In my last entry, I discussed the clarity I had attained around how my life model just wasn’t working for me, and in that realization I came to understand that nothing outside of myself was going to fix things. I was going to have to go even further within my sense of self and craft a new way of living. My thoughts must change, my behaviors must be different, and in order to make this happen I have to have a fundamentally different energy.
Up until this point in my life, I thought about energy as something that we give and receive, and I still do think that, but without making a conscious decision, I was more focused on the energy outside of myself and less focused on the energy inside myself. I kept consuming various sources of energy (food, media, relationships) and letting the frequency of those sources carry me through the day. It was sort of like trying to be a curator, putting together an awesome collection of works for a gallery. If I could just get the right pieces together…
I have left that behind, now. For the past four or five weeks, I have been focused only on what I can do to generate the energy that I want to have. That’s the difference between being a creator and a consumer.
I started with meditation. The research is clear at this point that there are numerous benefits to meditating, but I kept avoiding it because it wasn’t something I could just consume. I actually had to sit my ass down and do it. Now I do. Many people who promote meditation start their day with it, but I have found that for me it’s a great help when I end my day by meditating. I do twenty minutes of meditation right before I go to bed, and I fall asleep faster and sleep better because of it. And since there are important links between one’s quality of sleep and weight loss or weight gain, meditating is not only a mental practice, but a practical element of my weight loss efforts.
I stopped playing video games. I love video games. Modern video games are incredible entertainment. They are also a HUGE time suck. My favorite video game of all time is “Skyrim.” I logged over a thousand hours on that game. Let that sink in. That’s just one game, and I spent more hours on that game than I spent on classroom and study hours for my Master’s degree. What could you do with a thousand hours? If I took all the hours I’ve spent playing video games and used them on one other endeavor, I could be an accomplished piano player, or furniture maker, or be the best hypnotist in the world. It’s classic opportunity cost (remember high school enconomics?).
I read more. As an English major in college, I spent a lot of time reading what my professors assigned me, and it sort of burned me out on reading. It’s a tragic irony, because the whole reason I declared as an English major was because I loved reading so much! In fact, I didn’t read a single work of fiction for the first four years after I graduated from college. It was the Harry Potter books that helped me find joy in reading again, but twenty-five years after college I still don’t read fiction like I did before I went to college. The main point is that I know that I’m happier when I read for the joy of it, and so I consume less Netflix and more books. I believe there is a difference in how we consume books. When I read, I create the story in my mind. I see the scenes, hear the voices, so it’s not strictly consumption, but rather a creative process. Reading more has been a good thing for my personal energy.
I use sound to tune myself. Each of us is consciousness in a physical form. We are energy in the form of matter, vibrating at various frequencies. Sound vibrations have a variety of effects on human beings, the effect depending mostly on the frequency of the sound. Low frequency sound, sometimes called infrasound, can create nausea, dizziness, and headache. Some researchers are suggesting that high frequency sounds, sounds that we can’t even consciously perceive, could also have negative health effects on people.
Throughout my day, I use music to help me maintain the energetic state that I desire. When I’m working at my desk, I play new age music and symphony music. It helps me stay centered and peaceful. When I feel my energy getting low, I put on pop music that gets me more emotionally fired up. My heart rate goes up, I breathe faster, and I sing along. When I go to bed at night, I play solfeggio frequencies (disclaimer: I do not play them because I believe the claims about what solfeggio frequencies can do, but simply because I like the way they sound).
My only concern, for the past month or so, has been to give my attention to how I want to feel inside, and how I can make choices that shape that inner state to one that is peaceful, loving, and connected. I’ll focus on connection more in my next entry.