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  1. YEAR 1 REVIEW INTRODUCTION One year ago I have made a commitment to keep a journal for at least a year. I am still here so the main goal is completed. Of course, journaling by itself is just a tool. Lets review how useful this tool was. I am slowly reading through the journal and also some random notes that I have since 2015. I hope this review will be useful to someone who has just started or trying to start putting continuous efforts towards turning inwards. First of all I want to thank @Leo Gura for all the content provided an of course this forum. Also thanks to everyone who has been here with me: @schmitzy @saikou @Marc Schinkel @Piotr @ iago iriarte arhatha @quantum @The Motorcyclist @K VIL @-nbolt- @Kenhol @Moximi So, here I present to you an experience of a 26 y/o taking up the path of self-actualization. WHERE I WAS BEFORE THIS JOURNAL I felt like I was afraid to fully live. I felt vulnerable and naturally tried to avoid things that caused me discomfort, therefore I was avoiding life itself. I was tired of not following through and being stuck at the same place for years. It does not mean that I was not moving forward but there were certain bad habits, addictions, mindsets that made moving forward very slow Most of the time my attempts to change something were forced. I overrated immediate will-power and did not fully understand the full power of continuous commitment to taking small steps. It was very black and white – this is good and this is bad. If I fell of track I fell for good. I did not have the courage to deal with failure face to face and this led back to the lifestyle which I was trying to get away from. My efforts were very much cyclical – feeling tired of current lifestyle > creating a plan/making a commitment > brute forcing for few days or weeks > getting first results > feeling better > falling of track once or twice > getting back to the previous lifestyle > continuing until I can‘t ingnore the fact that this is not the way to live life. And the cycle starts again. My efforts were sincere but there was no stable platform to work with. When I finished university I knew life was about to change. It was up to me to choose a direction and start moving. I was reading this forum from time to time and decided to start journaling here. This journal as a tool was intended to help my stay consistent and it did help a lot. MAIN MILESTONES WEEK 1 – started installing new habits. WEEK 4 – first test yoga class. WEEK 5 – daily meditation time increased to 25 minutes, starting to meditate cross-legged. WEEK 7 – started meditating in the morning instead of evening. WEEK 8 – started attending introduction to meditation course. WEEK 9 – started regularly attending yoga classes. WEEK 13 – discovered Ken Wilber. WEEK 15 – attended my first ever retreat (3 days). WEEK 16 – implementing new morning routine (waking up at 6,), meditation time increased to 30 minutes. WEEK 24 – discovered Sadhguru. WEEK 28 – new year led to refreshed motivation. WEEK 29 – reading “Inner Engineering”. WEEK 31 – reading Marcus Aurelius “Meditations” WEEK 32 – got sick and went totally out of control. WEEK 34 – attended retreat (4 days). WEEK 41 – started experimenting with intermittent fasting. WEEK 42 – started “Inner Engineering” course. WEEK 46 – started attending new and more dedicated yoga class. GOAL REVIEW I have embraced the power of excel so I can communicate information more easily. This is a summary of how I did on each of my main goals. JOURNALING – Goal completed Green – full journal entries Yellow – short journal entries Red – no entry I kept my journal consistent. There were some challenging times but I have never ever before managed to journal for that long. EXERCISING – goal completed Did pretty well. 38 weeks of good exercise, 7 weeks a bit fragmented, 3 weeks of lazy ass, 2 weeks I was sick and did not exercise and white gap is for the week which I had no notes on. I was introduced to yoga. At the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing but now I am in a good shape and my back problems are not causing as much discomfort. Also I have touched the surface of what yoga is all about and there are many more areas to explore there. Sometimes it is still a challenge to exercise in the morning but this habit is something I intend to cultivate till the end of my days. MEDITATING – goal completed When I started meditating I was quite neurotic about not skipping a day. It might have helped me to create a habit but later I became a bit less intense about that because sometimes I meditated just to get that check mark. There were days that just did not have a time window for a quality meditation and that is fine. Started with meditating in the evening and after few weeks I transitioned to meditating early in the morning. This seemed to work better for me. In the beginning, I meditated sitting on the chair. Later on, I learned to meditated cross-legged. I can’t do it for a long time period but 30 minutes is just fine. Starting with minimum 20 minutes per day I moved it to 30 minutes. During retreats, I meditated for 4 hours per day. Same as exercising it is still a challenge. As you can see I had 7 weeks where I did not meditate or meditated very little. 6 weeks of half-assing and 37 weeks of solid meditation practice. In general, as for someone who has almost none meditation experience this is a good start. EATING HEALTHY – goal completed 21 weeks of displaying good eating habits. Same number of weeks I had moments where I binged a little bit although any of those yellow weeks are better than my nutrition before starting the journal. 8 weeks I ate poorly. This looks like a 50-50 result but when I compare it to my previous eating habits this is definitely a significant improvement. LIMITED SOCIAL MEDIA TIME – goal completed My habit to share information on social media has disappeared completely. I still browse but I spend little time there. 5 weeks I have been out of control. It went well together with bad nutrition, smoking and gaming. Anyway, goal completed. NO SMOKING – goal failed This is the goal that I failed at the most. Very often I did not even try. Reading through the journal I could easily see that whenever I tried to quit I have experienced more anger. In general, I smoked less because I did not smoke at work but during weekend I mostly smoked like I always used to. I became a bit less neurotic about quitting smoking. At times, I was completely content with smoking but whenever I think long term I always want to quit. It was a bit absurd to read how many times I debated with myself how bad smoking is for me, how many times I tried to quit and I am still smoking. It is a tool to procrastinate or escape from uncomfortable situations when socializing or just simply to distract myself. Goal failed. This has to go. It takes away a lot of energy and attention from what is most important in life. NO GAMING – goal failed 23 weeks with no gaming, 6 weeks with a little bit of gaming and 22 weeks of gaming for at least half a day (sometimes an entire weekend). The fact that this score is still better from what it used to be before journaling is unsettling. I have a program that tracks how much time I spent using certain programs and statistics are just sad. To sum up I meditated about the same amount of time as I spent gaming. GENERAL SCORE If I sum up all the scores from all the main goals this is a chart that I get: This means that more than half of the time I was moving forward, 18% of the time I was hybernating and 24% of the time I was moving backwards. Of course this statistic is mainly for fun : ) SECOND TIER GOALS There is no sugar in my coffee anymore. This was one of the easiest goals. A relatively stable sleeping regime was installed. I tried installing affirmation habit but in the end I just did not find a good use for it. Finger cracking still happens occasionally but it is not a constant compulsive habit anymore. Ending shower with a burst of cold water quite easily became a habit. Attended two retreats. Listened to couple audio programs and read two books on self-development. Watched entire Sadhguru youtube channel. This was not really a goal but improved nutrition and continuous exercising helped me to lose 6kg. I have a stable weight now which has not changed much for the last 5 months. MAIN LESSONS LEARNED Don’t try to change other people. I have become much more reserved when it comes to giving advice. Instead of trying to change them I am trying to be them, to see the world from their perspective. It is something that has to be practiced at any opportunity that is available. Keeping an open mind. Oh boy, can’t stress how important this is. Being overly confident that you know what is right and what is wrong leaves very limited space for self-reflection. As the time goes by illusion gets deeper and deeper and eventually one can find himself living in a very small black and white world. The immense importance of being present. It is all there is. The rest is something that mind has a power to create. Freedom = present moment Anger in its essence is a denial of reality. Experiencing anger (or irritation) has a very direct relation to the amount of sleep, meditating, exercising and nutrition. I was experiencing it when I started installing new habits and also at the times where I fell off track and tried to come back. Also I noticed that whenever I attempted to quit smoking I experienced more anger. Get ready for the change of environment. It is easier to install new habits in a safe home environment but it is way more difficult to implement them once the environment changes. Whatever it is: visiting parents, going on a holiday, travelling, spending time with friends, getting sick (this one threw me off balance big time) etc. It will likely trigger old patterns so get ready. Anticipation of the upcoming challenges is very important. Getting sick is not an excuse to turn off consciousness. I got sick twice throughout the year and both times I fell off balance. If it happens so that I get sick my main focus should be how to get healthy. However, I used „sick time“ as an excuse to do whatever I craved for. This might have actually prolonged my illness. Consistency is the key. During the first month I was mostly in a bad mood. The sheer amount and variety of negative emotions was a lot to deal with. Becoming more aware is not necessarily a pleasant experience because there is no place to hide from your own flaws which have been ignored. It is not easy to become more aware of how rarely I am aware. At times, it felt like moving backwards but now I see that it was an unavoidable part of this journey. As Leo said in one of his videos "first three years of self-development might feel like you are regressing". What matters the most is to stay on track. My mind was my inner self but now I experienced the difference. I am more connected with my body and the signals it sends me (including emotions). There is a lot of work to do but I am moving forward. In general, there is less negativity and more appreciation and acceptance, less fear and more clarity. Also more confidence which helped me a lot at work and while socializing. It is very difficult to fully express the growth that I experienced but I am very very happy for all the things that happened throughout the year. Looking forward to continuing this journey. QUOTES To end the review I wanted to share some quotes that had an impact for me this year: “The person who can freely acknowledge that life is full of difficulties can be free, because they are acknowledging the nature of life - that it can't be much else.” "If you stop constantly trying to make yourself happy it counterintuitively makes you more happy" "Fish discovers water last" "You can't think yourself into the right action but you can act yourself into the right thinking" "The reason why you want to become better is the reason why you are not." "Life is exactly what it is." "Confirming your belief systems does not get you closer to truth." "Being at peace is not a goal, it is a necessary requirement for doing anything at all." "Do you want authority to be the truth or do you want truth to be the authority?" "Purpose of meditation is merging into reality and this is what happiness is." "When the student is ready the master will appear." "Stress is not a necessary part of your life, it is just your inability to manage your mind and emotions." "Confidence without clarity is a disaster." "It is impossible to connect the dots when all you have is one infinite dot." "When one grows he also becomes smaller." YEAR 2 BEGINS I will start a new thread for the second year soon. This has been one long post but I hope it was worth reading for you. Thank you all for the support and see you next year! TakeCare
  2. WEEK 51 DAY 354 Finally, I woke up at 6 in the morning. I did not really meditate, I sat and drank lemon water really slowly. Contemplated my current situation and what I am going to do next. I feel like I know everything that I need to know for the current moment. Every moment I become more conscious I am immediately focusing on what is most important right now. I fix my sitting posture, I relax my shoulders, I focus on the task at hand, I listen to my thoughts reminding myself that I am not my thoughts and so on. No coffee. Practiced hatha yoga. Just one day I already feel way better. I did smoke in the evening though and ate a bit more than I needed. DAY 355 Woke up with a question: why smoking is a problem for me at all? Nobody is forcing me to smoke but now I am sitting at work and dealing with cravings. I can either go to smoke or to keep working until it passes. I will not smoke until I get back home - thats for sure. Woke up at 6 in the morning again. Meditated for like 10 minutes then laid down and fell asleep. It is so easy to drop good habits and it takes immense effort to reinstall them back. I really tried this morning... I guess it takes a bit more time to restore sleep schedule and morning routine. Yoga class was amazing as usual. DAY 356 Morning routine completed successfully: pranayama + exercise + meditation + cold shower. This morning in a bus I saw a girl. Still thinking about her. As much as I try to stop idealizing people she seemed to be incredible. She seemed somehow wise and her looks were not flashy but as elegant as it gets. I know I am in a relationship. Things like these happens I suppose. The thing is that this encounter triggered something very deep inside of me. I felt motivated to be the best I can be. There was a connection with a strength inside that simply abolished all the so called "problems" that have been worrying me lately. I have reconnected with that sensation multiple times throughout the day. Qoute: "You can't become better, you can only become something else." DAY 357 45 minute meditation this morning. It was alright although I started doubting am I really meditating? I know I am not sleeping but am I meditating? My mind starts wandering and I bring it back to breathing but soon enough it goes wandering again. Mind attacks were intense today. Keeping distance from the chatter was not easy and inconsistent but overall I was quite aware of what was happening inside. DAY 358 Skipped morning meditation so I could go to yoga class in the morning. And it was amazing (as well as amazingly tough). I contemplated a lot about certain kind of attachments which I have never thought much about. Well, I thought about it a lot but I have never considered that to be an attachment. What I am talking about is emotions (especially ones that I love the most). I take certain action because I expect certain result. In the end that result is almost inevitably an emotion. External physical world is just a tool to get into certain states. Seeing how attached one is to external physical world is easier than understanding attachment to emotions. I guess it is normal human nature to prefer feeling pleasantly but feeling poorly should be accepted too. "Whatever you can do - you do, whatever you cannot do - you cannot do" DAY 359 Crystal clear morning and relatively quiet day with time and space for relaxation and reflection. DAY 360 Basically spent the whole day reading through my journal and working on year 1 review. WEEK 51 REVIEW Goal review Routine goals: Exercising + breathing exercises daily - Check (6/7) Meditating for at least 30 mins everyday - Check (6/7) Cold shower - Check (6/7) No smoking - Failure (no effort) No gaming - Check Limited social media time - Check Eating healthy - Check (very good this week) Setting at least one hour per week for review - Check. So that’s it. Year 1 completed. Writing a summary at the moment. See you soon, TakeCare
  3. Lately I became inconsistent. Here is very short summary of my scrabbled notes from last three weeks. I got sick and that really threw me off balance. WEEK 48 DAY 333 Still not feeling well. Missed my morning meditation because I felt like I really need more sleep. --- As I sat at my desk at work I commited to keeping an excellent sitting posture no matter what. --- I managed to sit really well today. Listening to Ryan Kurczak for a bit. I find his material really helpful. Also, there is an amazing youtube channel that I want to share with you. I found that very often I can't listen to music because it affects my concentration. I was looking for a while and then I found channel called "meditative mind - meditation music". There are tons of all kinds of ambient sounds that provide a peaceful background for work. That has been my go to place for the last couple of weeks. DAY 334-339 I got sick. This time it was no joke. Spent some time in bed, some time watching tv series, some time sleeping. Did nothing of value throughout the week. Couple of times I tried to really feel what I was feeling and it was horrible. WEEK 49 DAY 340 It was my last sick day. Did not do much. Mostly felt confused and not ready to get back to life. DAY 341 Well, hello there! I came back right into tornado. There was no transitioning, just an immediate jump into ice cold water. There was so much shit going wrong at work that there was no time to worry about how I feel and that actually was refreshing. DAY 342 I am not really here yet. I am once again sinking into the depth of compulsiveness and I just can't seem to break the pattern. Probably because I do not really want to. DAY 343-344 No entry. DAY 345-346 Traveled a little bit these days. WEEK 50 DAY 347 I am backsliding and that is obvious to me. My morning routine was almost non-existent these last few weeks. I have kept up with exercising but it lacked consistency. I haven't meditated for the last two weeks and the result is apparent in my daily life. DAY 348-349 No entry. DAY 350-353 Travelling abroad. FEW WORDS ABOUT WEEK 48-50 So, a lot of backsliding these last few weeks. Some efforts here and there but in general I did not do very well and eventually it even led to self-bashing. There are some questions concerning my professional life, relationships and future that I am struggling with. There are no easy answers or solutions. Also, my first year of continuous focus on self -actualizing is almost over. There will be an entry next week and then year two begins. I want to end this year on a good note.
  4. WEEK 47 DAY 326 Woke up not feeling very well. Went to the other room to start my morning routine and laid down. I wanted to sleep. No motivation to meditate. I had thoughts like "well, I am feeling poorly, it will not be a good meditation anyway" but something clicked inside and I knew what will happen next and that was meditation. I sat and had one of the most focused meditations in a month or so. During the weekend I started experimenting with my meditation method and this morning I proved that it is the way to go. Also, had few insights this morning and the most significant one was that observation is not necessarily something that you have to put effort to. You do not have to focus intensly to see what happens in front of you. Once the mind quiets down it is very natural and I experienced that very clearly this morning. --- I am sitting at work and I just can't comprehend that life is happening right now. Also, I have consciously and effortlessly skipped my usual morning coffee. --- Towards the end of the workday experienced some cravings for a smoke. DAY 327 I am getting sick. Not feeling well at all. Hits hard on my motivation to do anything. DAY 328 Well, I got sick. Spent day at home drinking tea and mostly lying in bed. DAY 329 I felt better this morning so I went back to work. Despite the circumstances there was strong motivation to push through apparent problems. Yoga class in the evening was awesome although my back hurts a bit. It is my weak spot. Actually, I got into yoga because of this problem and now I am practicing it for much bigger reasons than that. DAY 330 There was a significant birthday celebration at work and once again it was apparent to me how easily I can loose balance. DAY 331 Morning routine more pleasant than usually. It was very peaceful. It has been a very active day and I was happy and exhausted in the end. DAY 332 My sickness has came back and my will power has vanished. I might have spent too much time outdoors yesterday. Day was spent gaming and drinking herbal tea. Oh and I smoked. Oh and it means I do not having consistent motivation. The direction in which I attempt to move forward is disrupted by my addictions and neurosis. Nothing new. WEEK 47 REVIEW Goal review Routine goals: Exercising + breathing exercises daily - Check (5/5) (skipped couple of days because of ill health) Meditating for at least 30 mins everyday - Check (5/5) (skipped couple of days because of ill health) Cold shower - (1/1) Cancelled because of sickness. No smoking - Failure (no effort) No gaming - Failure (Sunday lost) Limited social media time - Check Eating healthy - Check (because birthday, otherwise fine) Bus study habit - Check (4/4) Setting at least one hour per week for review - Check. Thoughts I am loving my new yoga class. Now I am starting to understand what I am actually doing. Environment is really nice. There is also an atmosphere of commitment and dedication. Not to mention that after finishing the introduction class there are opportunities to move forward. It is not only hatha yoga that is being taught there. I won't go into details but what I want to say is that I am really thankful that I found this place. Thats it for this week, TakeCare
  5. Before I begin I forgot to tell one little thing about last weekend. As I told I spent Saturday gaming, smoking and eating whatever. After I was done I still had 3 cigarettes left so I decided to throw them away because I intended to not smoke on Sunday. Before throwing away I broke them into 4-5 pieces because I knew I will probably be craving for a smoke pretty bad tomorrow. Here comes fun part - on Sunday I woke up, had breakfast and went to my trash can looking for the broken cigarettes. I collected what I could and thought I will make new cigarette from what I managed to scrap. I did not have any rolling paper though because I threw it all away some time earlier. I spent about 10 minutes looking for solution and in the end I rolled tobacco into a receipt and went to smoke. It was not a good smoke. It was full of shame and self-bashing. So here it it. I hope this will be the last episode of this nature since the new week has begun. WEEK 46 DAY 319 I have dreamt a moon tonight. Then another one appeared. Then another one. Eventually sky was full of moons as ir became bright as day. --- Compulsions are the way to avoid life. --- Since I was very determined not to smoke I did not have any compulsions to do that. Instead of craving for a smoke I faced strong cravings to eat more than I need, preferably in sugar form. I did fine though. --- Did not smoke today. Finally at least one day successful. It has been a while. Could not fall asleep easily though. I felt so messed up, shit. I just could not lay down still. Panic was settling in. I actually started praying at some point and surprisingly I relaxed and fell asleep. It happened so naturally it was weird. The entire day was weird and full of everything. DAY 320 Had a grotesque dream tonight. It included choking kittens to death. My subconscious is going wild. At least I know why - it is because I was pushing really hard yesterday and I intend to keep doing the same today. Also, my new yoga class starts today. ---- It is tough at work. Not because of the work but because of that I resist so many things. Problem is that most of the time I do that unconsciously. Sometimes I cannot grasp what I am resisting. Pressure on chest is back. I did not have this feeling when I was attending to my cravings. Today there were two strong waves of cravings which I observed. ---- Moving towards the end of the workday - really want to smoke again. How does it feel? Where does it feel? Is it shifting or staying the same? After trying to answer these questions I understood that it feel a lot like thirst. Maybe I just want to drink? DAY 321 I woke up at night and couldn't fall back asleep. I thought maybe its 5 or 5:30 in the morning so I decided to wake up because I can't sleep anyway. I checked my phone and it was 1:30 at night. Well that was unexpected. I remembered a good tip from Ryan Kurczak, where he said he never complains about not being able to sleep. If he can't sleep he goes to meditate. So did I. I meditated for a bit more than half an hour and then went back to sleep. When I woke up I actually felt worse than I did did at 1:30. In the morning I chose to drink tea rather than coffee. Every time I drink coffee after an hour or so I feel really thirsty and want to drink again. Not to mention all the extra trips to the toilet. ---- Today there is a lot of resistance towards work. Trying to just do things and observe. There is pressure builduing up in chest area as I type. Doing fine fow now. Head is sleepy though. ---- Feeling a bit better after dinner. I also had coffee and a little sugar intake. I was getting desperate and taking care of those cravings helped me to move along with my work. I know its a temporary solution. It is not that I wanted sweets or coffee specifically, I wanted anything that would feel good immediatelly. ---- When I got back home after work I was just so so tired. Really wanted to smoke but I made it through. An hour or so later I was really happy I did not smoke. I do not want to go back to square one. DAY 322 Happy birthday to me. Feeling weird, not sleepy nor awake and not somewhere in between. Feels like my head is full of water. Today there was yoga at work and then yoga class after work. I still feel pain from the lesson on Tuesday. DAY 323 Today is my day off to do the work that I haven't done last weekend. I sat down to work but after half an hour or so I am dealing with cravings for gaming. Did alright nonetheless. Worked for three hours then took a break. Completed my morning routine at midday because I used this day off as an opportunity to have extra hour of sleep. I have a feeling that I might be lacking sleep a little bit although it is really hard to tell because my body is simply going crazy this week - no smoking (still staying strong), increased amount of yoga and general strive for alertness keeps things at some sort of stable-chaos which is like a chaos within some relatively defined boundaries. Blah. Words. I just feel unusual, that's it. Also there was some resistance during exercise and meditation. While I was cooking I had a minute of involvement with sweets which resulted in 100% craving driven mindless eating. Amount was very moderate. I did not even feel bad that I ate those candies. What I did not like is my emotional/mental state at the time of indulgence. Anyway, going back to work. --- I think I should avoid drinking coffee for at least a week. I have a habit of drinking two cups of coffee everyday and I crave for it if I don't get it. I am do not think it is the best time to do that next week because I kind of have my plate full with new yoga class and not smoking. Relapsing is a posibility so I guess slow and steady is the way to go. Anyway, if I do not want to drink coffee I do not have to do that but I want to avoid setting a clear "no no" on drinking coffee since it can create unnecessary resistance and tension. --- Watched Leo's retreat report and probably related to him more than ever before. So I want to say big thanks for all the content he provided. Thank you. DAY 324 So there was a celebration yesterday. I drank what I consider as an optimal amount - 2 beers. Unfortunately, I smoked. I just do not know how to hang out with drinks and without smoking. Anyway, there are no hard feelings. I woke up today and I do not want to smoke. As long as I do not relapse into a daily smoking it is fine. So far so good. --- I am feeling pretty well after yesterday so I decided to sit for one hour of work just to see how it goes and all of the sudden I want to start gaming. --- So I worked for an hour and half and started gaming. What happened later was interesting. I played for about an hour and half and all of the sudden I stopped. There was no effort to stop. There was realization that I do not really want to do that. I wanted when I started but now I really would rather do something else. So in the end I worked for another hour and I am feeling really happy now. I could have resisted playing and would probably keep bugging me throughout the day but problem kind of solved itself for now. This is great! Also, no relapsing to smoking. That is also great! --- I have really overdid yoga this week. I feel like I rolled down the stairs. Everything hurts. DAY 325 So… Woke up, completed morning routine, worked for an hour and then my consciousness has gone somewhere else. I played games for like 7 hours and smoked 4 cigarettes. Week was going so well but I have stepped back on today. WEEK 46 REVIEW Goal review Routine goals: Exercising + breathing exercises daily - Check (7/7) Meditating for at least 30 mins everyday - Check (7/7) Cold shower - Check (7/7) No smoking - Mediocre (completely did not smoke for 5 days, a lot of effort) No gaming - Failure (a bit on Saturday and shit ton on Sunday) Limited social media time - Check Eating healthy - Mediocre (because birthday, otherwise fine) Bus study habit - Check (4/4) Setting at least one hour per week for review - Check. Other updates: Started attending another yoga class. Thoughts This week journaling was a bit more "live". I often wrote just after something has happened rather than sitting down in the evening to write about the last day(s). This week was great. There was a lot of progress. I messed up a little bit on Friday and a lot on Sunday but I feel like it has been a great week nonetheless. By the way, new yoga class looks very promising. Thank you for being with me, TakeCare
  6. @Moximi Thanks! Well, it was not easy but having a certain format and posting once a week seems to work for me. I will make sure to check your journal. WEEK 45 DAY 313 Woke up later, therefore did not have time to complete morning routine. But I found time to make coffee and go for a smoke. Luckily this is not the end of the story. In the middle of a cigarette I threw it away, went back to my room, collected all the rolling tobacco, papers, filters and other shit and threw it all away. Now I am sitting at work with some intense fucking cravings. DAY 314 Finally woke up feeling well. Had a productive day. Still smoked today. I came to a point where in the evening I think one thing and in the morning I think totally opposite. It reminds me of my teenage years. Of course it is less messed up now and it mostly concerns smoking. My super serious yoga class starts next week and I want to be ready for it. Also very soon I will have a birthday and that is, probably for the first time, unsettling. This weekend I intend to finish "Inner engineering" course then few days later yoga class starts and few days later there is my birthday. Sounds like a good time to realign and move in one direction. DAY 315 What does it mean to want something? Wishes can be vastly different. It is possible to define them by their nature, timing, recurrence, consistency, triggers, possibility, necessity, by the needs they met, what emotions they cause or if they are long-term or short-term. There are many more ways to define and categorize what one wants. Wanting something can have different names - like "a wish" for example. If one does not like what he wants it can be called a "craving", or "compulsion". If something one wants triggers strong emotions it can be expressed as a "desire". Well, English is my second language so I am only touching the surface but the point I am trying to get to is the fact that one can describe same thing in many different ways. By choosing one way to describe something you also change that very thing in your psychological reality. In existential reality things are not affected by words but in one's perception words are powerful. I kind of knew that but today it hit me real good. Or it ringed a bell. Or it clicked for me. Or it became present in my consciousness. Or it was an insight. Or it struck me as never before. So many ways to describe. Maybe I do not value words as much as I should. Sometimes I feel like every sentence should be crafted with utmost precision. First of all it would be really useful to contemplate on this symbol system that we use to communicate and define every single word that I use. Not only read the definition in the vocabulary (which might be useful too) but also define it all by oneself. Is that necessary? For every day life - probably not. But damn it would change the way one talks. DAY 316 I thought about sails today. It is kind of overused analogy but it is very accurate. Wind can change its direction but if you know how to use the sail you can always keep going where you want to go. I came back home and played guitar for a while. Just played some random chords and sang some random lyrics until I started crying. There was no specific reason. It kind of came out of nowhere. Also, it did not last long, just half a minute or so. DAY 317 & 318 Last week I mentioned that this journal is becoming a journal of shame. Well, this weekend I reached a peak. This is going to be really awkward but here comes super-honest confession. Basically I did what I used to do when I was 10 years old. I lied a lot and convincingly to avoid responsibilities and get what I want. Weekend actually started quite well. I attended lesson in "Inner engineering" but after an hour or so shit hit the fan. I knew that next week there will be changes and somehow old pattern was triggered which suggests doing whatever you crave for because few days later I will be on track anyway. It is the LAST TIME, just do whatever. I fought for like 10 seconds and then gave up. Saturday was spent playing games, smoking, eating random nonsense food and not working (I was supposed to finish a project). Sunday I woke up in shame and feeling like shit (smoked an entire pack yesterday). Then all of the sudden I came up with a story that my windows have crashed and I had to reinstall everything. Therefore all the "progress" that I have "achieved" on Saturday has disappeared. I played victim to save my ass. Does not feel good to lie. For that I paid with self-respect. Fair enough I guess. On Sunday I slowly recovered and the second part of the day was rather productive. Finished "Inner Engineering" course. WEEK 45 REVIEW Goal review Routine goals: Exercising + breathing exercises daily - Mediocre (4/6) Meditating for at least 30 mins everyday - Failure (3/6) Cold shower - Check (6/6) No smoking - Failure (really tried this week but still no continuous commitment) No gaming - Failure (Saturday hours dedicated for gaming) Limited social media time - Check (not counting Saturday though) Eating healthy - Mediocre (Saturday was crazy, otherwise decent) Bus study habit - Check (4/4) Setting at least one hour per week for review - Check. Other goals: Finished "Inner engineering" course. Thoughts I am counting on next week as the beginning of a new chapter (isn't it how I end my every weekly journal entry? lol). Stay strong, TakeCare
  7. WEEK 44 DAY 305 Morning studying in the bus was awesome. Here starts new habit! Today I realized that I can change it all at any moment but I choose not to. I am not talking about the results that one can only get after some time but about the direction. I am kind of moving forward but I feel it is time to step up, to focus on what is dearest to me. During yoga I naturally visualized myself during the next weekend - meditating, eating healthy, spending very little time on the internet, not smoking and it all seemed so pleasant. Now it is difficult to fully reconnect with that experience. DAY 306 Yesterday decided it is time to take some action towards quitting smoking. So here I am, sitting without smoking and without breakfast and it is not fun. Came back home tired as usual and there were cravings for smoke. I chose not to and went to eat dinner. I ate too much. Food was healthy but the amount wasn't. I sat down to work because I have few projects that are getting closer to the deadline. In the end of the day I smoked one cigarette and it made me feel awful. I was very tired already but after smoke I just had no energy left at all. Trying to record this experience in my mind as vividly as I can. Before going to sleep I sat to meditate for 20 minutes extra. DAY 307 Today I am continuously trying to be more present at work. It is difficult. Trying to keep body and mind relaxed. Sounds very basic but it is tough. After lunch I made coffee and for the first time in quite a while I considered adding some sugar. I already feel out of balance and I am looking for an external solution to an internal problem. I drank coffee without sugar as usual. Staying strong. Cravings for a smoke at work hit me like 4-5 times. Managed to postpone it until I got back home. DAY 308 Since the end of the last week intermittent fasting has changed as an experience. I used to be totally fine without breakfast when I started, but after some time it has changed and I started struggling. I can feel the difference especially well this week. When I wake up I feel fine, I do my morning routine and feel alive and awake. After an hour or so I start to feel sleepy, there is some sort of heaviness on my head and it stays there until I eat. It would probably be better to skip dinner, not breakfast. I will look for a way to try that but for now I will get back to my earlier eating regime. Also, I met some people that I haven't seen for quite a while and they all said I look skinnier although I have never been visibly chubby. I should not go overboard with fasting. Breakfast was good. I really missed it. Morning started really well today, more focus on existential reality than psychological reality. Gradually it went back to normal but there definitely was more presence and less noise. I noticed myself tensing so many times and every time I breathed in and relaxed. Eventually I got tired but there came a sense of moving forward which I welcomed very much. DAY 309 Had an emotional roller-coaster today. Experienced total helplessness as well as proactive and braver than usual behaviour. DAY 310 & 311 & 312 Monday was a day off so I group these three days into a one because as an experience it was one hell of a same fucking story. Smoking, eating shit, doing nothing productive, behaving like a chimp. I feel useless and just simple plainly frankly fucking dumb. Fuck. WEEK 44 REVIEW Goal review Routine goals: Exercising + breathing exercises daily - Mediocre (5/8) Meditating for at least 30 mins everyday - Mediocre (5/8) Cold shower - Check (7/7) Intermittent fasting - Check (3/3) (goal completed for now) No smoking - Failure (some attempts but no continuous commitment) No gaming - Failure (5 hours dedicated for gaming and even more time for passive involvement) Limited social media time - Failure. Eating healthy - Mediocre (workdays fine, weekend unconscious) Bus study habit - Check (5/5) Setting at least one hour per week for review - Check. Other goals: No progress on "Inner engineering" course. No progress on reading. Thoughts What about the conscious weekend that I planned to have? (...) It has lately been a journal of shame. I have became cyclical with my relapses. Sometimes I feel that I am very good at torturing myself. Hey! Somehow amidst all the struggle I managed to install new habit - studying in the bus on my way to work. It is a small one but will accumulate some value in time. So here I stand once again, Still here, still chaos. TakeCare
  8. WEEK 43 DAY 298 Woke up all mellow and with no motivation. Just because of the habit I prepared lemon water and sat down. Drank some, did yoga. Sat for a while. Finished drinking water and meditated. Felt better immediately. Went to shower, did not want to turn on cold water at the end. Did anyway, just because I felt that I can enjoy it a little bit. Felt hungry, decided not to do intermittent fasting today. Opened the fridge, reevaluated situation and the fact that I am actually not that hungry and followed through with intermittent fasting. This is where habits pay off. Even day with a start like this transitioned into a beautiful and productive day. DAY 299 Quite a moderate day. Going to work earlier, leaving a bit later. Busy times continue. I registered to a yoga class which I wanted to attend for quite a while. Finally new group is being formed. It will start in three weeks. Looking forward. Very much. DAY 300 Today I prepared a lot of material for my e-reader. I had an idea to study certain work-related stuff but I could never find time. Everyday I take a bus to work and I have almost 15 minutes for studying. I listened to a lot of audio material during last months but currently I have nothing to listen to and also I kind of want to change the format for now. I decided to switch to reading. Going to try it out tomorrow. DAY 301 Turns out my e-reader does not display pdf's properly. I have changed file format (thanks to internet pdf to epub converters) so next time I am in a bus it should be fine. This content will keep me busy for a long time. Also, it is very important information for my profession. Morning was very tough. Slept poorly, bad dreams. Sat down to meditate and after 10 minutes I stopped. I will try to have a short meditation and yoga session at work during lunch break. I am trying to be flexible. When I started installing new habits I was very rigid. If I decided to do something I did it even if sometimes it did not contribute to my bigger goals. This morning I decided not to meditate because I felt poorly physically. I do not meditate to put a check-mark next to my goal, there is a bigger purpose here. Earlier it used to cause me some discomfort if I had to reschedule things or switch plans at the last minute. Now it comes more naturally. Successful mini yoga session and meditation at work. I am really grateful for having this opportunity. DAY 302 It was an interesting evening. Nothing bothered me. Whatever happened acceptance came naturally. It was a fluid and pleasant experience. DAY 303 Attended lesson number 4 in inner engineering course. This lesson so far had the biggest effect on me. Did some sightseeing in the city. All in all active day. One thing went wrong though - food. DAY 304 Shit hit the fan. Woke up feeling horrible. Sunday morning more stressful than Monday morning. I kind of put a lot of pressure on myself because there was a lot of stuff to do and as a result I attended inner engineering lesson 5 but did nothing else. Old patterns kicked in. I played games once again. The urge is so strong my mind goes blank. There was nothing else I wanted. Sad face. WEEK 42 REVIEW Goal review Routine goals: Exercising + breathing exercises daily - Check (6/7) Meditating for at least 30 mins everyday - Check (6/7) Cold shower - Check (7/7) Intermittent fasting - Check (5/5) (feeling good!) No smoking - Failure (no attempt here) No gaming - Failure (Sunday madness) Limited social media time - Check. Eating healthy - Mediocre (workdays fine, weekend too random) Setting at least one hour per week for review - Check. Other goals: Attended two lessons at Inner engineering course (2 lessons remaining). No progress on Kelly Mcgonigal "Will Power Instinct." Thoughts All in all not a bad week. The main focus for the next week is to HAVE A WEEKEND THAT I WOULD BE PROUD OF. It will be a three day weekend so I can really do some outer and inner work. I will eat healthy and will take part in no gaming. No matter who texts me or how I feel. I give my word of honor here. Gotta show some commitment. Thanks for being with me, TakeCare
  9. WEEK 42 DAY 290 Tension at work was steadily building up and before lunch break I already felt quite tense. The effect of yoga practice was amazing today. Everything seemed so light and I enjoyed every moment of it. Smoked 4 cigarettes. Here goes my attempt to quit. Attended 3rd lesson in an "Inner engineering class . This one was a bit difficult to fully comprehend. Mainly because of the way word "responsible" was used. Responsible - able to respond. DAY 291 Today I had thoughts that all this journaling is meaningless. I am trying to communicate experiential information which converted to wards becomes very much dry. There is so much happening. There was tension at work as well. I noticed how quickly my state changed when I shifted from being overwhelmed by new information to being focused on task. This is the transition that I want to learn to achive quickly whatever the circumstances. It would be best not to become overwhelmed by all the "problems" in the first place but if it happens (and it will happen for sure) I want it to become a habit to transition smoothly and quickly. Although, whatever becomes habit also has a tendency to become an unconscious activity. Therefore, becoming overwhelmed can lead to becoming more conscious. When I will be more conscious overall I think I would not get overwhelmed at all. DAY 292 Super intense day at work. DAY 293 No entry. DAY 294 Woke up all grumpy because of poor sleep quality. My drive to be better than others is actually what prevents me from growing. It is not easy to never look up to anybody and never look down on anybody. To make it really manifest in my life will take time and effort. I am trying to be continuously conscious at work. What I found out is that I am unable to sit with my back straight and body relaxed for more like a 30 seconds. I am so tense at work JESUS CHRUST! This will be my priority. This is such an obvious and important problem that I should be focusing 100% of my attention. How do I even survive? 8 hours of this state 5 times a week - it is a torture! DAY 295 Day did not start so well. Could not complete morning routine because I wasn't at home. Soon enough I got in a state where I ate too much of sweets and smoked very compulsively. There was an inner conflict happening as usual. As the day went by I was constantly "trying" to change the direction of my actions but the problem was I did not act consciously. I was just thinking - preparing. Physically felt terrible couple of times. DAY 296 Still not at home. Damn. I can't meditate. Change of environment did not work out well although I did not have any choice. I made a commitment to go and so I did. It is Easter after all. Which actually means nothing for me except that it is always the time to visit relatives. DAY 297 I will add Monday to this particular week just because it was holidays. I spent it in a horrifying mindless mode feeling desperate. I am even looking forward to going back to work tomorrow because it will help me to get back into rhythm. WEEK 42 REVIEW Goal review Routine goals: Exercising +breathing exercises daily - Mediocre (5/8) Meditating for at least 30 mins everyday - Mediocre (5/8) Cold shower - Check (7/8) Intermittent fasting - Check (5/5) (new goal! I will be practicing intermittent fasting during workdays, so far I really like it) No smoking - Failure (sad face) No gaming - Failure (I spent half a day gaming) Limited social media time - Check. Eating healthy - Mediocre (good during workdays, bad during Easter) Setting at least one hour per week for review - Check . Other goals: Completed watching Sadhguru's youtube channel + attended one lesson at Inner engineering course (4 lessons remaining). Also, started reading Kelly Mcgonigal "Will Power Instinct. Thoughts One thing I do not talk much is progress that I made at work. There is still so much to learn and improve but my responsibilities and skill is growing week by week. Otherwise, a lot of struggle with my very basic routine goals. That's it for this week, TakeCare
  10. WEEK 41 DAY 283 Yoga was tough. One hour later after practice already felt some energy turning on inside. Getting back track. When I was about to leave work cravings hit hard. All of the sudden thought pattern have changed. I did not smoke until the evening but I did eventually followed my compulsions. I will be starting intermittent fasting from tomorrow and keep the regime for 6 days (until the end of the week). I will try 8/16 fasting which means that I have 16 hours when I eat nothing and 8 hours when I can eat as many times as I want. I can drink water, tea, or coffee (without milk though) but no fruits or snacks for 16 hours. I thought I might have gotten some weight during the last two weeks but it did not change despite of really poor eating habits. DAY 284 Woke up on time, routine completed successfully. Physically feeling a lot of weird sensations in my head. It felt as if part of me was sleeping although I was productive at work. It was clear that I am not operating at my full capacity but I am getting there. If not tomorrow then on Thursday I will be on point. There was a strong power surge during one of the meetings where I felt unstoppable. Not leting environment dictate my reaction can result in sudden flashes of directed action which feels amazing. Watched Leo's video about infrastracture. I haven't head his voice for quite a while because I dedicated a lot of time for Sadhguru content. DAY 285 Alright. It was really challenging to complete full morning routine this morning but I did it. A little bit of coughing and sniffing and just general sleepiness do not help but completed nonetheless. Intermittent fasting seems fine. I do not get very hungry until twelve. I feel some hunger here and there but that is not causing much problem. Day at work was intense today, I came back and brought home that tension. Finally took care of my "lost weeks" in the journal. Feels good to be back. DAY 286 There were some crazy rumbles in stomach around 11 o'clock, but it did not bother me much. I had my lunch/breakfast around 13:30. I did not even want to eat dinner today. I did though because I wouldn't make without food till moon tomorrow. So far feeling quite excited about intermittent fasting and it is not as hard as I have anticipated. Today I was thinking about smoking. I actually think about smoking everyday and that bothers me because I do not want to take that much space in my mind. I thought that I will never say to myself - alright, I can live with a smoking habit for the rest of my life. If I could say that to myself and really believe that it is the way to go I would lose a lot of worthless thoughts and reasoning why to smoke and why not. I wouldn't have to feel guilty for smoking. But will never commit to a smokers life. Since the very time when it all has started I always thought that it is just a temporary thing. It so happened that I smoke for about 10 years to this day. I had couple longer periods (like 6 months or so) where I did not smoke at all and felt fine. Actually, I felt great but in the end something would trigger my old patterns and I would come back to square one. Just imagine, it was easier for me to install valuable habits (like waking up at 6 in the morning, meditating and exercising daily, journaling) than to give up smoking which is something that I always saw as an addiction and a sign of weakness. I am struggling to commit again. It always feels as I am losing something. I managed to quit smoking at work but after work.. It is something that I am unable to resist. Or in other words, there is something that keeps me from fully commiting to go through a certain amount of pain until I feel comfortable without smoking. I know that essantially there is only that is standing in my way. So. Here I go again. I will end this now. It is a crucial stepping stone for me which prevents me from going forward in some areas and makes it harder to progress in others. Benefits that I will receive are numerous, I will just list some of them to remind myslef: Health!; Waking up easier in the morning; Not having a habit that often can become a short procrastination; Having more energy; Not having fears about how it is going to kill me or make my health terrible some day; Having extra cash to spend each month; Eliminating addictions is very important in raising consciousness; I won't have to spend my energy thinking about it. DAY 287 Today was a bit different. Mainly because tasks at work were a bit unusual and also my eyes felt so tired in the morning. I had a hard time looking at monitor. I am wondering can it be because of the change in eating habits? Lets see if it happens again. Did not smoke today. DAY 288 This morning I woke up and enrolled in "Inner Engineering" online course. I will start working on it tomorrow when I get back home. Looking forward to it. It is one thing to watch Sadhguru videos on youtube but it will probably be quite different. When visiting my parents home I noticed the rug pattern in my room. I lived here for a long time but never spent more than a few seconds studying this pattern. Well, maybe when we were buying the rug I paid more attention. It is easy to overlook something that is always near to you. I like the saying "fish sees water last". It so happened that I started Inner Engineering course today. First I thought it is much like youtube videos that I have watched but after finishing first lesson I can see that it is more structured which eventually gave me fresh clarity about certain fundamentals of life. On top of that watched a lot of Sadhguru videos on youtube channel. DAY 289 I really wanted to eat this morning. It so happened that I had to go to work today. It was difficult to concentrate and I decided to have lunch earlier. Not eating for 6 hours after waking up is probably not the best idea. It might be better to skip dinner instead of breakfast or maybe I can keep skipping breakfast but only on workdays. Not sure yet, just thinking "out loud". Today I attended a second lesson in "Inner engineering". Also smoked. Also seriously considered breaking up with my girlfriend but did not do it. I feel like I am procrastinating here. It is so difficult. I am not sure if it is a right thing to do. It is a possibility. Somewhere inside I feel that this will happen sooner or later. Second part of the day was a mess. WEEK 41 REVIEW Goal review Routine goals: Exercising +breathing exercises daily - Check (7/7) Affirmation habit - Removing this one. I do it sometimes but I am not going to make it something that "I have to do". Meditating for at least 30 mins everyday - Check (7/7) Cold shower - Cancelled for this week (0/0) I have a little sniffing and coughing going on this week. No smoking - Failure (there was an attempt once again to quit - result is 2.5 days) No gaming - Check. Limited social media time - Check. Eating healthy - Check. (Got a bit loose on the second half of the Sunday but very good otherwise) Setting at least one hour per week for review - Check . Other goals: Watching/listening through Sadhguru's youtube channel: 10 videos remaining (watched 152 videos throughout last 4 weeks). + Inner engineering course (5 lessons remaining). Thoughts I have displayed a high effectiveness in clearing my to do list which was really full this week. I have also finished Sadhguru videos on youtube but since I made the playlist already 48 new videos have been added to his channel (38 were watched this week). Combined with an "Inner engineering" course there is so much more to watch. I need to sort out my relationship situation. As most of you know this is really heavy stuff. I do not know what to do. I need some calarity. Oh, and I will work on removing my smoking habit. Part of me wants to remove all the entries on how I tried to quit this week and failed. But it is important to not lie to myself and to you. That is my journey. See you next week, TakeCare
  11. Hello everyone! I have been gone for some time. There were some notes made, there were days without journaling, there were days where I gone off track big time. WEEK 38 DAY 263 Tough morning. Overslept. Yoga class was awesome as usual. Felt really down today but after meditating in the evening everything kind of arranged itself back into place. I talked very little today. DAY 264 Meditated in the morning and at midday. Same with yoga. Day felt much longer this way somehow. Maybe because during these activities I am more present than usually. For example when I play games time flies by and after I do not remember many details. I remember few highlights. If I meditate time generally goes slower (although there are exceptions) and after meditation I still have that effect of "presentness" going on for some time. DAY 265 Did not follow through morning routine. I woke up and felt like I really need some more nap naps. I drank lemon water and slept for almost an hour. Completed my meditation and exercising later in a day. For the last few days I had this reoccurring idea about thinking without words. Several times a day I randomly picture something pleasant like someone smiling or nature. It could as well be called a visualization. DAY 266 Morning meditation was exceptionally fine. I watched how various thoughts arise in my mind and what kind of emotional imprint they leave. It is becoming more natural for me to keep a distance between my thoughts and myself as a being. I should note that I have this experience during meditation, when it comes to daily life I do get lost and identified with my thoughts very often. Three hours at work was enough to get me all very tense. Yoga as usual restored the balance. I want my relationship with work to be more relaxed because now it just becomes very unpleasant to be in my body. Once it is too late it feels really intense and being conscious becomes almost impossible. Came back home, resisted temptations to surf the net for entertainment purposes and sat for another meditation. It was quiet. DAY 267 No entry. DAY 268 & 269 20% of the time spent working. 80 % of the time spent for… you know. Same shit. There is no review for this week, because I can't really review it since couple of weeks have passed after these entries. I can only recall that I have meditated 5 days out of 7. WEEK 39 This was a lost week. It was the first time I meditated only couple of times max and I exercised like 2-3 times. I can't explain what happened but it happened. Life goes on nonetheless. WEEK 40 I was on Holidays. Traveled to Netherlands. Ate a lot of random food, cycled a lot, smoked a lot and did no journaling at all. No meditation. No exercising. That is the part I want to admit the least. Aftermath So here I am right now. Feeling lost but ready to get back on track. I feel as if I will have to learn how to walk again. I will though. Stay strong fellow travelers, TakeCare
  12. I am a bit late on the update this week. I had my notes ready earlier but there was something holding me back. WEEK 37 DAY 256 Day of recovery. Nothing new, as usual the day after chaotic weekend is always tough. Yoga was very challenging today. Not because it was particularly hard routine but because I was not ready physically. Mentally I did alright but damn that was tough. DAY 257 Overslept. Did not meditate in the morning but found time to meditate during lunch break. Did a little bit of yoga before meditation and something peculiar happened. I was holding my leg in my hands for one of the asanas and suddenly was not my leg. It was not even a leg, it was just a thing. Also my hands were not really "mine". They were two things holding another thing and none of which was me. It was very strange experience, a new level of disassociation from my body which I have never felt so vividly. At that point a wave of thoughts surged inside which seemed to be just happening. I put my hands on my face and hold for a minute or two. Later I sat with my eyes open and watched a bird walking on the slope outside. I was absorbed by present moment and there was nothing else happening. What I felt was so different from my usual state. It was some sort of crystal clear intoxication. After I got back home I sat for another meditation. I did not expect to relive this experience and I did not feel a need for that. I was still filled with a feeling of some sort of magic inside and around me which seemed to be one. DAY 258 Morning routine completed and followed by short yoga and meditation session during lunch break Random quote - "If there is more overlap there is more space for both conflicts and love." Balance between life of expression and perception is something I have never thought about. DAY 259 I woke up feeling terrible. There was a strong physical-emotional sensation in the bottom of my stomach. Being aware of it is no fun. After I went to work it started to melt slowly. In the evening I felt fine but an entire day could be defined by that unpleasant, sort of depressive feeling. DAY 260 No entry. DAY 261 & 262 On Saturday I visited my parents. I do not like my parents too much and I have finally admitted that to myself without feeling guilty. I still call it "home" although it does not feel that way. The place where I live now feels more like home than the place where I grew up. I thought a lot about things that bother me until I came to conclusion that this is not a way to go. In a way I do not really have problems. WEEK 37 REVIEW Goal review Routine goals: Exercising +breathing exercises daily - Check (6/7) Affirmation habit - Mediocre (5/7) Meditating for at least 30 mins everyday - Check (6/7) (missed one day but meditated a bit more than usual on the other days) Cold shower - Check (6/6) No smoking - Failure (no efforts put there) No gaming - Failure (did a little bit of gaming on Sunday) Limited social media time - Check. Eating healthy - Failure Setting at least one hour per week for review - Check . Other goals: Reading: No progress this week again. Watching/listening through Sadhguru's youtube channel: 117 videos remaining (watched 55 videos). I will remove my smoking and gaming goals. Let the things play out on their own for now. I do feel that it is not the biggest problems. And by the way, what kind of goal is to not do something? It does not empower me neither it feels rewarding. If I focus my attention somewhere else these things might change naturally. If one tries to run away from something it tends to keep chasing. I will let it be for now, lets see what happens. Thoughts There was a decent progress on Sadhguru video watching this week. Most of the videos are less than 10 minutes, but some of them are as long as two hours. If you (somehow) have not heard of Sadhguru be sure to check him out. Eating habits got messed up this week. I attended two birthdays (one of them was celebrated twice though) and there was women's day with cakes and stuff. To be honest, many things were out of balance this week. I do not fully commit and I keep running in circles. I have installed new habits (which I am slacking a bit these days) but I am still in the same cycle of addictions. There was this remarkable experience on Tuesday though. It was the closest thing to an enlightenment experience that I have had. I am not sure if that categorizes as one but it does not matter much. Once I try to put it into words I feel that it loses its essence and I would rather just let it be there. That is it for this week, TakeCare
  13. WEEK 36 DAY 249 It was a very productive day. I reconnected with my passion for excellence. I feel driven to act in an outstanding fashion. DAY 250 I did not smoke yesterday and I felt it this morning - it was much easier to wake up. There were perfect condition for me to smoke this evening. I came back home tired, hungry ann there was an emotional void which I wanted to fill. I sat down, put my earphones on and listening to music for 10 minutes. Did not smoke. My thought pattern in reaction to triggers has changed so quickly and so easily after I made a very firm commitment to pay 10€ for every cigarette. Finger cracking kicked in once again. I won't be pushing this hard because smoking alone requires enuogh will-power. DAY 251 Tension at work. Damn. I must be doing something wrong. I quit smoking, maybe this adds some tension. I feel kind of alright at work but after I leave there is like an hour or two until I start feeling like a human being. I try to focus on breath but often times it just evokes panic, it feels as if I just can't stay at peace and there is a need to distract myself and not be very conscious. If I try to stay conscious (which I still attempt only in a more careful way) the pressure on the chest builds up until I just have to distract myself. My conscious process makes things worse. At least for now. Maybe if I was more conscious at work I would not let this tension to accumulate to such a high level and then I wouldn't have to go through this painful discharge. This is a serious problem. It had many different shapes and forms throughout my life but it was around since my teenage years. I will do some reasearch about excesicve tension in body. Also, if you have any ideas that might be useful please do share. There is an energy inside me which at times bursts out defying any limitation that there is. It is an intense and exciting feeling. I am keeping my energy levels high. Even when panic comes I do not fall back immediately. I resist comfort and distraction until it disappears or can't handle it anymore. I have just realized that very important fact is that I am sure about creating this panic all by myself. I don't blame anything or anyone, I am fully aware that it is an inner process. Therefore, when it happens, there is some distant feeling of blame. I blame myself for making myself feel this terrible. I am also afraid, that whatever I do will make things worse (because I have created this feeling). That's why all my conscious efforts often makes things worse. This creates a closed loop. DAY 252 I am extra present today and that is not all too pleasant. I am actively observing, maybe pushing too hard at times. Losing it so oh so often but getting back on track whenever I notice. Part of me says that I should be careful. It tries to protect myself. Maybe there is no one to be protected. My energies fluctuate a lot. "Do you want authority to be the truth or do you want truth to be the authority?" - Sadhguru DAY 253 5 seconds there, 10 seconds there, 3 seconds here and there. When I say I am more present I should also mention that it is still very much fragmented. I am actively keeping my energies high but it started winding down towards the evening. Now I just wanna rest. DAY 254 & 255 I felt a temptation to be a little dishonest in my description of how I spent this weekend. Mainly because I am going to tell you a story that you have read few times already. I fell off track. I had very few obligations for other people this weekend which resulted in me doing whatever I wanted which turned out to be playing games and smoking. I will note few things that were different than usual. I saw myself making those choices. I remember very very clearly that at that particular moment there was nothing else I really wanted to do and cravings grew strong. I pushed myself hard throughout work days and I very likely exhausted my willpower resources. I could have fought harder. Friday in the evening I had few moments where I noticed myself vizualizing gaming. I did not do that consciously, it just happened and I noticed it happening. On Saturday half of the day was completely fine. I walked a lot in the city, did some sight-seeing and shopping. I got tired and cravings for a smoke hit me. I sat down on the bench and sat there for a minute feeling the absurdity of the situation. I think at that very moment I already knew that I will smoke. I just sat there trying to find a logical solution to my situation but logic was the worst choice at that moment. When I finally laid down on Sunday evening I promised myself that I won't complain or judge myself and that I will use this experience for growth. There is nothing wrong with what happened unless I decide that it is. It is all very insignificant. I feel that large chunk of my motivation is neurotic and that is exactly why I lack consistency in certain commitments that I keep making and breaking. I am doing well with meditation, exercising and journaling because I experience the value clearly. It increases quality of my life. Problem with smoking and gaming is that my attitude towards these activities is inconsistent. All the commitments I make are sincere but also naive. There are emotional states that flip my pririoties upside down. WEEK 36 REVIEW Goal review Routine goals: Exercising +breathing exercises daily - Check (6/7) Affirmation habit - Mediocre (5/7) Meditating for at least 30 mins everyday - Mediocre (5/7) Cold shower - Check (6/6) No smoking - Failure No gaming - Failure Limited social media time - Check. Eating healthy - Mediocre (once again weekend a bit loose) Setting at least one hour per week for review - Check . Other goals: Reading: No progress this week. Watching/listening through Sadhguru's youtube channel: 172 videos remaining (watched 45 videos). Thoughts Work routine will bring be back on track. It helps me to be more stable. If I did not have a job I would probably have a longer periods of randomness and compulsions. All this story that I am writing here is becoming a long one and I want it to be inspiring. I feel like I am moving forward but few obvious habits are causing a lot of trouble. There is still a hundred days left to my commitment to journaling. Just enough time to break those vicious cycles. Thank you for being with me, TakeCare
  14. I started journaling by making a commitment to journal for at least a year. There is a specific format that I use every week which includes daily notes, goal review and sometimes additional thoughts and new plans/goals. I post once a week. What helps to follow through is leaving very short notes throughout the week (like main events, emotions, insights). Then on Sunday (or sometimes Monday) I sit down and elaborate on my experiences. I try to make it easy to read (for others as well as for myself) and also make it useful. I do not journal just because it feels good (and it does not always feel good). My aim is to stay on track with my goals and after a year I will sit down for a serious review of the progress which will result in making plans for the next year. Also, do not overthink it. Just try journaling. There are plenty of journals in this forum, just go through and find the format that you can relate to. Good luck!
  15. @The Motorcyclist I am impressed that you took time to read through entire journal. I haven't done that myself yet, kind of postponing it until I reach one year of journaling. I am planning on taking a day off at work or having a weekend to fully focus on drawing some conclusions and making plans for the next year. My main two habits that I have hard time getting rid of is smoking and gaming. Main triggers for smoking: Coming back home from work, feeling tired and having a need to just take some time to chill; Social gatherings. I have learned to not smoke at work and I do not have any cravings for that except if there is someone's birthday and it starts to feel more like a social gathering than work. Problem is that many of my friends smoke (and so does my girlfriend), therefore, I really have to get ready for cravings in advance. It works if I say strict 'no' to myself before meeting someone who smokes. When it comes to workdays it would be a good idea to find some other form of reward. Maybe I should just sit and listen for music for 10 minutes with my eyes closed. I will try this next week. Triggers for gaming are of different nature. I do not game much these days. It does still happen on weekends or holidays. It is a form of distracting myself and having fun. I work hard throughout the week and sometimes I just feel as if I can't take it no more. It does result in gaming at times. For some people social gatherings are good way to recover but for me it does not work this way. I generally do not feel rested after meeting with friends. Often it is the other way around. Reading might be a good alternative. I have started reading couple months ago and there are still a lot of books on my reading list. Although sometimes I feel like I just want to disappear and gaming does that. I focus on the process intensely and nothing else exists except what is happening at that moment. To be honest, I am ok with gaming as long as it does not interfere with my main goals but I would love to find a healthier alternative. Maybe I should change the environment more often. Thanks for the advice. I listened to the seminar recording that you have shared. I liked the methodical and concrete approach. Primary patterns - chain, loop and spiral (just writing it down to not forget). Also, patterns have vulnerability (good choice of words), they rely on stimulus, thoughts and response. WEEK 35 DAY 241 My ride to work was on vivid experience of everything - the external environment, smells, sounds, combined with all my emotions and neurotic thoughts seemed to float in a some paradoxical whole. It was so strong. Everything. Throughout the day I felt the initial effect winding down and it did not bother me. Some of it has became a part of my life experience and will leave an imprint and an increased chance for this experience to reoccur, probably not in the same exact but definitely profound way. I had a busy day at work and I feel this so familiar feeling of tension in my shoulders and in my chest and I welcome it. It tells me a lot. There is no possibility to run from it. I will embrace it and love it till it will teach me all it has beneath the initial appearance of something scary, heavy and unsettling and after that I will love it even with more clarity and wholeness. Thank you life. Oh, and I have received a raise at work but as important as it is it does not even get close to this love I feel right now. DAY 242 It was a dream intensive night. When I woke up I recalled six different dreams. One of them was particularly disturbing. Very intense day at work - so much tension! I see it in entirely new light this week. Whenever I become conscious enough I try to really feel what I feel instead of trying to make myself feel great. I focus on my breath and feel it. DAY 243 Once again a lot of dreams. Still adapting. A lot of stress. I feel like after retreat my sensitivity is increased which is a good thing if one is ready. Well, I had a short but quite strong panic experience. I tried to breath into my heart so that I relax but it felt like my heart has stopped beating and there came the panic. DAY 245 I was listening to an interview with Ray Dalio in the background while working. It was mostly about economy and his life story when all the sudden he starts talking about the effect of meditation and how it has completely changed his life. Pleasant surprise. DAY 246 Morning routine very focused which helped a lot because my girlfriend woke up in terrible mood. Step through the fear at work once again. Spent an evening socializing. Met some friends, got to know few people. In general, people are so different it is difficult to comprehend. It kept me awake for some time before I finally fell asleep. DAY 247 & DAY 248 I woke up and decided that I will just let this weekend happen. I did not want anything. Woke up soaked up in meaninglessness and allowed it to take me wherever it would. Watched tv series, ate whatever I wanted, went to the museum, bought couple of clothes, played games for few hours and slept longer than usual. It all ended on Sunday's evening when out of nowhere there came this strong drive to do stuff which resulted in washing dishes, washing clothes, planning my next week, reading few bookmarked articles, taking care of some work related stuff and creating a new plan for quitting smoking. WEEK 35 REVIEW Routine goals: Exercising +breathing exercises daily - Check (5/7) Affirmation habit - Failure (3/7) Meditating for at least 30 mins everyday - Check (5/7) Cold shower - Check (6/6) No smoking - Failure No gaming - Failure Limited social media time - Check. Eating healthy - Check (weekend a bit loose) Setting at least one hour per week for review - Check . Other goals: Reading: Started reading Ken Wilber's "Sex, ecology, spirituality". Read 20 pages and had to start once again. I really want to understand it. Watching/listening through Sadhguru's youtube channel: 217 videos remaining (watched 35 videos). New goals: Full commitment to quitting smoking: After work instead of smoking I will sit for +/- 10 minute music session; Get rid of cigarettes, all the lighters I have in random places, rolling paper and other stuff related to smoking; I will pay my girlfriend 10€ for every cigarette I smoke (to prove the point I will go to smoke in few minutes, explain her the situation and I will pay her just to see how it feels; Having chewing gum with me at all times. That’s it for this week, TakeCare