Monday, September 26, 2016

Updates!

I'm sure that you've all been on the edge of your seats waiting to hear about the projects I started a couple weeks ago. Well, I thought I'd try to be a good blogger for a change, and present you with some timely updates.

Meditation
This goal has been going relatively well. I've managed to meditate between 10-12 minutes for 6 of the past 12 days. It doesn't sound that great, but compared to 0 days of the past 35 years of my life, I'm proud of how well I'm doing! I found a much better app to use to track my new practice than Logster, too. (See one of the useless graphs that Logster produces below.)

So as you can see here, the number went up and down - fascinating!

The new app I'm using is called HabitBull, which is free, but does offer premium features (aka cost money) which are way beyond my needs. The free version lets you track 5 habits (which is probably more than I can try to instill in myself at one time anyway!) by setting both a daily goal, which is measured by either a yes/no or a number, and a streak goal, which is how many days in a row you want to do the new habit before you succeed. They recommend 66 days so that's my goal.

We were in Berlin for the weekend, during which time I ignored the reminders and failed to meditate, so I had to start over with a zero day streak. It amazed me how much more difficult it was to stay focused today, after just 3 days without practicing. The thought "how much longer is there?" popped up in my mind several times, which hasn't happened since the first few days. It reminded me of dieting or exercising - it's so much harder to get "back on the wagon" than it is to start fresh with a new habit. Why is that?

Berlin was lovely, by the way

Reading list
Psychology: The Truth Behind Your Behavior and How You Can Take Control of Your Life by Steve Blackman was a waste of time, money, and anticipation. It belongs on the "Do Not Read" list. Then again, it was only 99 cents, a true sign of top-notch quality in the publishing world. Keep my 99 cents, Steve, you earned it - you found an easy mark.

I haven't gotten all the way through Lucid Dreaming: A Beginner's Guide to Becoming Conscious in Your Dreams by Charley Morley yet. After Part I, which focuses on how to become lucid, Part II starts to delve into what to do during lucid dreams, and I don't feel like I need to read about all the cool stuff I can't do yet. I did realize once that I was dreaming (hooray! Step 1!), but when I tried to change the dream, it turned into a gray wall, like a screen locking up or static on the TV, and I couldn't go any further. I figured I still have some work to do becoming friends with my subconscious, so I've focused on meditation for the time being.

I also started re-reading Lucid Dreaming, Plain and Simple by Robert Waggoner, another leading figure in the world of lucid dreaming. His book contains even more suggestions of how to become lucid than Charley's book; Charley, as a practicing Buddhist, teaches inner awareness and meditation as keystones of becoming lucid, while Robert offers many other techniques. Some of their techniques overlap, of course, and both of them recommend using lucid dreaming as a way to explore the self. (Robert's other book is Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self.) So my hunt for lucid dreams continues.

Bonus: Canada!
Alex and I have been waiting to hear back from Canada on our visa application since we applied in mid-April. It has been a struggle to stay patient, as I'm sure you can imagine. We ordered a copy of our immigration file last month, and we just received it - it seems to say that we are approved, which is great news! However, we still haven't gotten our "Passport Request," which is the last step of the process before we can move.

We expect to get it by mid-October, which is 6 months after our application and in line with Canada's average turnaround time for visa applications, but of course we're hoping to get it even sooner. We're already selling off our furniture in preparation, and we've gotten quotes on the cost of shipping Neko over. Finally, the long wait seems to be nearly over, and I'm ecstatic!

The land of Terry Fox, the Gimli Glider, and Justin Trudeau...they've got it all!

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