traveler

How can I balance stillness with discipline?

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The last couple of days I've changed my routine immensely. I've started a really clean diet, I sleep a lot earlier than i used to, I don't fap and I exercise every day. This is the total opposite of what my life has looked like the last 3-4 months. I feel amazing, I have a lot more energy and I feel happier overall. One problem that has arisen after this change in lifestyle, is that my mind is running crazy about what I'm going to eat tomorrow, which exercises I am going to do etc. Last night I couldn't fall asleep because it was looping over these matters constantly.

Is it possible to have extreme discipline (this is extreme for me, lol) and still be rooted in the now? It seems almost impossible, as there are so many things to think about.

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Designate a time, before bed or in the morning and plan how you want the day so look, plan your meals and exercise. Give yourself some leeway to go with your intuition to change your plan if you have a strong feeling about something, forgive yourself if something comes up, but have a plan and do your best to stick with it. Set your intention for the day and then let go of the thoughts about it outside of that planning period. 

We often need a plan in order to improve out discipline and build habits, but after much practice they become less necessary to think so much about and we can give ourselves more freedom. Ultimately strive to balance giving yourself freedom and also being intentional. 


Light on Earth The power of love came into me,
and I became fierce like a lion,
then tender like the evening star.” - Rumi

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54 minutes ago, traveler said:

The last couple of days I've changed my routine immensely. I've started a really clean diet, I sleep a lot earlier than i used to, I don't fap and I exercise every day. This is the total opposite of what my life has looked like the last 3-4 months. I feel amazing, I have a lot more energy and I feel happier overall. One problem that has arisen after this change in lifestyle, is that my mind is running crazy about what I'm going to eat tomorrow, which exercises I am going to do etc. Last night I couldn't fall asleep because it was looping over these matters constantly.

It sounds like you have developed healthy habits. It feels good and you desire to have those healthy habits continue, so you can continue feeling good. This desire can be a great motivator to keep the healthy habits going. It doesn't sound like it has been ingrained long enough, that it is part of your lifestyle you do automatically because it's just who you are. For example, someone may take up running and create a running schedule and goals for motivation. They may create a goal of running a marathon and have a running partner for motivation and accountability. That's great to form training habits and consistency, yet it's not quite the same as being a marathon runner that just runs automatically. It's just who they are. They know longer need extrinsic rewards.

Your minds seems to go into "monkey mind" regarding your new habits. To me, it sounds like a mind that wants to get it right, to maintain what feels good and have higher consistency. The mind may also be brainstorming new healthy ideas. This is a mind with good intentions. It's not like your mind is trying to figure out how to scam people out of their money. You mention that the thoughts are too much, yet I would recognize that the thoughts are generally good-intentioned to promote a healthy life. So, I wouldn't label them as "bad" and try to get rid of them. Rather, I would acknowledge that the volume and intensity is too high. 

I've found it helpful to try and reduce volume of intensity of my mind. A couple years ago, I estimated that about 90% of my life was immersed in thought stories of past and future. This can have practical value in navigating through life, yet it was just too much. My mind was so focused on the destination that I felt like I was missing out on the journey. Rather than labeling past and future thoughts as "bad" and try to repress them, I tried to tone down the volume and intensity. Rather than going from 90% past/future thoughts to 0%, my goal was to go from 90% past/future thinking to 50% past/future thinking. This felt like a good balance. 

One thing I did was "Now workouts". Just like a weightlifting or running workout, I had "Now workouts" in which I was present with whatever was happening. If past/future thought stories took over, I would acknowledge that my mind means well, yet this is a "Now workout" - there will be plenty of time to think about past/future later. This helped settle my mind and get balance. 

One thing I learned is that my mind is conditioned to believe that these thought stories are necessary. My mind thinks "Without me, you won't keep it up. Without me, you will go back to being unproductive and out-of-shape". I was surprised to find out that my thinking mind contributes very little. My body does very well taking care of itself without the chatter of my mind. The body has inherent wisdom and intuition. Very little thinking is needed. Yet my mind comes along and takes all the credit. It thinks "Look how well I've done. It's a good thing you have me around". It's like after a play, someone in the audience walks upstage and takes a bow. . . 

In practical terms, one thing that has helped solidify habits is to form deeper roots of the habit. For example, if someone has been doing yoga for 4 months, step it. Get involved with a yoga group. Go on a yoga retreat. Perhaps become yoga certified. . . If someone is getting into marathon running, join a social group of marathon runners. Help train someone for their first marathon. 

 

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You are carrying a lot of energy that's still unused, so it comes out in the form of thought.

That indicates that you can do a lot more. You can become at least 40-50% more productive.

Maybe your life is comfortable, if so, make some changes, add in some physical or mental activities. Perhaps develop a vision, workout harder, join some community group, etc... I don't know, but I hope that helps.

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On 12/2/2019 at 11:14 AM, traveler said:

The last couple of days I've changed my routine immensely. I've started a really clean diet, I sleep a lot earlier than i used to, I don't fap and I exercise every day. This is the total opposite of what my life has looked like the last 3-4 months. I feel amazing, I have a lot more energy and I feel happier overall. One problem that has arisen after this change in lifestyle, is that my mind is running crazy about what I'm going to eat tomorrow, which exercises I am going to do etc. Last night I couldn't fall asleep because it was looping over these matters constantly.

Is it possible to have extreme discipline (this is extreme for me, lol) and still be rooted in the now? It seems almost impossible, as there are so many things to think about.

When your looping through your next day when is this happening other then the "now"? 

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Create systems of productivity which allow you to flow in the moment with everything pre-planned. This free's up mental energy for more important thoughts or mindfulness whilst flowing.

Eben Pagan has a great course - Wake Up Productive.

 

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