Day 545 & Between Scylla and Charybdis

Day 545 Record Keeping (63)
Day 514 Fixed Meditation 
Day 460 Bodyweight Exercise (7 typewriter pushups - 60)
Day 387 Writing (56)
Day 560 Eating (72)
Good sleep, good wakeup. Feeling good.

Per my previous protocol, I’ve dropped recording the SRHI for fixed meditation because I maintained an 80 or above in it for a week, giving it superhabit status. As an aside meditation has been going well. Last night I started meditating (I’ve been doing this  more and more often lately) vipassana style. I found myself getting into this solid groove of letting thoughts flow without clinging, and it started to feel really good. Just as though I was entering first jhana.

Lydia has been reading about this more than I have lately, and Daniel Ingram does mention that you can enter first jhana through vipassana. I’m liking how a lot of his book reflects my personal experience after the fact, for items I didn’t read clearly or just skimmed over. It makes me feel like I’m making solid progress.

When I meditate I often don’t really want to go through with it - but that first initial repulsion is overwhelmed by the solid habit of just getting into position. Once I start it starts happening. That’s exactly what I’ve been feeling the last couple of days with writing. Thinking about the nitty gritty I immediately don’t want to do it, but I find myself just walking to my chair sitting down, and setting up my next writing task. That’s exactly where I want habits to be, especially ones I’m pushing - I’m never going to like the pain involved, but I’m not thinking about that - I’m mechanically and habitually getting set up, and the rest flows. This has clearly resulted in a higher score in the SRHI which I think will continue.

Eating has been amazing - it really clicked this weekend, as  I had some old college friends visit. Despite going out and having dinner, I was on autopilot, ignoring the bad foods and eating the solid ones. That’s also resulted in a very high score on the SRHI, and that’s exactly where I want that habit to be.

Between Scylla and Charybdis

I feel a lot better about my habits. Last weeks depression has fallen away, as predictable. It feels like it regularly takes a week or two for that strain to fade. The opposite is what I’m feeling now - the urge to do more. 

Having more latent energy makes me want to expand my exercises, expand my writing, expand my meditation…This is dangerous. 

It’s like Scylla and Charybdis in Ulysses.  Scylla was a monster, Charybdis was a whirlpool, and ships had to figure out how to navigate the Strait of Messina without being torn to pieces. This metaphor is particularly apt because I’ve described this scenario before as a battle of two forces that threaten to rip a part progress in this project. Too much depletion, and you don’t want to do anything. Too much energy, and the internal urge to do more overextends your willpower/endurance/grit.

Ulysses survived with few losses by choosing Scylla, I can’t afford the losses and must choose to angle my ship precisely in between the two dangers.

Lydia said something interesting today. “Now that you have done what you need to do, your job is to be satisfied.”

There’s a lot of wisdom and skill in that statement. It means sacrificing sudden momentary swaths of gains for long term steady progress, which is the heart of this entire project, yet so difficult to remember when in the thrall of vortex forces.

It is very interesting how these emotional urges play out time wise….it’s something I need to pay closer attention to.