Inner Life Challenge

Are you up to the challenge?

Moderators: BarbaraSher, Tituba

Forum rules
Please start the monthly challenge threads here. All other off-topic threads will be removed.

Postby Tituba » Thu Mar 17, 2005 4:29 am

Yes velvet - it is a hard challenge for many of us. You don't realize how conditioned we all are to background sound until it is gone. To receiving others input via sound, TV or reading and not hearing your own voice in silence. People are also very uncomfortable being bored. I find it interesting that Bose and the like sell these expensive earphones to block all sound. So, on some level, the public does want the experience.
Tituba
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 9618
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:01 pm
Location: North Shore - Boston

Postby Findthejoyagain » Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:40 am

I haven't been on the boards for awhile now and I want to thank you all for being here. I'm at a very confusing place right now and I've been wondering how to get myself on a track that is right for me right now. I always check the posts since I was last signed on and the ones today are exactly what I need. Agian thanks to all you wonderful minds and supporting souls. Rudine :D
Findthejoyagain
Experienced Poster
Experienced Poster
 
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:01 pm

Postby GiniDee » Fri Mar 18, 2005 6:03 pm

Hey Rudine - Hope things turn around for you and your family soon. I'm sending many hugs and healing energy. Gini :D
GiniDee :mrgreen: My idea of a balanced diet is a cookie in each hand. :mrgreen: GiniDee :mrgreen:
GiniDee
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 4579
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2003 10:01 pm

Postby Findthejoyagain » Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:10 am

Thank you, Gini! How are you these days?
Findthejoyagain
Experienced Poster
Experienced Poster
 
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:01 pm

Postby velvet » Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:51 pm

I did it! I stopped all tv, phone, computer, stereo and reading from Thursday afternoon to Saturday night, late. What was perhaps the most amazing thing was that I got a LOT of cleaning done. heh. I've been whining about needing to clean forever, but not doing it. But when I couldnt read, or turn on the tv, I had to do something. I also had a pre-easter idea of having my home clean. It was definitely challenging, yet the silence was a welcome retreat from the world. I thought of cds I wanted to listen to and things I wanted to read. One surprise was that when I was doing a lot of laundry, hauling it up and down stairs and two buildings over from my place, I was pretty exhausted. And when I had a break while waiting for the machines to finish, I wanted to READ. Since I couldnt read, I realized, wow, here I am doing a ton of cleaning, and quite exhausted, and I seem to feel like I have to multitask and read yet another thing on my to do list. It turned out to be quite a break to just lie down on my bed with my two cats and breathe. It was a wonderful break, not harried, hurried and busy. Just a great renewing break. Since my church services in the week before Easter are pretty intense, it was amazing to just balance that out with having extra quiet time and peace in my home. It seemed quite fitting and I'd like to do it again next year. Overall, it was an incredible experience, and I am looking for ways to have just quiet and rest when I need it. I definitely am taking some things I learned with me from this experiment. Thanks for the suggestion, Tituba!
I see that they are happy, not because they got luckier than all the rest of us when they found each other, but because they passionately desire and believe in their happiness.- Susan Page Destination, Determination, Deliberation! - Twycross, HP&TH-BP
velvet
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 941
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:23 am
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

Postby Tituba » Mon Mar 28, 2005 10:48 pm

Yes! How wonderful! Did you notice that you could finally hear your own thoughts? So many people say they don't know what they want about this or that. I think shutting out external input for a bit just might let their own counsel be heard. :) So, glad you tried the challenge and got back to us!
Tituba
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 9618
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:01 pm
Location: North Shore - Boston

Postby velvet » Wed Mar 30, 2005 8:59 pm

Hey Tituba, Did I find that I could hear my own voice? Hmm. I found energy I didnt know I had, and got into action about a ton of cleaning that had needed to be done for a very long time. (Which likely would not have happened with the noise machines on - I would have made a feeble attempt for 15-30 minutes, and then said I was tired and stopped). I found that I needed rests regularly, something I might not have noticed had I had the usual background noise going on. I found that just sitting, or lying down in quiet was sufficient, and realized I would never have given myself such a luxury before this experiment - I would have felt obliged to read something or watch something. I find that now I seek out times when I can turn off everything. I turned off the tv a few minutes ago, and the only sound now is the tapping of the computer keys. I like the quiet, and to my surprise, I find I can think more clearly and get more done in quiet. (I have ADD, so usually I need distracting stuff going on for me to be able to make progress. Now I find the distractions to be more ADD-inducing than before). I think I did get clarity and my own voice on the things I sought - like my trip to France. I was so overwhelmed with ideas and information that I felt paralyzed to make a decision about hotels. Now, I have my choices narrowed down and am deciding what I most value (ie, inexpensive versus room with a view?). This all reminds me of a friend telling me about a job interview for an intensive year long project working for charity, including room and board. The interviewer pointed out to her that all of her "coping skills" were very much dependent on her living exactly where she lived (ie, walking on the beach) and were not things that could travel well. Having coping skills that you can take anywhere with you into any situation is a very wise idea. I am realizing that this silence choice is a great coping skill for me and will serve me well on my trip to France. I have been anxious about worrying about my getting stressed out by myself on the trip, but knowing I have quite a few transportable coping skills (journaling, visiting cafes, gardens, and silent breaks) gives me some reassurance and confidence in myself for the upcoming trip. What an unexpected benefit!
I see that they are happy, not because they got luckier than all the rest of us when they found each other, but because they passionately desire and believe in their happiness.- Susan Page Destination, Determination, Deliberation! - Twycross, HP&TH-BP
velvet
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 941
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:23 am
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

Postby Fastalaskan » Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:45 pm

I forgot the name of this thread. The first weekend it was posted, I tried it on a Saturday and I couldn't do it. But something interesting came out of it anyway. I did turn the tv off and haven't turned it on since. Well, except for a couple of days ago. I was too tired to do anything else so I turned it on. After just these couple weeks of it off it now just seemed so silly to watch a scripted program and it just irritated me. So Tituba you helped changed a habit! I frequently fell asleep to Nick at Nite and now I'm noticing I sleep much better and wake up naturally without an alarm at about 6 am whereas before it was hard to get up at 8. So anyone else reading this thinking the challenge is difficult, it is. Maybe for now some type of modification will still help.
"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." -- John Lubbock
User avatar
Fastalaskan
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 926
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: Salinas, CA

Postby Tituba » Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:23 pm

This thread more or less goes with my thread "what is holding you hostage." It is an experiment to show our dependencies. When it is difficult, the question is "why?" Why is it difficult to let go of diversions? Who is controlling who? I feel much more powerful and in control of my world when I take these sabbaticals.
Tituba
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 9618
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:01 pm
Location: North Shore - Boston

Postby velvet » Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:07 pm

I thought I'd post some ideas for anyone who wants to know how to keep a commitment like giving up all technology and reading for 24 hours.

#1 Define exactly why you want to do this. This isnt anyone else's commitment, so you have to define for yourself why exactly you want to do this. Any vague motive like, "well tituba said to do it" will not likely get you through 24 hours. A clear and personal definition will give you a good foundation you can stand on. My goal for the 48 hours was to have peace and quiet without distractions during some very religious days. I knew I would need that quiet and time to unwind between services I attended. The reason you define your goal very clearly is so that there is no question of what you specifically are giving up and doing. When my friends and I talk about giving up things for Lent, some dont do anything, some have a vague idea (oh I'm going to exercise more), and some define exactly what they will do. (things i have done for lent: gave up shopping (except for food, of course, and any necessities only if I used up entirely all that I had of the item, ie, no getting more lotion until I am totally out of lotion, etc), gave up sugar (I did allow cheerios and fruit spreads). See how it is very clearly defined? I have another friend who gives up sweets on M, W, F, S. It's really clear on which days he can have desserts and which days he does not eat desserts. My friend who said she wanted to exercise more? I'm pretty sure she did not exercise at all during lent. It was too vague of a goal. And she actually cut out going for walks with me during Lent.

#2 Have a plan for handling temptation. During Lent when I gave up sugar, I made a plan. I cleared out all sweets in my home. I knew the house I work at did not have sweets, and I told them to not offer me any sweets during Lent. Since I knew that when I am working at my nanny job, I crave sweets right when I put the babies down for a nap (because I am exhausted), I planned to eat a bowl of cereal during the nap time. It helped me refuel in the afternoon, and it also prevented me from eating sugar when I was at my weakest. Often the best way for me to handle temptation is to remind myself of my big goal - when I gave up technology and reading, I would remind myself that my goal was to have more peace and quiet in my home and to rest. And then I would lie down and just enjoy hanging out with my cats. It was surprisingly wonderful and refueling for me.

#3 I think we learn how to do these kinds of retreats by practice and by giving into the process. I've gained confidence as I have completed goals so that now I know I am quite capable of a lot of things. But when you first start out to do something like give up technology, you dont even know if you can do it. That insecurity can make you derail. You can try doing small things at first, to build confidence and trust in yourself. Try for an hour, try for two. Try going out to a meadow and just sitting for awhile. You can set your own goals and practice them. I've learned with practice that in all of these challenges, there is a certain process. For a time, temptation will really bug you, so much so that you might want to give in just to make it shut up. Especially when you are a beginner. You'll think you cant do it, logic will kick in and you will argue a million reasons why this plan is futile and you should just give it up. If you dont know this is part of the process, it can be quite overwhelming for a bit, and you might think something is wrong, and you should thus stop. Heh. That's another creative temptation bugging you. Maybe it's so strong because we resist change. Because a process like this does change you. Usually for the better. When you can get out of the routine and connect with yourself and find that you dont need constant noise at all times because you dont need to run from yourself or run to keep up with others, there is freedom in that kind of realization and change. No matter what happens, you will be ok. When you know that, the temptation doesnt bug you so much. I view the temptation as a question asking me, "do you really mean to do this? are you serious?" and when I answer yes, when I answer with my goal in this process, then the temptation subsides and I just go on with my goal. I have definitely failed before. I have quit, I have succumbed to a thousand arguments of logic that said my goal was not good, that said my goal was not going to get me what I wanted. It was not the end of the world. I learned what I learned, and I went on. I considered it all to be information and insight in learning the process.


#4 In the end, for me, the benefits outweighed the costs. I love pseudo-scientific experiments, thus taking on such challenges. I am always curious how it will change me and how I will grow as a result of my hard work toward my goal. When I gave up shopping, and also took the time to journal about money, spending, and how I felt about shopping itself, it was really transformative, both financially, and emotionally. I really delved into the emotions and feelings behind my attitudes about money and really worked to heal them. Now, whenever I notice that all my free time is spent shopping again, I start making plans to get out in nature and to go to museums and such to balance out my sight seeing habits. When I gave up sugar, I wanted to get out of the habit of constantly craving and eating sweet things all day long. Since Easter, I havent really wanted much sweets. On occasion I have a little, but it's not every day, and it's not at every meal at all. I am not in the habit of sweets, so now even if I eat some, it's generally too sweet and I dont enjoy it as much.

When I gave up technology, my goal was to have more peace and quiet in my home, and to my surprise, I found that I got some long-neglected goals in my home finished. I also have since preferred to turn the noise machines off a lot more. I've been enjoying driving in silence, singing to myself. I've been allowing myself to sit and write at my computer without having the tv blaring next to me, something I thought I *had* to do. When news reports get to be too much, I just turn them off. It's given me a lot more freedom, actually. And when I am tired, I dont have to make myself do something at all times, I let myself feel tired and just rest for awhile. That is a challenge for me, one I still work on. I wouldnt have learned these things without taking on the challenges. And it was invaluable to my growth and happiness. Hope this helps to inspire your own ideas. velvet
I see that they are happy, not because they got luckier than all the rest of us when they found each other, but because they passionately desire and believe in their happiness.- Susan Page Destination, Determination, Deliberation! - Twycross, HP&TH-BP
velvet
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 941
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:23 am
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

Postby Fastalaskan » Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:32 am

bump. I didn't make it through Tituba's challenge, but found the challenge useful anyway. For example, tv is so irritating to me now. I mean why should I see people that are paid to read a script? Silly, silly, silly. I think I'll try it again after my classes are over. My classes keep me online a lot since they're taught on-line and the labs are all on-line. But the hardest part for me was the computers and no-reading aspect. I speed read and read a book a day. But I did make it through half a day. And it stopped me from turning on the tv. I hope to make it through the next time around. Actually, that's weak language. I will make it through the next time around.
"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." -- John Lubbock
User avatar
Fastalaskan
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 926
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: Salinas, CA

Postby Tituba » Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:19 am

Monday, August 29, there is a free tele-gathering on the subject of silence and spirituality. I'm going to post this in another forum as well 9-10pm EST - Join Cheryl and special guest, Jerry Thomas, for a discussion about grace, balancing silence with activity, and the mystical teachings of the five major traditions. To join us, call (646) 519-5883 and punch in PIN 2346# (be sure to include the "#" key when punching in the code).
Tituba
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 9618
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:01 pm
Location: North Shore - Boston

Re: Inner Life Challenge

Postby WaitingForPCH » Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:03 pm

Oooh, how did I miss this thread? I could easily do no phone at all. Since I have no cell phone and only a land line/dial-up, as soon as I close my Ebay sales I'm planning on cancelling my ISP, phone hookup, and long distance service altogether. I really only have 2 family members that I need to keep in contact with, but since they live in other states I can do that via snail mail. Even if I needed to call them it wouldn't be more than once a week max. I went all weekend without being on the computer. Since these boards are the only place I frequent, and y'all can easily live without me ( :wink: ), I don't need the Internet. The only other thing I would use the computer for would be for offline work, like to update a file on my hard drive, which can wait 24 hrs. I don't have an ipod, so no prob there. CD player/music listening wouldn't be that difficult to give up, except I use the clock radio to wake up to on weekday mornings. I could use a portable alarm clock though with just an alarm only. And lately I more often than not drive to/from work/errands in total silence, just because I haven't wanted to listen to ANY music. TV would be difficult to give up on Thursday during Survivor, or Saturdays and PBS. :wink: Any other time I usually have it turned off anyway if there's nothing on that interests me (and not much else does). Reading would be my other one that is hardest to give up. Now that I'm on meds to help me concentrate again, I've really enjoyed getting back into reading for pleasure. Being able to read keeps me entertained and mentally active in the absence of TV, in fact. And since I consider books low-tech, one of my dreams actually is to take my entire collection to a deserted island where I have time and silence to read them all. Back to the real world though, I could probably go without reading, and TV, for 24 hrs, but since lately those are my only pleasures or forms of relaxation, I'm not inclined to, at least anytime soon. Do I have to talk to people? While sometimes it's nice to get feedback for ideas from a few trusted souls, I find that I feel safer verbalizing my own thoughts just to myself, and to my pets.
WaitingForPCH
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 395
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2002 10:01 pm

Postby Tituba » Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:34 pm

The idea behind not having input (including reading) for 24 hours, is to finally hear your own counsel. We fill our space with distractions. It is an interesting experiment to see what happens when you quiet the noise.
Tituba
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 9618
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:01 pm
Location: North Shore - Boston

Postby gabriellavlad » Mon Aug 29, 2005 6:02 pm

um, no. Why no stereo? I couldn't do that; I mean I don't see why I would want to. Music pretty much keeps me alive... it might be interesting to try the rest, though... only for a day Anyway, people mix like living and interactions with the other stuff when they want to rest. So I think it's ok but I don't know; I guess it could be surprising. even though i'm sure i know all of *my* thoughts already.. i guess it could get a person to interact more. :/ did u do it, Tituba?
User avatar
gabriellavlad
Experienced Poster
Experienced Poster
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:54 am

PreviousNext

Return to Monthly Challenges

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests