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misteraven

The power of positive thinking, meditation and crawling out of the pits of dispair

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I know there's been a lot of self help type threads, past and present. Seems to be particularly prevalent now, presumably because we're all older and entrenched in real life, many years past that enthusiasm of youth and the outlook that comes with it of having the bulk of your life in front of you. Or maybe it's just me and where I'm at with my own life, but I have taken note of some of the more mature threads (at least by 12oz standards) as well as the fact that it's been a thing for ages where 12oz members help other 12oz members that are going through some shit. It hit me like a ton of bricks to learn that during the dark ages of 12oz, when only a handful of people were lurking in the ruins of what was left of the board that a members life was literally saved solely because a couple of fellow members were aware of that individuals crisis and reached out at a critical moment that ended up saving them.

 

Anyhow, not to be all dramatic, but I do see the value in us helping each other. I do believe that there are likely already enough people on here, or soon will be, that possess such a wide spectrum of knowledge, personal and professional experience, connections, etc that collectively, it can have a massive impact if we could somehow cooperate and collaborate in lifting the group as a whole. Obviously we each have our trials and tribulations, daily struggles and even life shattering events occur.

 

I'm starting this thread now as another step in the direction of seeing how we might continue to explore interesting topics, as we always have, but more so to continue moving in the direction of assembling a group that its interested in coming together to help raise our respective positions, or at the very least lend a hand and maybe help out a friend and fellow oontzer.

 

Obviously we have that CBD and other homeopathic remedies that @diggityinspired where we're exploring supplements and related stuff. @fat ralphystarted his Fat Ralphy's Health and Fitness Motivation Thread where he's literally asking the community here to help keep his health and fitness goals on track. @Mercerstarted a really good Home Made Food Flex Off thread where everyone is posting healthy and tasty meals made from scratch (with an attempt to even grow a lot of the ingredients), which also follows on the heels of my own The Off Grid living thread (Dropping out the rat race thread that discusses my own experiences of walking away from everything I'd built over a decade and a half in downtown NYC to simplify my life and walk a path that I feel is more aligned with what I want in life. Lastly, I started a private group, "The Meeting at Jekyll Island" when it became obvious that there's a few members here that have professions in finance and / or deep understanding of topics related to that subject, investment and personal wealth in general. Admittedly, so of these conversations are moving a bit on the slow side (IMO), but every now and again, it gains traction in bits and bursts and again, I do believe there's tremendous potential in working together to increase / improve the individual positions of the collective that partakes.

 

So with that said, I'd like to kick off another related subject that touches on mental and emotional well being" The power of positive thinking, meditation and crawling out of the pits of dispair. It's always been really interesting to me as a subject to see / learn / understand just how profoundly powerful the human mind is, while also seeing mentioned how little science actually understands about it. Despite having accomplishments under out belt like the internet, landing an SUV type rover on other planets or starting to privatize / commercialize space travel, we can barely effectively treat severe brain trauma. Same as how in the civil war, they'd just crudely amputate a limb that was jacked up, even to this day, one of the go to treatments is to literally drill a hole in your skull to relieve pressure. It's interesting to hear some of you guys talk about how certain natural drugs like mushrooms or marijuana have been far more affective in treating certain ailments that even prescription pharmaceuticals had poor results with. But what I'm getting at in this discussion is more related to people that are capable of harnessing the power of their minds to accomplish things that science has a tough, if at all, in explaining. For example, Tibetan monks that meditate in sub zero conditions and not only not die of exposure, but literally melt the snow around them. In a more pop culture version of this, (yeah, I know some of you are going to groan at the mention of this), there was a book and later a move called, "The Secret" where they explore a sort of pseudo science version that essentially talks about the law of attraction and power of positive thought. Personally, I think there's equal mixtures of snake oil and truth lying within "The Secret". For instance, they reference a story about how a person getting out of bed might stub their toe and immediately get on an uptight, negative tip and how that will cascade through the day into a series of small negative events that ultimately culminate into a shitty day. Versus, catching yourself and simply changing your attitude, laughing it off, staying positive and breaking the cycle of negativity and essentially carrying out with a positive day. I know it sounds so basic as to be laughable that changing your attitude can make a world of difference, but it is a fascinating subject that I think we sort of take for granted and we get caught up in our every day lives.

 

Scientifically, its accepted that stress has very real physical effects on the body. From my own experience, I've been in situations of profound moments of stress that literally have me feeling crushed. I literally have been in situations where I'm having trouble breathing, as if I have a 300lb weight on my chest and another 300lb on my shoulders. Then I'll get a phone call that verifies some good news or a solution and it very literally feel like someone walked up to me and just lifted off all the weight. Where you become almost euphoric and there's quite literally a spring in your step.

 

So if stress (negativity) can manifest itself physically like that, it would stand to reason that the opposite is true as well... That absolute opposite of stress (positivity) can manifest physically as well.

 

In Western society (as well as many others), its not unusual to see certain individuals as "lucky". People that just seem to naturally attract good fortune with such consistency, that it defies the natural laws of randomness and coincidence. I'm not postulating these people have necessarily learned "The Secret" and are harnessing the power of positivity to bend the universe to their benefit, but likewise, I can't outright dismiss that there are certain forces we simply do not understand that might be at play. If nothing else, being angry and negative does take a lot of fucking work. Nobody (or nobody sane) can say they enjoy that feeling. Likewise, if we could bottle happiness and good vibes - those moments when the stars align and you exist in that perfect moment in time - we'd all be gazillionaires. 

 

Perhaps there's some room to explore how we might be able to make a little individual progress towards contentment and a happier life by trying to better understand some of this stuff and perhaps exercising that area of the human condition that is responsible for it?

 

If nothing else, exploring ideas is fun and learning a little about ways to "be happy" and helping each other is probably a good thing. Again, thinking back to that story I learned where a few members stepped up and pulled up another member on the precipice, maybe something that gets said in here really hits home with someone that wrestling with some demons and makes all the difference.

 

 

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Walking around with a smile on your face, even if it's forced, will make you feel better. It works. 

 

Tryitout.mp3

 

I read the Dalai Lamas book The Art of Happiness and his thesis is compassion leads to happiness. 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, KILZ FILLZ said:

I read the Dalai Lamas book The Art of Happiness and his thesis is compassion leads to happiness. 

Can you give some insight / feedback to that book since you read it?

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@misteravenI read it probably a decade ago so it's been a while. It was an easy read. I remember when I finished it thinking "this probably didn't need to be a book, could've been an essay". 

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I think it's good you're exploring some of these ideas and concepts.  In some ways they are incredibly simplistic and in other ways quite complex.  There is a lot yet to be explained and there's other shit that might defy explanation or be better off without one.  Having said that, there is a lot that is known about how the mind works, how individuals work, how individuals in groups work, how groups work, you just have to seek it.  

 

IMHO books like The Secret and a lot of other self-help you can do without.  Let me know if you want me to expand on that.  Otherwise, at the same time I won't invalidate The Secret either.  But I will suggest that for those it does work for it's because it's kind of faith/religious oriented and those people have faith or are finding it.  Nothing wrong with faith, it can work. 

 

I've read a few of the Dalai Lama books and have found them quite helpful.  Thich Nhat Hanh too.  It's philisophical in nature, quite simple to follow.  For me, it's a practical guide to healthy mental and physical well being.  But it's also amazing perspective whether or not you chose to adopt it.  Both of these guys have lived in exile and their views on life and living and death, to me, have been as inspiring and informative as reading the views of many other world figures and such.  Fun fact on the Dalai Lama- he likes slipping an SBD out in the car while all the windows are up.  

 

Explored a lot about positive thinking with self/others, spoke with some knowledgeable people, did a lot of self learning on what can I/we do.  Where you trying to go with that?  Will briefly mention that part of being more positive is also understanding where you're negative or making errors that guide you negatively in thinking.  

 

On things like stress, the power of the mind, some of the Buddhist philosophy, you already hold some of those keys.  For you as an individual I might sum it up as the moment just before you squeeze the trigger on a long shot.  

 

 

 

 

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I started seeing a therapist and eventually came to the realization some of my problems can be blamed on other people, but even so, they can't fix these problems for me now. It's not fair, but it's 100% my responsibility to do everything I can to fix myself and move forward a better person. For me, examining my past wasn't productive at all, what worked best for me was starting meditation. Like seriously sitting down regularly, and practicing the art of nudging your mind in the right direction, and release negative energy.

 

Meditation flexes and develops the mental muscles to help you power through rough shit calmly, when you need it on the fly during your daily grind. Also allows for deep reflection, and self correction. Also, I don't do drugs, or alcohol, but I'm a regular weed smoker and have been most of my adult life. I quit smoking weed for like a year, and just practiced meditation, and just being grateful and trying to hold that positive energy while I'm out here grinding in the belly of the beast.

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1 hour ago, One Man Banned said:

I think it's good you're exploring some of these ideas and concepts.  In some ways they are incredibly simplistic and in other ways quite complex.  There is a lot yet to be explained and there's other shit that might defy explanation or be better off without one.  Having said that, there is a lot that is known about how the mind works, how individuals work, how individuals in groups work, how groups work, you just have to seek it.  

 

IMHO books like The Secret and a lot of other self-help you can do without.  Let me know if you want me to expand on that.  Otherwise, at the same time I won't invalidate The Secret either.  But I will suggest that for those it does work for it's because it's kind of faith/religious oriented and those people have faith or are finding it.  Nothing wrong with faith, it can work. 

 

I've read a few of the Dalai Lama books and have found them quite helpful.  Thich Nhat Hanh too.  It's philisophical in nature, quite simple to follow.  For me, it's a practical guide to healthy mental and physical well being.  But it's also amazing perspective whether or not you chose to adopt it.  Both of these guys have lived in exile and their views on life and living and death, to me, have been as inspiring and informative as reading the views of many other world figures and such.  Fun fact on the Dalai Lama- he likes slipping an SBD out in the car while all the windows are up.  

 

Explored a lot about positive thinking with self/others, spoke with some knowledgeable people, did a lot of self learning on what can I/we do.  Where you trying to go with that?  Will briefly mention that part of being more positive is also understanding where you're negative or making errors that guide you negatively in thinking.  

 

On things like stress, the power of the mind, some of the Buddhist philosophy, you already hold some of those keys.  For you as an individual I might sum it up as the moment just before you squeeze the trigger on a long shot.  

 

 

 

 

Great response. I agree, even a placebo has been show to cure on occasion, presumably because a person believes enough in it being a cure. As you mentioned faith can work like that as well. Its my thinking that it's a personal choice, but ultimately probably has a lot to do with faith in the general term. Not really a scientific explanation, but to your point some things just can't be explained. But whatever can serve as a catalyst to open a person up to a deeper understanding of themselves as well as a deeper level of consciousness is valid. Doesn't matter if it's a two bit self help book or whatever religion. I'd maybe postulate that like many drugs, it hits people in different ways and what might be effective for one person might have a negative effect on another.

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20 minutes ago, Mercer said:

I started seeing a therapist and eventually came to the realization some of my problems can be blamed on other people, but even so, they can't fix these problems for me now. It's not fair, but it's 100% my responsibility to do everything I can to fix myself and move forward a better person. For me, examining my past wasn't productive at all, what worked best for me was starting meditation. Like seriously sitting down regularly, and practicing the art of nudging your mind in the right direction, and release negative energy.

 

Meditation flexes and develops the mental muscles to help you power through rough shit calmly, when you need it on the fly during your daily grind. Also allows for deep reflection, and self correction. Also, I don't do drugs, or alcohol, but I'm a regular weed smoker and have been most of my adult life. I quit smoking weed for like a year, and just practiced meditation, and just being grateful and trying to hold that positive energy while I'm out here grinding in the belly of the beast.

I'd be interested in hearing more. I have huge difficulty shutting my mind off or even bringing into a single focus. Part of the reason I enjoy tactical shooting as it forces me to tune out everything except whats happening at that moment. Likewise, I dont do any drugs harder than caffeine. No weed, nothing. Generally won't even take a prescription unless its really necessary. Don't have any ideological issues really, just never really felt an urge.

 

Last night I did actually let The Secret play as I was falling asleep (wearing headphones). Not that I was trying to absorb any message from it, but rather to drown out my thinking. Suppose I could listen to music or "noise", but my still wanders. Thought listening to a sound track of people explaining positivity couldn't hurt and after a certain point as I'm falling asleep, processing what they're saying sort of happens subconsciously, which is about as close as I can get to meditation with what I know how to do. Maybe tonight I'll see if I can stream some Tony Robbins or some shit.

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just jumping in here, need to go back and read/catchup. i started doing meditation a few years ago but fell off the wagon. i dont know why. i saw alot of benefit in it and how it made me feel. 

have any of you tried the headspace app? i thought that one worked really great for me but i never ponyed up the cash after the trial.

 

also if any of you have kids, you know how hard it can be to find a quiet space in the house.

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10 minutes ago, diggity said:

but fell off the wagon. i dont know why. i saw alot of benefit in it and how it made me feel.

Same with me and keto.

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10 minutes ago, misteraven said:

Part of the reason I enjoy tactical shooting as it forces me to tune out everything except whats happening at that moment.

It does not force you, you choose.  From pics you've posted you've trained yourself to do that in quiet practice on the range, but also in some lifelike drills with distractions.  It's basically using that same ability off the range.

 

There's different types and levels of meditation.  For those of you who do own children you know there's only so much you can listen to, you got other shit to do, or you're fried, you're kind of monitoring things by listening to the drone of kid noise instead of what's being said/done and it's all good unless you hear blood curdling screams, it's kind of like that level of focus.

 

One exercise I like to do is sit on the porch when it rains, usually eyes closed, and try to detect as many different water sounds as I can.

 

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Ok. Now I’m caught up. Couple of things to add.  

 

Last couple of years I’ve been considering taking up Buddhism. Mostly because I saw how much meditation did for me in a short period of time. So like most things in my life, I started over researching. Another key takeaway sounds so cliche but also more relevant today, for me atleast. And that’s the idea of being present. Most of the time I’m just focused on what’s coming up and preparing for future I’m missing out on the now. I haven’t gotten any closer other than reading/listening to books on the subject and not sure I will. Seems to be more of a mentality than a religion which I’m pretty good with. Speaking of religion, one of the things I learned was that there are some people that are both Christian and Buddhist since Buddhism doesn’t have a god. That doesn’t much apply in my case since I’m of the mindset that once we die, games over. 

 

I also tend to think of my thought process as generally negative and solve things creatively based on my largest perceived problem. I acknowledge that this  sometimes doesn’t yield the most creative results. I don’t think it myself as a pessimist but more of a realist. 

 

Im not sure there’s a way to shift to optimist. 

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8 hours ago, diggity said:

Ok. Now I’m caught up. Couple of things to add.  

 

Last couple of years I’ve been considering taking up Buddhism. Mostly because I saw how much meditation did for me in a short period of time. So like most things in my life, I started over researching. Another key takeaway sounds so cliche but also more relevant today, for me atleast. And that’s the idea of being present. Most of the time I’m just focused on what’s coming up and preparing for future I’m missing out on the now. I haven’t gotten any closer other than reading/listening to books on the subject and not sure I will. Seems to be more of a mentality than a religion which I’m pretty good with. Speaking of religion, one of the things I learned was that there are some people that are both Christian and Buddhist since Buddhism doesn’t have a god. That doesn’t much apply in my case since I’m of the mindset that once we die, games over. 

 

I also tend to think of my thought process as generally negative and solve things creatively based on my largest perceived problem. I acknowledge that this  sometimes doesn’t yield the most creative results. I don’t think it myself as a pessimist but more of a realist. 

 

Im not sure there’s a way to shift to optimist. 

It's at least worth the time to study this philosophy/religion, and take away anything useful, something I've considered myself.

 

Also @misteraven, like @diggityhas mentioned earlier on in this thread, the headspace app is a good start. Setting aside a small block of your day consistently is the key, it's not like riding a bicycle and you forget, so consistency is key, really the only effective way. 

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Assume this is the app that @diggityand @Mercerare talking about:

 

Headspace: Meditation & Sleep by Headspace Inc.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/headspace-meditation-sleep/id493145008

 

Reviews are exceptionally high, especially with so many. In fact, it’s interesting to see just how many people are on that tip. Not what i would have expected when observing the world around me. 

 

That said, definitely a commitment at $12.99 a month. Think that’s more than Netflix or Hulu, but will give it a go if there’s a trial and see if it’s effective for me. 

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Whoa, it was free for me when I used it. $12.99 a month is fucking crazy.

 

I'd suggest youtube or something free (plenty out there) just to have someone walk through the steps at first until you feel like you're able to nudge in by yourself.

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Check your local yoga studios for free intro classes to meditation. 

 

 

 

And free intro to yoga would be worth checking out too. 

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5 minutes ago, Mercer said:

Whoa, it was free for me when I used it. $12.99 a month is fucking crazy.

 

I'd suggest youtube or something free (plenty out there) just to have someone walk through the steps at first until you feel like you're able to nudge in by yourself.

They have a trial, and yeah $12.99 is pricey for online content these days, but way cheaper than therapy.

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2 minutes ago, KILZ FILLZ said:

Check your local yoga studios for free intro classes to meditation. 

 

 

 

And free intro to yoga would be worth checking out too. 

Forgot that yoga falls under this conversation. I've never done yoga in my life. Was always a thing we joked about where you can meet hot chicks, so never got around to thinking deeper on it.

 

41539986161_207e024141_c.jpg.98058cc842f12442002f9082335b9bd6.jpg

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@misteravenA couple years ago I transitioned from a production related position where I was averaging 10 miles of walking on the shop floor each day to a compliance position where I was sedentary at a desk all shift. My body didn't handle the transition well at all. Especially my back. Enrolled in some yoga and it really helped me out with the aches and pains in back / shoulders / neck / hips. I've now transitioned to another position that is a blend of shop floor and desk time and its a pretty great fit for me. 

 

Edit - lots of hot chicks but no talking on the dance floor is the norm

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6 minutes ago, KILZ FILLZ said:

Edit - lots of hot chicks but no talking on the dance floor is the norm

Yeah, but that back row view has to be worth the cost of admission of there's some talent on display in the class, no?

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Flexibility training is life. I do 5 classes a week that begin with a 5 minute stretch, and end in a 10 minute deep stretch with 30 second yoga poses. In my daily life I probably appreciate the results I get from flexibility training  more than the strength, and endurance gains from actually working out. Real yoga is no joke, and comes with it's own strength and endurance gains. I'd guess you'd get the similar benefit of mental release, comparable shooting if you get into it and really want to start improving at it. I'd go but I'm already going to kb & bjj a combined 5 times a week. Again, youtube is a sufficient supplement if there's no classes around you. I think the entire point is setting aside, and committing to me time.

 

As men, sometimes we're so caught up in TCOB, or taking care of other people we forget we need to set aside time to take care of ourselves. The key is commitment, either to trying yoga for a while, meditation etc. I don't have the willpower to just work out at home, or by myself at a gym. If I paid for a class though, you know I'll show up lest I lose my hard earned money which to me is far enough over the "self disrespect line" and forces me to go no matter how I feel. Every time it ends with me glad I went and followed through.

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Headspace goes on sale a lot. I swear it use to be half that price. I found a torrent of all the lessons a while back but never loaded it up. Just seemed like it would be really messy without the app to track it all. 

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