Lessons I'm sure I'll never have reason to teach anyone, but which are cool to be *qualified* at teaching:
I'm awesome at this now. Whenever someone wants it, over the phone, in their ear, in text-messages, I jump right in and enjoy the hell out of myself, and it's always well-received. But I hear from many people that they find it stressful, intimidating or difficult.
But I wasn't always awesome at it; I had to learn. So maybe I can help those who want to do it but find it tricky.
(Put behind a mercy cut for those who don't care for these kind of topics.)
February 21, 2014 No Comments
Hey, world! Four a.m. polyphasic update again — it's been a while, since I type most of the day now and have been avoiding the computer during my morning chunk of time.
I'm two weeks (back) into full-time out-of-the-house work. Sleep's been going ok: Work is actually pretty good for napping; it's hard to slow down as usual, and it's not the absolute best napping location — it's right in the middle of everything, and not very quiet; but it is warm and comfortable (there's a couch!) and they don't object, which is 99% of what I need.
I'm still adjusting to a lot, so I'm feeling my way along my schedule each day — NOT something I recommend for people who aren't already used to being polyphasic! If it weren't for my (kind of hilariously) well-ingrained napping habits and my body's tendency to wake up (or at least feel wakeful) automatically after 3, 4.5 or 6 hours depending on the naps I've gotten, I'm pretty sure maintaining my schedule through all this other change would be impossible. This falls under my previous / book advice: "Don't change too much at once". In my case a lot of lifestyle things have changed, but my sleep schedule is largely the same as it has been for [some number of] years, thank goodness.
One weird thing that's been happening for a few days now is that my preferred core has shifted to earlier — a couple times now, I've passed out near ten or eleven p.m. and woken up at two or three — after about four hours, having on those occasions gotten two naps that day. Today, for example, I missed my evening nap, but by ten I was wiped, so I laid down to read and woke up (feeling great) at two a.m. It's four-thirty now and I suspect I'll have no trouble staying awake until my regular seven-a.m. nap. So that could be a thing that happens sometimes now, I guess?
Everyone at work — there aren't many; it's a small company — seems curious and dubious about my sleep-practices, but not hostile, and I haven't gotten any complaints about it being disruptive, so yay. Most of them stop working to eat at some point (I don't; I prefer to eat at my desk and not break my stride for it), and one takes smoke-breaks, so loss of time hasn't come up.
My athletic schedule has been a little reduced lately, partly because of the ungodly winter we're having; but I still have three kungfu sessions a week and one or two hockey/swimming sessions, plus the little things like walking several miles and learning to do pull-ups (I'm up to four!) at home. All this seems fine, though it isn't quite enough from the perspective of how much kinetic energy I need to off-gas in order to stay happy and balanced. I'm planning to add regular visits to the climbing-gym once things settle in a bit more, and we'll see how that affects things.
Aaaand that's pretty much the update. My eyes have kind of had it again — extra computer-time having that effect — so I'm going to log off for a bit and do some much-needed stretching.
Peace out, everyone!
February 20, 2014 3 Comments
and other stimulants
the sensation of waking up
Coffee and smoke and other things
that have a side-effect of a feeling of aliveness
the first gasp
after minutes without air
the control that must be iron just so
it can feel amazing when it inevitably shatters
of the jaw or the eyelids or both;
pushing against the tendency to shut down
in the face of speed or height
or water or the kind of physical contact
that sets off all of those chemical fear-things
“Oh my god it’s on my face”
“oh my god it’s throwing a punch”
and my task is just to open up
to let it happen
Light in the darkness
feeling in places that are hard to reach
Soreness deep in the core-muscles
staring hard into the dark under meters and meters
and marching the paths of the subconscious
holding torches lit by will
and, yes, by logic
Laying blazes on trails
finding out that others have been here
or might be soon after
Translating from languages that only have intent in common
February 20, 2014 2 Comments
There's more to it than just sharing your toys sometimes and not hitting. Being an adult friend means these things too:
- You will not hurt your friend. That means no deliberate cruelty, ever, in verbal or other form — if you lash out and try to hurt your friends, you deserve to lose them, even if you had other motives*. And if you're inadvertently cruel, which we all are sometimes, you'll apologize and make up for it — not in proportion to how much you think the thing you did should have hurt, but in proportion to how much it did hurt. COROLLARY: You will know how much it did hurt by listening to and observing your friend.
- You will be there a) when your friend desperately needs you to be (see COROLLARY) and b) when you said you would be. If you aren't there at either of those times, you will, again, apologize and make up for it. "Making up for it," by the way, means taking an active role in correcting your mistake in an appropriate way — not just saying you're sorry and then doing nothing. If you flake when a friend needed or had a right to expect you, you're responsible for offering and scheduling a good time and way to make it up to them.
- You share not just your things, but your time. You'll do things with your friend that are not just things your friend came up with or invited you to — sometimes you'll do the inviting or suggesting of a thing too. If you never have time for your friend unless "they make it happen", then you aren't being a good friend.
- You pay attention. Related to (3), if you always drop off the planet unless your friend contacts you, if you can't be bothered to occasionally call / text / ping and see how your friend is doing, or know about and be at least a little available for things like their birthday and other important days, you're not being a friend. Friends take time and effort: If you don't have this to spare, it's your job as an adult to explain to someone that you don't have the time or energy available to be their friend right now.
- You want what's best for both of you, which includes a good friendship. If all you can offer is something that isn't very healthy for your friend, then you won't offer it. You care about your friend, so you won't deliberately continue an arrangement that's obviously bad for or going to hurt either one of you — and you'll discuss what you can offer, and what you need, clearly and frequently, and tell your friend when those things change. As an adult, you'd rather be a good acquaintance than bad friend: Your friends are people you care about and want to spend time on, not just something you collect so that you can say you have a lot of them.
*hurting someone deliberately when you had other motives — i.e. making them act a certain way, or protecting yourself from some social or other thing — is called manipulation, and repeated manipulation of one person in a relationship by another is called abuse. If the pain you're inflicting is "only" emotional pain, it's called emotional abuse, and it disqualifies you from having friends just as much as the physical kind does.
February 16, 2014 1 Comment
February 14, 2014 No Comments
So this just feels like it has to happen.
It's blather, not a post, so skip it if you're visiting my site for useful information — this is just me, having a moment.
February 14, 2014 4 Comments
You can't steer from the details. The details are emergent.
You want change, you want different, you make the foundations different, and the details change. Steering in a different direction when the wind doesn't want you to is [somewhere on the continuum between difficult and temporary, and impossible]. But change the wind, change the water, change the sail and now you're talking, and not only is steering differently easy, but you probably don't even have to.
Most people just yank the rudder around, or grab the lines in a panic.
How powerful are you = how fundamental are the changes you can make? If you can modify a sail, you're pretty good. But if you can change the wind…
(Of course, if you're really good, you can tell the difference between a situation where the boat needs upgrading or the wind must change, and one where a simple flick of the jibsheet is all that's needed.)
How does Buddha sail?
(HDBS….is my WWJD. ;)
February 12, 2014 No Comments
Trees don't grow out of the ground; they condense out of the air.
(What about you? I suspect I'm a sediment… ;)
Ladies and gentlemen, Dr. Feynman:
February 6, 2014 No Comments
Rule One of kungfu is Relax.
I'm starting to think it's rule one of everything. Well, it's not my personal Rule One, but maybe *a* rule one. Which rule comes first depends on your starting-point, of course.
Sitting in my "do a video about this at some point" pile is a note to expound on the precise details of all the ways that physically relaxing — especially in the weirdly-targetted, benegesseritlike ways kungfu has you learn — has helped me psychologically.
But forgetting the details for a moment, the degree to which remembering to physically relax — and yes, it's both a component and a companion of Going 3D, in the window-vs-psychology sense — helps in just about every major physiological and spiritual thing, may not be overstateable.
Just Relax, No Matter What, I tell myself. If you're upset, relax. If you're bored, relax. If you're anxious or doing something or momentarily stymied, relax. If you're too high or too sober, too awake or too tired, too whatever, just relax. Relaxing makes a wonderful Rule One because it's such an excellent first step; from there, anything else you do is done better.
Vitally, I don't mean "just relax" the way people mean it when they say it to you off-hand — usually they mean "stop worrying"; I mean literally relax, as in "activate all those muscle-techniques you've been learning for years, and actively release the tension from your body". Relaxing isn't easy! It takes time and practice to learn how (though it is also something any human can learn, being nothing more than the consicous application of usually-involuntary nervous impulses).
And I love that the acronym for that is JRNMW, which reads as "Geronimo" — because althought what we're talking about is a type of non-action, relaxing, especially striving to always relax as a first step, is a hugely revolutionary thing to do. It's a leap of sorts, to declare for relaxation, for receptivity and reaction as primary to tension and action. It's a Yin Geronimo. ;)
February 3, 2014 No Comments
More polyphasic sleep updates for ya'll. I'm starting a new job soon, and unlike my last one, this one requires full-time presence in an office.
So here you go, Internet: the fun bits.
- While physical, this is a very small company. It's stable, not very new, but also not very big; i.e. my first interview was with the owners.
- For the first time ever, I put napping on the table *during my first interview* as something that I would want. I was pretty nervous about that possibly costing me the gig; but thankfully, it didn't.
- One reason it didn't is that this gig pays significantly less than I can go for based on my resume. It's worth the cut for many reasons, but unless I fill in some of my time with other work, the cut will be unpalatable. I can afford to live, not save, on what I'll be making now; so more is needed.
- I have a plan for making said extra income. It takes about 2-3 hours, not every day but most days, of work. It'll also be slow to pay off, but gradually make more, and the income should become more residual and less work-based, which is also a thing I want.
- Therefore, I NEED my naps — at minimum one before and after work, and one at lunchtime. I'll be spending my mornings — that nice quiet time between four and seven — working on this side-project. (Note: It's not a new project; I've been on it for the last couple months, so it's got momentum; though I haven't been devoting mornings to it regular.)
- There currently ISN'T a place to nap at the new job — I'll have to find one and make everybody comfortable with it. I also don't have a car to nap in, so it has to work in the office.
- The climbing gym I plan to spend my evenings in has a good spot for napping — or at least it has, the few times I've been there. I napped there once and it was fine. Maybe the evenings are more crowded and thus less nappable? We'll see; I can nap in quite a crowd anymore. ;)
So an average day (unmodified by taiji or hockey) is going to look like: 4am up, early breakfast (usually buttered coffee), project work; 7am nap, 7:30 shower, make lunch & snack, etc., 8:30am leave for work (get to work before 9, HECK YES no commute!); lunchtime nap; 6pm walk to climbing gym, maybe blow off some steam before napping, then burn myself out like I need to. I'll skip the gym Monday & Thursday for hockey. Two days will have taiji in the mornings, so work will start later and run later. Evenings can go to whatever project or no project; I might schedule them more specifically later, but I want to try the bones of this first. I'm keeping my usual sleep-schedule of "1am bedtime if I got my 7:30pm nap; if there's hockey or something and I had to miss it, 11:30 bedtime". I may want to improve that — heck, I see a possible future where I might have a shot at Uberman again! — but for now, the E3/E4.5 swing will work well enough. Also, I'm really going to have to muster my shopping and cooking skills to make this work; there's neither time nor money in this schedule to eat on-the-fly. Back to bento boxes and bulk cooking!
That's a lot of change at once: New job, new budget, new daily schedule, new evening hang-out place, new food requirements — pretty much everything but my sleep-schedule is changing. And I know I've said numerous times that making multiple changes at once can be way harder, and it certainly can; but there's a special case where, when some big things are going to change, they can pull along smaller changes with them, by helping set the defaults the right way. (A good example of this is how getting new friends and time-spending habits can help someone quit a drug.)
Anyway, I'll update on how sleeping-at-work is going in the next few weeks. Wish me luck!
February 2, 2014 No Comments