extent of.

Needless to say, it was my breaking point.

I love this home, but being a homeowner is terrifying when you have no extra funds for the countless things that could go wrong. It’s given me bad anxiety for the past 3 years.

In desperate need of the money to deal with all these problems, I am now at a fork in the road. I can make one last attempt to raise funds from readers for the roof and other expenses, which again, I plan to do. My only other option is to go ahead and get a day job, which I don’t want to do but will absolutely do if necessary.

I’m willing to do anything to get the money we need for all this, even if it means taking time away from writing to work a job that will get us some extra funds we can put into a savings. It would break my heart to be away from the blog, but if I have to do it, I will.

I just can’t take this anxiety anymore. I can’t take being without a car or struggling to pay bills every month. I can’t take being scared that the roof will cave in or the furnace will go out and it will all be my fault for not working a regular job in the first place.

I can’t take the feeling that I’m asking too much of my family and not providing like I should be.

I love writing, and I want more than anything to do it for a living. But this stress is killing me.

I don’t know how to wrap this up, except to say that I love all our readers. I appreciate the support you’ve all given us more than I could ever express.

You have helped us so much, and it goes to show that this spiritual community is not all talk and no action. You’ve shown us so much compassion these past 7+ years that I get emotional just thinking about it. I can’t thank you all enough.

More importantly: I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I haven’t been around much and haven’t been as personal with you all as I was in 2013-2014 around the time you helped us get this home. I became embarrassed to admit or write about the problems we’ve been going through, even though again, you all show us nothing but compassion.

I’ve just wanted to give you great content as a thank-you for all the times you’ve helped us. I’m a twenty-something kid with very little education who felt inspired to make this stuff for a living, and you have welcomed me with open arms. I should be giving back, but I haven’t been.

Despite your support, I haven’t been writing or posting to the blog nearly as much as I should be. You’ve probably noticed, and I can’t deny it. Things have been very difficult, but that is no excuse. If in some amazing future my family can make it through this and raise the money for all our expenses, then I will really start giving back.

For now, I don’t know what will happen. Like everyone has been telling me, I just need to take it one day at a time.

I will try my best to write and post to the blog the next couple weeks while continuing to work on our home and figure out how to get the money we desperately need for our roof and other expenses. Thank you all for your support, and I’m deeply sorry that things are not going the way I envisioned.

I feel like I’ve failed you, and I hope you understand that I may need some time for my mental health while I figure out what to do with all these expenses and personal problems. I plan to be around as much as possible, but I may miss some days and for that I sincerely apologize.

Anything you can give, including positive vibes or kind words, is welcomed. I’m really struggling right now. But here’s to the hope for a brighter future.

For anyone who can help, my PayPal email is wesremal@yahoo.com. I have also set up a Go Fund Me page for the roof. If you can donate and/or share the page to your social media, we would greatly appreciate it.

Much love,

Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

Featured image credit: Pixabay

Karma Yoga Decoded – Part 2

If you like this article, check out the first episode of the Karma Yoga Podcast.

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

In this part, we’ll look at karma yoga from a biblical perspective. Because of this, I should make a disclaimer regarding the heavily religious nature of the things we’ll read here. In this article, we’ll read Bible verses that exemplify what religion could and should be.

I’m a little more comfortable with Buddhism, Hinduism (the religion that gave us karma yoga), and similar beliefs than Christianity or Catholicism. I think that the core of every religious teaching is to have empathy, help others, and be a good person; something Buddhism seems to encourage far more than Christianity. Despite this, the flaws of organized religion are obvious.

I could repeat them for the thousandth time, but you’ve heard it before. Religion has been responsible for war, hatred, and general nastiness throughout history. It’s not any better today. Continue reading

Karma Yoga Daily Is Circling the Drain: We Need Your Help

Karma Yoga Daily Is Circling the Drain: We Need Your Help

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

When I created Karma Yoga Daily, I had a vision for what the blog would be. I wanted it to be a haven for anyone who’s interested in spirituality, activism, alternative news, and protecting the environment, among other things. I wanted to have a dialogue with those of you who share these interests.

For me, the new blog represented a rebirth. I’d lost the inspiration to write after some things happened in my life that sent me crashing down to Earth from the clouds my head comfortably rested in. I became a little more pessimistic, especially regarding spirituality, but maintained my belief that love is the truth at the heart of all spiritual philosophy. I still believe it is; otherwise I wouldn’t still be writing.

More than once, I’ve come close to giving this up and getting a regular job. Sometimes the stress – mainly financial stress – doesn’t seem worth the freedoms you get when you work for yourself. Sometimes I wonder if I’d be happier exchanging these freedoms for the financial security I might get from a less meaningful job.

Every time I come so close to giving up, something pulls me back in. On one occasion, that “something” was karma yoga: a lifestyle centered on serving others. The idea that I could pursue writing as a purpose and a service kept me from shutting it all down.

It reminded me that plenty of people are living their purpose, helping others, and making enough of a living to survive. I then realized that I shouldn’t do this work for selfish purposes, but I should be able to survive while I do it. The only way I can pay the bills with writing, podcasting, or running a blog is to work so incredibly hard that things can’t help but fall in line.

In the couple months since Openhearted Rebel became Karma Yoga Daily, I’ve worked more than ever. I continue to believe that if you work hard with an unselfish spirit, it’ll enable you to at least survive comfortably.

Obviously, karma yoga is not meant to make you rich or famous. I don’t expect to make millions from writing articles, eBooks, or doing podcasts. I just need to survive.

In terms of wanting to give up, I hit one of my lowest points shortly before I created Karma Yoga Daily. I was all but ready to give up but thankfully found the inspiration to keep going. Recently, I hit what might be my lowest point. I’m not throwing in the towel, but if I’m being honest, things are harder than ever.

At the time of writing this, a lot of things are piling on – bills, a lack of transportation, expensive home repairs, less income – and I need to step back and think about it all. As someone who has a family to support, I need to question if I’m doing the right thing. It’s a depressing question but one I must ask.

I’d rather create content without asking for anything in return, but I’ve been forced to ask readers for help more and more lately. I know that this is a give-and-take, and I can’t spend so much time working toward something if I’m doing it for free. But I deeply despise asking for financial help. To me, it contradicts karma yoga (selfless service) and negates everything I’m doing.

Now, with bills/expenses piling up and no end in sight, I can’t be ashamed to need help. As much as I believe in karma yoga and will continue to, I can’t work for free. I wish the world operated differently and I could write without charging a dime or asking for help at all. Some days I feel like I can, but reality is showing me that it doesn’t work this way.

I have no sponsors, and the ads on the blog generate chump-change at best. I don’t have an incredible social media following, as sites like Facebook are making it harder to reach people if you’re lucky enough that they don’t delete your page.

What little income I have comes directly from the couple hundred people or less who read my articles. I say this not to be negative, but because it’s the truth: if the blog is going to continue, we need your support. Financially, we’re circling the drain. We need help from our readers.

I could repeat that I’m working harder and making more content, and despite the lack of results from that work so far, I can promise you it’s true. I’ve never been so far out of my comfort zone in terms of working more and approaching this work in difficult yet creative ways. I’m excited to share the results if/when possible.

If I put out this and other appeals for financial assistance with no response, I’ll take it as a sign that it’s not meant to be. I won’t shut down the blog, but I certainly won’t be around as often if I’m back in the rat race. I can say that we’ll need support sooner rather than later or we’ll be without internet, making it impossible to post or be around at all.

Despite these very real threats looming, I’m hopeful about the future. I feel inspired again, and for me, that’s a big deal. I want to work harder, create more, and give you incentive to support us over these rough next few months. If that support doesn’t materialize, then I’ll have no other option.

If you can’t help financially, we could use some good vibes right now. I’m a believer in the power of positive energy, and if our spiritual/lightworker friends can send some our way, we’d love you for it.

I don’t want to draw a line in the sand; I want to keep writing and sharing informative content. If you believe in the future of Karma Yoga Daily and you can support us, it would help ensure the blog doesn’t fade away.

I’ll keep writing for now, and the universe will decide if I sink or swim. It’s out of my hands.

How you can help:

There are a few ways you can support us. One is by subscribing to the Weekly Awareness Guide for $11.11 a month. The guide isn’t much in terms of content; just a few extra articles exclusively available to subscribers and compiled into a neat, readable format (sent via email). The purpose of the subscription is to support the blog, with the extra articles being a perk.

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Weekly Awareness Guide $11.11 monthly subscription

Another way you can support us is by checking out my first and (so far) only eBook: Enlightened Afterlife. I wrote it because I was fascinated with the religion known as Spiritualism and wanted to explore its history and philosophy with an open mind. I figured my friends in the spiritual community would be interested as well. Kindle owners can purchase the book here. Or, you can purchase the PDF version with the button below and receive it via email.

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PDF of Enlightened Afterlife for $7.99

Lastly, you can support us by donating via PayPal to wesremal@yahoo.com. Short of subscribing to the guide, this is the best and most direct way you can help.

Most importantly, thank you to everyone who’s supported us through the years. We’re able to continue through your support alone, and we most certainly would not have come this far without it. By helping us, you are ensuring Karma Yoga Daily has a long, productive future.

Much love,

Wes Annac & family