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Posts Tagged ‘sitting’

In my research on weight-loss, I discovered that loneliness is one of the biggest risk factors for weight gain. So it’s no surprise to me that when I feel lonely (often), I crave comfort foods (often).

What prompted me to write this post today is that I was just now feeling low energy and a bit discouraged with my lack of progress on some projects. So I chose to let myself feel those feelings. And a sadness came over me to the point of tears. Why am I crying? And the answer was clear. I’m lonely. And my next thought was: Go get junk food and/or beer. But I know that’s not a sustainable solution. Fuck it, who cares anyway? It doesn’t matter.

And so loneliness becomes hopelessness. Loneliness is my trigger for hopelessness.

The other side of this is that even when I’m with people, I often struggle to be present with them. Some people are very easy for me to engage with, to feel connected and present with. But with others, I get lost in my head no matter how strong my intention to be present is. I feel separate from them, and lonely even in their company.

On a related note, I’ve been neglecting the sitting meditation component of this 100-day experiment. Until today, that is. I sat for 10 minutes this morning. It’s time to emphasize my practice of presence, by myself (through sitting meditation) and with others.

I will also make an effort to socialize more regularly. And I will schedule more of my writing sessions outside of my house, at the library or at the coffee shop.

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Emotional state today: Not down

I felt drowsy during my sit this morning because I stayed up late last night. I must remember that the quality of my sit is affected by how much sleep I get. My practice of meditation does not live in a vacuum. This is a holistic perspective of my life.

I did not workout today. I had an opportunity early this evening to do some pushups when I got home from my meetings, but I got distracted from that thought, and so half forgot and half blew it off.

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Emotional state today: Up

Triumvirate complete: Sat for meditation, wrote, worked out. Stark contrast to yesterday. I felt good about things today.

Today was Workout E, seven sets each of 10 lunges and 10 burpees. I completed the full workout in 21 minutes, the same amount of time as last time. But this time it felt easier. I probably could have pushed myself to a higher level of intensity, but I was being very attentive to my knee so that there would be no pain.

I had a very intense conversation (argument?) with a friend today. What was great about this is that I usually avoid conflicts like this at all costs. And when I can’t avoid them, they make me extremely uncomfortable, to the point where I get flustered and can’t think straight. But today I was able to maintain an intensity of style without the intensity of emotion. I felt relatively detached. I still cared very much about my argument and felt it (and the relationship with my friend) was worth the intensity and energy, but I didn’t feel that my sense of self was being threatened. This is maybe the first time I’ve ever experience conflict like this.

I can’t help but think that this experience is the result of the shifts I’ve made in these 100 days.

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Emotional state today: Not down

I noticed during my sit this morning that much of my suffering is the result of imagining conflicts with people over things that may never even happen. I can get lost in these negative fantasies for 5, 10, 15 minutes. And at the end of it, it feels almost as if I’d actually had the argument or fight. It’s total insanity. At least now, though, I seem to be able to smile at this mental process after I’ve caught myself doing it. And I have a strategy (using my iPod) to preempt these negative fantasies during certain “risk” activities (like washing the dishes, brushing my teeth, etc.).

I wrote today!

I also fit in a short pushup workout, 4 sets totaling 100 pushups. (I also sat for a second time tonight at my meditation group.) Triumvirate complete!

But I deviated from the diet slightly. I ate a pretzel nugget and 3 jelly beans at my nieces’ neighborhood Easter egg hunt. I think I slipped into “check out” mode. I’m so close to the end of these 100 Days of Fitness that I’m starting to project myself beyond them. The temptations are getting stronger.

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Emotional state today: Not down

I did not sit today. Once again, I did not make time for it in the morning and then the day got away from me. I must remember the lesson from yesterday: Consistency is the key to growth.

I also did not use my iPod as consistently as I could have, and I found my mind going repeatedly to thoughts of old conflicts and resentment. And I felt them just as real as if they were relevant now. It’s like I resurrected them—emotion zombies eating away at me.

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Emotional state today: Not down

I sat later in the day than usual, early afternoon, and heard my housemate come home. Knowing I planned to workout following my meditation and knowing that he usually watches television or plays video games in the same room, I found myself getting anxious about the idea of working out with him around (normally my workouts are private). So I explored the emptiness of that anxiety and very quickly saw that I was constructing it. A deep sense of peace came over me with the knowledge that any “problem” was only a story in my mind.

For my workout, I did Workout C and it was my best one yet. I did 6 sets (I working towards 8 sets), which I had only done once before. They consisted of 90 lunges, a 20% increase from last time but they same as my previous best; and 142 pushups, a 13% increase from last time and a 3% increase from my previous best. It was challenging but I can now see the possibility of doing all 8 sets.

I noticed that the top of my chest is filling out in a way I’ve never noticed before. It’s the power of consistency. Sticking with something produces results, but more than that, it leads to experiences you’ve never had before. I’m now convinced that they key to growth in any area of my life is consistent action.

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I did not sit today. I stayed up late last night and slept in this morning until just before my first appointment.

Today was Workout B, 12 sets of burpees for 30 seconds each, separated by 30 seconds of rest. My total was 92, up 2 from my workout a week ago, and a 4.5% increase from the last time I did Workout B.

I’ve started reading As A Man Thinketh by James Allen, and he talks about a deliberate practice of filling one’s head with the thoughts that are consistent with the kind of life you want. This is an idea that’s become incredibly popular in the past 10 years or so, and I’ve studied many techniques for doing it, but I haven’t committed to any. I mentioned recently that I can shift my thinking at any given moment but it slips back to negative. What’s missing is the consistency, the follow through.

I need to start filling my head proactively with positive stuff as often as possible. But I get overwhelmed by all the different techniques, so I need to just pick one or two and stick with them. Here’s my tentative plan:

1. I’m going to build a playlist on my iPod of affirming songs and lectures and I’m going to use it throughout the day. If I’m not focused on something where I need silence, or I’m not consciously choosing silence, I will listen to this playlist. When I’m washing dishes, brushing my teeth, driving, etc.

2. I’m going to focus on appreciation. Maybe start an appreciation journal, maybe make a list every evening, I’m not sure exactly what yet, but some practice of appreciation.

And of course, I’ll continue with my practice of sitting meditation.

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