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Everything posted by Arch

  1. Day 48, Didn't do much today. I've decided to hold off on this HSP search I've been obssessing over in favour of testing out if I can learn and train myself without coming from the weaknesses of a label. I think it's more accurate if I focus using exposure exercises to things like my Social Anxiety and stress to figure out what I'm made of instead of excusing myself to a convenient label. Afterwards I'll come back to the HSP search once I've done thorough brain elasticity of my comfort zones. I meditated this morning for 10 minutes, it's always hard starting and then gets easier - by the end I want to do more. I wrote down some goals last night but they are somewhat incomplete lacking the "measurable progress" element. I'll try to finish it tomorrow. I just vacuumed today, was planning to also mow the lawns but it was raining. I'm really feeling demotivated and procrastinated after my morning run routine has gone out due to lower back pain. God injuries are so detrimental. I installed Lightroom which I'm happy about now that I can touch up my photos a bit more to bring out their full potential. I re-uploaded two of my recent photos to flickr with better adjustments. I also watched Thomas Frank which I saw mentioned by Cam on someone's post and watched one of his videos about getting focused on your task. Seemed like a very on-to-it guy and subscribed for his content. Also downloaded a bunch of PDF's he mentions to read on his website. I do so much mental thinking, I really need to do some more hands-on activities. Here's another good Alan Watts:
  2. Day 47, I woke up quite late today because I spent last night obsessively researching a camera I want to buy till 2.30AM. I did my morning meditation in silence, no Qi Qong this time. Felt good, I opened my eyes and things seemed vibrant. I remembered to drink water. Storm was at it's peak today, I have a hunch that there's been floods. You can see the encroaching mist about to engulf us. I ate a good brunch with some chicken that had been marinating overnight. Our avocados had ripened too. Felt full for quite a while and snacked on some walnuts and fruit to hold me off till dinner. I watched the rest of Thomas Leuthart's composition course. He is truly inspiring to me. He's actually some IT guy who does photography as a hobby, choosing to live it. He doesn't like the idea of doing photography for money; I feel the same way. I think having you're time and creation constrained to a certain subject in order to produce a specific product over and over again can detract from the beauty of photography. I'm half-half... so far leaning to the idea that I use photography almost like a meditation but with alot of focus required. The process and pleasure of taking photographs is challenging and very rewarding when you see others smiling at the other end. I found working on film-sets quite stressful and kinda abhor the stress that goes along with photography in a studio or set. I wonder though If I would be able to train myself self-discpline If I would be able to handle working in that business... In light of what being addicted to gaming caused me to neglect, I can now understand why I found myself unable to handle stressful environments. I practiced some more Spanish, really liking this instructor - he explains thoroughly the nuances of the grammar. I also bought the full version of Spanish from Scratch which was on special for $2.99 which I may go back to trying out later. I called me ex-therapist again and he gave me some useful advice. He portrayed to me this idea of two bubbles - one of strengths and the other of deficits. He said that with this HSP thing I'm kinda obsessing over, It's like I'm focusing on my deficit circle over my strengths as a pathway to get better. He suggested to try approach getting better through the strength circle. He is right in that I focus on my weakness as a way to cut them out to get better rather than pave my success by improving my strengths. I took his advice with good consideration and will try to keep it in mind going forward. Gratitutde: Water, Shelter, Photography, Meditation and Food
  3. Day 46, Not much today - there's like a storm going outside so just sitting inside keeping cozy. A little bit annoyed I can't start my mornings with runs - big difference in drive. I was looking through Amazon.com to buy some books about HSP. I found I could use a free trial from Audible to listen to them so I did just that. I listened to the first chapter of her first book: The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You http://tiny.cc/wnu4sy In it she asks us to process previous events in our lives and remember 3 events - a loss that seemed bad, a neutral event that was a big change and one that was good like a favour in kind. After this there are some question processing steps to take but so far I need to figure out those events first. The goal of the exercise to reframe the feelings I had about the situations in light of the understanding of the HSP trait to release such victim mentalities and re-establish a more wholesome self. I watched some more of the photography course. I'm still shocked at how close he gets to his subjects. He literally just points his camera through windows and shoots a family eating or someone reading a newspaper. I respect that 'hunt' for the photograph, doing whatever it takes. I almost want to send him an email and ask how he does that, do people ever tell him off or is he so in the zone he doesn't care and he projects that vibe of 'the photographer' where they are easier on him or something??! Here's his photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasleuthard/ I really only have landscapes and nature around me but once I get back to Wellington, I plan to shoot some street photography like he does. I find it more alive with energy than landscapes. You can just go down on the streets and you never know what you're gonna see whereas with landscapes you definitely know lol I checked out some other online course websites and enrolled a course for Spanish. So far this one has been pretty good, has more structure which I lack. Somehow the more structured setup of an online course brings me back more to a more serious tone of learning than simply swiping through a Glossy LCD screen of a smartphone. Ok I'm gonna set out my goals tomorrow once and for all or begin to anyways.
  4. Day 45, Today I was vulnerable. I got out of my bed and didn't get outside my room because I gave in to the feeling of being incapable of going for my run. I feel I should give my lower back the due rest it needs and take it easy till it heals properly and not cause further injury. The Hoop Dreams movie last night acted as a reminder of what effect and injury can have on performance and took it as a sign to go easy. I checked my phone and watched an inspiring video: Afterwards I looked up some lower-back exercises to help with the pain and did some of those. Knee pull ups, Laying on stomach and arching back upwards and knees crossing to the sides and contracting core muscles oppositely. I didn't do meditation. I felt I owed myself to do more work today since I had missed parts of my morning routine so I started on the garden earlier at 10AM till 4PM. Made pretty good progress, removed most of the bark - this section will be much easier to level that the previous uphill slopes. I watched a movie called One Day Less about an old Mexican couple living out their 'golden years.' They make the space between their days pass by filling it with humour and talk of their grander years. They are at the last stretch of their lifes and the thing that makes them the happiest is their families conglomeration on New Years. This film was very beautiful, it showed the loneliness of old people and their vulnerability; something tucked away in the corner of most societies consciousness in rest homes where others can forget about them. It made me pretty emotional, putting myself in their shoes and thought "Would I have such a great family in my old age to surround me with their love?" The answer is no and that answer comes from my own inaction in not reaching out and being visible to make friends. These type of films can be uncomfortable seeing the suffering of old age but it shows a great truth. Old age makes things clear - what you value. https://mubi.com/showing/one-day-less After the film, I contemplated calling my father for about 20 minutes. I had listened to an earlier podcast from the 'Savvy Psychologist' how forgiveness makes for happier people. This knowledge plus the emotion I had received watching the film helped give me the courage to hit the green phone button. I told my dad that I forgived him for the things I held contempt against him for. I have over the previous 2-3 years showed him this with actions such as going on a trip with him last year to the South Island. But I never really told him formally and I wanted to release that negative energy. The worst thing I can imagine is for either one of us to die and not have released the pain held between us. He told me I was brave for doing this and not many can say that and felt relieved. My dad is in his mid 60's now, and beginning his journey into 'old age.' I can only imagine that by the time you get to this age your most tender softspots are your relationships with your kids. I felt I could no longer hold this empty selfish pain grudge anymore, for myself or him. I want to grow and I need to make friends. My father mentioned a childhood friend who I should consider reaching out to. So I did that tonight through Facebook. I asked my friend if I could see him this weekend and he simply replied "PubG bro." I replied "Wow ok" This was my inner look of astonishment and awe. I'm taking a wild guess that he is at least mildly addicted to video games. I never thought I would be on this end of the Video game addiction stick. He actually refused for me to see him and opted for PubG. I think I knew this guy well, he was relatively social, playful and friendly. It's an easy thing to shun people away because you're so focused and addicted to a video game but receiving it on the other end felt like a revelation to me. TH....I...S... IS WHAT ......I HAVE BEEN DOING TO PEOPLE ALL MY LIFE???!! HOLY FUCK Anyways I'm taking this as a reference point of how powerful addiction is and how hurtful it is to the people around them. He sounded like he was in a low point in his life, remarking his upcoming travel in 10 weeks time due to being bored living in NZ. Regardless the point about Video-games overtaking people as a priority remains strong.
  5. Day 44, Qi Gong: yes Running: yes, I ran halfway to the school and walked back the rest - my lower back is sore. Made decent progress like 30% of L sectiion filtered d of bark, still a lot more to do in garden Was listening to Alan Watts chill step - this one about death. I think I could become more vigorous in my life if I understood and respected death having its inevitability running in the immediate background of my day-to-day. Our society basically shuns this conversation down into the dark gallows until a desperate event brings it to the forefront like an accident or something. I remember when I was 15, I had in a by-the-way manner mentioned to my mother that I wasn't afraid of dying. I don't remember what caused me to draw up this courage to say this but it's as almost she had filtered the word completely as if to not hear me. I noticed a sudden lack of imperative in my actions as my sister and partner had left this morning. This showed me his strong accountability is, the fact that other people continually remind you of your duties. It's very hard to hold myself accountable as all I sub-consciously wat to be lazy. Had a little urge to watch video games and watched a bunch of RSD videos instead whilst eating a lot of pumpkin seeds :/ I'm not going to get through this without a plan, I'm tired of saying this lol. I watched Hoop dreams - a documentary tonight because I haven't watched anything in over a week. I'm paying for this Mubi subscription and want to make sure I'm using it. There's good films there just that I find it to be the last order of things to do. It was a really good documentary about the drive and dreams of two young students playing basketball. It's quite long but worth it , if you have the time. Quite a surreal documentary done very simplistically with a whole lot of authenticity. I didn't get round to practicing Spanish but did a little of photography learning and dozed off upstairs. Tomorrow's gonna be better, hopefully.
  6. Day 43, Qi Gong morning: I liked this one, very easy and poetically energetic in it's movements. This morning I had feelings of not enough sleep because I stayed up merely 30 minutes longer. It resulted in me napping again for an hour - it seems every 30 minutes of sleep I miss out on, the forumula to catch up on is double that missed. Sleep is such a sensitive thing that has such a big impact if not respected. I also did not want to run but I just pushed myself 10% and by the time I'm mid-way through this Qi Qong practice I'm 100% excited to go run. Grateful for my perseverance, for when I can light up my consciousness. Felt pretty destroyed from yesterdays heavy-lifting, spent a lot of the day slowly considering my back for the future and using my legs to lift instead in aching pain, haha! It's mostly gone and I should feel better tomorrow. I checked my library account and I forgot to renew my book, I tried to and found out someone had held a reserve for it. So I walked down to the post office and sent the book back, it was the new one I was reading :( I guess I can re-read Six Pillars with more precision and to practice the exercises this time which is the plus side. Did gardening for 2 hours 45 minutes. I checked the weather and it shows to be raining on Friday afternoon so I aim to speed up tomorrow to get it done as fast as humanely possible. My sister and partner are leaving tomorrow morning to Australia for a wedding and coming back on Monday. My biggest issue right now is not having goals clearly defined. I will use this peaceful absence of others to figure this out I listened to a podcast by the Art of Charm on Comparing Ourselves with Others that I find quite important in this day and age of Social Media and want to share it with you. Btw most of AoC's content is gold, check out all their other stuff if this interests you. https://www.jordanharbinger.com/deep-dive-how-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-other-people/
  7. This is very important to re-read whenever you're feeling demotivated, you've made progress and that progress is yours.
  8. That's how I want my kids to grow up if I ever have any, relished by the beauty of Life's activities as to consider gaming a tertiary activity occasionally indulged in when in the company of others. That kid however was in the company of his family, and his grandfather would play Minecraft with him; so I would hope it is a more healthier scenario than mine was. The thing that triggered me to think this was the 'dopamine look' in his eyes, where one looks excited and so focused disregarding the things happening around him. Yea, I'm down with exposing my self in social environments, I just don't know how to enjoy those environments but that is precisely part of the problem. Desire of enjoying the moment is already in the thinking head and outside the moment. This was the first time I had met them, so it was overwhelming but maybe as I expose myself more, it will get easier :)
  9. Day 42, Today was goood! Did the same Qi Gong as yesterday. Have started pushing myself by running as much as I can uphill on the final stretch of my runs. I push myself by repeating self-affirming thoughts to "persevere" and it helps considerably. I don't want to do this but choose to, to see the limits of my mind and body. I confronted my sister and her partner about their 'purpose' of what they want Otto to be like. I argued that my sister's idea of how obedient and well behaved she wants Otto to be differs from her partners. I told her that I felt like I don't want to try to teach Otto good behaviours and if all that was to happen was to have it undermined by others. Her partner, I think doesn't really care too much about training him and would rather him live a 'happy and free life', probably something that is common in farm life where they can wander where they like. The first thing he did was to open the door to our backgarden and let Otto run out bursting up the path I was creating and covering his feet in dirt. So here is the clear evidence again... So I've decided to not train Otto until I see a concious effort to him being trained by my sister and her partner. Otto is not my dog so I understand I am not required to do this. But it pains me to see one person wanting a well behaved dog (my sister) and the other (partner) without much care to have him be obedient. His care comes from simple unconsciousness, he is actively choosing to ignore this and would rather be 'lazy' about it and this type of unconsciousness seeps into the others around (my sister) and so she seems to care less and let him off the hook assimilating a bit of his laid-back nature in this area. Anyways, I felt I could use training Otto as a project to develop a sense of purpose and fun companionship but I don't want to wrangle an ebbing and raging stream that has no directed focus undermined by those privy to change it but choose not to. Such blatant unconsciousness is very saddening for me - the complacency of accepting mediocrity, I only lived with this through most of my life and now have such a great distaste for it. Anyways this process has been cathartic for me as I had spent 30-45 mins of the morning in tense anxiousness wanting to spill my thoughts. Glad I have this out and can move on. I posted off the phone that I sold this morning with the help of a nice duty manager at the convenience store. The phone was in a Styrofoam container that I scavenged from the pile of storage boxes my sister and her partner were going to throw out. I had hoped they had bubblewrap but they didn't so they offered to give me some pieces of cardboard to act as a buffer to hold the phone still. This was a reminding lesson to come more prepared. We headed out to my sister's partner's parent's farm where they had chainsawed two small trees for us. There we used a tractor's engine connected with it's hydraulics to another machine that cut wood. It would cut wood simply by pushing a plate of metal forward, there the placed logs would move towards a thin piercing triangular shape metal that would split the wood into two. It was quite rough work and gave us all a very good workout. We had a morning-tea break and met their family. I was quite overwhelmed by them, there were 4 kids ranging between 3-9 and all screaming for attention. I could barely make sense of any conversation that was going on and just sat there pretending to enjoy the conversations. It was not that they were boring it's just that as an HSP I get overstimulated easily, as if I'm trying to comprehend everything. I tried to let go and listen to the kids and was able to for small periods but it became a wash in the background of noise. I can listen to people 1 on 1 or 1 with 2 but not when there are 2 grandparents, 3 adults and 4 kids. The grandmother and I seemed to connect, I don't know whether she was also an HSP or if I'm projecting my own thoughts on her. I can feel sensitive people that's for sure, very fucking easily. She drank redbush tea as I do (caffiene sensitive) and had baked us scones so delicately fluffy as well as flapjacks that would crumble ever-so softly. No, I'm not in love with her, I'm in love with the delicate level of care others give out :) I was worried about one of the kids in there. He was like 8 or 9 years and was playing Minecraft. I felt like asking his mother how long he plays Minecraft for in a day but I withdrew my thoughts realizing that these were not my kids nor my business to be snooping in. It's just that now I've felt the pain and sorrow of video game addiction I don't want others to go through this shit. Catching kids behaviours before they become addicted is much easier than when they are 15,16 or 20+. After the firewood retrieval we finally went out to get the pavement stones for the back garden, more weed matting and bark. I was so tired I was not even making sense, I don't think I drank enough water throughout the day. I watched my photography course, this time on what aspect ratios you should use, filling the frame and the importance of the 'decisive moment' and how to capture it. I did a light bit of Spanish learning and ready to continue on the garden tomorrow!
  10. Sick! Ecuador! That's what I looked up for one of my travel destinations. Please take some photos and tell us some stories from your travels if you can!
  11. Day 41, I did another Qi Gong practice session this morning using this video It's pretty cool way to wake up, I actually find it fun. A lot of the movements are like water-bending from Avatar: The Last Airbender if you've seen that show. I can actually feel the energy rising like when you feel your insides warm up after drinking a cup of hot tea. Man I'm too good at waking up now it's kinda annoying lol. I wake up and peer through the curtains slightly and see all darkness. "Surely it's nearly 6AM", I check my phone and it shows "5:20" so I'm like yes! More time to sleep. So i slept in a little to 6:10AM. No big deal but It actually affected me today. I feel every minute of sleep is precious especially the sleep between 4-6AM; if I wake up 30 minutes less than my intended sleep I feel like I'm lacking sleep. And so this resulted in like an hour and 15 minutes nap. I'm thinking maybe the way to fix it is to start waking up at 5AM 0.0 YIKES! Although I know I can do it, it would also mean I would have to sleep at 9:30PM instead. Fuck, I have the sleep schedule of an adult now haha. Good thing :) My sister's partner was throwing out a bunch of clothes and they offered me to look through them and take them since they were donating them to charity. I managed to find a few good shirts for going out and warm clothes for winter, yaaay! They just need some ironing and a good wash. My wardrobe is quite lackluster so I'm welcoming the new additions. I worked on excavating more bark but it is very slow progress. Tomorrow, we're gonna buy some bark as there is not enough to fill up the sides and get those bricks + firewood for the fireplace. I managed to sell my non-working phone that I was trying to fix earlier. I sold it off for less than I wanted - $80 but given that it had wear marks, back cover removed and no operating system I'd take what I can get. I used this as an opportunity to practice not being perfectionist. The perfectionist in me would have relisted the phone 10 times in hope of it selling for the desired price $120-140 but then it would have probably caused me anxiety and may have not sold at all and just collected dust. Me and sister drove down to the beach and threw the irresistible ball of happiness until Otto tired out. When we arrived there, Otto had hopped out of the car automatically. Me and my sister are both aware that this is not the behavior we want from Otto as he could be in an accident or cause one by jumping into the public unexpectedly. I called Otto to heed my call after he had escaped us, at the same time my sister called too. She said don't interrupt another person when they are giving instructions because it confuses the dog. I opened my arms wide and pointed towards Otto to say "look at him, he's not even under your control, if you were instructing him he would be in the car already awaiting instruction." She rebuked by saying "you're quite opinionated for a person who'd only spent two days with the dog." I don't mean to rub it in against my sister of her poor commander-ship of that moment but the facts spoke for themselves - the dog was doing his own thing without direction. I kind felt a little hurt by her comments and thought maybe she was right in the part where two instructors can confuse the dog. I think I have a tendency to feel hurt by comments more than normal people - it's part of the HSP trait where we process more deeply. The reason this is kind of an issue for me is that I don't want to try to train good habits for Otto only for it to be undermined by others - then why bother? I probably shouldn't be writing details like this but I care for Otto and love his well behaved companionship. On the plus side - I walked Otto back on the leash and found vast improvements to his compliance of walking. This was partly due to him exercising before hand but also I think he is learning! :D Not much else, I tried to study photography but the website was down. I spent an hour just looking through a bunch of goal setting apps, trying to find a really good one worth subscribing a monthly fee to. Some of them area amazing - slick UI's, related psychology material related to setting goals and maintaining habits. One of them right now has me reminded to drink water. I know, pretty fucking obvious but most of us take it for granted. So now I have a glass of water at my beside to drink in the morning. I think building a habit of drinking will be valuable for me because it will balance my levels of energy and not wanting to fall asleep due to dizziness and the sorts. Keep on going'! One of my favourite artists right now - Odesza. They released a new music video for a great song! Try to watch it in 4K otherwise it looks slightly soft due the lenses they used and down-sampling. There's a live version focused with more of the acoustics that's definitely worth checking out if you like this one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Igd2EUyONiM
  12. Day 40, This morning I practiced Qi Qong which is a Chinese movement-based meditation. I used this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNtWqDxwwMg It was much easier than trying to sit still but offered a similar calming effect provided by normal meditation. I want to practice this more to see how much more effective it is than traditional meditation. Just not having to sit still was a real tension reliever but I think that's part of the power that is derived from closed-eye meditation. I went out from 1:45PM to 4:30PM to practice some landscape photography. I used my 21mm MC Rokkor, my widest prime lens. I wanted to see how effective it performed in sharpness mainly. This was my favourite photo because it had people in it; it's quite hard to make landscape photos impressive unless you have a gigantic waterfall or something epic but maybe this is because I'm used to the sights around me. Hopefully you enjoy them :) I cooked Eggplant and Bok Choy and other vegetables with the help of my sister. Was very delicious and healthy. Practiced Spanish decently but no time for photography course tonight, will finish that up tomorrow. I spoke with my previous therapist tonight after not being in contact with him for a year. We had a good talk and he told me that he got my message as soon as he arrived in Singapore and inserted his NZ sim card which was 2-3 days ago. There's always been magical energies around me where fate-like happenstance occurs around me, and I just accept it smiling at the Angel on my shoulder I honestly believe some fucking guardian is looking out for me or something. Another occurrence - I survived a car crash when I was on a long drive through rainy road back to my hometown; the car hard spun 3-4 times 360 degrees and flew over a bank and landed upside down cushioned by a stretch of bush. I remained dangled upside down, unscathed and held by my seatbelt. I'm not taking these miracles for granted like "I can do dangerous shit and expect to be safe" but for some reason I'm still alive and I'm going to find out why :D
  13. Well, if you can do those first two goals, then you can achieve the others too. Focusing on the positives is hard when we have negative self-talk but try to catch it when you talk negatively about yourself and replace it with the positives. It is neural pathways that we use - if we don't use the negative ones, they eventually die out (over many, many weeks). And the more you use your newly formed positive neural pathways, the stronger they become. The trick is to catch yourself in the moment of negative self-talk and hold yourself more valuable than to be subject of beating yourself up, because you understand that path serves you no good in growing to where you want to be. What I say when I hear negative self-talk is "These thoughts aren't helpful me to grow as a person, instead I choose growth. Today I have done ___________ as steps to becoming the person I want to become" Or "the reality is I have actually progressed when I look at the beginning of my detox and where I am now - I now do healthier activities such as running, cooking, etc" The point is to reframe your subjective feelings into a more rational point of view. From there you can actually see that you have and are in fact succeeding, instead of the feeling of climbing an unassailable mountain. You may not be able to catch it all the time, but practice it when you can and it will become an easier habit :)
  14. Day 39, Today was pretty good. I woke up earlier than my alarm clock as usual - I seem to be waking up 5:20-30 AM and turned the alarm off before it went off. My thought is I shall sleep in till my designated wake up time of 6AM haha and ended up waking up at 6:30. Still, I'm not beating myself for this because I reminded myself that in the bigger picture of things, I used to be going to sleep at this time whilst gaming. After getting out my room and sitting on the sofa to prepare meditating I was captured by the beauty of the sunrise once again. I spent about 10 minutes shooting this sunrise before I decided to move on and not delay my routines any longer but it was well worth it. I want to develop this photo and make it better before publishing it on Flickr, but need to ask permission to install Lightroom on this computer. There are somethings to fix like the uneven horizon of the sea and the infamous green cast of the GH2 that needs to be offset - the yellows are tinged with a slight green. I cropped the top of and bottom edges of the frame to make the composition tighter, making the clouds fit and horizon comply to the rule of the thirds. I did a few pushups and situps once again. I downloaded a page full of goal setting apps trying to find the perfect app to start my goal setting journey. My oldest brother rang me as I was doing this and we had a good conversation congratulating me on my efforts. He reminded me that one can spend all the time in the world researching but eventually I have to take action with my perfectionist tendencies. It's pretty hard to catch myself convincing myself that it is worth it when in fact progressing in the goal itself is the real goal. I dug up the ground of the L section, now have to sort through the dirt to excavate the bark. I'm gonna need more bark for the sides this time as the width and lengths are more extended than the previous sections. My sister and her partner went out to two BBQ's tonight and so I was left taking care of Otto. After I was finished gardening I came back inside to find Otto slobbering - NO! Soon after they left he had ripped into the pack of burgle from the lowest shelf of our pantry. At first, I hit him as that was my previous understanding of trying to make a dog understand what is bad behaviour. I didn't feel good doing that and wanted to be sure what the correct method to discpline a dog was - so I goggled it. What I found was that dogs really only learn through positive reinforcement in terms of learning behaviour you want to promote. Giving treats and pats according to behaviour you approve of rather than smacking is a better approach to teaching an obedient dog. Further, I was thinking whether as further punishment, I would exclude his beach activity from his day. As I kept reading, I realised this would have been a disaster. I learnt that dogs also need exercise like water or food or they will begin to misbehave. I know, not rocket scientist but as a way to assure there were to be no more bad shit happening around here, I figured it's better to just take him out. I also researched how to teach a dog to walk on the leash instead of pulling. This was really hard! The technique involves stopping everytime he pulls on the leash and say "No" or "No, stop that!" followed or preceded by his name. Eventually he will start complying and walk instead of pulling. For this you reward his good behaviour with treats and reinforce what you want him to do. The relationship with a dog is about letting him know who the leader is and thus gaining respect for the human. From that respect he abides more willingly and sees your decisions as of utmost importance. It took me probably about 50 stops before we even got to the beach, he's been running wild for so long the habit is quite ingrained to just roam around and because he is a dog :D By the time I unleashed him at the beach he had grown a level of respect for me that was less so at the beginning of our journey. I would run with him and he would respond to my calls more attentively than previous days. I also did exercise my voice more confidently this time - It's a little sad to say it was one of the few times in my life where I had actually FELT masculine. I raised my voice throughout the beach without much care. I like the beach for this purpose - it stretches out endlessly and has the space to be as loud as you want without disturbing people. All that is left is the trace of your footprints. I learnt my Spanish, photography course and now it is time to sleep. I'm gonna try practicing some Qi Qong for meditation tommorow and have a day off the Miracle morning. A cheery tune!
  15. Day 38, Meditate: Yes but barely, gotta find replace it with a more effective method. Morning run: Yes. I mainly studied photography today, I really need to practice it and use the tools that I have here with me. This is the course I am using https://www.udemy.com/composition/learn/v4/overview . I learnt about what makes a good photo and a bad photo. A good photo is one that has a clear subject and uses rule of thirds for effective composition and generally has the subject in the foreground. Too many subjects like many people can be distracting when trying to tell a specific story like the example of a group of students having a gym class and a teacher with her hands in the air, our clarity of subject is not clear. I quite enjoyed his photography style of street photography and was impressed at how covert and close he was to his subjects. He used an automatic M4/3 camera which has auto focus so he can take photos quicker than a camera with a manual focus lens. This makes me think it is quite essential to get an autofocus lens for the speed. This is the type of photography that feels real to me where it is spontaneous and the subject is in her or his natural environment. I recalled a few days ago my sister talked about the walnut tree in our backyard dropping walnuts and how a lot of them had been rolling down the hill slope behind our shed. The way the tree had grown had been lopsided, perhaps because of the seabreeze or the nature of the land. So I thought I'd go collect them as I wanted to do something physical and get out. I love eating nuts btw but I had grown up remembering one of my dad's favourite nuts being the walnut, so it was an easy decision. The very first moments I began to think more authentically about who I wanted to be was when I played World of Warcraft. I looked through all the classes, Warrior -- boring, so overdone, rogue - interesting but everyone is gonna be doing this, hunter - now we talking. And finally I came across the Shaman -- a class that I thought would have been played the least out of all the classes, as his role was mysterious and unclear. He was a healer, helping his allies with buffs and providing auras that helped the group. He was not so much focused on damaging his enemies but making his allies stronger and when the time called for it, he could harness the natural elements aggressively. My first profession I gravitated to was Herbalism. The idea of using nature to cure ourselves attracted me by its very peaceful notion. I thought poetically about how the nature we come from has so many answers to our questions. Anyways what I'm trying to say with this is that harvesting and being in nature is very natural for me :) I truly believe that if we're ever frustrated or lacking of inspiration to live our lives, we can turn to nature to muse us a melody. Whilst I was picking these walnuts down the bank, there came this fantail merely 1 meter away from me and it was so curious as to what I was doing, it disregarded its own safety. These are the harmonies that truly bring joy to my being. I wish I had my camera to capture it but it was meant only for the moment. I'll prepare the L-shaped section by digging it tomorrow, I need more bricks to continue the footpath which is postponed for the time being.
  16. You guys should maybe consider setting the boundaries and tell the organizer or the girl herself that what she is doing isn't okay and how it's affecting others. If the rules are not set she will feel free to act as crazy as she likes and it is partly because of her not being told what is not acceptable. Example consequence = you don't get to play if you act crazy like this. I know, in an ideal world people would all be attuned to their common sense but many including us are not and need rules to see a mirror reflection of our unreasonableness. These things are important to deal with because I can see how it has affected you emotionally where you invest important time in it and have Tennis as an activity you'd like to enjoy. This isn't a selfish thing to do (if you look at it the negative way) but to create an environment that is sane and enjoyable for you and others.
  17. Day 37, Doing my journal a little earlier so I don't have to rush so much. I finished Six-Pillars of Self Esteem today, I can't recall all the information in it but I got the gist of it. Basically, If an individual wants to grow in self-esteem, the main actor and benefactor has to be the person themselves. You can't derive any sense of experience outside yourself if self-esteem is to be authentic and empowering. The values and goals I need to set must be my own and not others. The garden that I have been fixing has been another's goal and it is true I don't really have too much invested in it's completion because it is not my goal. However, one of my goal is to be adaptive and to learn to strengthen my discipline so I am not being black-and-white and sticking through with it's completion. Still however, I need to come up with my own goals. Somewhere inside me I think the reason I procrastinate so heavily and haven't set my goals is because an unconscious part of me wants to self-sabotage and keep me in status-quo land and not move anywhere. I've contacted my GP and asked him to refer me to a therapist, I want to deal with these hidden subconscious destructive ways of being. I plan to go back to Wellington in 3-4 weeks time, I think it's too sheltered for my esteem to be taking the easy way out and hiding in the safety and warmer climate of my hometown. I seek to connect with the opportunities that's available in the bigger city like I found that there is a group of HSP's in Wellington. They look quirky in their profile pics, just my kind of people :) and there's like 500+ of them 0.0 My sister and partner left today to Auckland for a job interview so it was me and Otto today. I walked him out to exercise on the beach in the morning and the llate afternoon. God he's such a picky little dog and so energetic, It feels like I am taking care of a child. I had an imagination of where governments would give out dogs to would-be parents before they wanted to have a child as a primer to child rearing, haha! I appreciate the energy it takes to live with a dog more now that my sister and her partner have to rise to the occasion for. I was pretty unproductive today. Just watched long Youtube videos by RSD about motivation and such. I find their content to be highly relevant to what I need to change in my thinking to be more productive but also feel I am not at their point of energy/motivation to follow my convictions with certain action. So instead of inspiring me, it ended up deflating me after from inaction. I think I need to only watch one of these types of videos a day if I do happen to watch them, because my psyche and productivity just isn't there yet to follow through with integrity. When I walked Otto in the late afternoon I came across my Drama teacher from Highschool from 10 years ago. At first I didn't recognize her but at second glance I remembered her round, lovable shape in her colourful orange outfit. I gave her a hug straight away, remembering her as a source of content in school when I was learning to act. I never really told her that she was one of my favourite teachers in school so I took the opportunity to tell her then and there. She asked "What I was doing with myself", I paused and hesitantly said "I'm trying to figure that out." I eventually told her that I was addicted to games and felt I had wasted alot of my years with it and that I was currently on a 90-day detox. She told me about her plans to travel all over the world but I can't remember the various listed countries feeling anxious and trying to stay interested. She had quit teaching after 38 years or so, she was a very understanding and patient teacher from what I recall. She told me her memories of me in class that I was serious in and I countered by saying that was just me being very anxious in a class of all girls and no other guys. Although she is correct, I was an am to a lesser extent a serious person. I thought she would have picked up on my anxiousness but this is a good reminder that even the most caring people can't always read your mind and you have to communicate your feelings. I kind of wanted to talk to her for ages but Otto was running down a football field's distance away from me, chasing away every seagull and sniffing every dog's butt :D I cooked some gumbo using Okra and fried onions in tomato sauce and popped in some bits of salami in there. I didn't really know what I was making but something popped into my mind from an RSD video by Ozzie where he talks about perfectionism. I'm used to reading about recipes and following them strictly to get at the desired result but what happens when I don't have access to those recipes? I figured true learning of cooking requires to be able to think on the spot and congregate one's thoughts of ingredients and tastes and be able to improvise. This is analogous to most of life and I need to treat it so if I want to let go of the hand-holding comfort zones I'm so entrenched in. I recorded and sent my answers about gaming addiction to the documentary by @LukeBTW. Took me a while, was procrastinating and being very perfectionist about it. Here is a song that makes me feel close to crying :)
  18. Day 36, I decided to run a different direction this morning to change the scenery, slightly longer than my usual route. I would say my stamina to run has increased by 20-25% since about a month ago. Soon I will be running up hills :D I finished up the 4 little steps and decorated the edges with bark. The next part is a long L shaped section which is postponed till Friday, until we get some more bricks, bark and weed matting. I ate more than I needed at lunch today but will make up for it tomorrow by exercising in the morning and before dusk. I really wonder now how non-HSP people experience life different from my experience. Is this sensory sensitivity very subtle in physical feeling or is it more 'mentally' derived by the Reticular Activation System. Read two pages of Peter's posts at HSPnotes.com and found that he has similar issues to work that I have. We both lack ambition of wanting to work beyond enough money to sustain ourselves at the level of 'enough'. He rather plays with his hobbies selling these beautiful hand-painted stones and collecting colourful rocks to sell to a jewelery maker and some other side projects. It's not that we are not motivated to work, it's just that our most 'inner beacon' of purpose is more powerfully attracted to do meaningful work over the sole acquisition of money; working in jobs that don't instigate creativity or a sense of self-worth through helping others feels akin to being hooked up with depression in the form of an IV drip. Again, this leads me to wonder if this is tied to the trait of being an HSP or the nurtured defensive mechanisms I've learnt which seek control unhealthily. I did a little bit of Spanish but not enough. I've switched to a different app called Spanish from scratch which actually explains grammar usage and other useful things unlike the parrot-like learning of Duolingo which I have uninstalled. Here's a picture of Otto I took tonight with the 135mm
  19. Thanks, yea I was getting that vibe from your posts like how you have attention to detail about the Pricess Bride 'old' feeling look to it and how it gives you value, random drives out into nature or the attentive high level caring quality you give to each of your posts. I wish to emulate your writing style and disclipline one day @Dannigan, yours is so neatly organised - it is inspiring.
  20. Day 35, Today was much better, sticked to my routines and got some more steps done in the garden, hoping it will be sunny tomorrow :) Ate a little less impulsively today and introduced some sit-ups in the morning to burn a bit of belly fat. I'm somewhat self-conscious about my weight albeit less so than my teenage years with the recent years of exercising. Took out Otto on the leash, still crazy as ever but somewhat better than last time. He makes me run again before dusk which is a nice boost to my energy. He's like a partner, we help each other out. He didn't stray from my calls once and I got to really shout at the beach which I never do and noticed this of myself. Felt quite empowering, although I was seeing this through the eyes of other's - "Wow, he's really able to control his dog well". It's probably better to accept this of myself for myself but either way it felt good. I've opened a 40 inch monitor's worth of tabs about HSP, haha I'm mad I want to learn it all. I found a good blog on it and read every title and felt I could relate to my experiences. http://www.hspnotes.com/ It's cool how I respect my morning so much that I have a near zero-tolerance policy on sleeping late now. Alas it is that time!
  21. Day 34, Spent all day watching Youtube and Twitch streams. What triggered it was a gaming related video that popped up in my notifications on my phone. I thought I had deleted them all, seems there's still some in there. The positive lesson I learnt out of this is that this recovery process absolutely requires a methodical and rational way of overcoming addiction. Relying on feelings and willpower is not reliable or effective. It was like I had hopped back on the same train tracks that I had binged on before for dopamine in an instant. This reminded me of the CBT therapy teachings I had learnt about in the last two years where we change behaviour by changing the neural pathways we use, over time the old pathways wilt and die away by not being used. Anyways I disabled my twitch account which is something good progress. I need to learn how to plan, I procrastinate so much. The meditation helped greatly this morning for the brief 1 hour or so after my run. God I'm such a dreamer haha, spent so much time playing games I expect the world to manifest just by my thinking :/ Not judging myself here, but telling it how I am. If I am indeed not serious about quitting then my actions reflect this. Why am I so restless and lack self-control. Maybe I should stop asking why and be the change I seek :S If that is the way, then I should act more to align with my thoughts. As I read this I can read the self-judgement in my words even though I say I am not. Let's get back up and try again tomorrow. Here's a song I discovered listening to Coachella today: Day 34, Spent all day watching Youtube and Twitch streams. What triggered it was a gaming related video that popped up in my notifications on my phone. I thought I had deleted them all, seems there's still some in there. The positive lesson I learnt out of this is that this recovery process absolutely requires a methodical and rational way of overcoming addiction. Relying on feelings and willpower is not reliable or effective. It was like I had hopped back on the same train tracks that I had binged on before for dopamine in an instant. This reminded me of the CBT therapy teachings I had learnt about in the last two years where we change behaviour by changing the neural pathways we use, over time the old pathways wilt and die away by not being used. Anyways I disabled my twitch account which is something good progress. I need to learn how to plan, I procrastinate so much. The meditation helped greatly this morning for the brief 1 hour or so after my run. God I'm such a dreamer haha, spent so much time playing games I expect the world to manifest just by my thinking :/ Not judging myself here, but telling it how I am. If I am indeed not serious about quitting then my actions reflect this. Why am I so restless and lack self-control. Maybe I should stop asking why and be the change I seek :S If that is the way, then I should act more to align with my thoughts. As I read this I can read the self-judgement in my words even though I say I am not. Let's get back up and try again tomorrow. Here's a song I discovered listening to Coachella today:
  22. @info-gatherer If you're getting upload error -200, it's because of the resolution size. You have to go into a photo editor (I used Paint.net) and look for the 'resize' tool and reduce the resolution. I've found things below 1920x1080 works... @Cam Adair might know the exact details?
  23. Day 33, The dinner was a success, now I know how to make celery tasty cheaply. Ran this morning and said good morning to most people I passed by, its much easier when pumped with endorphins, dopamine and all the other good stuff :D Filled out the bark surrounding the step I was working on yesterday and cleaned out most of the ground level of the next 4 small steps. Getting there day by day. Listened to more HSP podcasts, I'm trying to learn more about it before fully accepting myself as one, although it seems very spot on. It's a relatively new discovery made by Elaine Aron in 1999 so the data about it is relatively new in comparison to other dispositions. Pretty lazy day, tried to read: 10 pages took me 1 1/2 hours to read as my sister was blasting some music. I had to relocate to another room to finish reading. I keep procrastinating on making goals. I have a goal app in my phone but don't use it. Structure seems so un-easing for me even though I need it. I just find it hard to keep my thoughts on one thing at any one time. My meditation has weakened so that might be why, so let's start from there tomorrow.
  24. Hi Nate, If you want to know more about HSP you can start by reading https://www.amazon.com/Highly-Sensitive-People-Insensitive-World/dp/1785920669 or simply googling the topic. I'm still on the fence whether I am an HSP, about 20% of the population have the trait and 70% of them are introverts and 30% are extroverts. Here's a self-test you can try yourself http://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/ People speculate that it is potentially an beneficial trait for the human species in that we are more cautious in taking risky action. We like to take as much information as possible from our surroundings before coming to conclusions. This has it's pitfalls in that we can overthink things and miss the moment like over worrying what to say on a date because our reciepters are more sensitive than the average person. The benefits is that we are highly detail orientated and creative, suited to working in arts and highly empathetic, able to 'feel' the vibe of a group almost like an aura. There is small danger in this, in that we can 'take' up peoples problems very easily and can cause us to be fatigued, on the other hand allows us to be invaluable in fields of care like Psychotherapy, counselling, nursing, teaching, etc The reason I am on the fence whether I am an HSP or not is because I had a somewhat rough upbringing that made me form defensive coping mechanisms and behaviours of compulsiveness like gaming and not liking to talk to people. So I am unsure whether this sensitivity was forged from nature or nurture. Like the way I focus on all the little details before taking action: Is this because I have nurtured myself defensively because of the bullying I experienced when I was younger? Or is it a disposition from birth? One thing I notice though is I cannot read if there's noise around me, even if its low-medium volume, I repeatedly get distracted and re-read a paragraph 4-5 times and still don't get it. I have to physically leave the room and relocate. The little noise becomes a source of input that we attend to with as much attention as the words I'm reading. This is currently very important to me because I don't want to work behind a label and limit my capabilities according to the specifics of the condition but at the same time it provides a very comforting feeling of closure that I can accept myself as this sensitive person and work to my strengths. It probably doesn't matter where it originates from as long as we use it to empower ourselves but as you I am nitpicking it, to find the absolute truth. Loose ends make me feel queasy :) Another thing about HSP is we don't like shallow conversations, we would rather build relationships with people that communicate deeply about aspirations, feelings, hobbies, etc. This makes us very loyal and trusting people but we tend to have fewer friends as well. The definition of being an HSP overlaps commonalities with perfectionism and the INFP group; it seems very hard to distinguish. I am trying to read more and more about it until I feel I have a firm understanding.
  25. Day 32, I spent most of yesterday inside as it was raining and have decided to have weekends as off days for the miracle morning. That doesn't mean I slept in to 10 or 12 or anything like that but woke up at 7.30 or so. The idea of waking up at midday now feels draining and am incentivised to wake up early in general to increase my energy. I watched a video on qi qong mentioned in another person's journal and I want to look more into these mixed physical meditation exercises. I find sitting still and focusing on just breathing quite hard. The simple instructional video made me feel at ease just watching him to it, so I can only imagine how soothing actually doing these exercises must be. I continued reading half a chapter on psychotherapy where Branden talks about how important it is for psychotherapists to have their focus ultimately be geared towards bringing the positive aspects to the forefront so that the client can recognise it in her or himself, to own it. He values experiential learning through the client over explicit teaching because it is more empowering to learn relevant realities on your own than to superficially hear it from someone else and expect it to assimilate. That's not how self-esteem growth usually works and says "autonomy is strengthened in the very nature of the learning process". It eventually stopped raining and I got outside to work on another step in the stairs. I did most of the groundwork all that's left is to fill the sides with decorative bark. As I was working, I was listening to podcasts about HSP's and discovered Steve from the HSP Experience. At first I was defensive about his tales of alcoholism and addicitve behaviour wuestioning whether I should be listening to this guy who seems to be dipping into unconscious semi-regularly. But as I listened to his laugh and genuineness, I learned to forgive and see the bigger picture. Everyone's got problems and the way we grow is through compassion and balance not black and white dismissiveness of categorization. I also listened to another HSP podcast by Anastasia. Her first podcast talks about potential jobs for HSP's. She offers a guideline called SWOT borrowed from her business school days. S is for strength, W is weaknesses, O is opportunities and T is threats. She asks HSP's to go through these points about ourselves and find jobs that match these qualities we outline about ourselves. My sister made some nice risotta with ? and these are cheap and more plentiful meals that I want to learn to live more frugally. Tonight I will cook https://food52.com/recipes/21532-marcella-hazan-s-braised-celery-with-onion-pancetta-and-tomatoes because we still have left over celery from a previous night that actually costed quite a bit to purchase and would be a shame to throw away. Vegetables are somewhat expensive in New Zealand, specially in smaller towns with less competition with the lack of farmers markets. I spent my last waking hours writing the answers to the questions posed to me for a documentary, it took me an hour. I wanted to make the answers honest and effective. I didn't want to creep into my sleep schedule and held off writing my journal in order to sleep and here it is the next morning. I like writing at night time better as my recollection of thoughts is stronger and it allows me to expend the lingering thoughts productively for a good sleep.