Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Establishing Morning Rituals

I am on a two-day streak of waking up early. Yesterday morning, I took a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood just after sunrise. What a pleasure that was, despite the cold. It feels good to get walking back in my life, after not having the time anymore to go on long nature hikes. I feel walking is part of a pilgrimage, and part of this journey I am taking.

I am enjoying the reading of the Og Mandino scrolls from "Greatest Salesman in the World" and I can already see the benefits of that tedious exercise, although I got sleepy last night and did not read the words aloud before bed. I stayed up pretty late last night, not really doing anything useful with that time. Scrolling on Facebook, chatting on Messenger, etc. Those are old, bad habits and maybe they aren't really so bad compared to other habits I have.

I am reading a chapter per morning of the book "One Hundred Days of Solitude: Losing Myself and Finding Grace on a Zen Retreat" by Jane Dobisz. I am not able to go on a 100 day silent Zen retreat myself, and it's nice to sort of live vicariously through her account of the experience. My key takeaway from the reading this morning was her analogy about boiling water. I paraphrase her words here. The best way to boil a pot of water is turn the flame on high, and do not take the pot of the flame and put it back on. Just keep awareness on high during all activities of the day. She's talking about mindfulness. This is not so easy to do.

Last night, I attended my home group meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous and the subject of the meeting was finding happiness. I kind of bombed during my share. I have a terrible problem with fear of public speaking, and I am not yet skilled with oral communication. I can be, depending on the circumstances, the audience, and so on. Sometimes I get confused trying to process what I want to say. What is happiness, anyway? It's a fleeting thing. What I should have said at the meeting was that I find happiness from having a clear conscience from not harming people. I am happy when I am honest and not dishonest. Is that freedom from guilt, maybe? I used to try to find happiness in external "things" like booze, girlfriends,money, status, road trips and vacations, so many things which are transient experiences, causing pain when you lose them or they end. Some good shares in there. Perhaps if I could simplify my life, maybe I would find happiness in little things. I think progress makes me happy. The pursuit of perfection makes me miserable, because it's just never obtained and there is pain in falling short of perfection. This is I did not share at the meeting. I did get across the idea that happiness is not found in external attachments, but I choked, and said "That's all I've got" instead of finishing my thought.

Today, I will be begin exercise tests using my Just 6 Weeks fitness Android app. I may not have time to walk this morning. I have one hour left before getting ready for work. As long as I get my walk in this evening, I'm fine.

I will begin composing affirmations this week. December will be a rough month with high demands from work, but at least I will be making money for the holidays. I'm looking foward to New Years and setting resolutions. I think if I get some good habits going for the next month, I will really be going already by Jan. 1st.

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