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Ending to a New Beginning (90 detox)


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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


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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!


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3 hours ago, Dannigan said:

As for the young children playing Minecraft, that's an astute observation.  Yes, it's difficult and frustrating to see children absorbed into a video game at such a young age.  Personally, I think children should not be exposed to digital entertain like that until they are in their teens.  Neurologically, it is very over-stimulating for a young child.  I grew up with my siblings without video games.  We spent our days playing outside, enjoying nature, using our IMAGINATION and conjuring up fascinating stories, pretending to be in a desert or wilderness or a grand castle.  It was the most fun I've ever had in my entire life.  To this day, I reflect on my childhood as being a supreme example of what FUN is truly like when you are a kid, and have the freedom to express yourself through imagination and creativity.

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.

4 hours ago, Dannigan said:

But I can relate to those feelings of being over-stimulated with too many people talking all at once.  Sometimes I think that exposure is good, even if you are HSP.  The world can't always be a serene, quiet, and stress-free place.  I do understand that some things are less tolerable than others, but you survived and you don't have to come home to that sort of chaos.

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 :)

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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/


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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.

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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" :5_smiley: 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.


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.

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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.

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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. 5ae5955baa0eb_StormySea.thumb.jpg.a6dfa1a81026b1f8f11026ed9f85a36f.jpg

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.


Water, Shelter, Photography, Meditation and Food

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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: 


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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 


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On 4/30/2018 at 3:05 AM, Arch said:

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.

This is a very good point. 

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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. 

Bird LookoutSkate park GeomtryNo WheelsBird CutoutA Pronounced StanceVoting inLeading the future

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.

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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.


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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 take5aec2deb283c8_Flight2.jpg.2a4f62c430886dfed2dd3c3ced04eba4.jpg


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


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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.


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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 :)


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oh man, i like Qi Gong too! I used to practice Qi Gong, but i have to stop it currently, since i have been thriving for my postgraduate study. My study schedule is so packed and stressful that I can no longer quite my mind to practice Qi Gong. Great to see you on Day 54 though. Keeping going!! i am rooting for you!

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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!


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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.


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 :224_monkey: 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.



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.


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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.


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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)

  1. Dig out dirt and roughly level

  2. Cut out one piece of matting to fit the step.

  3. Carry paving stones upstairs and place near workplace.

  4. Place and level stones to be walk-able on


2 Maintain Miracle Morning routine for 1 week

  1. Wake up at 6AM every weekday, I can take off the 6AM requirement for weekends but not sleep past 8AM

  2. Fill cup with water and place at bedside the night before.

  3. Drink water first thing after waking up every day this week

  4. Meditate for 10 minutes


3 Journal on Game Quitters @ 9.45PM latest.

  1. Write my activities of the day honestly

  2. Write important thoughts and feelings that came up.


5 Start a Gratitude Journal

  1. Write 5 things I’m grateful of every weekday

  2. Write Gratitude @ 9AM


6 Practice Spanish

  1. Spend 30 minutes on Great Courses Plus Spanish course 5 days a week (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat)

  2. Look for website to practice speaking Spanish to real people.

  3. Speak about things I recall in my Spanish learning in real life and in GQ Journal


7 Paint bedroom this weekend (12-05.18)

  1. Get equipment (paint, paintbrushes, etc) to paint.

  2. Clear all the materials out of the room

  3. Get dropcloth

  4. Get old clothes to paint with


Goals for Wellington

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

  1. Look up vegetarian dinner recipes for this week

  2. Cook minimum 2 recipes this week.

  3. Take note of my thoughts and ideas of the cooking process

  4. 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.


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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


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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. 


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