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Everything posted by Doaheem

  1. Hitting my first bumps of the challenge. It's difficult to explain but I just sorta fell off. I'm not angry at myself and I accept it but one day I just flipped off. I've missed two days of journaling and meditation in the last week. I did nothing to further progress my search for goals or dreams. I've mostly just existed and done activities characteristic of avoidance behavior which is something I normally struggle with. I don't know what else to really say in this post.
  2. Oh geeze no no that's dreadful I'm so sorry. Nothing like that to really send a beast of Despair your way. Glad to see that you recognized it and are working against it. What might possibly work for food, it's Asian in origin, if you have any larger Asian grocers near you they may have food prep their. There's a place nearish to us called Tokyo Central and it's a glorious place with a sushi counter, a serve-yourself buffet esque place, and several microwaves for their many bento boxes and instant noodles. Overall not the healthiest of course (hello sodium!), but there are healthier options there and they're delicious! Regardless hope it gets finished before Covid hits your area too hard. In California we seem to keep flagging between shut down and opened.
  3. Hi Julie Honeybee, and Freak Thank you for taking the time to drop in. (purposely not tagging) @julie I guess it is helpful, just always kinda beat myself up about it in the past. Even now it's funny that I didn't log in at all since posting this, just sorta felt... guilty? shamed? idek it's weird. It's nice but almost in a 'you don't deserve it' weird self image stuff. @Bee I found that the one minute approach freaking BOOMED so far. Haven't missed a day. I journal just before bed or while my partner is in the shower. It'll start off as some stupid remark like "tried introducing more vitamin D/sunlight because have been experiencing super lethargy blahblah" (which I have and it's been very helpful) and by the end of it I'm half a page in my composite notebook just rambling about things. It feels nice @Freak Idk I think it still just might be you lol, I'm a Lakers fan but I have to admit I haven't followed them much since Lebron came, I really liked Randle (I went to UKY) and his leaving broke my heart. I think they're safe as we bop in and out hahaha OK So! First challenge Kinda wishy washy there. I've been able to get two separate sessions into my journal. My partner suggested I take inventory of hobbies/jobs/clubs past and present and what I liked/didn't about them. I did and felt a little accomplishment, like one tick but that's still progress I guess. I found some common themes that I enjoy in training/teaching/helping other people, and doing a variety of things while moving around. A huge frustration for me is sitting/remaining stationary for extended periods and doing one task. I worked in a call center in college and I remember that as absolutely soul draining. I also took an interest inventory assessment with some results but more questions than anything. I truly don't enjoy doing this kind of thing because no matter what I always end up in a dark place feeling like I have absolutely no positive qualities/traits/attributes etc and it's annoying. Stupid brain. Overall progress towards goal? Incomplete Second Challenge Meditation, haven't missed a day since the start, I admit I've dropped the ball and missed the morning part of it but I squeeze in five minutes elsewhere. I'm normally kinda irritable in the morning and I found that meditation helped that immensely and helped me to feel less stressed and put me in a better position to be helpful to my partner and others. I haven't read a LOT but I have read a little of my Heart of the Buddha's Teachings which is pleasant and always leaves me feeling better after like eating cool cucumbers in summer. Third Challenge Haven't missed a day. HUGE success, absolute victory, forcing myself for one minute, much like the writing technique for novelists, has been a boon to my journaling. I have to write for one minute? Sure fine, this almond probiotic Yakult tastes ok but it's given me super farts, I wonder if I'm allergic to a probiotic, oh I actually feel really anxious about... You get it. The first sentence or two ends up being really mundane and shallow and then things start to ramp up a bit from there. I'm trying my best not to judge my writing and it seems to be working. Biggest challenge this... challenge? Easily trying to figure out what I want to do, it's a very tender subject and one that I'm struggling with tremendously, almost cripplingly. I'm working on my teaching credential now but I'm so scared of finishing it. My partner and family rightfully encourage me to just finish it since I'm almost done and I'll have both the credential and a Masters in Education but still, the closer I get to the finish line the more scary it feels. I think it might be related to the first (ok second to marriage XD) big adulty thing I've done that feels like commitment. I've always been terrified of commitment, I tried to play WoW when I was in high school and literally would delete every character after level like 12 because I couldn't decide on a class or on a side whether Horde or Alliance. I can almost always see a good point to every side of something. Anyway, that's it for now, wish me luck
  4. It's kind of funny. I usually come here after getting some progress, faltering, getting kicked around, and then ultimately stalling. I lick my wounds, start to feel a bit better, then come to the forum for a few challenges and then I blast off again. I used to hate myself for doing it but idk, maybe the forum and the challenge are supposed to be my bonfire to rest at and recharge, and, if I'm lucky, touch a few people with encouragement along the way. I'm trying to tackle a big personal demon this challenge and it's got me a little worried. 1. Goals / Dreams It's vague as hell but I can't remember a time when I ever had a goal or a dream. When I was little I wanted to be a pro golfer but it was never mine, it was my dads for me. Now I'm 30 and I'm married and I can't think of a single time I ever had a goal or a dream. I graduated high school just because it was next, same with college, I got married just because I met a great woman. None of those (I feel shame for the last part) were ever goals or dreams, they just sort of happened to me as I washed long with life. My wife brought up setting new goals and dreams following Lunar New Year and was astonished when I told her that. I didn't honestly have a good explanation why. Sure I've had interests I guess like becoming a voice actor but they always felt like childish fancies like being a superhero and not a true 'goal' or 'dream' My first goal (hello irony?) is to make better sense of what those are, and to create at least one of each by the end of the challenge. They may not be perfect and I might change them, but at least I'll have something to show for it. I plan to achieve this through journaling on the topic at least twice a week where I sit alone without electronics to distract me. 2. Meditation / Buddhism I'm a teacher, well a substitute anyway and while I was still working I would take the time to do breathing exercises and chant mantras I'd learned online. I didn't read too much about Buddhism at the time but I noticed how much better I tended to feel about life during those times. I acknowledge that now could be contributed to a NUMBER of incredibly stressful factors but still.. I've always been a Lakers fan since I was little (not a huge sports fan) and marveled at the presence of Phil Jackson, their head coach during an amazing period of years for the Lakers. He discussed his interest in Buddhism as a means of quieting his own mind as well as Kobe on Meditation. That was also my draw towards Buddhism. My second goal (see 1st goal...) is to meditate 5 minutes in the morning before breakfast everyday using Habitify to track my progress and keep me honest. Sub goals during this challenge that I would like to accomplish would be to read more on Buddhism (I have books just... lazy I guess), and to come to a better understanding of what mindfulness is. 3. Journal This is kind of a two pronged attack. I enjoy journaling, I enjoy the process of emptying my thoughts and feelings onto a page so that my mind can rest. I suck at it. I suck at it so badly lol. There's been too many times when I just look at the blank page feeling like I have nothing 'good enough' to write down. That stalling at the gate of "I'm not interesting enough to write about" in the same vein of weak self worth that stops you from saying what you're good at when people ask. It's stupid and childish and yet here we are. My final goal is to journal every night for at least one minute. That means one minute of pen to paper, not one minute of looking at the page. I think this is a spurring goal as whenever I start writing, inevitably I fill the page as I've done tonight and last night. I will be more compassionate with myself and just write whatever is on my mind, games I've played, feelings I've had, I will not measure whether or not something is 'important' enough to commit to paper, it's self therapy.
  5. 1. Struggling here. Maybe setting affirmations as the goal was a poor starting place. No matter what I say it just sounds so distant, corny and absurd compared to reality. Maybe my mindset is really that warped which is fine but I haven't found a good way to attack this problem. 2. Better overall. Still struggling to come back to the forum but I feel like being conscious of the problem is helping me overcome it to a degree. I found myself, if not actively pushing into the discomforting things, not avoiding their impact as much so bravo. 3. Mixed success. I'm almost wondering if I do these initially as a means of running away from other problems lol. It's not a bad thing. We've been focused on lawyers for immigration things and we went to an appointment last week that was extremely hopeful but, like going to a dentist or a doctor, it's still a nerve racking experience but going to it felt like a big deal. We spent the weekend working on our application packet that definitely was uncomfortable. Still it feels like a copout because these phone calls don't take long if I REALLY wanted to do them. I'm going to recalibrate this goal to just one call a week. @ Jean Thank you for being a positive source of encouragement. It's kinda funny always being supportive of others but so critical of yourself. If I see someone else struggling I'm a beacon of hope but for never for myself. @ Fox That's a really nice way of looking at it. I'd love to try that! Do you find that word vomiting onto a page helps you get your thoughts in order? Do you revisit those pages? Can't really walk to water, in SoCal that might be a long walk XD. @ Gurl Not bad but not great. Lot of growing pains. I'm not going to lie your Mussar practice seemed really interesting when I read what you described but for whatever reason I never followed up. Thank you for poking me so I can do that. The method described of calming and disciplining yourself seems INCREDIBLY helpful @ Bob Dude it freaking sucks lol the idea of idling by between bouts of self improvement attempts that only function as mental *ahem* "self-pleasure" just feels wasteful at best. Gotta follow Steve's idea and set the bar low enough that we just freaking do it right? Good luck man
  6. It's a very, very humbling experience lol thank you!
  7. A yesssss chilled weather, time for various wonderful medicinal creations ranging from Mulled wine to more... Exotic things. Blankets and curry. Truly a wonderful time. Wife and I also carved our first ever jack-o'-lanterns together. She's got an excuse not being a US native but i don't lol so much fun.
  8. Thank you everyone for the input! I'm uh. Well i failed the second goal this week by just avoiding the thread. Didn't feel good about myself or my anything and lacked the mental discipline to persevere. 1. Failed mostly. No consistency or system in place I just jumped. I downloaded an app that will ping me with affirmations everyday at a prescribed time and hopefully that will get this week on track 2. Mixed Success, I'm not going to lie I avoided this thread. I thought about it sure and checked in to read but never responded even though I had time and in that I failed. However I called many lawyers and scheduled an immigration consultation for my wife, organized our house and threw out some things we don't need, and investigated where my money is going in terms of subscription services and feel like those were wins. 3. Mixed Success, in lieu of calling lawyers, I didn't call any banks but rather I spent a day taking note of all my debt balances, APRs, monthly payments including due dates, and will call this week to negotiate to try to get it paiddl down quicker. I'm wondering if a consolidation service like Tally would be helpful but I read so many mixed things on those topics both good and bad. @ Jean I love the tinier goals. It reminds me a LOT of the Steve posts on Instagram recently talking about lowering the bar to a point where you can still have a win and maintain your momentum. I loved that so much especially as a person that tends towards being low. The debt thing is a big deal too and a big source of shame for me. I'm not going to hide at all that it affects my outlook on things. @ accountant Absolutely. Both you and Jean are echoing solid ideas that I need to internalize. Damn this American mindset of all or nothing. My wife constantly beats me up for that lol. Even if you don't dash 100 meters a step forward is still more than just standing still. It's a shift in mindset though. @ dark Would you mind sharing more on the process of sitting and ruminating? Like I imagine just sitting with a pad and devoting x minutes to just thinking on a topic and writing down things that strike me as important. Does that seem like the right direction? @ yeti I definitely agree with the many concepts of meditation. Especially as I continue to explore Buddhism with walking meditations and mindful this/that. I think anything centers you could be considered meditation and if listening to banging music drowns out the voice so you just sit there then absolutely. I'm far from an educated opinion though lol. @ fitness What do you mean by meditating on a subject. Would you do an /explainitlikeim5? That's the thing I'm struggling with because meditation seems like the act of quieting your thoughts and yet meditating on a subject seems like purposely directing your thoughts to a subject, not quite the opposite but close. I appreciate the check-in and will Google some things you mentioned.
  9. I feel like once a year I come back to the forum pissed off at life and determined to change something and every time I run out of steam and drift off into oblivion content that I made the effort to change without actually changing. This challenge will be a bit different than the standard MO for NF. I'm not pursuing any physical goals this challenge. I'm pursuing life altering goals, hoping to rewire the system so to speak and am using the idea of habit formation as that bedrock. 1. Rich Mind Poor Mind. I firmly believe that there is some meaning to the idea that a person's beliefs, their internal scripts, their subconscious, etc all have an impact on their ability to be successful and happy. I want to change that, although I'm not sure how outside of simply being mindful of my own limiting beliefs as they percolate to the surface. I think that going over affirmations in the morning and in the evening will help, and to make a note of my internal scripts as they arise and to be more mindful of my thoughts. I'm not sure how to make this more tangible and pursuable. I think meditating on thoughts would help but I'm not sure how to do that since the object of meditation is to clear your thoughts and be still. 2. Runaway I've noticed this year just how profoundly i tend to run away/avoid my problems. It's not healthy and I just lose days to it. I notice in particular that I tend to think/fantasize about escapist things and that doesn't help at all outside of some mental masturbation. I've been reading about Buddhism this year courtesy of Thich Nhat Hanh and, it's something I've read/heard before but the way he put it just hit home with me. What we think about, we become. I will force myself to do at least 2 uncomfortable things every week. And if I recognize avoiding behavior I will find the root and plan to attack it. 3. Debt Pit Building off the second one I have an unhealthy relationship with money and spend without thinking and then avoid looking at the problem because of the discomfort it will bring. That can't coexist with a successful life. For the challenge itself I simply want to take the debt worksheet from Ramit Sethi and have it filled out with all of my debts and to have a plan of attack by the end of the challenge for which one I'm paying off first etc. To break that down further I want to make at least 2 calls a week to credit companies to get this information and attempt to negotiate. I welcome any criticism and this might change several times by the start of the challenge. Particularly the first part. There needs to be a more concrete plan.
  10. I appreciate the thorough and patient response and I do think they apply quite well to my respawn post. I appreciate your reading that too I guess I was slowly learning that reality on my own but it's always helpful to hear someone else say it and reinforce that. Being married it feels even more magnified, when my darker parts hurt me it's not so big because, well, shame on you for being dumb. However when your darker parts directly affect someone you care about, that really hurts. I'm learning more to face up to it, little by little and grow through the process though it hurts at times and DAMN do I hate younger Doaheem for wanting to be an adult XD.
  11. Thank you for the response it always feels nice coming home because it doesn't feel like everyone is posturing to show their best self like some sort of social media. Everyone seems to show a more authentic side, at least in the areas I've been to . I'm sorry but what do you mean? First, is "the thing" in this instance referring to the negative attributes I hinted at? And second, what do you mean by don't blink? Like don't look at it with disgust?
  12. 2019 has been a weird year. Lots of self discovery and a lot of it not necessarily positive but it's a good thing because that recognition means I can change it right? I'm going to stay here for a bit. Warm myself in the light of you all. Btw headcanon, I feel like Druids also fit the fantasy character of magic users like Wizards since they also focus on more internal pursuits. Mastery of self and all that. Sent from my ONEPLUS A5000 using Tapatalk
  13. This will be a bit rambly but here we go. 2019 has been a HELL of a year. I'm 29 now but living on my own for the first time since 2013 when I was in college. I married in December and this year has been 10 months of me constantly seeing the undesirable parts of me glaring and sometimes bad. How my habits of procrastination and running away from problems that used to manifest as a late assignment or an all nighter to make up for putting off a project, now are manifesting in much more punishing ways. How my tendency to respond to issues immediately with a brief lashing out similar to a dog snapping out of fear is affecting my relationships. It's wonderful, but... It's painful and I've had several periods of feeling quite down. It's ok, I'm trying to look at it from a positive direction and this light that illuminating all of my undesirable traits is also allowing me to see them, to be painfully aware of them and to change them but change is difficult. Combine that with my reading of "I Will Teach you To Be Rich" and the subconscious scripts that Ramit Sethi discusses has forced me to be more aware of the things I say to myself either to no one or directly addressing myself. I'm becoming more aware of my own problems. However it's like the state of learned-ignorance in that I can recognize my screwups... Usually AFTER the screwup at worst and during it at best. Most importantly I recognize the two wolves inside me. They're distinct and well outlined,l with a force inside me that wants to be better, that wants to be more, and another force that wants to be lazy, run away, procrastinate, and play games. It's a good thing to recognize but that second wolf sucks. Bringing this full circle to the title that I'm sure some recognized was My Hero Academia. I just started the show with my wife and, while childish, it really makes me feel hopeful, All Might has corny but sagely advice to young Midoriya. All Might is probably the hero I most think I've ever idolized. At least at this point in the show (1st season). I'm sure that'll change as I get into the show but I wanna be like him hahaha. But my mind immediately created a connection between the Rebellion forum and UA where both have groups of driven individuals hoping to change for the better. I hope to be a more regular member of this community and... I'm kind of out of steam now, thank you for following this rambling Sent from my ONEPLUS A5000 using Tapatalk
  14. Let me cut any blows by saying I'm not preaching about it, I'm asking for myself. Despite COUNTLESS family members both living with and lost to substance addictions whether drug or alcohol, I've never felt a calling to them and I consider myself incredibly lucky for that. However, I strongly believe that I have an addictive relationship with video games which sucks because I truly enjoy them but I have no sense of self control. It's worst with multiplayer FPS games which I just can't play anymore without sliding down the hole but other games that trigger a short rush like Rocket League or Dead By Daylight as examples also seem to hit that button too. Ignoring life needs and responsibilities, shuttering away entire days in the pursuit of one more round. Not thinking about the future or finances. Not talking to friends, not going to the park. I've tried detoxing before by going completely without games for periods of time and found my quality of life to skyrocket, and then I'd try to slowly introduce a game, Minecraft here, something simple there, and inevitably I slide back into the hole. I enjoy them and I'd like to be able to play them but I feel like there's this huge green pasture just beyond this fence that I keep building myself to block me in. Is anyone else struggling with that and is it possible to find that balance?
  15. Still chugging along I promise you all.I've slipped a bit for Friday but otherwise we're good. Just been busy, stressed, and tired. I'm also running into the same problem I always run into and that's my not knowing what else to say. I start off the challenge strong and chug along but then I get to the point where I just don't know what to post or feel like I don't have anything worth posting... We're still looking for an apartment... still getting ready for her immigration stuff, still needing to do taxes... so many things!!!
  16. OK check in time Ten breaths are A-OK Peak is solid and Yoga is killing it. I kinda skipped Friday but made up for it with inspiration on Thursday doing an impromptu session making it 3 a week. No Kettlebell work this week Journal - still nothing, blah.... gotta figure out a way of feeling comfortable enough to journal and not feel like I'm wasting time. Declutter - more stuff has left the house! Getting rid of excess clothing in my pursuit of a more minimal wardrobe. Unfortunately I tried to take on my book collection and COMPLETELY failed. I don't have a LOT of books per se but... a pretty large amount and I only got rid of three. I kept seeing potential value in them. Right now it's kinda hard to focus on things. I'm trying to find a rental for my wife and I given circumstances that are coming up and it is just a freaking nightmare... I have no idea what to do and it doesn't feel like there are any good answers. I'm still noticing a lot of symptoms of stress.... Gotta figure it out.
  17. I used to follow their site a lot. I don't remember if they did a revamp to a more 'old-timey-bordering-on-turn-of-the-century-punk' (is that a thing?) and it kinda lost me for a while. I'd check in but not as often. Although their recent design changes for the new year have me back and exploring again. Kinda lame on my part that a design change would scare me off but... it did. EDIT Duh completely forgot! I loved their collection on Thumos and unconventional workouts of strong men like kettlebells and clubs.
  18. I live in Southern California and recently got married (12/18!) so life should be pretty amazing but it's kind of struggling. She's from Taiwan and we met while she was a student here. She has a great job but in a month she won't be able to work because we're going through the immigration process of getting her status changed and I guess she has a minimum five-month wait before she can work again. Meanwhile, I'm a substitute teacher with three districts and am also going to school to be a full blown teacher which is awesome but that means that pay sucks and time sucks even more. If she was still working, we wouldn't have a problem but right now we're trying to rent on just my income which isn't awful, we have quite a bit of money saved and would be able to make it to when she's able to work just fine but every place around is a minimum of $1000 (no big) but requires income of 2.5 times rent sooo $2500 while I'm sitting here on $1600~. Literally her only request for a place was to not have to rent a room in a stranger's house and, while that's not a constricting list, it's deadly in this case. I've been blessed enough to stay at home with my parents, initially it was to help them financially and assist my mom medically, but... now I'm trying to get out and... can't. I'm not sure what to do and am desperately trying to avoid having her move in with my parents. If anyone has a thought I would truly love to hear it and, if not, thank you for reading my rant
  19. So uh... two weeks in, things are looking good. Not really sure what this is for other than awkwardly posing 'hi!' on the first week of the challenge so screw it... ummmm What cultural design aesthetics do you like? I'm personally partial to the minimal restrained style shown in Japan, Satoyama - the idea of harmony between nature and society. It was the logical conclusion of my fascination with the general concept of minimalism. Which kinda contradicts with the Danish concept of Hygge that I also like... Kinda boils down to 'comfy' although maybe both have a parallel with the idea of being more present. What about you?
  20. I always thought that it's because your body develops cravings... primarily for salt/sugar (is there a craving for greasy deliciousness?) from the heightened quantities you get from deliciously evil junk food like cheeseburgers that aren't present in a humble pile of cabbage so there's an initial 'withdrawal' that you get from the lack of such artery-clogging wonder. Therapists are scary... the vulnerability is scary. That fear of oversharing is real and you're all like "OMG that guy is going to put me in a padded room" but it doesn't happen but you still worry. You got this I've never had enough money to visit much in the way of quality therapists and only have negative experiences to draw on but I'm still hopeful for the future and I'm hopeful for your appointment. What're you working on journaling? Feelings? Daily stuff? What about that Happy Lamp? Is it one of those blue light lamps? I have one too and they're sooooo awesome That sucker is single-handedly getting me through winter's SAD lol. I'm with you! You got this!
  21. Sorry guys, lotta stuff going on right now and it has me very stressed right now. I usually don't recognize my stress but rather the symptoms such as: awful sleep, eye twitch, bad dreams, difficulty in concentrating, easily spacing out etc. So a bit behind on the reply but not on the results! I've been using HabitBull to track my stuff (Android) and it's been pretty nice and reliable so far and while some complained that it was overly complicated, I found the opposite to be true once I got it up and running. - 10 breaths good to go, I've found that I'm easily scaling it to 20 breaths and sometimes more, this has been very nice and even if I'm laying in bed and go "OH CRAP!!!!" I'll bust out ten breaths real quick. I've been using it a little in conjunction with my mala (I originally purchased it to help with my anxiety) and it's been quite nice but with one minor 'problem.' I want to make my own Mala to imbue it with purpose XD. - Yoga - good to go, my body is a lot tighter than I'd care to admit hahaha hamstrings suck, achilles sucks, ankles suck, core sucks, arms suck, but baby steps are baby steps. Eventually I'd like to be able to do a 'third world squat.' I'm doing a 10 minute full practice now with a 3 minute corpse pose at the end using the Beginner 2 method. It's challenging although I think that's more a lack of familiarity with form and a WHOLE lack of flexibility. - Peak - Good to go, don't really know if it's doing much but I'm doing it. I did notice on certain tasks that I was HORRIBLE so I think that's a good thing. -OPTIONAL- -Kettlebell - last week I did three minutes of iron halos with my 35lb kettlebell and ho-boy my upper body was sore. -Journal - nada. Still trying to figure out what I care about enough to want to commit it to paper. It feels like the same problem as my general aversion towards social media, just feels like I don't have anything I feel is important enough to share with others or... apparently even myself. Gotta think on that one. -Declutter - Big ol' bag of clothes went to the Goodwill. My fuzzy goal is to have a small wardrobe, maybe 40-50 pieces total? I read about the uber minimal capsule wardrobes and those just seem too limiting at this time.
  22. OKAY! Happy 2019 everyone Make it a good one! So I had a very interesting start to 2019. I went with my wife down to LA for New Years and it was fun but what was REALY the kicker was New Year's morning. We love going to LA by train on the weekends and exploring LA by foot/bus/rail and Little Tokyo is right next to the main hub, Union Station, and it just so happens that we love Little Tokyo too so win win. Anyway there was a full New Years festival that morning so we went. The real kicker happened when we saw a line outside the Buddhist temple there. Every time we'd gone to Little Tokyo during the day we'd stopped by the temple to see if it was open but it was always closed to the public so when we saw the line we just got in out of curiosity and realized they were holding a New Years day prayer service and we basically started our 2019 by praying at a Buddhist temple which is kind of funny considering I'm not really religious. We didn't realize fully what we were doing until we were inside the temple and saw the people up front going through a ritual before praying and leaving and freaked out and tried to study them so we could repeat it and not be disrespectful by leaving or by screwing it up. We went outside and bought a couple Omamori for good luck and protection this year. I'm really excited for the new year. I got an emerald green Omamori pocket for protection and luck (gotta rep the Slytherin). As for my habits, I'm good for Peak, for Yoga, and for Meditating this week. I haven't done the optional stuff yet with how busy the week started but I'm ok with that. I'm actually going to steal one more thing from that Men's Health magazine and try to focus on eating living food. That doesn't mean I'm going to bite the head off a squirming animal or anything but there was an article that discussed a guy's path from fat to fit and he focused on living vs dead food with living food being things that are 'alive' vegetables and fruits mostly but also meat, you can see where I'm going with that. Compare that with dead food like cookies, crackers, bread, oil, etc. I'm adding one more goal to try to eat more living food than dead food. I'm not making it an official goal because there's nothing quantifiable about that but rather I'll just try to think on if my food is living or dead. @Jean I really like that description Jean and thank you very much for the congratulations. The concept of circles reminds me of another thing I read about life having summers and winters, times of high energy and low energy and how that applies even to weeks and days. Thank you for reminding me of that I think it's important for people to shine for others and give their warmth when they're in a summer state. I'll try to keep that in mind. @LittleTurtle Thank you bud I'll try to remember that when things get me down which happens at least once a month. @Mindrah That's actually kind of funny because I'm a teacher too, well a sub anyway, and the last long term school I worked at had the theme of mindfulness so it feels appropriate. Steal it please! It's only fair since I stole it from someone else I find that it's stupid easy to keep up with as I can crank out ten breaths anywhere and once you're in the moment it's easy to add an extra breath or five to it if it you want and build off your momentum. You don't have to if you want and you can simply bask in the moment as you count ten and I love that. I've been trying to focus on my breath and mentally counting the breath on inhale while thinking about something negative on exhale like self doubt or anxiety as if I'm releasing it. I counted with my fingers initially to help me keep track but immediately found that it was a crutch that allowed my mind to wander while still "accomplishing" my task. @JulietKitsch Thank you for the support Welcome aboard! Pictured is my wife and me at the New Years festival and me getting a 'quick lift' in while at the mall. My wife was quick to point out how intimidating I must have been to shock those poor people in the background that are clearly impressed by my power and perfect form and not thinking I'm a deranged idiot in any way. XD
  23. Mental Health rant incoming, skip to the second paragraph for the challenge That's just disappointing. I looked at my content prior to creating this to figure out when my last challenge was, it was the end of January last year. After a previous break, I jumped back in and just fell on my face two steps in. It's hard for me to get into the mindset for check-ins and like some dummy on MySpace ten years ago, when I'd see other people getting a lot of attention when I wasn't getting much, it would dishearten me, but then I'd feel disheartened when people actually commented on my thread. What the heck is up with that? XD I notice that I desperately want to be in a place where people count on me but then I get absolutely terrified of letting them down to the point where I won't even try for fear of failure... still waiting for the human firmware update. Given that bizarre fear, I'm trying to get my feet back under me with baby steps. I subscribe to Men's Health, there are some nice nuggets of information hidden in those pages along with motivation, and the subscription can be had pretty dang cheap from time to time. This last month was going over resolutions for the new year and there was an article towards the back about Dan Harris, the mind behind 10% Happier, which I love, was going over a plan for people to meditate that are either all or nothing people, or just can't seem to stick to a plan of doing one minute meditations, and as long as they did it more days than not a week, it was a win. I'm taking that idea and running with it. (Also if anyone has subscribed to 10% Happier, how have you liked it?) Mind - Play Peak 5 days a week Optional - Journal This last month or so has been like the season finale of Arrow with stuff exploding left and right. I got married (hell yeah) but now we have to work on immigration stuff, I've started the methodology section of my teaching credential which is both more demanding and also signifies that I'm close to finishing (April!), and a bunch of other things. Problem is that I'm being forced to face my mortality (28 isn't old! I swear) my memory is slipping. I find that I keep losing little details and sometimes big details, my to-do list is looking more like a "what was that thing I was supposed to do?" I think it connects to a couple other things that I'll get to below. I'm reading fiction but overall that doesn't feel like I'm REALLY training my mind. It sounds dorky but I think a good start, for now, would be to practice a brain game like Peak. As an option, I recognize that I need a way of keeping my thoughts trackable. I have a bucket of journals that I've collected but honestly don't seem to ever use. I recently got a matching Traveler's Notebook with my wife which I absolutely love and actually like writing in. I don't feel any hangups about writing in it because I can swap out the guts whenever I want but now I'm struggling with what I want to put in it. Something to think about. I also have a wonderful leuchtturm1917 that I never touch. I think it's fear of failure in comparison to the wonderful BuJos I've seen online but I know I want to track the following things. Body - weight, measurements, and what I eat just to keep me mindful. Finances - same reason, keeps me mindful of what I'm spending and help pay down debt General journal - Traveler's Notebook right there. My thought was to put the finance stuff into a ledger with how official it is and perhaps use the BuJo for body writing stuff. I'm not sure. Body - Yoga sessions three times a week Monday - Wednesday - Friday Optional - light kettlebell work on Tuesday - Thursday My body has taken possibly the largest hit these last couple years. I'm close to being the heaviest that I've ever been which is a nice big yellow flag to get my crap together. As a teacher, I whine that it's difficult to find the time to hit the weights. So I'm weak, flabby, and generally not the sexy beast I'd like to be. I've used Down Dog Yoga and found that I quite liked it (occasionally they run dirt cheap subscriptions). I think the biggest thing to do this month is to rebuild the tendons and ligaments that have atrophied along with my muscles by doing yoga, intertwined with light kettlebell work such as Turkish Getups, the rare swing or two, and generally just go slow. It's been a while since I've been physically active outside of walking and light yard work so I have to listen to my body and not overdo it. Soul - Ten Breath Meditations at least five days a week Optional - Declutter I am a fidgety often depressed SoB with an anxious active mind that ping-pongs from thought to thought which means I would probably benefit the absolute freaking most from meditation and also means that I don't meditate very much because I feel like I suck at it and desperately feel like there's something else I need to be doing in that incredibly important three minutes... like... browsing Imgur right? (quack)... I'd like to change that because I genuinely feel better when I meditate so I'm looking to get my meditate game on. Ten breaths equal just over a minute total so my gameplan is ten deep breaths focusing on keeping my mind focused only on the breaths and counting the breaths. Easy right? I can do ten breaths in class, in bed, in the parking lot, in the bathroom, I got no excuse to not squeeze those in somewhere. As for decluttering, it seems a common theme with first-timers to the Druids and I guess I'm no exception. I'm getting ready to move in with my wife and I have... too much stuff, this is a perfect opportunity to clear some of that clutter away. Again this is something that I know is good for me as I find I'm much happier and peaceful when I have less but knowing and walking the path are two different things. I adore minimalist wardrobes and have been moving to a more monochrome wardrobe with subtle accenting colors and this is a perfect opportunity to dive in. The Optional goals will be awesome to achieve but I have my three baseline goals that I'll achieve no matter what. And instead of the 7th, I'm definitely starting tomorrow the 31st. Douglas
  24. Looking forward to participating in the next challenge. My first as a Druid and my first in... months... possibly a year.
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