I have been traveling for business so I haven't had time to blog enough these past two weeks, but fear not, dedicated readers; I have not abandoned my #NoNothingNovember practices.
Waking up early every day has been hugely useful. I have been extraordinarily productive in the morning and by the time I'm into the late morning, the momentum from being awake for so long carries me along. By the mid-afternoon (around 14:30) I admittedly get more tired than usual, likely due to my body being conditioned to begin feeling tired after being awake for 8 hours and winding down the day. It's at this time I'll take a break from working to do some concentration meditation, walk outside to change my environment, or exercise. I am trying to reduce my dependency on caffeine but on difficult days I'll have a second cup of coffee.
This has also forced me to go to sleep earlier each night, and in doing so I have come to realize that I have spent too many hours in the evening hours being unproductive. How productive am I really being from 21:00 to midnight? That yields several hours of wasted time in my day.
Again, I'll reiterate from Day 4 that alcohol really hinders my waking up early. As such, I have been drinking less, whether going out or at home. This has caused my fitness to improve, and any malaise feelings the next day from being hungover to be lessened. In addition, going out to bars and clubs while not being as drunk as everyone around me has had the interesting effect of having me observe more interactions and being more in control than those around me. It increases my mental acuity in these situations and has allowed for actually more fun and "productive" nights (in terms of hooking up and also learning and observing others' interactions). It also allows me to feel more in control of situations than the drunk people around me, and be more in control of my emotions and actions.
Okay, so I don't consider weed a vice anymore. I consider too much weed, or regular weed, a vice if it becomes an addiction. To me, smoking causes me to be more creative and less productive. So by not smoking, I have been much more productive. However, the level of creativity in my work has taken a slight hit. In addition, my self-awareness insights and breakthroughs through marijuana has also slightly decreased, although it is somewhat offset by meditation.
So while I feel empowered to know that I can easily put down cannabis if I choose (feeling more in control), I do want to use it as a tool in my arsenal, for both increased self-awareness and creativity. Limited amounts of weed, using it as a conscious tool, is what I will be pursuing once this month is over.
Meditation is an ongoing process for which it takes more than a month to get the full effects. However, I have already noticed several benefits.
Concentration meditation has benefited me by increasing my focus in my current task. It also has the benefit of clearing my mind in moments of feeling overwhelmed with my work. Even a few short spurts of 5-minute concentration meditation (in which I clear my mind by focusing on an external object and refocusing whenever a thought enters my mind) is like a nice little boost of concentration or relaxation throughout the day. Longer periods of concentration meditation (15+ minutes) has allowed me to recognize some thoughts which were buried in my subconscious as they float to the surface.
Body scan and mindful meditation has benefited me by (obviously) giving me more awareness of my body. But while the direct effects would seem obvious, the indirect effects are interesting.
- I have been able to focus on physical feelings of either anxiety, malaise, or tension. This awareness allows me to remove such feelings the more I explore them.
- In addition, it has had the interest effect of viewing my body somewhat impersonally. I see my body in terms of a larger timeline as simply a tool used to achieve my goals. Sculpting it to become attractive, garner respect, and be strong enough for either defense or offense. Viewing my hands as tools to make more money. This detachment is an interesting feeling I am just beginning to explore.
Overall, #NoNothingNovember has had some interesting, positive effects on me. In addition, it has increased my confidence stemming from increased experience of my ability to give things up through sheer dedication. My journey towards self-actualization via self-awareness marches onward.