Old Habits are Dying too Easy

Words are not coming easy this morning.

I know I have a lot to say, or ask, yet the questions do not come out. They just exist is the hazy fog of confusion. Confusion that mostly just surrounds my daily life.

I extract general ideas on how to proceed with things;

“Oh if I just keep practicing my circles, I will find my dantian.”

“If I meditate everyday, I will eventually relax in push hands.”

“If I keep my mind on my dantian, it will eventually form.”

That’s all well and good, but what am I doing? How does this affect me? Whats the point?

Every layer I can feel get peeled back, a thicker layer with deeper roots takes its place. On top of that a whole new perspective is exposed that needs to be explored and understood before progressing. A different way to view things, or new tools in which deal with something that was held back before.

For example, after that Chakra Healing course, I now have to actually deal with my emotions.

What a massive pain in the ass.

I sit here and have to actually talk things out or express them in a healthy way in order to put my mind at ease so I can progress through the day. Whether its an uncomfortable situation that comes up from my past, or an action taken by someone that doesn’t sit well with me. Its got to be put out there or it just cakes over all my mental processes and gums up the whole system.

So annoying actually being conscious of where my issues are and feeling the cleansing relief of actually dealing with them. It makes it impossible to go back to old habits.

Curse you self care, for no longer allowing me to binge watch netflix or drink for days on end without looking deeper in to the deeper reason why.

No one said you could come in here and muck with my self destructive system.

 

erosion

The Paper Man

The paper man, assembled from every expected aspect of the canned society. Written down and stored in a box.

A box stored in the heart of the man.

A man who does all the things “expected” of every man of the age. He goes to work, he pays his taxes, he chases women.

Doing what he can to pass the time until death comes.

But there is a dark spot in the man. A spot he fears to enter. The time between the script of his created self and the next day.

A place where there is nothing. A hole that exists in where there are no tasks to be completed. No smiles to put on. No hands to shake.

Thats where it shows itself and he dare not ever enter it.

So he fills that gap with booze, with drugs, with women. It blurs the gap, fills it with a hazy memory, easily forgotten.

For that, that is the spot where dreams lay and he dare not dream. For dreams are unwritten, unscripted.

Dreams are unknown.

Dreams could be fire. Fire could burn this paper man, leaving nothing but the horrors that live in the boundless wasteland of the imagination.

image

Laying the foundation

Its easy for me to fall in to depression.

When I was in my 20’s I tended to have huge spikes of happiness followed by equal magnitude lows. I refused to take medication for it, often falling to self medication, but slowly started creating a routine for my life.

I discovered, through the reading of many self help books, that a routine could help me manage more consistently day to day and start to get some of the major swings under, relative, control. It took multiple years to get to a point where I was able to create a more constructive life for myself and has lead to several great friendships and life events that have created an great foundation for me to work with.

The progression of my free time has also evolved. Before I started this little routine building procedure, I was feeling overwhelmed with the minuscule  amount I was doing everyday. My day would consist of going to work, about 8 – 9 hours, making some sort of pizza or otherwise easy to cook “food”, then sitting in front of the T.V. until I passed out. That was too much for me and I often wondered how I would ever find time for anything else.

Fast forward to now, I find myself going to work for 8 – 9 hours, cooking something from scratch for breakfast and dinner, working out or meditating for an hour before work, leading\practicing tai chi after work everyday, spending up to 14 hours on the weekend studying tai chi and finding time to spend some time with the people the amazing people in my life. All that, and I am still wanting to find ways to do more.

I look back and I am amazed at how far I have come and it all started with the idea of just creating a routine.

8 years it took me to grow that. One layer at a time and just now the concrete has started to cure.

There has always been a catch, however, when I find myself in the same routine for too long it becomes stale. Being in the same place at the same time everyday doing the same(ish) thing each time tends to get monotonous and I would fall in to old habits to mix things up, usually involving drinking too much, just to make things feel fresh again and revive my perspective of my progress.

The last couple weeks have been packed with travel and a commitment to continue my practice in between. The whole time maintaining this idea that I will be able to get back to “Normal” and be able to continue on this tightly packed schedule I have. But, today as I see several weeks of full practice ahead of me, baring any other unforeseen life events, I realize how valuable switching things up is. Going in to the next couple weeks I am excited to put my whole focus back in to my practice and my studying, i will again be able to pour all my extra attention in to it all the way up until thanksgiving break. After which, there will be another pause and then an intense couple of weeks back in to practice.

I am starting to realize sometimes it is the lack of a routine that helps to keep the routine alive. It breaths new life in to it and challenges it to make sure it is still valid. My routine is not my life, it does not define me, it does not dictate my every move, but it is a PART of my life. It is the structure I can deviate from, the rules I know so well that I can begin to deviate from and create new experimental art.

Without that, I am just blindly throwing paint on to a canvas.

spread-footings-framing-02

The Scales Have Tipped

There is just doesn’t ever seem to be enough of it.

I have re-written this post several times. I cant seem to get into the groove so I will just go into what’s been going on in the last several days.

I find myself being pulled in different directions. There was just big round of layoffs at work and the shift of responsibilities has been causing me a great deal of stress. Change can always be stressful but I have become relatively used to these kinds of changes.

I have become used to a schedule that allows me to focus the majority of my outside time on Tai Chi. I got into a routine, now I am looking at a potential routine change. One that I am trying to figure out if I want to allow.

My work forces a lot of context switching. I switch from one workflow to another and try to make sure that the artists on my team are able to work as effectively as they can. This requires me to put myself in their shoes and see how they work so I can attempt to predict ways of making things easier for them in the future.

Busy days can be nuts, I sometimes have to go through 5 or 6 people solving their issues and juggling the other tasks I have on my plate. If one artist is stuck, that is my first priority.

It can be a really fun job, but it also has the tendency to wear me out pretty early in the week if the department is really pushing hard.

I guess what I am trying to say is, now I feel am going to have to do even more and I am trying to figure out if I have it in me.

The last several days, I have been tired. Profoundly tired and it has nothing to do with my physical body. It all has to do with the amount of attention and focus I have been devoting to the different aspects of my life. I had achieved a nice balance, a maintainable one between work and life. It was a balance that was so finely tuned that it was easy to tip from one side to the other. Right in that perfect sweet spot.

Last week, essentially a ton of bricks dropped on to the work side of the scale.

I don’t really have a resolution yet. This week I have to find new boundaries and make sure that goes well with the rest of the schedule.

Onward and upward. Wish me luck.

Put this on in the background. Great lecture on time management.

Time Management

The Edge of a Knife

I think I fear having a normal life. It just seems so mundane to me.

I have spent most my life trying to figure out what\who I am. Why I react the way I do to situations, how different things affect my mood/drive and trying to find what needs these intense addictions I sometimes have are striving to fill. Learning the hard way, bouncing through extremes to find the middle ground on which my feet stay firmly planted.

The end result being… That I am not normal, far from it indeed. I end up following the need for self improvement, attempting to fix some imbalance or weakness I sense in myself.  Some inadequacy I feel driven to hunt down and snuff out.
This tends to lead me to spend a lot of time alone. Not feeling understand, or I guess even not really wanting to be understood. Feeling often that I must do it myself without the aid of anyone else. Thinking that reliance on someone else is some form of weakness.

I’m not sure what that means. There is a deep fear of vulnerability hidden deep in all my actions I suppose. Yet, I often find myself grasping for it in the wrong places due to a lack of fulfilling a need for it nonetheless.

I’m just not sure. There are moments I feel I belong though.  Especially more recently. I have been making choices lately that have been allowing my true self and feelings to come out more and more. The more I do, the more my environment changes to fit those new forms of expression. Shifting almost daily to allow me to be more fully me. I feel less and less like I am holding back, a feeling I have always have, sensing more and more like there are people out there who understand me without explanation.
Yet it terrifies me. It has been so automatic to go along the normal life path like I have been, so comforting to know “how” I should be progressing. Not sticking out, just painting inside the lines.  There are set rules, set paths for what the standard is. The end goal is clear and there are no surprises. Work hard, become a manager, invest, save money, retire, have kids, grow old. Its what we are told by society we are supposed to do.

But I can’t in good conscious do that anymore. It makes me sad to even think about doing that. It just isn’t me,  I have tried that life…  I am still currently living it. It has become a means to an end, yet it still takes up so much of my time and energy.

What do I do now?

I feel I am on the cusp of some decision.

A fork in the road and there is still a fear remaining trying to smother the choice I hear calling to me.

How valid is that fear?

Last Couple Days Practice:

Work got pretty nuts this week and sucked out a lot of my energy. Probably why I am feeling a bit self reflective today :). I missed class Wednesday and Thursday, but I still got up and meditated and practiced in the mornings.

Wednesday

  • 30 minutes standing mediation
  • 24 form x1

Thursday

  • 30 minutes standing mediation
  • 15 min silk reeling

Friday

Met at the park this morning

  • 30 minutes silk reeling
  • 15 min standing mediation
  • 83 form x1
  • 24 form x1
  • 10 minutes pushhands

Saturday

  • 1.5 hours silk reeling
  • 1.5 hours 24 form
    • Taught the opening moves to the new students today

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