Help keep the forums alive. Support us on Patreon for May.

The Journey Within

287 posts in this topic

Posted

197 Days w/o Gaming, 3 Days w/o YouTube, 0 Days Meditated

It's now time to restructure my life now that I have set a change in course for my life. "The hard way is the easy way and the easy way is the hard way". I've found that it's so easy for me to make grandiose plans, but much harder for me to carry them out, or even carry out a part of them, successfully. I've been called out on this, and rightfully so. I just want to get my life back together so that I have self-confidence in my work ethic and ability to make good decisions again.

I read back to my fist page of my journal. How naive I was. Then again, I kind of wasn't. I said I was done with gaming then, and I haven't played since. The problem is, there are so many other areas of my life that need to be fixed, that I haven't even come close to. Yeah, one more layer of the onion is peeled back, but I need better result than that to keep my head above the waters of depression. I'm swimming fine right now, but if I start failing again I quickly go back to thrashing around for a breath. This is my chance to come back. We all get to come back (or so Rick Grimes thinks).

I plan on waking up early tomorrow and meditating first thing in the morning. That's something Cam suggested page 1 of my journal, and I've lost that habit since then (I never did fully solidify it).

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Depression is a matter of perception, tend some flames, watch them burn and see the world in a different light.

You are never alone, the sun is massive.

If you have no friends, enemies will do! I've always preferred mercy over betrayal on the receiving end, with enemies change is your friend.

Edited by destoroyah
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

That's a great idea Pierce! Good luck with it! Meditating first is not easy. I recommend you try to intertwine it with a basic form of the Wim Hof method, it is actually a great method of kickstarting your day. I will join you in that soon, realisitically next week. It's a bit frantic atm. Have fun with it, and stay safe! 

 

Progress is not only percieved, but palpable. 

 

-Csaba

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

@destoroyah You give one of a kind advice my friend, and I can't disagree. I'd rather have enemies that would tell me how it is than friends that will turn their backs on me when I need them. Better yet, learn how to be at peace without both. The present moment can be enough.

@Csaba_Bekesi I saw that you were an advocate of Wim Hof, but I still haven't done the research behind it. I'm definitely intrigued, because breathing patterns do have a lot of power over the mind.

202 Days w/o Gaming, 1 Day w/o YouTube, 1 Day Meditated

This is proving to be quite difficult. Monday night I reassessed my motivation for why I wanted to do this, and whether I should continue:

  • Short-term pros: more time to spend on important activities, one less addiction in my life, higher self-esteem.

  • Short-term cons: loss of a stress reliever, loss of access to many useful cultural and educational resources.

  • Long-term pros: much more disciplined life, happier life, built much better habits using the free time I have.

  • Long-term cons: becoming extremely puritanical about going out and watching a movie or friend showing me a video, being less culturally relevant, avoiding a very useful educational tool.

  • Is it worth it: yes! Once I’m free I can come back later and use it as an educational tool, but for now I need to cool off on the internet use.

  • How to get there: read more books, get outside more, enjoy the companionship of friends, track progress milestones (week, month, multiple months, year), think of long-term implications of not quitting (and of past results).

  • How long: 2 years from tomorrow, and then I’ll reassess whether I need to extend that.

 

Yeah, I already know all that. Yeah, I've made plans before. Why will this one succeed? I don't know I just have a feeling. That's not good enough!
 
Truth is, I'm being given a second chance with this career path. It's setting my other educational/career goals back at least 5 years. If I don't have my life together then, growth will be exponentially harder. If I have gotten my shit together by then, my growth will be on an exponential trajectory once again. It all starts here though. If this is really worth it then I need to kick this screwing around stuff. I'm not taking hard classes anymore, and I have plenty of interesting books to read. Now is the time to let the old die and come back reborn. To come back and knock this thing out of the park. I can't do it if I don't start here.
 
I can do it though. 
 
One of the most challenging things I've learned recently is to prove what I say with actions, not words. The first hurdle will be to make it through a whole weekend. I haven't done that in a long time.
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

204 Days w/o Gaming, 3 Day w/o YouTube, 3 Day Meditated

Still keeping the course steady. I've been reading a lot more, and really focusing in on building good habits to replace the old. Preparing my application to EMS school has been taking quite a bit of effort, but the amount of stress that is now off my shoulders and the excitement that has returned to this cynical frame... I can't put a price on that. Some of my friends have been relieved to see me smiling again.

I'm getting another chance; a chance to take a step back and build a foundation in my life that I've been wanting for so long. I'm incredibly grateful for that.

Tomorrow is the start of the weekend. I know I'm going to make it through this one. I've set a schedule for tomorrow that's realistic, and I have a fun activity at the end of the day: going out dancing. That's something I've been doing a lot less of this semester, which hasn't necessarily been a bad thing, but it'll be good to get the dust off of my dance shoes and get out on the floor again.

 

"You guarantee failure if you don't try."

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Haha, Pierce on fireee on the dancefloor! Let go!

You are really only ever yourself when dancing. Too bad I look so freaking goofy when doing it. Hope you got fun.

Edited by destoroyah
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

@destoroyah It's true. We let go of our inhibitions out there. The people that don't care if they look goofy are often purest souls.

207 Days w/o Gaming, 6 Days w/o YouTube, 6 Days Meditated

I ended up not going dancing because the friend I was going with was having a breakdown in her family life. I spent part of the weekend trying to help her pick up the pieces of her psyche, or more like being a listening ear while she did it herself. It didn't help that she revealed she had feelings for me over this time either. It wouldn't work. We have fun when we're out together, but don't connect on a deeper level. I've tried to have intellectual conversation in the past and it was quickly redirected. I've been somewhat of a lone wolf all of my life, and am only open to sharing it if someone is traveling alongside me for long stretches of the Journey, not just for the scenic moments when we pitch camp.

Ultimately what keeps me going is the Journey. Lao Tzu called it the Dao. I've heard it called many other things by the Stoics, other philosophers, and every day people I've met. It's what gives me purpose and the will to live. It's my life. There are few things in my life I wouldn't sacrifice for it. It is virtue, it is joy, it is pain. What are virtue and joy without pain? In fact, the pain that comes from growing stronger is the greatest virtue and the greatest joy.

The Journey is ridding oneself of delusions. Of going about one's day looking like the rest of the metal men around you, but inside the circuit board you fooled them: there's a living brain! At a quick glance you look like the rest, but on the inside you have already vacated that shell. In the words of Thomas Merton, "There is no body to be found. The birds may come and circle for a while... but they soon go elsewhere. When they are gone, the 'nothing,' the 'no-body' that was there, suddenly appears. That is Zen. It was there all the time but the scavengers missed it, because it was not their kind of prey." The ego has shrunk from the size of a universe to a frail, organic body. That body realizes its place in the world, and once again is able to feel compassion and harmony.

With the "self" gone the being no longer cares what others think, and is driven merely by its own modus operandi of what is correct action. It builds harmony in the world, and in that harmony it can never die. It passes on to become part of its work. Or maybe it never existed to begin with. Regardless, at least it had sought to shed its delusions.

I'm tired of limiting myself because of external expectations (other people, society, etc.). I can only try to be true to the present moment. In that, I hope to find something lasting. It feels like I've been going down a series of wrong paths. In reality, I know these "other paths" are all likely just a change of scenery in the one. Still, something doesn't feel right on the inside. I should be further along, but I don't "feel" like I am. I guess that's why the present moment is so important. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

 

I ended up not going dancing because the friend I was going with was having a breakdown in her family life. I spent part of the weekend trying to help her pick up the pieces of her psyche, or more like being a listening ear while she did it herself. It didn't help that she revealed she had feelings for me over this time either. It wouldn't work. We have fun when we're out together, but don't connect on a deeper level. I've tried to have intellectual conversation in the past and it was quickly redirected. I've been somewhat of a lone wolf all of my life, and am only open to sharing it if someone is traveling alongside me for long stretches of the Journey, not just for the scenic moments when we pitch camp.

I had a strong emotional reaction to seeing this story. - It's so often written with the roles reversed... a guy who's developed feelings for a friend and creates inconceivable pressure on their relationship when he reveals his feelings for her, forever changing the dynamic. It's tough writing longer replies to your posts. - I find myself lost in thought, "thought provoking", as they say and have to write, and re-write to put any ideas with a coherent structure together.

Strong emotions... but don't know what to make of them.

I admire your commitment to walk your own path. And that you're working hard, searching for it.

 

 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks @Simms! I've been reading through your journal more and more, recently, and I have trouble gathering my thoughts for it as well. I'm especially impressed by your fitness goals; I hope to learn a thing or two about that area as I read on. You seem to know your limits, and thus know how hard to push yourself. I salute your tenacity and ambitions for self-growth. I also appreciate your outside perspective on what I wrote above. It's made me think more about why it is.

 

As I've sought out masculinity more, I've become more confident. As I've become more confident, I've been losing my fear of what others think. As I lose my fear of what others think, I live more authentically. Authenticity doesn't have "feminine" or "masculine", only virtues. There's no shame in empathetic listening or forming platonic friendships with the other gender that don't have a sexual/romantic subtext. Except that last part is more complicated. I have a sexuality just as strong as the next guy. The subtext is still there, but there is a sub-subtext where I remind myself that the subtext is undermining what I am trying to accomplish: learning from the wisdom of the feminine. If the Journey is supreme, then sexuality must compliment it. A long-term traveling companion, rather than someone to share the tent with for the night. When the night is over, which is better: a recently vacated spot beside you that you expected to be filled, or someone to share breakfast with and discuss the beauty of life?

 

I also realize I've been speaking a lot more of eastern philosophy mumbo-jumbo recently. I've had a love-hate relationship with it. As a Westerner I like the fast life: full of ambitions, rapid growth, and many pleasures. Following that life-style has been the definition of insanity: being burned by it over and over, and yet expecting the results to change the next time. The eastern path is so much more painstakingly slow, and yet the more I do research and experiment within my own life, I realize that it is the way of true happiness and real progress. As I have learned before and said many times, "the hard way is the easy way, and the easy way is the hard way".

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

208 Days w/o Gaming, 7 Days w/o YouTube, 7 Days Meditated

I met with a friend I hadn't spoken to all semester today at a coffee shop. We enjoy the dynamic of our friendship, even if it is sporadic. He enjoys having someone throw ideas out there that he's never heard of, and I enjoy having someone who will listen, ask poignant questions, and is not afraid to play devil's advocate. Meeting with him has reminded me why having friends around is so important: emotional support, yes, but also to have intellectual discourse.

I also have been thinking back to the importance of urgent living. Its spring break right now, and this is possibly the first one I've ever had without video games in years, and definitely the first one without youtube. That said, I'm still not accomplishing as much as I want to. My body is coasting, taking the most pleasurable path. That's not necessarily bad. When I began the break I was honestly quite scared I would be alone at home all day, without the routine of meeting friends. I've been reconnecting with lots of friends, maintaining my weight-lifting routine, getting back in the routine of making high-protein meals, meditating regularly, studying a little bit before I go to bed each night, and am otherwise living a much happier and balanced life than in previous weeks. With that said, I made a goal of finishing a book I've had for over a month now, and doing some other preparation work so I'll have strong habits when I start EMS school. I guess writing it out has shown me that I'm not doing as bad as I thought I was. Yeah, I'm not being super productive, but I'm steadily getting valuable things done while detoxing from negative habits. I just broke free from a really dark part of my life, and should really focus on all of the positives that I have now because of that.

Special tasks I want to accomplish tomorrow: wake up early (and not go back to sleep), visit with a friend, lift weights, read more of my book.

Edited by Pierce
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

209 Days w/o Gaming, 8 Days w/o YouTube, 8 Days Meditated

I woke up at 4 in the morning wide awake and with a lot of back pain. The pain was from improper dead lift form months ago, but it's still there. I'm going to see a physician tomorrow and hopefully find out if there are any ways to speed up the recovery process. I went back to sleep because it was way too dark for my liking, and woke up just in time to be ready for my ride to campus. I was a bit groggy for the rest of the day on account of this. This led to a negative attitude for the morning. Lifting weights helped a lot with that, and I was quickly feeling better. I got lunch and visited a friend who worked in the student center. He taught me a few things about how sound waves work (music tech major) and we shot the breeze for a couple hours. I then broke into my book and learned about tricks to improve the memory. I got distracted a lot during this process, but did get through quite a few pages.

In this time of retooling my main focus is to build habits that will last, and more importantly, a powerfully positive attitude. What I mean by that last bit is not just blind optimism, because I've had before in life and it didn't serve me well. I mean to build an attitude that is rooted in a state of peace, and is proactive about achieving goals with a focused intensity. In five years I want to come back a different man, just as I have learned and changed so much from who I was five years before. And that will take step by step building momentum in the present moment. I continue to neglect it. The present moment. I will surrender to you! If it means dropping everything right now I will lay myself at your feet and learn from you, present moment. I know you hold a portion of the secrets I seek.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

210 Days w/o Gaming, 0 Days w/o YouTube, 0 Days Meditated

"Fatigue makes cowards of us all" -George Patton

I woke up a few hours before my alarm again, and felt awful. In the darkness of the morning the only comfort I could find was in my laptop. I'm not proud of how I lapsed in discipline and don't want to make excuses. I know this has happened more times than I want to count, and I said the last time would be the last. Truth is, there never is a last time until we're dead. In the teachings of the ancient Stoics, the only way to beat the mind is to lie in wait for it in ambush, and wrestle it to the ground. The eastern philosophers say the opposite sometimes, achieve harmony between the mind and body, and sometimes the same as the stoics. Regardless, there is a disunion between the desires of the "higher" self and the "lower" self. As for the meditation, I'm exhausted right now, and part of me wants to start that streak over in earnest as well, because its been done half-heartedly. To do it well I need to stick to a regimented time each day. This means waking up at the same time each day.

Still, as a much more relaxed and balanced person than I have been in the last two years, I fall much smaller and faster than I have in the past. I got a lot done today, and am mainly upset about my streak starting over. So yes, I need more discipline, but I do see improvement and have learned much from today.

On a slightly different note, I have noticed that one of the greatest enemies to my joy is comparison. I like to think of the strategic path for my life, knowing that I will constantly adjust it, but continuing to put a lot of effort into it so I reach the goals I set for myself. This is good. What is not good is when I compare myself to what others around my age are/were doing. I look to my friends who are staying to finish their bachelor's and are still on course for med. school, and all of the other ambitious professions that they are going into, and am angry. More often than not, the anger starts towards them, and then I realize how silly that is because I'm the one at fault. What's even more ridiculous is that I claim that prestige and material possessions don't mean that much to me, but this just goes to show that I can easily become very shallow if I let myself. That type of thinking is the enemy to my joy, and what hinders me from making a difference in both my life and the world.

Part of the intrigue of life is how hardcore it is. One life and no do-overs (unless you are the reincarnation type). It has this incredibly uneven spectrum of where you will be born, what resources you'll have, what physical attributes you'll begin with, and what experiences you'll have. With that focus, comparison is idiotic. Who cares about where I am now in comparison to my peers, or even in comparison to myself yesterday? All I can focus on is what I can do now (again, the present moment) to work towards a better future for the world, which by extension means first bettering myself. If I have the right attitude, that's the first step towards being on the right path. I have to maintain a positive attitude.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It feels like I've been going down a series of wrong paths. In reality, I know these "other paths" are all likely just a change of scenery in the one.

Hey, in the Zhuangzhi it says that there is no path, the only reason there are paths is because we are in motion. You moving is the path. I thought that was interesting, because a path isn't as stale as one might think. It is a dynamic thing that broadens when people walk on it. Or something that may get overgrown, when forgotten... You are the path. "Dao" in Chinese is not just "path" it also means "walk", "course" or "flow". I'm not sure about the synonyms, as I'm translating my German freely, but what I mean to say is that there is a dynamic component many people don't pay attention to.

As I've sought out masculinity more, I've become more confident. As I've become more confident, I've been losing my fear of what others think.

I've drawn confidence by not seeking masculinity in mind, instead I've stopped caring about what people may define as "masculine" and just started being what I am. Carrying my heart to the outside world, whatever that may be, keep my heartbeat true. Even in weakness that has made me strong, even when I shed tears – I know that shedding tears requires more courage than "appearing strong".

Most "men" are stiff, not strong. Paralyzed and immobile in fear. You see them on daily basis, a true gaze can make them tremble. Some of their reflections drown in your eyes, deep as black water, eternal tranquility that lasts an instant, when you manage to uphold clarity and awareness. It is a very distinctive feeling and you know when it's there.

Define "Man" as anyone will, you will never be a man to everyone you meet - but you can stop being a child by carrying that inner child to the outside world without fear of rejection.

I do seek masculinity in the physical realm though, by training and attempting to maintain a body that I deem "fit".

 

I don't have time to write more, I'm done for the day. My life has gotten tough and I see from actually working that some people get stuck at where I am right now. I don't want to get stuck here, working, it is not what I deem a good life. My time is worth more than money can pay for. After I die, I'll be gone for eternity, I want to breathe the world and move, not get stuck behind a desk... as many do. I like my heartbeat way too much as to waste it on some paper bullshit. The importance people put into this, the stress derived from things that don't matter for shit is incredible. People die and I worry about deadlines. What the fuck. That doesn't make sense.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Damn, that's some good stuff @destoroyah. You're right: as long as there is motion the path is being followed. Worrying about whether it is the "right path" or this path or that path is likely extraneous.

Masculinity as presented by our cultures has manifested itself as pretty weak. Makes men aspire to be like cardboard cutouts of action heroes. In other words: fake. The paradigm of masculinity and femininity is silly. Like you were getting at, there's only authenticity.

We only live once. You see past the illusions and want to live for what truly matters to you. I wish to learn from your example in this.

211 Days w/o Gaming, 1 Day w/o YouTube, 1 Day Meditated

I shadowed a doctor today and it reminded me of why I love this profession; happens every time I shadow. I allow those experiences help me through the rough patches.After that I saw a couple friends throughout the day. The second reminded me of how dangerous a dogmatic mind is. I used to live like that. Can't judge that person that I once was; just a different variation from what I am now. All I do know is that I want to become like water. Then I will be happy.  Then gain, in the present moment there is no "then I will be happy".

Thought I had more to say. Had a lot of thoughts earlier today. Don't seem so important in the span of what's happening at the moment. 

 

There was a moment tonight where I was in the darkness, staring at the ceiling, and I was reminded of how beautiful life is. With all of the flaws we assign to ourselves, others, and pretty much everything else, we miss that. It's important that I remember this.

Edited by Pierce
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

 

I shadowed a doctor today and it reminded me of why I love this profession; happens every time I shadow. I allow those experiences help me through the rough patches.

Print this off. Put it in your wallet, the dash of your car, in the pocket of a favorite jacket, everywhere. - Use your passion to power you through those moments of doubt.
 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now