2021.12.29 Day Notes

Reflection:: I woke up pretty late in the morning today after adapting my sleep schedule yesterday. Drank 3 mugs of beer at a celebratory work lunch and passed out at around 4pm or something. Woke up at 11pm, was awake until around 4am, and then just woke up again around 8am. So far I’ve Neti’d which is great, and as I opened up my laptop to look at the yoga book, felt inspired to start writing in my journal.

*Meditation Day 660
*YogaBook Day 2
*Journaling Day 3

* Various work meetings
* Watch the course that I missed
* Ask housemate about that course she was suggesting
* Call coach

Reflection:: I love how quickly intentions turn into actions and then habits for me after spending 660 days in a row of meditation. It’s helping me realize how important having regular habits are. I’m having mixed emotions now as I’m typing this, because it’s the sort of thing I’ll pass on to my children if I have any. I feel sad for my mother that she didn’t know this and was therefore unable to pass it on herself. I’m glad I’m learning these things now and reaping the benefits.

As I’m writing, realizing I’d like to prioritize doing the exercise I’ve made up for myself around the Hawkins Scale of Consciousness. There are seventeen levels. The exercise I’d like to do is, starting at the first level – shame – do a week of journal posts where I explore that level. So on that first level, given the associated state of humiliation, I’d like to explore things I feel humiliation about and feel into the areas of life where my world view is miserable. Then next week I’ll do Guilt, and the week after that do Apathy, and so on. There are 52 weeks/ year, so I can theoretically go through this three times/ year. My hypothesis is that if I were to do this, I’ll understand myself better. This level of understanding is necessary for me to truly love myself and be able to truly empathize with others. The very fact that I’m curious about this and interested in trying it out implies that I’m likely in a state that hovers around Willingness while I’m journaling, and that seems consistent with my optimistic emotional state and hopeful world view – at least while I’m journaling. The reason I think this exercise will be so helpful though is that we’re all made up of multiple minds and levels of consciousness and as I go about my life, my main set of consciousness and associated emotional states + world views change. I’d like to fully feel the various emotions that form the foundation for truly feeling the higher states, and my observation is that I may shift out of those feelings quickly and repress them. But they are feelings that everyone has. So the fact that I have trouble accessing them seems like a lack of self-awareness. I would prefer to be at a place where I understand how someone – including me – could feel shame about a situation rather than be at a place where I completely look past it and don’t have the understanding necessary to relate to others and coach them through the emotion. If I have children, they’ll experience shame at some point. How can I help them feel understood as they are processing these feelings if I’m in denial of how I feel them myself?

Hawkins Scale of Consciousness

Reflections:: Emotions:: Shame::

In the spirit of getting started, I’m motivated to start exploring the emotion of shame immediately. So the associated feeling is Humiliation, and the resultant view of life is a sense of misery. I’m asking myself in what ways do I feel miserable? What do I feel humiliated about? Where do I have shame? The immediate place I go is around sexual acts and desires. Like if someone walked in on me masturbating, would I feel humiliated? I suppose I guess that depends on who walks in? I don’t actually have many strong emotions there. As I try to imagine the situation, I imagine that I’m mostly laughing at the situation and trying to reassure the other person rather than really feeling shame. This seems too manufactured right now. OK, what about memories of actual events? What feels actually vulnerable to me that I’m embarrassed about? An example of this was how I felt about having been arrested as a 15 year old. I was definitely ashamed of it, and there was a lot I hadn’t processed. When I told my story on the Breaking Into Startups podcast and then it made its way into TechCrunch, I went from humiliation to a place where I have a deep understanding of the situation and am at peace with it. More than at peace, it simply feels like it’s part of the larger system of how the world is, and something that just is. This corresponds to the “Enlightenment” phase of the scale. Which is definitely higher than how I typically walk around, but an emotional and mental state that I tap into. When I think about this event that I once had shame around, I now have a feeling of deep calm and it feels like my mind breaks free of the confines of its skull to survey a wider plane of existence. OK, so what else do I want to feel that around? Ok. So here’s some stuff I definitely feel shame around:
* How I treated women I hooked up with while I was younger,
* that I lost money by lending it to other people rather than putting it into buying my mother a house,
* that I spent so much of my life not having healthy habits,
* that I walked away from various invitations to join healthy groups of people and didn’t even know I was doing it,
* that I’m 38 years old and only just now having the strength and courage to look at my emotions,
* that I walked away from great relationships and don’t have children yet,
* that I didn’t stand up for myself in a variety of work and business situations,
* that I lied about who I am and things I’ve done to make myself like or accept myself more – which only created more distance between me and myself, and made it impossible to connect with others, as I was presenting a facade
* that as I write this I immediately want to shift into accepting things and saying “well that’s just how things are” and “of course you did those things, not a big deal, that’s just how humans are.” While that may be true, I’m intending to really spend time with this emotion, not shift out of it so quickly.

As I write the above, I’m realizing that I could use some help figuring out topics to feel shame around. And I’m also noticing that as soon as I write them down I shift into forgiving myself for them and feeling like whatever I did and whatever pain I’ve caused others, it’s part of a larger system that I can see more clearly now that I’m older. It’s making me think about whether I’ll get more out of shifting my practice from doing each emotion for a week, to just however I feel exploring it for – which could be shorter or longer. But I think that’s impatience speaking and that there will be more that comes out of sticking to a week/ emotion. The bullet points above just feel like scratching the surface. It will be beneficial for me to explore each bullet point further, and see how that feels. And I can use some of my journaling time to do research about the emotion and really learn more about them. Yes, a week/ emotion still feels great.

Reflections:: Emotions: Shame12:38pm Just had more thoughts come up while I was chatting w/ my coach!

*Shame for being in a tax situation where I owed over $500k in taxes. Tons of shame around that. If I had filled out my paperwork properly and gotten a proper accountant earlier, I would have owed wayyy less. And having the statute of limitations run out meant that I dealt with the situation by ignoring it. The shame around owing so much money and how I got in the situation was definitely a factor in my running away from a couple of relationships because I felt embarrassed and like I wouldn’t be able to provide. What’s fascinating though is that the way this played out was with me asking my partners to hold money for me and me ultimately losing over $70k in post-tax money I could have used as a downpayment in the process. There’s a lot there and all I can do is shake my head and laugh at myself as it goes deeper. This is definitely one to explore. 12:43pm.

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