Fascinating workshop today

Woke up early today, did some meditation, fell back to sleep, and woke up about 10:30am feeling like a train wreck. Got up and cleared out my fridge today, turfing all the decaying crap that was in there during my 4 week stay at my sister’s place. It felt good to have a clean fridge again.

Then I went to a fascinating workshop today run by Malcolm Cohan. It was all about telling stories from our lives, without any negativity. We paired up and each told a painful story from our past, but “flipped” so that all the negatives were told as positives. I told the story of the day I sat as a child on the front porch of my parent’s house, feeling greatful for my family, my parents and their wonderful relationship. In my flipped story, my parents were emotionally aware and wonderful communicators. I could overhear them talking lovingly inside, and instinctively knew that the world was a safe and wonderful place. I prayed to God to thank him for giving me such wonderfully emotionally connected parents.

While telling the story, part of my was going “this is bullshit”; but at the end, I found myself smiling and feeling really good. I couldn’t believe that it was so simple. We get so caught up in our painful stories, and tell them to other people, yet the pain persists. Flip the story and tell a good one instead of a painful one, and it makes you feel good. I’m going back for more tomorrow…

Busy day today

Woke up a little early at 7am, and listened to meditation CD. Went to the shop to buy a digital video camera; and found they didn’t have the one they said they had. Went grocery shopping instead. Came home and had a busy afternoon working on a slideshare presentation; which was creative and fun. Skipped lunch. I find I get really excited when I’m doing something creative like that, and I suspect it’s not good for me. Sure beats feeling de-motivated though.

Went for a lie down about 4:30pm, and woke up about 5pm feeling like I’d been run over by a truck. Lay in bed for a couple of hours feeling terrible; maybe drifting in and out of sleep, I’m not sure. Gawd, I feel washed out now. I suspect skipping lunch isn’t such a hot idea.

Really shitty night last night

Urgh. Felt truly terrible last night. Drove 3hrs back from Canberra, and felt wrecked by the time I got here. Went to bed. Woke up an hour later feeling even worse. Couldn’t get back to sleep. Watched a bit of TV, and a late movie. Finally crashed back into bed and woke up this morning with the usual run-over-by-a-bus feeling in the head. Finding it a bit hard to be motivated to Stop-Stop-Stop. I wonder if it’s really working?

Feel a tiny bit better this morning. Gonna go do some research today to buy myself a new toy: a digital video camera. YouTube, here I come!

Headachey day today

Urgh. Spent most of the day in bed with a headache today. Did the meditations, soften and flow etc. Felt lousy. Took Nurofen and went back to bed. Played guitar a tiny bit. My sister and her family got back yesterday, so the house is full again. I like having them around, but it means I can’t do exactly what I want. I head back home tomorrow. I was hoping to get into a meditation retreat that starts tomorrow, but it’s full so I have to wait until March when I’m free to go again.

Started reading The Happiness Handbook by Dr Tim Sharp. It got me thinking again: What is my life purpose?

Wrestling with “not working”

I’ve been really wrestling with this whole six-month-commitment take-a-break don’t-work thing. I don’t want to just sit around idle; in fact, I notice my symptoms more when I’m not doing anything. I have a consulting engineering business which gives me more work than I want to do, if I ask for it; but that sort of work just doesn’t seem to feed the emotional side of my brain any more. Plus I’d like to build a business where I can earn passive income, so I can eventually retire. Being paid by the hour to help other people with projects I don’t care much about doesn’t do that for me.

However, I do enjoy many aspects of the creative stuff that I do, which I’d ultimately like to earn a living from. I’m building a website to sell my first book on attraction and dating, and I quite enjoy recording interviews with experts to build bonus products. It’s sort-of “work”, but I can do it from home, and it’s quite engrossing; meaning I don’t worry about feeling ill. I do still worry about being successful at it mind you; this is a big trap for me. But I’ve been agonising about how to give up doing this stuff when I feel so compelled to work on it all the time. Which I guess means that I really enjoy it. Yeah, I’m probably addicted to the feeling of success, and every time I record a sale or an affiliate sale, I feel hugely motivated to do some more work on it. That’s gotta be better than sitting around feeling ill, worrying about how I’m going to find work that I enjoy again.

So I’m going to lighten up on myself about this. I’m sticking to the 6-month commitment to the program, and to only doing stuff that I enjoy during that time. I’m going to avoid anything that stresses me out as far as possible. But if I really want to do something creative that’s going to earn me money, I’m not going to hold off on the basis that I’m “not supposed to be working”. What I will do is pace myself, not “work” weekends, and take breaks when I’m on the computer so I don’t get sucked back into sitting in front of a screen all day. I’ll work on moderating my craving to be successful. And I’ll be grateful that I’m in a position of working because I want to, rather than because I have to. I can only imagine how hard it must be for people with CFS who can’t support themselves financially without the extra stress of working. So my thoughts go out to you.

I just watched Session 12, the final session of the Gupta programme this morning. It was a good recap. I’m going to go back to session 1 next and keep watching them regularly to keep the motivation up. I haven’t had a really bad day in a couple of weeks now. I went out with my friend Ash last night and stayed out till about 1am playing Band Hero on his PS3. I feel tired today, but not dreadfully so. And I’m learning to dissociate from that tired feeling anyway, as described in Session 12. I’m quietly optimistic; it’s still early days.

If you’re on the programme, drop me a line to let me know how you’re doing so we can support each other.

I’m off to play some guitar and chill out some more…

Dating

I feel kinda knackered today. Just woke up really tired. Been doing quite a few Stop-Stop-Stop’s; mainly over symptoms and “Is this treatment working?”

I did lunch today with a girl I met on an online dating site. It was our first meeting. She turned out to be really lovely, and it was quite fun meeting her… but I do find dating stressful, and I wonder whether it’s helping me. Mind you I’m single, and that’s stressful in its own way too. During lunch at one point I felt like I wanted to be sick. I didn’t mention that I’m recovering from CFS to her. I’d like to get to know her better.

I’m only just discovering how to get around the fears that have prevented me from dating the people I’d really like to be spending time with. I suspect these fears have a lot to do with the stress that I experience. The amygdala is the emotional centre of the brain, and it’s hugely involved in the whole dating/relationship thing. I wonder what the best thing to do is: date? Not date? sex? celibacy? There are pros and cons to all.

How to Deal with a Normal Life

Got up feeling pretty well this morning. Read my email, wrote some blog postings, watched a video on internet video marketing. Played some guitar.

I just watched Session 11, How to Deal with a Normal Life. I’ve posted my Happy, Healthy Life worksheet. I could relate a lot to what Ashok said about not rushing all the time, relaxing at the computer, not going for achieve achieve achieve. Probably need more practise at it still!

I feel kinda tired this afternoon, but wouldn’t say it’s exhausting. I’ve been Stop-Stop-Stop’ing quite a bit today. I still get a mild tension feeling, and lots of thoughts about needing to convince or impress other people. I was talking to my sister on MSN, and that often causes me anxiety; I have a nagging feeling that she disapproves of things I do, and find that hard to shake. More material for Stop-Stop-Stop.

The emotional rollercoaster continues

Had a rough night last night emotionally. I had been chatting on MSN to a girl I dated briefly at the end of last year on MSN, and she totally slammed me about the ebook I’ve published on dating and attraction. I kept thinking “That’s your reality, not mine” at the time, letting it just wash over me. But later that evening I got really despondent about it and decided to give up trying to promote it. It’s more important that I get my health back anyway, and it’s just an extra stressor at the moment. Went to bed at 11:30pm feeling despondent, and physically just tired.

Woke up this morning rather early at about 7am. Did the meditation and wellness visualisation.

Then when I checked my email, I found I’d had another sale. That always motivates me. So I did some work on the website, which went quite well. I stopped for lunch at a respectable hour rather than just ploughing through like I used to, and played some guitar. I’m learning a couple of songs for my nieces, for when they get back in a week or so. After finishing “work” for the day, I did the meditation again, and I ended up feeling really positive.

I know I made that 6-month commitment to not work and just do stuff I enjoy, but I actually do enjoy the Internet marketing stuff I’m working on… when I feel like I’m getting results. Fortunately today was one such day. I think it’s important not to push myself when I start feeling tired though, so that’s it for today. I’m off to read a book, grab dinner, and vege out in front of the telly for the rest of the evening.