Real

Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling

I’ve been meditating every day with Jenny, Fabian, and Angela for the past little while. I’ve also started seeing a new therapist for about a month now. And our book club for The Places That Scare You by Pema Chödrön has recently wrapped up.

It’s definitely not a new topic for me, but it’s been interesting having all of these different avenues pointing to my lack of self-awareness.

It’s been something I’ve been working on since at least the latter half of university.

I have definitely made some progress. I’m getting better at identifying body sensations, differentiating thoughts and judgements, and recognizing some emotions.

The self can be quite puzzling. I mean, intuitively, I can’t be separate from my self, so I should be well aware of my self.

But at the same time, I can see that doesn’t seem to be true.

Furthermore, in practicing meditation and reflecting on ideas from several authors, it makes me wonder if the self is really the thinker of thoughts and feeler of feelings. Perhaps instead the self is simply the one observing/experiencing those things.

I mean, I guess that makes sense given these ideas I’ve heard before (I don’t know who to attribute them to of the top of my head) :

  • You are not your thoughts
  • You are not your feelings
  • You cannot control your thoughts
  • You cannot control your feelings

But then, what is the self?

Another odd thing I’ve noticed about my thoughts and feelings is that am best at noticing them once they’ve already passed. (Meta thought: I was going to initially talk about how I usually relate to my self in the past. Managed to catch my self, at least.)

It’s almost like my self doesn’t really exist in the present, and I’m just carried by the momentum of my thoughts and emotions. Except my self does exist in the present, it just happens to be reflecting on thoughts and emotions in the past. (Maybe it’s time I read me some Descartes.)

But maybe I’m slowing getting closer to knowing my experience in the present. A couple of times in recent days/weeks (I can’t remember exactly when I had these thoughts, or in what context, just that I had them), I’ve mid-thought asked myself if I was doing something to prove that I was worthy of attention, or to prove that I was right about something. I mean, I didn’t change my behaviour, but I think the fact that I was able to question my self in the moment is forward progress, right?

Anyhow, this will be an on-going thing for me–getting better acquainted with my self. Bundled with the self-compassion idea I wrote about recently, I think this will be an adventure. For one, I hate contradictions, but I’m sure that I’m full of them. This came to mind because I’m about to workout, but I hate working out and watching what I eat, but I want to stay healthy, I want to look good, and I don’t want to be fat. And just like that, I’m already rolling my eyes at my self.

It’s a practice.

Anywho, something else I’m planning on trying is ending each of these blog posts with a short gratitude practice inspired by Kenn, who has been posting daily uplifting gratitude posts for what seems to be at least a year now.

I am grateful for:

  • Amazon notified me today that they’ve shipped out my hand blender. I’m looking forward to using it to make palak chicken because I don’t think I can eat another oven roasted chicken breast on steamed vegetables.
  • Gyroscope showed me how to correct a syncing issue for my body fat and sleep data today. Additionally, my coach was giving me some tips on improving my diet while also making it more cost effective.
  • The surprise when I discovered that a choreography I recently fell in love with (Galen Hook’s choreography to “River” by Bishop Briggs) was featured in Meteor Garden (a show on Netflix I finished this week). I did I double take when I realized it looked familiar, and then I was super excited to see that they paid that tribute.
  • My legs and feet have been holding out as I get my running jar back under control. It was overflowing this week because I took some time off running recently due to a migraine, but it’s looking like I may be back on schedule by the end of the week. I’m going to be taking a hot epsom salt bath later tonight for my legs, and I’m grateful that I’m able to take this luxury tonight.

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