flume

One Year Of Meditation/ Consciousness Work - Here’s What Happened

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Just a little report from a newbie to all of this work. Maybe this post can serve as inspiration to those who are just starting out.
A lot can happen in just one year. And it’s one hell of a ride. Definitely not what I thought it would be.
What I thought would happen was just me becoming a ‘better’, ‘kinder’, ‘cooler’ person… little did I know9_9


What I did

  • Mindfulness meditation (Headspace app, went from 5min/day to 20min 2x/day)
  • Yoga (Vinyasa style, 15 - 50min/day)
  • Journal + Gratitude list (everyday)
  • Cold showers, Shamanic breathing, Self inquiry (On and off)
     
  • I also read about one book a week, I eat a very healthy diet and I spend a lot of time outside. I move a lot, don’t watch TV and I spend a lot of time with family and children. I sleep enough. But that’s how I always kind of lived so, I’m not sure how much this influences my progress.


So here’s some things that happened
(Please don’t ask me why those things happened, I have no idea)

 

  • The first months I went full on head-in-the-clouds. People told be that it seems like I’m not from this world anymore, way too soft, out of touch with reality. Everything just seemed kind of magical and new, not in an extreme way but that was the tendency. When I think back now, it’s like nothing could touch me. But not in a good way, I wasn’t so caring anymore of others. I just couldn’t ground whatever was happening to me so I became a bit (very!) floaty. Everything just seemed like a beautiful dream. I was becoming lucid in my dreams as well.
    But I didn’t know how to handle this state. I couldn’t explain it to others, I seemed to piss everyone off all the time.
     
  • Then I noticed that I completely lost my sex drive. This went on for several months. I didn’t want to engage in sex at all but at the same time I felt my love for people was growing constantly. I started to see how sex actually hurts most people. It doesn’t give them what they’re really looking for and me giving it to them wouldn’t make anything better. (Sex drive came back in the meantime but it’s different.)
     
  • Then, after about 5 months I found Leo’s videos, which gave me some perspective on the path I got myself on. It felt like that was the time when I finally sat down with myself and got honest about all the work that will need to be done and the pain I have to get through. Every video I watched made me aware of all the things I had to work on in order to become a grounded, centred and stable person.
     
  • I worked a lot on judgement (I was sooooo judgemental! Still am, but it’s getting a lot better) and self esteem this year.
     
  • Overall, meditation helped me a lot with calming and focusing my mind.
    My grades were excellent last year and barely anything can still get me emotionally wound up.
    I feel a lot more in touch with myself and present with others.
    Just for that alone it would have been totally worth it.
     

All that being said, there were still things I couldn’t get under control and that hurt me a lot.

  • I sort of developed a very unhealthy relationship with food and my body and no amount of mindfulness could seem to help me handle it.
    It actually got worse which felt terrible. I still haven’t found a way out of this.
     
  • I felt on the verge of suicide for some time and I can’t really explain why. I felt like if I keep doing all of this, I’ll go totally insane.
    I remember watching Inception and crying because it was so relatable and I felt like the woman that will end up jumping out of the window.
    I never actually did anything but it was like something inside of me wanted to force me to stop moving in the direction I did. (Glad that period is over xD)
     
  • Just recently I saw for the first time how much I’m hurting people, ALL THE TIME. Literally everyone around me. Even with my thoughts. I’m just trying to get to the top and push everyone else down. This was the most painful thing to realise so far. I don’t even know who I would be without this ‘competition’. It’s all of me. Seeing that completely destroyed me. It seems like my life might just be one huge unconscious pattern and none of the things I considered ‘kind’ were anything but selfishness. (Including committing to spirituality)
     
  • Also, little troubles that I thought about working on ‘one day’ suddenly appeared HUGE.
    Things I pushed under the rug, like family problems, piled up like a mountain I couldn’t go around anymore.

____________________________
 

I had a handful of really weird ‘awakenings’ I guess. I can’t describe it other than ‘merging with reality’. It was beautiful most times. Everything was so clear and I had tears in my eyes feeling for the first time what unconditional love meant. Everything was different but also the same. I’ve never been so peaceful in my life. I felt all my senses at the same time and if I didn’t look at myself, I wasn’t sure where my mind and body started and where they ended.

They were always caused by either a lot of suffering or intense amounts of love.
Mostly by being hugely disappointed in myself, sliding back into binge eating, feeling super lonely or terrible about the decisions I’ve made in my life.
And suddenly, lying on the floor crying, there it was.

They lasted from 30 seconds to several hours.
Afterwards I realised that I’ve basically been sleepwalking all my life.
But that that’s ok too.

It was also terrifying twice- like my insides were torn out and death is in the room to get me.
I still have those moments of sheer terror during self inquiry.
Like reality is way too direct and intense for us to really realise and it suddenly seems like a silly idea to push beyond the ego which protects us so beautifully from being overwhelmed by this.

What now? 

In a way I feel like I made so much progress and on the other hand I know there’s so much ahead of me.
I’m still so immature in many ways. My monkey mind is still crazy most days. Sometimes it even seems it has gotten worse xD 

But less and less can I justify doing things I don’t enjoy and lying to myself and others.
I’m overall a lot better, calmer and grateful in my everyday life.

I have no idea where all of this will lead me. I’ll just keep doing what I did and try to be open about what is coming up.
This year was crazy enough. It taught me that life is absolutely uncertain and no amount of planning is really gonna get you anywhere on this zig zag journey.
I trust that whatever comes, comes. All in good time.

Lately I feel like meaning is gliding away and like I’m erasing myself more than really developing myself. But that’s a different story…

But even if nothing happens ever again, I know that God exists, which helps me through everything in my life. I now understand how God can be ultimate ‘solace’ and what is meant by saying ‘Never stop trusting God’. It’s gotten me through everything. Nothing will take that trust away ever again.
"Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

There’s no way back now.
____________________________

Thanks for reading. Share your story if you feel inspired.

Thank you @Leo Gura, your content truly had a big impact on me.
Even though I want to slap you at times^_^


"In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness." - Henry David Thoreau

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No replies to this great post!

Thanks for taking the time to write this.

On 9/12/2019 at 7:22 PM, flume said:

Mindfulness meditation (Headspace app, went from 5min/day to 20min 2x/day)

I need to do more of this. It works but I still don't commit which is crazy. I tried Headspace a while back and the guy's voice ended up bugging me. Awesome person apparently, the guy who created Headspace. 

On 9/12/2019 at 7:22 PM, flume said:

Gratitude list (everyday)

Gratitude is a big part of my 12-Step programme yet I am not following through on this much right now. I've had some lovely extended moments though when I try and incorporate it into my whole day continuously. For example, if I am driving in my car, I think how fortunate I am not to have been involved in an accident that day. If I am eating nice food I am grateful for that. When I turn the tap on and drinking water comes out, I am grateful. I could almost be grateful every second of my waking day. If I am at work, I could be grateful I have a job. Reading a book? Grateful I can see and I can read.  I'm not so good at sitting down and writing a gratitude list. A lot of things do work for me in written form, but not gratitude (yet).

On 9/12/2019 at 7:22 PM, flume said:

Shamanic breathing

Someone on here recommended me that a few days ago for my agitation. Never heard of it. Been meaning to read up or watch a video.

On 9/12/2019 at 7:22 PM, flume said:

I also read about one book a week, I eat a very healthy diet and I spend a lot of time outside. I move a lot, don’t watch TV and I spend a lot of time with family and children. I sleep enough.

Yeh, this reminds me of getting the basics right. I'm doing okay on the reading, a mixture of inspiring stuff and sacred text really. My diet is piss poor right now, but I am sober from alcohol and pills for almost a year now, so I am pleased with that. I never watch TV (only films for escapism and also inspiration). Family are an issue for me right now which I am working on. I wish I could actually be around more animals though (unrelated to your post!) Sleep........ the mindfulness meditation really helped my insomnia and once I started sleeping better I stopped the meditation which is ridiculous as the meditation obviously has other benefits. It really helped my monkey mind and created some discipline in that mind of mine. I'm not taking advantage of the fact I can get to sleep fairly easily now. I am not going to bed early enough (no good reason) and relying on 6 to 6.5 hrs sleep when I could accomplish 7 or 8 and feel better on it. Yeh, discipline not around right now!

On 9/12/2019 at 7:22 PM, flume said:

Leo’s videos

Have tried, and tried some more, the old and the new. Some nuggets among most of them, but not enough bang for my buck if I am going to invest 60,90, 120mins on a video. Call me impatient or unwilling, but there's so much more content available I resonate with. Leo's videos are of no interest to me, but I do some find some of his posts on here super powerful (more when he is in self-help, dysfunctional beliefs/attitudes and emotion mastery mode, rather the Absolute, infinity and all that stuff). I am grateful he maintains and runs this platform. I am grateful to use it for no cost. I am aware I could donate. 

On 9/12/2019 at 7:22 PM, flume said:

unhealthy relationship with food

One of my biggest problems right now. I've made strides in many areas over the past 12 months and been successful in meaningful things, more so than I ever imagined, but other areas have literally gone in reverse like my diet, and gym routine. Still go to the gym twice a week, but not making the most of it. It's a miracle I am only currently about 10 kilo's overweight. I have the eating mindset and poor impulse control of an obese person right now. I mean that respectfully with an acknowledgement of how powerful the drive to over eat and binge can be. 

On 9/12/2019 at 7:22 PM, flume said:

Just recently I saw for the first time how much I’m hurting people, ALL THE TIME. Literally everyone around me. Even with my thoughts. I’m just trying to get to the top and push everyone else down. This was the most painful thing to realise so far.

Yes this is a tough realisation. In a 12-step programme you have to go through this and be brutally honest with yourself and others. However, in the programme you don't do it alone. You have a sponsor/mentor and the power of the group to help you through. The great thing about AA and the other fellowships is that we achieve this (if we work hard) without having to use alcohol or drugs each time to cope with the pain.

On 9/12/2019 at 7:22 PM, flume said:

But even if nothing happens ever again, I know that God exists, which helps me through everything in my life. I now understand how God can be ultimate ‘solace’ and what is meant by saying ‘Never stop trusting God’. It’s gotten me through everything. Nothing will take that trust away ever again.
"Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!

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Thank you for sharing @flume :)

May I ask, what got you started on this journey? How did you hear about yoga, Headspace, gratitude journals and such? 

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Top! Love your well structured writing.

A lot of stuff only for year-one, hopefully many many jet to come.

 

On 14.9.2019 at 3:08 AM, Knock said:

May I ask, what got you started on this journey? How did you hear about yoga, Headspace, gratitude journals and such? 

Good question, may you share some with us? 

Keep up the good work & see you soon ;P :D

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@Bill W 
Too bad you don’t like Andy. They have a female voice now too, but only on some courses I think.
I heard good things about Sam Harris’ app too. Maybe worth a try?

On 14/09/2019 at 0:08 AM, Bill W said:

I'm not so good at sitting down and writing a gratitude list. A lot of things do work for me in written form, but not gratitude (yet).

Yeah it really works best for me when I make an effort and sit down to do that, and honestly I think most people need that. Yes you can mediate doing whatever throughout the day but you just won’t think of it if you don’t have a sturdy practice. Same with gratitude, it took months until it flooded my everyday life but it comes beautifully spontaneous the more you do it formally.

Thanks for your input btw, enjoyed reading it.
I’ve been meaning to buy Russell Brand’s book Recovery for a while. I’m interested in the whole program. 

@Knock @ThinAir Thanks :-) I’d say I was always very curious and realised quickly that people that never get out of their comfort zone usually end up with a boring life and a lot of fear. I love a good challenge and I just wanted to prove to myself that I can sit with my thoughts for 20 minutes and build up all kinds of routines. Most of my friends were also hyper rational and materialistic and I always thought that there’s got to be more to life. It seemed to unsatisfying not to know why we’re here and that it’s just a coincidence or a mistake. I noticed how how I feel changes my days and got into the whole LoA thing. I just felt that there are things that science can’t touch. I was still on social media a lot back then and of course yoga was just hip, so I got on the bandwagon. And of course my very stage green surroundings, good education, my loving family, books and yt videos always kind of pushed and supported my growth.

In short: I got very lucky with my surroundings and a curious nature :-)


"In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness." - Henry David Thoreau

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These are really great results... Thanks for taking the time to write this up and sharing with the community :)

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@Consilience thanks ^_^ @LeoIsMe69 no thanks:D


"In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness." - Henry David Thoreau

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@flume I highly doubt that you completely got rid of your sexual drive. I’ve achieved a high level of enlightenment and emotional mastery with my practice, but despite all that my sexual drive/masturbation addiction is still with me. Those stuff will probably take many years to master.


"God is good, God is everything - the end. You go on with your illusion that something is not okay, and you lose, and you lose, and you lose.” — Byron Katie

 

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@How to be wise dont sweat it, everyone has their unique identity comfort that is especially stubborn even deep into the spiritual process. She has a draw to binge eating, you sex and masterbation. I dont have much struggle with either of those but I can never seem to leave cannabis alone. Not saying any of those things are bad per say its just we all have that thing that is out of balance that we struggle to reign in.

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On 9/12/2019 at 2:22 PM, flume said:

 

  • I sort of developed a very unhealthy relationship with food and my body and no amount of mindfulness could seem to help me handle it.
    It actually got worse which felt terrible. I still haven’t found a way out of this.
     

You are making great progress! Glad to see it!

 

It is extremely common for people on this path to find refuge in bad habits (eating) as a coping mechanism for all of the crazy emotions that tend to get stirred up by consciousness work.

The truth is, you have always been addicted to many different things. Food, entertainment, gossiping, smoking etc. 

Now that your awareness is increasing. Your dysfunctional coping mechanisms (like overeating) will become blatantly apparent.

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you are very gentle and forgiving of yourself. With more awareness and consciousness work, your food problem will slowly auto-correct itself but it may take a long time and may also be very painful.

I would recommend substituting your favourite junk-foods with healthier alternatives. For example, when I am craving sugar, I'll eat an apple with almond butter or make a bowl of oatmeal instead of eating cookies or cake. This way, you can still indulge in the safety and comfort of food while also not completely wrecking your body or your energy.

However, it remains to be said that the ultimate goal is to slowly unhook yourself from your dependencies on anything to make you feel 'okay'.

 

Be super patient and accepting of yourself. Observe your bad habits with love, curiosity and awareness. When you are feeling like a fat pig after eating 20 too many chicken wings, just remember that this is a learning experience that will make it all the easier to discipline yourself the next time.

 

Patience and self-acceptance are key here. Don't let yourself become trapped by cycles of guilt.

 

Keep up the amazing work! You are a superstar! :D


Enter their minds, and you’ll find the judges you’re so afraid of – and how judiciously they judge themselves.

- Marcus Aurelius

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@How to be wise I never claimed I did :D All I was saying is that it went away for some time. I never actually had any problems with my sex drive, it's just whatever for me, I go with the flow and I don't spend much time thinking about it. I'm with @enderx7 on this one, I think we all have different sticking points. Deep rooted stuff that shows itself in different forms but really, the forms are just the forms. There's probably more sameness than difference when it comes to this. Anyway, I'm sorry to hear you're still struggling, I wish you much strength!

@Adam M Thanks for your kind words. It's not an actual problem on the outside, I eat a pretty clean and healthy diet. The problem is obsessive thinking and judging and making myself feel terrible about the smallest things. It's not about discipline at this point, it's about letting go. Don't know if that makes any sense. Working on it though. Can't wait to not spend so much mental energy on myself. It's exhausting:D


"In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness." - Henry David Thoreau

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