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Everything posted by Arch

  1. (I thought I posted this last night but it didn't go through) Day 71, I woke up and meditated a little. Hesitated with exercising a little but reminded myself the path I'm on and just went out. Always feel better after I came back sweating against the bite of the cold crisp air. And then this leads me into the exhilarating cold shower for 30 seconds where my body heats up to ignite my inner body's heat. My mornings are definitely the best part of my days. I packed my clothes and was also able to disassemble my tripod to fit it in as well which I'm happy about. I smashed a bunch of walnut shells to provide myseñf with something to snack on the long bus home. It was a rainy day as usual but I packed my phone with plenty of things to keep me busy. I revisited two Spanish lectures to brush I'm my understandings of grammar. Later I talked to Alexys over the phone, I was scared of calling at first but we had a really fun experience. It's crazy how our thoughts are so off most of the time just based off irrational fear. In the morning he called me amigo and I responded with Amiga, thinking he was a girl based off his name ending with xys, how a girl in English end with Alexis but also because he had a profile pic of a girl in his picture. This was a hilarious moment and told me he was a chico (guy). Only problem with calling people living in South American countries Is that they are 14-16 hours time difference from NZ so basically we can only talk when it is late (11-12pm) for one or the other. I'm going to see if I can find some meetups for Spanish speakers get togethers as I don't think it's reliable to set up language exchange when someone is basically too tired to converse as well as that it eats into my sleeping schedule and Miracle Morning. I'm now back in Wellington and it is 8 degrees at night. Tommorow's plan is to buy a beanie, buy spices to cook flavourful foods and maybe a pot and pan, to print workbook related paper for Social Anxiety and create a separate folder for it.
  2. Day 70, Meditation - Yes, Running Yes. Vacuumed the lounge and upstairs, wanted to leave the place looking clean before I left as a small kindness to my sister and her partner. Didn't do much else just relaxing before leaving. I enjoyed me stay here, it was quite stable in terms of allowing me to build some habits and discipline but it's time for me to grow and create something for my own back home. I expect things to be difficult and I'm going to persevere and wriggling through the uncomfortableness. My goals: 1. Look for part-time work or one-off jobs to save money for the trip to South America 2. Start Social Anxiety therapy that I bought a while ago (By Thomas A. Richards of Social Anxiety Institute for those interested) 3. Learn Spanish to be able to order food, ask for directions, etc in preparation of travelling to South America 4. Exercise / Find a group to play Football socially with. 5. Develop Vegetarian Diet. 6. Develop Miracle Morning routine to incorporate Affirmations and Vizualisations using the vision board. 7. Practice Photography and connect with other photographers using meetups to see if I can actually make money out of this/develop career and to find out if It's what I really want to do. 8. Buy a separate dated Journal to start a Gratitude Journal. Grateful for: Bananas to fuel my runs in the morning, cold showers for the rush of aliveness it gives, tastebuds to give variety of flavours to experience, a shaved head that requires no maintenance :D And the compassion to lift me up to strive to be a better human being.
  3. Thanks. Yea, I think we've been accustomed to neglect our social needs with gaming. Deep down inside we need it and infact a big but rather understated reason we game was to have social connections of belonging. I realised yesterday that I started watching twitch regularly again because I missed the social aspect provided by the chat (their memes and identity within each streamer's channels) besides it being an easy source of procrastination. Also gaming subverts our notions of progress because in the game world things happen fast but in real life things happen slow. So we need to respect and allow for patience to let time set its course. Our learnt conditioning goes heavily against that so it takes awareness before we fall into the trap. I like your profile picture btw.
  4. Day 69, I woke up at 8:30AM because I slept late last night to watch the finals of a Dota tournament. I acknowledge now that watching twitch is no longer aloud if I want to get where I want which is working, social, and energized to start the day. It just counteracts exactly my goals and for this reason I have to sacrifice this twitch viewing addiction the same way I did with playing games. I did meditate for a few minutes and went running. I painted 2nd coats on some of the surfaces I missed yesterday and now the room is ready to have it's walls painted. I cooked this tonight, very delicious and filling, everyone remarked their enjoyment of their meal and so was I. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/7732/pumpkin-curry-with-chickpeas My older brother called me tonight and talked to me about life purposes and we conversed our thoughts to each other. He seems to be more clear about what he wants but is at the same time conflicted by his own behaviors - it's a solemn solace to know that I'm not someone special with these problems and that everyone is struggling in their own life in their own way. I think this is healthy for me as I quietly tend to see myself as a special victim to life's circumstances but with these reference experiences I can see this is not true. It's about not what happened to us, but what we chose to do now with what we have.
  5. Day 68, Day off Miracle Morning so I didn't meditate or run. Again didn't do much today, I painted a 2nd coat on the skirtings and door/window frames of the other room as I could see the paint of the wood behind it. Here's the video of the steps completed: I watched my thoughts today and more recently. A lot of it consists of just constant thinking. Thinking about my sister and partner's behaviors and what I want to see them do. I realise I'm projecting outwards what I want myself to be on others which isn't useful nor healthy for my well-being constantly judging others. I hope that with more persistent awareness of this judgement behaviour I can shift my focus from out and instead towards myself and what I can change for my own improvement. I say that I am not a judgemental person but I do it all the time trying to see the best in others but this seems to be a mere extension of my perfectionist thoughts. This probably has correlation with my efforts of meditation, which have been weak at best as of late. This is also due to my infatuation with wanting to do alot - in reality I don't do too much, but in comparison to when I would just game, it is day and night difference. My wanting to do a lot is when I use the reference point of others in my life who I have seen/heard/known about which may not be a useful reference point to see my progress rationally and effective. My sister's partner was about to play a mobile game after dinner and my sister told him to turn it off. He did and I was intrigued to talk about video game addiction and how they are mostly designed like gambling machines these days. We talked about other things and I held off my desire to return to the computer at least for 15 minutes which I acknowledge as me prioritizing relationships higher than I used to. I also realise that I have a internet addiction and I'm looking forward to one less computer to use back in Wellington. Gratitude: Pumpkin soup, sunny days in Winter, Lemons to zest up the taste in food, socks to keep my feet warm and Rooibois tea to warm up my body and mind.
  6. Day 67, Meditated - a little, Running - yes. I woke up but went back to sleep after going for a run. I slept at 12:30AM and woke at 7:30, but even with 7 hours of sleep it seems that the further I sleep after 11PM the more lingering effects of lethargy that remains. Did some more painting of the wall skirtings, pretty lazy day. Booked my buses back to Wellington and I will go back this Wednesday. I'll record the garden steps tomorrow as it is forecasted to be sunny. I feel I have stagnated considerably since being at my father's house. I have easy access to a kitchen, computer, shower, etc and it's put me in a too comfortable places where I don't have pressure on myself to work for my environment so am looking forward to moving back to the colder, less comfortable Wellington.
  7. Day 66, I started the day poorly but ended it well. Didn't meditate or exercise in the morning because I got out of bed and just went back to sleep and woke up at 7:40AM. I procasinated till 12:30 then started working on the last step of the garden. I am done with my goal! I looked back at what I created over the duration of time I spent working on it and reminded myself to feel good emotions about the accomplishment. I'll try take a video of the whole set of steps. I painted one side of a wall, 3 more to go. The night time was approaching quickly and I wanted to go run before it went pitch black, I hesitated by just told myself I could do it and just went out and stopped thinking about doing it and did it :) Felt annoyed with myself for not running in the morning but felt much better for redeeming myself. I did two more chapters of Science of Well-being. Today I learned that Gratitude is very important. The lecturer showed research where it indicated that gratitude for one's spouse within marriages can make the person who practices gratitude not notice the bad problems of a marriage like non-communication. She also described 4 methods to thwart hedonic adaptation (which is getting used to things that you think will make you feel good). These methods were Savoring your experiences, Negative Visualization, Make this day your last and Gratitude. Savoring our experiences is being mindful of the experience you are having in the moment. This act forces you to notice the experience for a longer duration and keeps your attention on it. Other activities toe talking to another person about how good it felt, thinking about how lucky you are to experience this, telling yourself how proud you were and more. Now that I see some facts about Gratitude's effectiveness I'm a bit more inclined to practice it. My gratitude for today:1.Comfy bed to get a full rest 2. Computer to access so much information to change my life positively 3. Warm clothes to not be in anxiety from the cold 4 feijoa fruits that have a unique texture, taste and fragrance 5. A welcoming family to provide me a safe space to stay. I tried to find a remix of this but there weren't any better than the original :)
  8. Day 65, Meditation - yes, Running - yes. Finished a step today, one more to go tomorrow. I felt free to not work on it since I was ahead of schedule but now realise that I've been feeling lethargic because the idea of not having the goal completed has been in the back of my head whilst trying to start on a different task (painting). Aiming to finish it all tomorrow. I taped up the rest of the edges of the walls ready for painting tomorrow, one wall at a time. I learnt something new that I'll try to incorporate into my run tomorrow which is to self congratulate myself with positive emotions. I read this on the Fabulous app where it says that if you associate your habits with positive emotions you look forward to doing them and the habit becomes reinforced. I'm going to start trying to sleep at 11PM from now to see if I can get another hour in the night which is precious. I think 7 hours of sleep is pretty good for me. I came back to continuing the well-being online course from Coursera.org. It's a wonder how much our brains are sitting there waiting for self-damnation if we don't put awareness on our thoughts and beaviours. This whole journey is about habit building I think and placing self-catch measures to make sure to do them - alarm clock, water drinking, mindsets, journaling, etc. So far i've changed my sleeping schedule, run regularly and drink more water and less food in general. Overall, I'm progressing and I am happy about that.
  9. Day 64, Meditation - yes, Running - yes. It's been raining constantly since Saturday which affects my desire to do shit. I renewed by passport today for the trip later this year. I've been watching a lot of twitch lately, no desire to game but I heavily procrastinate on it. Last night I talked to several people in Spanish, It's quite fun. I learnt that divertido means 'funny' in spanish but I was conversing and asking this one person on how to use it to say 'fun' She said that you can use divertido to mean 'fun' too. I asked for this distinction because what I was trying to say that learning spanish was 'fun' but in the intellectual way, not the entertainment way which divertido translates to. We had the loudest thunder I've ever heard tonight, I took out my camera and started recording some shots in high iso black n white. Nature is so powerful sometimes. I wish it will be sunny tomorrow. I plan to finish off the garden step and paint the by this coming Monday or Tuesday and leave back to Wellington after those tasks.
  10. Day 62, I'm sleeping later than usual lately and using the computer alot. I slept at 12:30AM last night and woke up at 8AM forgetting to meditate. I went for a run at 4:30PM. I'm staying up just downloading a bunch of courses I'm interested in - photography, tai chi, strength training, cooking, etc. I'm collecting alot of resources that I don't know I will use them all but I want to get them all to have a lot of knowledge available to me. I can see my obsessive behaviour in this. I watched a bunch of photography videos today with a technique I'm interested in using next time I shoot landscapes - exposure bracketing. With it you can increase the potential dynamic range of a landscape shot by stitching together two photos in one to capture the shadows and highlights and put them together in post. I want to go out and practice this one of these days. I painted the trim faces of the wood around the windows today with a layer of top coat. Slowly it's becoming quite nice looking.
  11. Day 61. Today was better, I took the last thoughts of my mind and didnt try to try and am feeling more peaceful with myself tonight. I didn't meditate or run today, I stayed up last night till 4AM talking to Spanish people on Speakly... it's pretty fun and am learning rather quickly. I sanded some wooden faces in preparation for painting and painted the ceiling of the room afterwards. My sister made a vegetarian meal finally! I see this as a step where she is becoming more aware of her health and also I appreciate it a lot because it is the food I also want to eat. Didn't watch any streams today and no desire to play games still. Looking at the bigger picture helped to keep my problems in perspective.
  12. Day 60, Meditated - easier still and ran. I came across a guy that asked me for directions to a nearby town on my run. I told him my guess of about 15KM's, he was planning to walk all the way to this town 0.0. It reminded me of holding a perspective of how determined a person can be - I don't know whether he got kicked out of his house or something but he seemed lost and desperate to move to that new place. Hope he got there safely. We cleared all the shit in the room to the adjacent room so we can begin painting tomorrow, a drop cloth also sits on the floor begging to be dirtied. I was keen to get going after we cleared everything out but the others decided to relax instead of getting on with it. I'm kind of demoralized as I feel effected by those around me which is not what I want to happen. I guess I am also lazy for not just getting on with the work too but I don't want to do their work for them and would rather work as a team. I downloaded a few language exchange apps to talk with other language learners called Tandem, HelloTalk and Speakly. Started watching more Dota tournament streams, I have no desire to play, am just curious as to how the patches have shifted the metas as well as the plays presented by the teams. I'll stop watching after tonight as the tournament ends. Watching twitch is such a time-sink, I even started watching a Peruvian player called Smash just to rationalise myself to learn spanish through his language lol :S I have a lot of nostalgia for the game, not in the sense of the joy I got playing it, but the the inspiration I got from watching high level players show the epitome of the game's strategy as well as their own character personalities shining through. It really is a sensational movement and would love to go to a LAN tournament in person one day and feel the real hype. But I guess you only have so much time you can do in a day and have to choose what you use it on to go to the place you want to. At this time I have to step away from it even if I'm bored because I need to learn how to make a living and stop dreaming in my fantasies. To be honest I don't really know what I want to do in my life... sure I've found little things here and there like cooking, photography, love of the beach, etc. But I don't really have a feeling of being attracted to gravitate to a purpose with such power that I've seen people build their lives around. Maybe that's because I spent so much time negatively imbalancing my dopamine levels and disturbing my happiness levels that I've had a hard time coming in contact with such a purpose. Do I just keep trying activities until something shines like a eureka light-bulb? My plan is to go travelling later this year in hope to find some of those answers out for myself. In one of Alan Watt's lectures he mentions how in Buddhism story, students ask how to not desire to be relinquished from desire and he goes on to say but that is still desiring not to desire. I think what he wants to point at is a way of just accepting the experience of the world around you, nature and so forth without any filters. Those filters are the desires but at the same time you don't detach completely from them and keep them in your awareness. The trick is to notice your desires but not let them effect your way of experiencing the world truly and freely from thought categorization. This is my understanding, I could be wrong. I desire for purpose but can not find it, do I just stop looking for it? Wouldn't I just be drifting then... I guess I'm only 60 days through a 90 day detox and to find one's purpose in such a small amount of time is ridiculous, something which many take most of their lives to figure out if not at their deathbeds. I feel finding my purpose is essential for me to transition to the life I want, the best clue I have so far is to put myself in uncomfortable situations.
  13. Day 59, I didn't do my Miracle Morning today because I woke up half-way through sleep to download some Spanish courses and watch some Twin Peaks. With the lack of sleep, I fell asleep to catch up and woke up at 8:30AM and decided to eat breakfast feeling a lack of energy. I thought of going for a run after an hour after I had digested the food a little which didn't happen. I ended up procastinating and watching some RSD videos. Following habits are mandatory for a productive day. I did end up finishing the long stretch of path and now there are two steps left. It is forecasted to rain this weekend so will have to finish it off on Monday. We plan to paint the bedroom I'm staying in atm and move all the furniture and computer I am using out to do the painting. I cooked Shakshuka tonight, pretty simple and familiar dish for me. Tomato base, spices, onion, peppers and eggs poached are the main constituents of the base recipe but I added some chorizo and feta for extra punch :D I couldn't be fucked adjusting the photo for lighting, was to keen eat it lol. I had a thought today when I was laying the bricks today about a moment where I had confronted Sumail on a twitch stream through the chat about why his team was losing. It was pretty arrogant of me but I really wanted to see them achieve the results they deserved. I said that they should stop playing PubG as a team to relax and focus all on Dota - the game he plays competitively for millions of dollars. Looking back now, I know I said this with no knowledge of their inner team dynamics as to why their team was performingly poorly so it was a pretty blunt statement. So this thought that entered my head today made me ponder where they were now around 3 months or so after I said the statement. I looked up their results on Liquidpedia and still they are doing poorly, placing 3-4th in Majors and 7-8th in others tournaments. This is EG, known to have like some of the top 10 players in their respective roles and regions yet their results speak otherwise. I had a moment of thought that I should not pursue this investigation as it doesn't matter to me but I continued anyway to satisfy my ego - to find out if I was right... and the end result was that I just ended up watching a Thailand tournament of EG vs Keen, EG lost 2-1. So what I was right.. I wasted 2 1/2 hours for temporary 'pleasure.' I realise I can't even watch this eSport for entertainment purposes, it's too much of a timesink and has no translation to real life production. I think I will still watch the International finals perhaps but I envy those who can just watch a single session of a twitch stream then hit X. I seem to be procastinating a lot lately. I'll start with getting my Miracle Morning back on track. I feel it may be because I feel like I'm not progressing, I know I have when I recall the changes I've made but how do I make it a belief on an emotional level. I feel bored and want to move back to Wellington ASAP. This is a song introduced to me by my step-brother
  14. Day 58, Meditation getting easier even if very slightly (it's a matter of practice and patience). I ran with the 0.5+ push to my pace, this number is subjective but I can feel it's more than my normal. Ate a good breakfast and felt good for the day. I finished another two small steps on the garden, I'm at the final stretch now. There's only one long stretch of path and two other small steps left. I suggested to my sister and partner that we get started on painting this weekend since it's going to rain and that I'm basically done and way ahead of schedule for the steps completion. Here's my goals from GDocs although I need to make these steps more specific and time-bound for them to be more effective. My Weekly Goals 1 Complete steps in the back garden by 20.05.18 (It is 10.05.18 and I am way ahead of schedule) Dig out dirt and roughly level Cut out one piece of matting to fit the step. Carry paving stones upstairs and place near workplace. Place and level stones to be walk-able on 2 Maintain Miracle Morning routine for 1 week Wake up at 6AM every weekday, I can take off the 6AM requirement for weekends but not sleep past 8AM Fill cup with water and place at bedside the night before. Drink water first thing after waking up every day this week Meditate for 10 minutes 3 Journal on Game Quitters @ 9.45PM latest. Write my activities of the day honestly Write important thoughts and feelings that came up. 5 Start a Gratitude Journal Write 5 things I’m grateful of every weekday Write Gratitude @ 9AM 6 Practice Spanish Spend 30 minutes on Great Courses Plus Spanish course 5 days a week (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat) Look for website to practice speaking Spanish to real people. Speak about things I recall in my Spanish learning in real life and in GQ Journal 7 Paint bedroom this weekend (12-05.18) Get equipment (paint, paintbrushes, etc) to paint. Clear all the materials out of the room Get dropcloth Get old clothes to paint with ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Goals for Wellington 8 Practice Photography. a. Go out twice a week to shoot photography. b. Choose a certain style or topic to shoot about. 9. Develop a Vegetarian diet Look up vegetarian dinner recipes for this week Cook minimum 2 recipes this week. Take note of my thoughts and ideas of the cooking process Figure out lunch ideas Apple or Banana to go with I tried practicing Spanish with Coursera and have found it not really suitable for beginners, it's introducing vocabulary not previously presented before and am finding myself having to look it up on spanishdict.com. I'll keep trying see if it remains this difficult, maybe I need to revisit the previous lessons and reinforce my learnings as well.
  15. Day 57, Meditated with rain soundscape, helped a little, will repeat tomorrow. Ran as usual, I'm going to try push myself like 0.5 out of a scale of 10 in running with longer strides/faster. I've noticed I am naturally pushing myself up the hill now as part of my run instead of using it as my cool-down period. Finished another small step, I thought of doing two but decided to stop early to relax - I'm ahead of schedule so I think I can accept this luxury. I will push myself and try for that two steps tomorrow. I watched like 1 episode of Twinpeaks and then some more. Felt a bit light-headed, not sure why, whether because I slept 20-25 minutes late last night or what. So as an experiment I tried to see if napping for 25-30 minutes would help me wake up more focused. Not really. I think the light-headedness was due to sitting in front of a bright monitor and not applying my body/mind. I procrastinated on cameras again :/ I realise this is related to me not having activities and goals set in stone as the source of my procastination. Tomorrow I will set out and publish my goals 10.05.2018 that's it! My mum gave me $80, she gives me money several times during the year, other times in form of clothes or gift cards. I don't like this at all but I accept it as I do indeed want it. I don't like it because it is exactly this kind of treatment that has caused me to become infantalized and dependent on others and not myself. I had a nice conscious and spiritual talk with my oldest brother which was grounding and helped remind me of where I'm going :) A song from my favourite game of all time - a game that actually had meaning unlike the endless multiplayer grindfests.
  16. Day 56, Meditation still proving difficult. My head is being assaulted by a lot of thoughts that I'm finding hard to find peace with. I attribute this to the environment I'm around - my mother being here doesn't help. I want to get back to Wellington ASAP now and form my own environment and choose the people I come into contact with. Ran as usual. I'll try meditating with sound soundscape music or something to help meditate, cold-turkey no sound is pretty fucking hard for me right now. I finished another step in the garden, it was relatively quick and I think I'll finish this goal possibly early if I keep up this rate :D I need to count how much remaining stones I have because I'm closing in to finishing them and may need to get more. I watched one episode of Twin peaks, it's getting Lynch-level interesting now with creep dreams and wacky investigation techniques. RANT - - - BE WARNED I planned to take my mother out for a walk to a hilltop today since she was inside all day. She instead insisted on going grocery shopping for dinner tonight and pretty much disregarded my plan until we were at the supermarket. She has a serious problem listening, like the worst listener I know. I ended up actually giving her instructions on how to listen and how her not listening is causing chaos, non-communication and sheer frustration for me. I end up just shutting off and not talking to her. It's sad I want to talk to her but it's like I'm talking to a brick wall a lot of the times. I think she has these ideas in her head that she is 'the mother' and 'mother knows best' along with other 20th Century stubbornness and rationalizes that as reasons to not require listening. Do any of you know people like this who don't listen because they are so focused on what they're doing or being? She offered me to go for that walk I suggested after the shopping, but I felt so discouraged and wanted her to feel pain so she could learn something about listening before she wants to interact with me again. I know this is some egoistic bullshit from me too but I can only take so much disorganization, non-planning and chaos before I just can't be bothered trying. All I want her to do is try to get better at listening. I am myself a rather poor listener but over the years have recognized this weakness and have tried to get better. I kind of have resentment against my mother for her not trying to learn to listen, I've nudged her to do so like 10 times the last 3-4 years. Similarly she didn't really give me the teachings growing up to get better at life and now I'm here growing up myself, learning the things I would have dreamed of being taught growing up. I don't mean to blame her or anything but this is the hand I've been dealt. She believes just 'loving me' and feeding me was enough growing up and it has shaped me to be quite a weak and timid person without real foundations of strength. Is this some real first world problems going on? Probably, but it would be nice to be able to talk about a topic or organise a plan without having to repeat 3 times over and becoming demoralized in communication. It makes it reaaaallly un-fun to be around her :( This subject is important to me because I think a healthy person ideally has a good relationship with his or her parents or should at least strive to. I have made great progress on that front with my dad but not her. I'm at the point where the only thing that drives me to even want to talk to her is the idea of 'I should be kind to my family' and 'appreciate them while they're still here'. But I know that's not the approach that's required for a healthy relationship. To be honest I don't think being around my mum is healthy at all, she asks things like "Is this where your father fell and broke his leg?" as to amuse herself by visualizing his pain (they are divorced). I'm like Why the fuck are you asking such questions for??! But that's where she's at in life, picking apart little petty events because she doesn't really have much going on in her life. Now you see why I want to move back to Wellington so I have more control over my environments. If it's true that you are the average of the 5 closest people in your life, then I don't want her to be in mine if that's what it's gonna take to grow. Now, that I've made some improvements to living more happier and fulfilling, the non-action of others seem very apparent to me and I find it disappointing. The biggest fruit learning from all this is to ask "where am I doing the things I'm seeing in other's" because it's likely I have them too and is a source of growth if tackled with bravery. Sorry if you weren't ready for the psychotherapy session but I like to be transparent and acknowledge the obstacles in my way. I'm at the first point in my life where I actually feel like I'm growing and I don't plan to let anyone stop me from doing so. It's such a difficult subject, I want to love her but a key aspect for a relationship is missing (communication) and it is not possible. END RANT I picked up the last remainder of walnuts behind our house. Studied more Well-being course and did some Spanish. The Spanish is quite hard for me now so I need to take things slower and process more thoroughly to digest the information.
  17. Day 55, Meditated (poorly), Running - yes. I'm gonna focus on meditating properly. I actually like Qi Gong better as a meditation but feel honing silent, still meditation may be more valuable. If I get into a room working with other people I can't exactly bust out into Qi Gong exercises to relax my mind but being comfortable with the traditional still meditation may help. I'm kinda attracted to it's level of difficulty - like fuck I wanna see if I can get to a point where I can get myself relaxed within 2-3 minutes. I worked on the garden - finished another step. I'm throwing away the bark sifting method lol, I got a whole step done much quicker. It's funny how I can rationalize something but in reality the same result can be acquired more quickly by just being less fussy. Sometimes my detail orientation can be of use, but in this context it is not :) My mother had been travelling overseas recently and only arrived back in NZ, she happened to just pop by here randomly. I feel off as to how to interact with her. She's kinda needy, being old now (early 60's) and I don't really want her here to mess up my healthy habit forming routines. These are the thoughts that run through my head. By the end of the night, I had my camera out and shooting video and capturing our conversations of her travels. You know once they pass, that's it. I used to have some footage shot 5-6 years ago when she looked more vibrant but have lost the footage. Now I'm trying to be appreciative and record these moments so me and my siblings can watch this and cry with laughter 20 years later. I studied a course about hapiness from coursera.org by Yale University. In it the lecturer produced facts that showed that there is a very weak correlation between money and hapiness - it was 0.10 based of their 'scores.' And in another study, she cited how after you earn a $75,000 salary you're 'Emotional Well-being' ceases to increase. Furthermore, the studies showed that the effect of money on making you happy is mostly useful in poorer countries where increase of income means having access to basic needs like food and water. I found this quite interesting and soothed my need to buy a camera and put my position into a bit of perspective. I can still shoot nice photographs with this camera and when I do travel, spending that money on activities and experiences will more likely provide me with happiness than a new 'material' Got me thinking about the minimalists for a second whilst learning this stuff. I studied Spanish but it was quite a bit too much for lesson 4. I think I may try learning at Noon or some different time, it seems past 6PM my brain isn't too fit for such brain activity. This is a nice one, usually sad music is emotionally attractive to me but can leave the listener 'heavier' with sadness. This is not such a song - upbeat and joyful mix!
  18. Sleep well and E . X . E . R . C . I . S . E
  19. Day 54, Meditated and Running - Yes Didn't do anything today. Started a fire in the fireplace thinking it would be nice to keep warm since it was forecasted to rain which never came. Spent most of the day just blobbing out. Downloaded a new tv series which I was previously curious about - Twin Peaks. I was interested in this series as I read it had high ratings and was created by David Lynch. His art is of the crazy kind confronting the viewer about taboo subjects and he does this by commonly subverting your psychological experience through sound and visuals - see Eraserhead and Lost Highway for example. In Twin Peaks so far though it has been quite tame but you can see his influence creeping in every now and then. The rest of the day I just crazily obsessed about camera gear research again :S like 8 hours of just pure procrastination. I'm just want to upgrade my camera as it is 8 years old now, things like being able to see focus more clearly would help me enjoy the process more and look to shoot more. I really want to go back to Wellington now that I have the energy to explore photography again - many more subjects there and people to shoot with at meetup.com. I wanna see if I can work towards making a living off photography because I didn't really give it a proper shot; I kind of gave up on it at a loose end and got depressed after leaving Uni... I didn't do Spanish but I've been saying "Beunos Diás" to my sister and her partner when I see them and recalling what I've learnt recently to them. I'll come back on track tomorrow :)
  20. Day 53, I let myself have an off day from the Miracle Morning, today was to be it. I woke up at 5:20AM and wondered what to do. Sleep till 6? I went on GQ to check for activity. I don't know if it's a bad thing or good thing. I like reading what other's are up to but I am also aware that I'm relying on it as a source of validation, I guess it's not such a bad thing in the context of recovery. I fell back asleep till 8:20AM and felt something was off. It's weird now, even on my supposed 'day off' my body and mind is telling me to go exercise or it would be detrimental to the rest of my day. It's quite true I get such a boost of energy from exercising I kind of can't see myself not starting the day off with running. I didn't meditate but I did go for that run, it's almost meditation for me - being so focused on the path ahead and feeling myself in action. I sat down for a little bit, had a green apple to get some juices going and went on to mow the lawns. Afterwards, I finished up the rest of the garden. I have 15 days to finish the rest of it which I think I can do. I discovered a way to speed up the process I was doing to leverage the height of the stones. I simply placed bark underneath the stones as wedges instead of sifting through bark for dirt particles with my sieve (perfectionist method) and it actually worked better. The bark underneath would get compressed into a sandwich and hold quite strongly as to not tilt the stones when stepped on. I was doing this with the old bark though which was much smaller and disintegrated from the passing of time. I have new bags of bark that are much bigger in particles which may not work :/ I'll find out when I get to it. I talked to my Dad again. he told me he was at the base of Mt. Blanc - the tallest mountain in all of Europe (4,800m). Pretty happy for him to be doing this while he can at the last stretch of his able body :) It's what I would do too If I was in his shoes. He seems much happier where he is now in life. I studied another decent chunk of Spanish, I'm quite a slow learner so I spend like 1 hour 30 minutes or so on it. I looked up bird sites to photograph around my area and found one. I don't really have a long enough lens to get shots far away but maybe if I find some sitting on trees above me. We'll see, I suggested this to my sister and can go out there in the early afternoon.
  21. Day 52, Waking up this morning was hard, very cold but I just mustered it up and put on my running clothes. What really helped was Qi Gong - even if I was cold, by the time I was half way in doing the exercises my body felt much warmer that I felt ready to get going and not hide near the comfort of my bed. The exercises just get bloodflow and brittle bones/joints, etc going so well! They're simple slow exercises but so profound for energy levels. I procrastinated till 10AM and then began working on the garden at around 10:30AM. I got some good progress working on it till 4PM. Here's the pictures I said I'd take I had a few stones uneven and sticking out but I figured I value getting this goal done over being perfectionistic. As long as people have sensible footwear and walk carefully they can walk on it properly and I think this is a more balanced approach for me to complete this goal. I still need to touch up the sides which I'll finish tomorrow and move on to the next step in the background. I cooked a Vegan Lentil soup tonight, very delicious and filling, low calorie - https://cookieandkate.com/2015/vegan-lentil-soup-recipe/ Easy recipe! I prodded my sister to go and enjoy the spa we have tonight and she and her partner came and joined. It was very soothing and nostalgic as we used to use it a lot many years ago, looking up at the clear stars in the sky-night. We have very clear skies unlike many places as we don't have any city lights around us. I finished a second lesson of Spanish and at the end discovered a workbook that I missed out on yesterday, from here onwards I'll use it as it is very reinforcing of the information. I plan to take more photographs this weekend, maybe birds! :D
  22. I've taken on Cam's analogy of "closing this chapter" like opening a new chapter in a book and moving on from the previous one. Now, this is quite hard but I'm discovering that the things you want, you're going to have to strive towards with all your energy, habits, thinking and being to get to. You don't simply deny that your identity of loving games but take a real honest reflection of yourself and confront the truth that this is what needs to be done to get where you want. It is painful to the ego (your identity as a gamer) but as you take small steps to develop your hobbies and participate in life, you can slowly but surely realize how fun life can be. Take small steps - try a two week detox, the energy level I got from this beginning period was astounding. I happened to relapse two weeks in but came back right on the horse the day after. The relapse offered me a reference experience of how my energy to life was like not gaming / gaming and I naturally gravitated to not gaming as I felt better in my body and mind. Lastly, find the book The Miracle Morning. If I could pin-point one thing that lit the flame up my arse it was the Miracle Morning. When you're living a 'gaming lifestyle' of going to sleep past Midnight-8AM and waking up in the afternoons, even if you have the desire to quit gaming, you won't have the energy to take the actions to do so. When I started changing my morning routine and sleeping earlier my energy levels completely shifted. Now you have the energy to take action and not be in a perpetual 'brain fog' throughout the whole day that you feel only seizes when you play games. This new-found energy is almost self-fulfilling in nature, you have so much more energy that you want to use it more productively. It also brings structure into your day and with it - a little bit of self-discpline, training yourself to move away from instant gratification which is at the heart of being addicted to video games.
  23. Day 51, I woke up last night at 2.26AM because I had a visionary dream related to my personal life. I was so taken by it I wondered whether to just fall back asleep or record the events in my dream. I wrote what I could recall and sent my thoughts to the person I could trust with information of such high value. I wish I could write down my entry here but it is rather personal and inappropriate to do so, it was very emotion and vivid to say the least. This knocked my efforts at waking up on time with enough energy for 6AM and I slept till 8AM instead. I did 12 minutes of this Qi Gong video, I wanted to get running to get my energy going so didn't want to do the full 30 minutes but I'll continue it tomorrow. I contacted our local newspaper outlet to offer them some of the photos that I took of the march that occurred. One of the editors said she would consider having a look if there were any good ones. Later that day she asked if I knew the names of the people voting at the ballot box (I'm guessing for purposes of captioning), alas I did not. I think if I did, it may have been selected but I can maybe find that out tomorrow when the paper gets printed. I was merely out to practice photography so wasn't really keen on investigating and reporting but will keep this lesson in mind next time to maybe get a little involved and talking to more people. I kind of use Photography as an interface to connect with the outside world, being socially anxious a lot of the times I think I also use it as a shield to hide behind :/ I don't know I like getting lost with taking photographs more than interacting with the subjects I shoot about. Rest of the day I made some really good progress on the garden, I'll take some photographs to show where I am at tomorrow. I studied a good chunk of Spanish today with the help of the GreatCoursesPlus, a REAALLY good teacher on there that which is what I was looking for when I first got into Spanish. Studied some other photography course on the same website as above. Watched one Nat Geo live video about a woman photographer who took pictures of girls and women in the Siberia and somewhere southeast of Azerbaijan where a Cossack culture lived. There women lived quite separate from women lived stereotypical lives really. Their government gave incentive for women to have kids - each kid they would have they would raise the amount of money given to support them. After they had their 5th or 6th kid, the government would give them a house for free, this was to raise the population of their people. And in Siberia, model agencies would hunt young girls to get them into fashion. This Siberian situation was kinda sad, the girls obviously want a better life and see the world but the means they were to get there seemed very exploitative by outsiders. There's basically an assembly line process almost for girls for this kind of thing - but it is their best option :/ such is the world though, harsh. G'night
  24. Day 50, My Morning routine is back! More energy for sure. Meditated and ran in the morning. Back pain was minimal and none whatsoever throughout the day. I asked me sister if I could use her car to go into town. One of my goals I set was to shoot photographs twice a week. There's not that much interesting things in our town, it's mainly a coastal town with building basic buildings nothing really architecturally fancy of the sort which is what I was looking for. I happened to shoot on the day a little parade occurred on the main street of town and took some photos of it. I came back home and wanted to do gardening but it was quite windy and didn't wanna catch a called or something. I plan to get started 9-10AM on the garden tomorrow morning. I felt quite drained of the photography and sun of the day and planned for a nap from 5.15PM-6PM and I actually woke up at 6.50PM. My sister's partner cooked lasagne which isn't the type of food I want to be eating but it's better than no food. I actually want to develop a vegetarian diet but living with other people that eat meat is too contradicting in values / vision. It's becoming more and more clear to me now that I'm at least participating in the world, how the people and environments you expose yourselves dictates your behaviours. I can of course make an effort to drive myself to where I want but it is always a constant battle when other's vision differs from yours and results in an overall burnout of energy that slowly seeps away which is unideal. I'm using this understanding to be more prepared for living by myself when I move back to Wellington. I didn't get to practice Spanish unfortunately but I am pretty pleased with the photos I took today.
  25. Day 49, I restarted my Miracle Morning again, it helps alot when you have other people around to keep you accountable (my sis and partner came back last night). This is telling that I put more emphasis on what other people think but regardless it helps with doing shit. I woke up a few minutes before 6AM and put my running clothes on and felt my back ache. I went back into bed lol. I got out of bed at 8AM and refused to sleep in and was 'using' goal apps and deleted two of the ones I'm testing out. I eventually went for my run as it was the first 'normal' day since late last friday for going outside. I also figured that going for a run might be slightly helpful to my back recovery that just sitting around. It was more painful at the start than at the end when I got back so there's improvement. One day at a time... Most of today I did my garden work from 10AM-4.15PM. I remembered the dead line I set to complete it all - 20.05.2018 and reminded myself of my duty to keep on track. If I get closer to the dead-line and it doesn't seem feasible then I will change my methods - at the moment I think i'm being picky with perfectionism. Afterwards, I sat at my computer and looked at several reviews of cameras that I may be able to afford. I obsessively did this and spent 4 hours of the night - I'm not going to spend anymore time on this. I think I know the camera I want now its called the Olympus EM-5 Mark 2, it's an older camera from 2015 but it is quite good. I want to stay in the Micro Four Thirds sensor of cameras because I have most of my adapters for that camera system. Alan Watts always makes me laugh :D