floatingleaf: (blue moon)
[personal profile] floatingleaf
I still find it difficult to make regular updates here. I'm not sure why. I seem to have lost any interest in recounting the mundane details of everyday life. And what I actually WANT to talk about still seems a bit of a departure, a potential "WTF factor" for some of my regular readers. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to start another blog somewhere... But I just can't be bothered setting up one more online journal from scratch, when this one has served me so well for so long. After all, I'm not forcing anyone to hang on and keep reading if they no longer see the point. Seriously - I promise not to interpret any hypothetical "defriendings" as a personal offense.:)

The thing is, my whole concept of who I am seems to be very much in flux, and I am entirely unsure who (or what) will emerge out of the chaos in the end. Hopefully, someone much less dysfunctional... but that remains to be seen. All I know right now is that I am very much absorbed in these changes, and that, quite possibly, talking about them in great detail could be intolerably boring to everybody else.:) In which case, please kindly take that as a disclaimer.:P

Anyway... I just went through a mini crash-course in cognitive psychology, and was introduced to the concept of "reprogramming" your subconscious, so that it stops replaying the same old tape it's been running ever since you were a kid. You know, the perpetually self-rewinding tape that tells you how much you suck, how little choice you have about certain things in life, how people only like you until they get to know you REALLY well, and then they run screaming... all that crap. You may objectively KNOW, on an intellectual level, that none of this is actually true... but deep down inside, that tape is still running, and dictating most of your behavior (at least the kinds of behavior that tend to run on autopilot). So the key is to become AWARE of that hidden soundtrack - not just to know it exists, but to observe EXACTLY when and how it's triggered... to catch it "in flagrante", so to speak. And one thing that supposedly helps a lot with that is meditation. Frequent, regular meditation. And I naively thought that all meditation did was "help you relax" (which is a lot in itself, don't get me wrong - especially for someone with a major anxiety disorder - but that is merely the beginning). From what I've recently learned - at least in theory - it does so much more you can't help but wonder why it isn't taught to kids in school (probably for the same reason no-one teaches kids about proper nutrition or the dangers of junk food, at least here in the US - but that is a whole another topic, imo). If only someone told me those things 20 years ago... *headshake* But anyway. I have invested in a program that helps induce deep meditative states through the use of an audio recording that influences your brainwaves. (If that sounds way too "out there" for you, then probably the time to unfriend me is now.:P) I have only been using it for a few days... but one thing I noticed so far is that I much more easily remember my dreams each morning than I have been able to for the past few years. Not that those dreams are necessarily pleasant or relaxing... In fact, they are mostly weird/uncomfortable - but if I am guessing correctly, the uncomfortable situations in the dreams represent my fears and/or those pesky automatic behaviors/interpretations that result from being pre-programmed to self-sabotage. It is as though my subconscious was telling me: see, this is what you do. This is how you throw roadblocks in front of yourself. And, strangely enough, after I wake up, the circumstances in the dream no longer seem so dire. The feeling of being "trapped" in the old pattern suddenly reveals itself as a product of my own mind. Or, you know, I could be reading WAY too much into it - but the very fact that I am having these thoughts is somehow encouraging. All of this must be going SOMEWHERE. Either I am finally going to quit punishing myself for being human, or I have been abducted by aliens during my sleep and implanted with some invisible device that is now controlling my brain. I have no idea which. I highly encourage you, dear reader, to decide for yourself.:P

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-12 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shadow8740.livejournal.com
Weird, I was just writing about meditation (of which I have a love-hate relationship with) right before reading your post...hmmm. Are you aware of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) or Eckhart Tolle's teachings on mindfulness (famous books "A New Earth" and "The Power of Now")? Steven Hayes has a good ACT workbook called "Get out of your mind and into your life"...lots of useful techniques and exercises about connecting to that state just below the surface in the preconscious mind. Well, there's the information if you decide you want to check it out in the future.

Hmmm, I'm going to go with: it's the aliens'fault. They are responsible for all this madness! ;)JK Seriously though, kudos to you for all the changes you are making!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-13 12:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] floatingleaf.livejournal.com
I did see your post. And I totally understand your love/hate relationship with meditation. I had the exact same problem when I tried it before: I just couldn't focus and quiet down my "wandering mind" for more than a few seconds at a time. However, the audio recording I am using now just automatically puts your mind into a meditative state after a while - even if you don't consciously focus on it. So that helps a lot.

I've heard of Eckhart Tolle, but never read his books. My "to read" list is getting frightfully long, btw - and I am at a loss where to start...;)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-12 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gaia-child.livejournal.com
I read each of your posts wih equal interest and I'm not planning on getting rid of you:) In fact, I'd feel awful if you abandoned your journal...

Did you lean all that stuff about 'broken tape' playing old patterns all over again only recently?

Yesterday I found a piece of an old diary entry from my teenage years. It said what stuff my mom told us when she was angry with us: "it's all your fault (dad's drinking problem") and showed how much I hated her and feared her...I wasn't even aware that I was SUCH a mess inside:unloved, shattered, angry, guilty, fearful...also explains why I had been such a shy fearing people creature. I'm not very confident with people till this day. But I'm much happier and calmer soul:)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-13 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] floatingleaf.livejournal.com
Did you lean all that stuff about 'broken tape' playing old patterns all over again only recently?

Well, not quite. I suppose I was aware of the concept - I just didn't realize, until recently, that it might be possible to erase/change the recording.:)

I can totally relate to your old diary entry and how you felt about your mother. There was no alcoholism in my family, but there were plenty of other dysfunctions - and one of the biggest ones was my relationship with mom. She always compared me to other kids - to motivate me to do better at things, I suppose - but what I got out of it was that I was just inferior to everybody, and in general a walking, breathing mistake. I genuinely believed she would have been happy to exchange me for my cousin - if only my aunt and uncle would have agreed (which I of course assumed they wouldn't). I'm sure you can imagine what that did to my self-esteem. Of course, I have known for a long time what a load of bullshit that was. Unfortunately, KNOWING things to be true doesn't automatically translate to FEELING like they are - let alone ACTING on it. Which is why we often need therapy, drugs, meditation etc. You say you're not confident with people - but you are a teacher, which to my mind requires a lot of courage. I had a major nervous breakdown, and quit my university studies, because I just couldn't face the thought of doing teaching practice. To me, standing in front of a room full of people (whether young or old or anywhere in between) and having to speak to them was the stuff of nightmares. For years, I couldn't even handle speaking to strangers on the phone. I still tend to put it off, or avoid it if possible. I have made SOME progress with this over the years... but it's been excruciatingly slow. I still have plenty of work to do. It can take decades to smooth over the damage done during the first few years of your life... *sigh*

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-13 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] webgirluk.livejournal.com
I found this entry interesting and I too relate very much to that "running tape" and am often thinking through the triggers, which I feel probably get clearer to me over time as I get older. I like how you're trying meditation. I can imagine how there's a lot more to it than it just making you feel more relaxed and I look forward to following your journey with it and learning more :-) Maybe it could be useful for me to try.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-14 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] floatingleaf.livejournal.com
I've been playing around with the idea of "trying meditation" for years, actually - I was just never able to make a habit of it, mostly because it felt like I couldn't focus, or didn't have a clue whether I was actually meditating or just sitting there feeling stupid.;) Now I know my mind goes into a meditative state, because the audio recording I am using is specifically designed to have that effect. It actually claims to provide all the benefits of deep meditation EIGHT TIMES faster than the traditional way of doing it. Which is why I decided to give it a go. Of course, it will still take time to see any profound results... but, supposedly, in a few years I can get to the same level that Tibetan monks achieve after decades of meditating several hours a day. Well... we shall see.:P
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