Rendered http://sett.com/rendered in constant state of flow en-us Sat, 25 May 2019 05:08:03 +0000 http://sett.com Sett RSS Generator staying present http://sett.com/rendered/staying-present i've been playing a video game on my phone called clash of clans to build tenacity. it sounds silly, and maybe it is, but I've never mastered a video game before. First of all I wasn't allowed to play video games as a child, the only time I would i was over at a friend's house.

As an adult I found them exciting, but then frustrating, and later boring. I never got the concept of continuing to attempt until I got better.

I suppose I did learn to be hard working when I learned to play the piano, but even that was painful and I got frustrated fast. Staying with the game, and staying with losing and not being good at it... is challenging. Being patient and open to learning is also hard.

I am learning that this applies to all the other things I want to accomplish, all the other habits I want to build. They can't be built over night and I can't expect magical results right away. If i'm in it for the long-term, I don't have to beat myself up or throw-in the towel when things get hard or not fun. I can pick up and try again and again.

It seems like an easy concept, but it's really not.

Interestingly... I was listening to Pema Chodron's talk "getting unstuck" on my way home and she talked about an experience of hers where she experienced an intense emotional pain when she was around a particular woman who triggered her. She talks about going to the meditation room and staying up all night, just sort of being with her pain, it sounds like she was very frustrated with herself for not being able to control her pain or triggers. After being with it all night, she realized that her whole life was structured around avoiding this feeling she was feeling, her personality, the way she smiled, dressed, tried to please people. I totally related ...

] I avoid "that" feeling too because I don't know what to do with it, and it scares me what I might do or say. It makes it that much easier to give up when I get that feeling.

So now that I know this, I am working on staying present with that crappy feeling I disappoint myself or let myself down. it's difficult, but I think it's going to help me build better habits.

For now I'm working on what I can. I am going to keep going on this game, slowly but surely, and see myself improve at it.

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Wed, 23 Jul 2014 04:38:59 +0000 http://sett.com/rendered/staying-present
Mission 7 http://sett.com/rendered/mission-7 So here’s your mission for today:

Practice the self-acceptance technique above, just for a minute or two.

Journal about it.

Try this every day at the beginning of your Unprocrastination session, and see if you find out anything new each time.

-=-=-=-

I have been practicing self-acceptance off and on for a few years. I really want to have a healtheir body, but sometimes I just want to be skinny and look sexy and I don't really care about health. other times I feel focused on health and well being and not too worried about my shape. Other times, I just don't care at all but I feel like I dislike myself and feel uncomfortable in my own skin.

I spend most of the time in the latter, feeling uncomfortable and unhappy in my own skin. There's a lot of friends who post on facebook andinstagram pictures of themselves exercising and losing weight, which I think is annoying, but deep inside it just kind of hurts to remind myself that I'm unhappy with myself.

So it makes sense for me to practice self-acceptance and I like the way Leo wrote it out. I will work on this today, in regards to my life and my "appearance" both physical and mental and financial and spiritual.

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Fri, 27 Jun 2014 19:38:34 +0000 http://sett.com/rendered/mission-7
Mission 6 - Life Uncontrollable http://sett.com/rendered/mission-6-life-uncontrollable What can we do about these ideals? We’ll go into it more soon, but for now, it’s enough to be aware of the ideals, and see how we rarely meet them. See the unhappiness with ourselves, see how we’re creating that with the ideals.

See how life is uncontrollable.

So you
mission for this week: be mindful of your ideals, of your desire to control life, of how uncontrollable life actually is. And journal about it, and how it relates to your fears, procrastination & problems.

-=-=-

This was a very real post for me to read and digest, I mean I'm still digesting, but it hits home. I come from a family of people who are controlling and sometimes overbearing. we like to tell other people whatto do, and we're constantly disappointed with ourselves and others. i'm accepting this more and more every day. the other day i realized that we like to judge others and tell them what to do because it makes us feel in control of life, it makes us feel like there is order and not in fact chaos and that really we are lucky to be where we are, and it's scary to admit that the floor could be pulled from under us. we are not what's the word, immune.

how real is that? I write about my family because I believe that we are formed and shaped by the habits and personalities of the family that raised us. I find myself taking on manerisms that my father does, even though they used to get on my nerves. My mother passed away in 2005, but I know I am so much like her.

That is so uncontrollable!! to be or tend to be like our parents were.

I do believe we have a choice, but maybe the choice is to accept and embrace it? My sister sometimes blames my mother and grandmother for inheriting to her their personalities, haughty, a little manipulative, and flat out mean. She jokingly mentioned this at a family gathering and my brother in law, her husband, said no... you have a choice. you don't have to be like your family members.

It rang true, but I don't know what it means in a practical sense. like, how do you actually change?

My father, a minister, tells a parable of a scorpion and a frog. The scorpion needed to cross the river and saw that the frog was about to cross. The scorpion asked for a ride on the frog's back, and the frog laughed and said no. The scorpion was insistent, "if i stung you, I would die, too! please give me a ride." The frog thought that made sense and before you knew it they were in the middle of the river when suddenly the frog felt a sharp intense pain on in its back. The frog said "why did you do it?? now we are both going to die!" The flustered and surprised scorpion said, "I'm sorry! it's in my nature..."

He used it as an analogy for sin, that humans are sinful, but I don't believe in that. Or at least the construct of sin in that context, but M. Scott Peck does talk about sin as narcissism, self-centeredness, selfishness, etc. I find that fascinating and wondering how that relates.

Anyway, back on to life uncontrollable... wow. it really is. Like today I am home during my flex day andI have plans to clean and tidy up and then go exercise but who knows howit will go. I just want to lay about and relax. i don't even know what's "right" or what to do, but i know what i DON"T want... is to feel stressed and anxious about any of it!! lol

i guess that's one thing that i can use as a guide post, how do I want to feel? i don't want to feel anxious or tied down. i don't know what that means... do i control life so I don't feel that way? or do i gently move towards the things that create less anxiety, at least where i have control. Things like my daily habits, my exercise, etc.

would love to hear from my group!

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Fri, 27 Jun 2014 19:24:48 +0000 http://sett.com/rendered/mission-6-life-uncontrollable
Mission 5 http://sett.com/rendered/mission-5 1. Pick one of your problems being held back by fear — for example, writing your thesis, or starting to deal with your debt, or exercise, or dealing with a tough relationship, or putting work into building your business.

My biggest fear keeps me from continuing to explore and find out my calling. I am 30 and dealing with some knee issues and have had some back issues as well. I'd like to be stronger and have a good connection with nature that would help me heal and grow.

2. Commit to doing small actions of just 2-5 minutes a day on that problem, as part of your unprocrastination session. So for exercise, just go out for a brisk 5-minute walk or jog. For debt, just put your bills in one place and start listing them, then list some more the next day, then pay one of them, then call a creditor to ask for a renegotiation, etc. Tiny actions that you can start without too much trouble.

I have been doing stretching every morning after I wake up and before I go to bed. I haven't been super succesful with it, but I have been doing at least short stretches. I also have joined a gym which is a big step for me.

3. When you’re about to do the task for the day, meditate on the fear for a moment, give yourself some compassion, then act in the moment with the task and be curious about the experience. Notice the urge to procrastinate, and don’t let your mind run.

I will start doing this. Though it is sometimes first thing in the morning that I stretch, I sometimes don't feel like doing it bcause I don't want to get out of bed or my floor is too messy and doesn't look inviting. I know it seems silly but I won't do it. I feel like maybe I'm taking on too many things (clean room, stretching, meditating), and I don't do any of them consistently. My room has been fairly clutter free exceptthis week I was busy. I was supposed to clean and stuff on Sunday, but I ended up hanging out with my grandma who is here visiting for a month. It was worth it. I think i'm letting go that change happens when it happens and there are some things that are more important some times. I'm not completely sure this is true, though. I"m pretty sureI could have had both things... cleaned up and then went to grandmas.

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Fri, 27 Jun 2014 18:28:39 +0000 http://sett.com/rendered/mission-5
Mission #4 http://sett.com/rendered/mission-4 Every Friday Leo asked us to blog about how we did with unprocrastination. I missed yesterday but it's one day late. I swear it's not because I procrastinated :p, just prefer to do it on saturday.

  1. How did I do?

I didn't write down how I did but If i had to give it a number I think I had 80% success rate. The small habits I'm working on are my waking and pre-bed habits: 1) tidying up as I go; 2) stretches; 3) meditation/contemplation (mindfulness). I did tidy up all week as my room is organized, so is the kitchen, so is my desk and files. Some days it wasn't necessary to tidyup very long at all, so I'd do something extra, or just skip it. I have been stretching right after waking and before sleeping. I do a simple sun salutation and some cat cows and then some stretches on my back. I've did that this week at about 90%. For the 3rd, meditation/mindfulness, I've done that about 60%. I am working on being mindful of my emotions, so I've been using my feelings as a central point in my meditation. I forget to do it sometimes, or I start and get distracted.

2. What got in the way?

I think sometimes what got in the way was my craving to watch a show on my ipad instead before bed, or read. And then just kind of rush my rituals. in the morning, I also over slept and then didn't have time or just felt anxious so the whole point of stretching and mindfulness was focused around quelling my anxiety.

I think another thing that got in the way was not being able to sit in cross-legged position for too long becauseI'm dealing with some sciatica issues. Which is why I'm building in the stretching, mindfulness habits so that it can help me manage my stress and also keep my back open.

3. What can I do next week differently to remove those impediments?

One thing I'd like to do is do cardio regularly to help manage stress and also sleep better. I think that will help with my stretching and mindfulness because then i won't be dealing with anxiety as much when I'm doing my unprocrastination and can focus instead on well-being and breathing and calming my body for transition into/out ofthe day. I feel lke a lot of my energy is spent on processing stress and anxiety that I could do through exercise instead of my meditation time.

Another thing I can do is stick to a sleeping schedule. I've been kind of irregular which doesn't help with waking with enough time to get it done. I don't want to over tax myself either, so I'm going to focus on changing one thing next week to help my unprocrastination.

I think the most immediate thing will be to do cardio next week (walking, biking or swimming) to help process stress.

I'm also practicing staying present and not over intellectualizing things, which is such a challenge for me! i'm fighting the temptation to analyze my emotions and processes and just keep it simple, so, that's also a win for me. Keeping it simple and in the body. So i want to focus on exercise to help my unprocrastination around mindfulness be more effective and less about processing the days emotions.

thanks for reading!

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Sat, 07 Jun 2014 22:39:39 +0000 http://sett.com/rendered/mission-4
check-in, reflections may 9th http://sett.com/rendered/check-in-reflections-may-9th please note: this blog was not the result of a prompt from Leo, I just wanted to write it. It's mostly for myself to process what I'm thinking, and it's not edited at all.

-=-=-

I've been thinking alot about what Leo is proposing, that fear is the root of all of blocks we see in our lives. it makes sense. I was listening to KPFK 90.7 yesterday during their fundraiser and they had a guest who was talking about the stories we tell ourselves that are defeating, how we see ourselves in a particular situation or problem the way we would have seen ourselves when we first encountered this problem, that is probably as young children, teens or adults.

we are stuck there essentially. stuck in a story about this problem and stuck in a story about the results of this problem.

i totally get this intellectually, but there's a saying in spanish: del dicho al hecho hay un gran trecho... or from words to action there's a big gap.

I am taking on this challenge for multiple reasons, the most pressing is finances, but the most important is my health and well-being. I think procrastination is also up there, but I think they're all interrelated, they all have to do with self-care -- and self-fulfillment as a function of self-care.

I am an activist for lgbt and immigrant rights and what many would consider a radical thinker. politically I sit on the margins, but I do not talk about it publicly nor do i fit a mold of what you would think i should look like or act like. I work in an office, and know how to participate in polite conversation, but i usually dissent. a lot of my activism has to do with the realm of the mind and thoughts, so I work with media, and other influencers and try to persuade and influence them to see things from a different perspective. i have developed a lot of patience and perspective in this work, as humans are complex but also can hold on to their ideas very tightly.

with all of this said, a lot of my personal work has been to dive deep into the realms of spiritual and mental health practice. I've had to find a way to be stable, quiet in chaos, so I can think and move towards where I need to be so I can be a step ahead. It's interesting work, but it can be taxing.

On the flipside, I have found it hard to practice self-care in a way that supports my physicalness (my body, my finances, my spaces). additionally my mental health suffers as I pile on stress and emotions and do not exercise to get it out, or practice meditation or yoga, etc. I know these things to be true, and I believe in a oneness of my body spirit and mind, but that the health of each part of me requires a different approach.

to my earlier reference, a lot of radical thinkers, particularly in the black feminist movement write and think a lot about self-care as a radical act. in a system where your thoughts and your physicalness are not encouraged to thrive, the very act of health and well-being is a win. While i am not black or a womyn and cannot understand the realities the black community lives, i am a mixed-race queer man of color who's multiple backgrounds and identities are often at odds with mainstream culture.

With that said, I've been spending a lot of time trying to understand what self-care means in the context I live in. I must work, i must work hard. I must be in solidarity with my community, that means going out to marches, being present in conflict, staying engaged in dialogue, being a friend and support as those in my community navigate through life. Sometimes those things come into conflict with my own personal care, my well-being, which when you add the layer of fear, perhaps it is easier to untangle.

In some of my previous work/reading around co-dependency (a problematic identity i had but have shed since), they tell co-dependents that you like to take care of others because you don't think you're worth taking care of. I think it feeds into this construct of brokenness and emotional damagedness in marginalized communities. I do not like this at all.

I instead want to take a more nuanced look at my concept of self-care within my community, and explore what it means to be present in community, all the while taking care of my needs. All of my formal education wants to create a black and white concept, a pendulum concept about how these things work, as if it's either self-care or community. One or the other.

My knew knowledge, my body wisdom, growing emotional intelligence tells me that my experience and thinking exist in a multiplicity, a complex, dynamic reality that is nothing like a pendulum that swings one way or the other. It is much more like the natural world: complex, changing, multiple modes of learning.

So when i see myself using biological relationships in nature as an analogy or a starting point to understand my situation, it releases the pressure and I can begin to create solutions that are not painful, or at minimum not self-flagrant.

I cannot believe in a concept of self-care and community that pits them against each other, nor can I believe in a concept of my self as a damaged, emotionally and spiritually incapacitated soul. The narrative of "brokenness" is an important one, though, and I think it speaks of pain and frustration, the darkness that is felt because of our lived experiences, but it does not have to be labeled as brokenness, I'd prefer fragmented or blocked.

So back to my original thesis, perhaps we are blocked. We have become rigid in our thinking and in the way we let our stories about ourselves dictate the solutions to our problems. We have lost the flexibility and the openness to trust ourselves, our bodies and our wisdom, to heal ourselves and create our own solutions. This fragmentedness is because of oppression through erasure of hystory, education, media, patriarchy et all. We all suffer different levels of fragmentedness, though, just important to point out.

Back to fear, it is scary to let go of structures we have built for ourselves. Just like a child has to let go of their favorite blanky, stuffed animal, we must let go too of the constructs we've made for ourselves and let our whole self breathe and feel confident. i think this is where fear comes in. It is so scary to do something new, especially when your emotions start to move after being blocked for so long.

I offer that when we are stuck in our stories/habits, they are most enforced by the emotions surrounding the habits. for example, i tend to be an emotional eater, which by definition is related to emotions. If I was to break this story/pattern, all of a sudden I would let that anxiety/sadness or whatever linger and it may even grow. this is so scary.

if according to Karla McLaren (Language of Emotions), our emotions and feelings are a biological creation to help us survive, then it must be true that their automatic nature was programmed very early on so that we could survive. that means these patterns or habits are sometimes deep set and have some strong emotions around them. so interesting.

and here is where I am right now: emotions are not a cut and dry science, they're not like the "rational brain" which tries to make everything logical. Neither is body wisdom. Our bodies cringe or move or show openness (afterall, they say 70% of communication is body language), and so much of what our bodies do is unconscious or very instantaneous and hard to control.

so where I am and what I'm thinking/feeling is confusion. Part of making new habits and stories for me has been that I'm confused as to what is "the right thing to do." I want to acknowledge that there are some things (like finances) that are contextual, of course it's appropriate to save for retirement in a capitalist society. others touch or are connected to more complex identities/situations like community v. self-care, what does self-care mean in different contexts, how much is okay?

This is the way my mind works, or it's becoming more this way, i see less in black in white and more and more in multiples. there are multiples, and though my rational mind can't deal with it, my emotions and my body can, but they guide me differently than my rational mind. they are slower, and often more painful, because, like mentioned, it can be very painful to change stories/habits because they're so set in that way.

so it can be confusing, when I'm changing a habit -- when i'm resisting something -- it's hard to understand what the emotion is telling me. Is it just the outcome of a new formation of a new story which can be painful, or is the pain or resistance I'm feeling a warning?

do you see where I'm going? Our pain/emotions/body knowledge exist within our system to guide us and provide support or leadership for the conscious brain which is fickle. The rational brain goes all over the place, it really does, so the emotion/body/intuition ground us and point us in the right direction. (which I guess biologists would say is survival, I would say "thriving").

Okay, so when we're engaging in changing our stories/habits, all of a sudden, our rational/conscious self is telling our emotional/body/intuitive self that we need to change some habits. how are the wise, more grounded parts of ourselves going to believe the "rational" fickle self?? it really can't be trusted (i'm kidding of course).

as i'm writing, I'm exploring how the process of changing habits and stories shows up in our selves, our minds and bodies and spirits through emotions and intuition. Sometimes a new directive such as "eating healthy" or "spending less" make sense intellectually, but the body and the spirit need time to process it, and need to be allowed to react however they need to react. this is full integration of all the parts of ourselves.

if we do this work without integration,we can move quickly to create habits, but it will be A) really painful b) not that permanent c) shift from one thing to another (i.e. food to cigarettes).

These are my thoughts. I'm so glad I've written them down. I'm wondering what are the ways for us to help our full-selves move into new habits, how do we help our bodies, our spirits be in agreement with our rational mind? Notice I don't ever say that our body or spirit needs to "catch up" because again, it's not a black or white thing at all, they just move in different realms. We are not broken, we are not emotionally damaged, we are just blocked, fragmented in certain areas of our lives.

we can reintegrate, we can make new stories/habits with our whole selves. next I want to explore making habits/stories with the whole self. how do the mind, body and spirit dialogue and work together for health and well-being?

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Fri, 09 May 2014 16:18:07 +0000 http://sett.com/rendered/check-in-reflections-may-9th
how fear relates to habits - Mission 1 http://sett.com/rendered/how-fear-relates-to-habits-mission-1 (pulled this from evernote... written may 5)

how fear relates to the habits I shared in the questionnaire.

Well i've been thinking about this all weekend. I know there is a deep relation but it's hard to get to and feel the feelings behind everything. I've been reading "how to meditate" by pema chodron and I'm currently working on being present to my emotions. I've been working on emotions for a while, and I'm getting a lot better at being with what is happening. However, I still get confused and overwhelmed by emotions.

With all of that said, I know the root of a lot is fear, like the blog said. I struggle with living within my means, and saving up for the future I want. I also struggle with taking care of my body the way I want. I recently got my blood work done and most was back to normal. My sugar levels and cholestral were a lot more manageable and within the appropriate range. However, lately I"m a little worried I've been eating unhealthy.

I am perhaps more interested or more comnfortable with dealing with the feelings as they come and than to sit with them and process them. This is a simplified explanation because it feels more complex than that. That's the part I don't understand.

I know I have triggers, like feeling inadequate, feeling powerless, feeling overwhelmingly sad or disappointed. those are obvious ones.

i did have a success on Friday... my debit card kept being declined and I found out that my bank closed my account because I had overdrawn too many times. I was so mad, and so frustrated with myself. I also had a bunch of bills to pay.

I did something I've never done before in a moment like this and went and sat by the window at work for like 5 minutes and just processed my emotions. just let them be without trying to hit them over the head to go away. I was able to think a lot more clearly and then I felt very calm.

I was able to get them to let me withdraw $1k from the bank in cash, and then the next day I went to open up an account in a new bank. Later that evening I set-up all of my payments again to make sure I wasn't late. I am still a little upset with myself and ashamed, but I am glad that I got through it so quickly and was able to move on without breaking down.

Interesting because i seem to have a problem with more of the long-term stuff, long-term såving. I seem to sabotage myself slowly over the long–run, if that makes sense. tiny compromises here and there, if that makes sense. I wonder if that's like a slow-burning fear inside me, something that's afraid of long-term success or long-term feeling financially secure and confident.

same with health. i'd rather eath a bunch of fatty food (not thaaat fatty), and risk eating sugar (i'm at risk for diabetes thanks to my genes). i know exactly how i'll feel later (shitty), but I do it anyway. And then I don't exercise! I feel too lazy, like I don't want to go and get up and go somewhere and exercise. But then there are moments when I do it, and I do it for a while and then something usually happens to throw me off.

I think it's that same thing that I don't think I deserve it deep inside. Like i'm afraid of what my life could realyl look like if I was able to give myself what I needed (financial security and health).

I also struggle with apprehension or perfectionism. I get confused because i don't know if I"m being hard on myself or if I'm being reasonable. I think that's a big issue too. I'm scared to be confident in my decisions. I don't want to make a mistake, both physically and in the mental realm. So I let myself get caught up in self-doubt and confusion, I suppose this is a mask for fear.

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Fri, 09 May 2014 15:04:53 +0000 http://sett.com/rendered/how-fear-relates-to-habits-mission-1