"What are the hardest and most useful skills to learn?"

Evster2012

The Force is Strong With This One
#31
Listening and staying in the moment are brutal for me. I’m the most distracted person I know. My mind is in a thousand places at once. Retaining what I hear and read is my Everest.
 

Harmony99

The Force is Strong With This One
#32
Learning not to complain too much when things don't go right is something
i am working on. Trying to Go with the flow is helping a lot.
I am learning to be more aggressive in my approach to some issues in life. Control aggression
has led to positive growth in my life especially my business goals.
 

SlipNet

Padawan Learner
#33
Pragmatic do-ing is the hard one for me to push beyond. I draw pretty well, but ideas for good pictures of the type I enjoy drawing are hard to come by, so I end up just doodling portraits, which can be a useful way of keeping your hand in, but can also get a bit by rote.

I also write little synopses for creative writing exercises, short stories and the like. I jot them all down, I've filled a 200 page notebook, but I always put off actually developing them. I think I could learn a bit more about myself if I follow through on decent ideas, just work far harder than I'm currently doing.

I've got journals of creative writing from the late 90's, 2004-07 too; goldmines of memories scrawled down in feverish states of activity. Fascinating to draw on them as resources.

I'm not lacking for motivation, just that old fear of being a bit rubbish when push comes to shove is what I suspect is at the root of things, a classic program sadly. At least cliches are easy to learn from, I just need to use those energies better.

My plan of action is 3 days fresh attendance in a local art studio, Mon-Weds each week. I've organised it so I'll be sitting at a desk with pencils and paper, forced to fill the void. It'll be good for building discipline and when I do more, I always get more back. Usually in an indirect way too, like a new idea.
 

Woodsman

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#34
Self Observation. Trying to see yourself as others see you. Recognizing the faults and flaws and rough patterns which might be attended to.

And with that...

Seeing the world through other people's eyes. To walk that mile which everybody talks about. The one in their shoes.

The first is more difficult I find, but second is by no means a cake walk! Other people's shoes don't usually fit.
 

Oxajil

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
#35
Listening and staying in the moment are brutal for me. I’m the most distracted person I know. My mind is in a thousand places at once. Retaining what I hear and read is my Everest.
Have you tried doing Mindfulness exercises? I've been doing it once a week, and while I had no expectations of its effects, I've noticed it is helping me stay more alert and in 'the present time'. NeurOptimal could help as well, if you haven't tried it out already. :-)
 

beetlemaniac

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
#36
Have you tried doing Mindfulness exercises? I've been doing it once a week, and while I had no expectations of its effects, I've noticed it is helping me stay more alert and in 'the present time'. NeurOptimal could help as well, if you haven't tried it out already. :-)
Hi Evster2012,

To supplement what Oxajil mentioned, I stumbled upon the "Mindful Education Summit", an online event from the 17th to the 21st October on mindfulness for kids and adults. It features names known within our circle including Peter Levine, Daniel Goleman, Kristin Neff and a whole host of other experts within this field. I've registered and am looking forward to the content which will be aired for free for 48 hours.

Here's a video:

If I may share another tidbit, I got this from Rick Hanson's mailing list called "Just One Thing". I find his articles to be very beneficial and centering for moments when I'm feeling scattered, anxious and without an anchor. I sometimes don't read the articles that come in, and instead "star" them to read when I feel like I need something to help me self-regulate.

Are you all over the place?
The Practice:
Rest In Center.
Why?

Gravity and entropy are powerful processes in the natural world. Gravity draws things together, toward a center, while entropy scatters them into disorder. In much the same way, in our own lives, some things bring us to center, while others disturb and disperse us.
In terms of centering, be aware of your whole body as you take a long slow breath, or think of something you're glad about. You'll probably feel more at home in yourself, more drawn into your own core rather than feeling like Garfield the cartoon cat, spreadeagled up against a pane of glass.

In terms of feeling scattered, notice what it's like to do multi-tasking, the mind drawn in several directions at once. Or what it's like to open your email in-box and see twenty or more new ones calling to you. Walking down the street or through a mall, see how your attention moves out to various objects of desire: this attractive person, that shiny car, this pretty sweater, that cool new cell phone, and so on: for a few seconds at a time if not longer, you're dispersed out and away from your calm, clear, autonomous center. And if you have any tendencies toward over-eating, -drinking, -sexing, -shopping, -etc., this dispersal gets more extreme.

Centered or scattered: it's not a subtle distinction that's just for yoga camp. When we feel grounded in a sense of center, we're more resilient; it's also harder to intimidate us with fear or manipulate us with greed. On the other hand, when we feel scattered, that's stressful and thus bad for well-being and health. Plus it makes us more distracted and impulsive, and more prone to conflicts with others, and to compulsive or addictive behaviors.

When I've felt scattered, it wasn't the end of the world. But it wasn't good for me, or for others.
It feels a lot better to rest in center.

How?

Most of the inputs into your brain come from inside your own body, from your heart and lungs and other organs. Ancient structures in your brainstem and subcortex, such as the hypothalamus, begin the process of turning these signals into the fundamental feeling of what it's like to be alive. Then more recently evolved regions of your brain – the insulas (or "insulae") inside each of the temporal lobes on the sides of your head – refine these signals further into the embodied feeling of coherent, continuous be-ing. This primal sense of being a body is at the core of the stream of consciousness, and unless you are in extreme pain, tuning into it is immediately centering.

So follow the internal sensations of a single breath – the movements of the diaphragm just under your ribcage, the expansion and contraction of the chest, the coolness of inhaling compared to exhaling – and notice how this feels. Try this for ten breaths, counting them softly in your mind if you like. You could also be particularly aware of breathing in the area of your heart, or in the center of gravity of the body a few inches below your navel.

See if you can get a sense of your body as a whole, along with an attitude of acceptance, not judging. Doing this will tend to activate neural networks on the sides of your brain that support the sense of being peacefully present in the moment; it will also reduce activation in the "default network" running down the middle and top of your brain that fosters mind wandering and taking life too personally.
Fear tends to scatter the mind into frantic fleeing, fighting, or freezing, so as you tune into your body, register that you are basically alright right now . . . now and now and now . . .

Also tune into your good intentions, the goodness altogether at the core of you. Know your own benevolence, your compassion and kindness. This knowing is very centering.
Be aware of desires darting out into the world, reaching for this, pushing away that. Feel what it's like to rest more in balance, present with life but not disturbed by compulsive desires. Open to a healthy disenchantment about the actual results of chasing this or going to war with that.

In upsetting situations or relationships, you could find refuge – a kind of center – in the answers to these questions: What's really true? What matters most? What's out of my hands? What are the most important things to do, and to be?
Even when we are anxious, sad, irritated, feeling inadequate, or depressed, there is a deeper place that is undisturbed. Awareness keeps working, the peaceful space in which experiences come and go. Deep down there is an inviolate wisdom, a "still, small voice" at the heart of you. To borrow a metaphor from The Lord of the Rings, no matter how thick and dark the clouds, stars are always still shining, filling empty space with light.
I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me during difficult times. :flowers:
 

beetlemaniac

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
#37
Listening and staying in the moment are brutal for me. I’m the most distracted person I know. My mind is in a thousand places at once. Retaining what I hear and read is my Everest.
Also, just as a sort of mental exercise, you could ask yourself - "Why is something as peaceful as being in the moment, a completely non-violent, and even blissful state - be associated in myself with brutality, with violence"

Maybe a potential answer would be that your body is experiencing fear, anger, or just plain anxiety - maybe something happened just now, yesterday, last week, last month or years ago that triggered that. Could it be telling you something, something that you've missed, or avoided, or pushed away out of consciousness? I find that when I ignore signals from my environment and from within, which point to some action that needed to be taken, it does tend to create these situations. But it could also just be anxiety.
 

A Jay

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#38
Listening and staying in the moment are brutal for me. I’m the most distracted person I know. My mind is in a thousand places at once. Retaining what I hear and read is my Everest.
I don't know how much time that you spend on the internet, but it might be a worthwhile experiment to cut back on time or to be more focused while using it. This video was posted elsewhere on the forum, but might be useful to watch, listen, think about, and take action on if the internet is in any way contributing to your inability to be in the present.



Also, just as a sort of mental exercise, you could ask yourself - "Why is something as peaceful as being in the moment, a completely non-violent, and even blissful state - be associated in myself with brutality, with violence"

Maybe a potential answer would be that your body is experiencing fear, anger, or just plain anxiety - maybe something happened just now, yesterday, last week, last month or years ago that triggered that. Could it be telling you something, something that you've missed, or avoided, or pushed away out of consciousness? I find that when I ignore signals from my environment and from within, which point to some action that needed to be taken, it does tend to create these situations. But it could also just be anxiety.
With the above in mind, Evster2012, I don't know if you were meaning brutal in the sense that it is very uncomfortable for you to be in the present or if it is brutal in the sense of being very difficult. If the former where it's very uncomfortable then I would highly recommend reading "Healing Developmental Trauma". It gives some useful tools and a good understanding of how to go through the process of sorting out the emotional turmoil that makes it uncomfortable to be in the present.
 

Evster2012

The Force is Strong With This One
#39
Thanks for the replies, Oxajil, A Jay and Beetlemanic. To be clearer, by brutal I meant a struggle. Not anything violent. Nor is it anxiety (I don’t think so anyway), or emotional turmoil. I’m in a pretty good place.

My internet use is mostly reading and research, sites like SOTT I read extensively every day. I spend a lot of time with my nose in history books. I write music, which brings me a lot of joy. The beach is 800 yards from my house, so I can hear the waves from my pillow too. My relationship with my wife is untroubled and a happy.

I’ve always had a sort of hyperactive mind. I can (mostly successfully) do breathing to quiet it as well. The compounding problem for me is that I also have liver disease, and occasionally that causes bouts of hepatic encephalopathy. I get aphasia (forgetting words), both while speaking and thinking internally. I’m constantly losing my train of thought. I posted in another thread about it and got lots of great advice, which has been helpful. I also suffer chronic debilitating pain from degenerative joint disease, which I treat with yoga, acupuncture, natural remedies, the keto diet, and meditation. That too causes distraction.

In the end I really just have a million thoughts that are all competing for my attention, and it’s difficult for me to keep focus on the present. I know that anticipation (and wishful thinking) will virtually jinx us, so I don’t invest in scenarios, but I do seem to run them constantly.

In a nutshell, my mind is always wandering.
 

Evster2012

The Force is Strong With This One
#40
Have you tried doing Mindfulness exercises? I've been doing it once a week, and while I had no expectations of its effects, I've noticed it is helping me stay more alert and in 'the present time'. NeurOptimal could help as well, if you haven't tried it out already. :-)
Yes! I put some apps on my phone, and I also bought the Eiriu-Eolas dvd, which is really good. Neuroptimal is something I would love to try but simply cannot afford, at least not right now. But hopefully a way will present itself.:-)
 

zak

Jedi Council Member
#41
There is something very simple and funny to keep you focus and in the same time give balance to your mind and body,
in a very recreational way.
You need a piece of rope, two trees, and something to protect the trees bark from the friction of the ropes, or you can buy a special kit ,
i talk about the slackline:
Slacklining
refers to the act of walking or balancing along a suspended length of flat webbing that is tensioned between two anchors. Slacklining is similar to slack rope walking and tightrope walking. Slacklines differ from tightwires and tightropes in the type of material used and the amount of tension applied during use. Slacklines are tensioned significantly less than tightropes or tightwires in order to create a dynamic line which will stretch and bounce like a long and narrow trampoline. Tension can be adjusted to suit the user, and different webbing may be used in various circumstances. Slacklining is popular because of its simplicity and versatility; it can be used in various environments with few components.
Slacklining - Wikipedia
 
#42
Just working in many ways in order to improve the list.Mastering the thoughts is one of the ones i worked/working a lot.It is a thoughest one.As you know to keep our mind calm down and focus is not an easy task.But i noticed a huge difference since i tried Èiriù Eolas;-)
Still working...work never finish...
 
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