Day 13

I’m just going to dive in because I’m eager to get to the end while it’s still fresh on my mind.

Meditation

Meditated for 30 minutes this morning before work. I think this particular task is wreaking havoc on my subconscious and making sleep incredibly not-fun. This entire week has been an unpleasant frenzy of never-ending lucid dreams. Each of them borders on a nightmare. At some point I realize that I’m dreaming so I try to wake myself up, only to find that I’ve only woken myself up into another dream similar to the one I was just having. Then it starts all over again – realize I’m dreaming, wake up into another dream. By the time I finally find consciousness, I’ve been through about 6 or 7 of these things and am completely confused about who, where, what, why, or how I am. Then I have to start the day completely exhausted from running around my brain all night, and the whole experience is really unsettling. I’m blaming meditation for this. And it better knock it off.

3 things I’m grateful for

1) The lamb who had to die for my dinner. I feel really bad that I found you so delicious. I’m sorry, lamb, but know that your sacrifice is deeply appreciated.

2) Friday’s tasty line between relief (that you survived the week) and hope (that the weekend will bring something quietly wonderful).

3) Writing.

Exercise

I had dinner plans with a friend after work, and we decided to meet near the neighborhood she lives in which is exactly 2.5 miles from my office. I was going to take a cab, but remembered I needed to get my exercise in for the day and know myself well enough that it wouldn’t likely happen post-lamb. So I decided to walk there instead. It took a solid hour. And, yes, there were hills. There were many, many hills.

Random act of kindness

There were also opportunities for some kindness. With the money I saved by not getting a cab, I had enough to buy a homeless man a Whopper and my friend a little gift.

Reflect on something good that happened

OK, now here’s the beef. Over my incredibly delicious lamb burger, my good friend Sara asked me how the experiment was going. I was hesitant to talk about it at first, not wanting to come across as too self-involved, but we had a glass of wine and it lubricated my jaw. She’s a life coach, so she’s interested in things like…life.

I told her that it was interesting to me that I heard from a lot of people at the beginning of this project that they were going to do it with me, and little by little, they’ve dropped off and I haven’t heard from them. In her life coachy curiosity, she casually and rhetorically asked, “Huh. I wonder why that is?”

And the answer hit me in a flash. I don’t know why they dropped off (and for all I know they haven’t), but I know why I’m still going. I know why I’m still at this almost two weeks later, despite all the time it takes, despite the frustrations, and especially despite all my failed attempts to help myself in the past. It’s because, finally, wanting something different is now stronger than my fear of the work it takes to get it. Said another way – my focus has changed from daily irritations and hardships to the desire for something better in the long run. Hope has the upper hand in this struggle for Randy’s soul, and it’s riding the train of tenacity and community to get me there.

So now I realize you have to be ready for this, that I am ready for this. That you have to get down there in the muck and roll around until your lungs are full of shit, misery, and decay. And at some point, if you’re lucky, something inside of you says “enough.” Then cough by painful cough, you clear your insides, you take a friend’s hand, and you stand up again. And even if this particular method doesn’t work, I know now that I’ve got the drive and gumption to find something that will. I still might not know what happiness means, but I’m beginning to see a shape of something in the horizon.

So today I’m doubling down and adding three more gratefuls: 1) For Sara and her subtle, insightful questions, 2) that there’s still hope, and 3) for all of your support, advice, and encouragement that is the fuel that feeds this little train that will.

Day 13

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18 comments

  1. Ellen

    A friend turned me on to your blog a couple of days ago and I found a little mini-inspiration from it. (I say mini because you’ve inspired me to undertake a few changes myself, though not the full happiness experiment.)

    I see a lot of people have left meditation suggestions, but I thought I would add my own. I recently came across this website (http://www.getsomeheadspace.com/) that has great introductory meditations and videos on how to approach meditation. I’ve meditated in the past so I was all geared up to dive into the deep end…but after finding this page I’ve decided to work my way through the 10 minute meditations to begin with and am really happy I did. Starting with something so manageable has reminded me of the benefits of meditation and given me a feeling of accomplishment without struggling with my own mind too much.

    All the best for the rest of the experiment!!

  2. Sandra Sallin

    Randy, I wonder if people are not getting the info that you’ve posted again? I subscribed but i ever get an email saying you have a new post. I have to search you out. I care to do it but maybe others want that email saying you’ve posted. Go Randy!

  3. Lizzi; Considerer (@LRConsiderer)

    I keep missing your updates too 😦

    But I ALWAYS love coming here and seeing how you’re doing, and two weeks in, the revelation your friend guided you to, is nothing short of remarkable.

    I, too, had my own ‘enough’ moment, many years ago, and the way you describe it is so striking. I hope you stick with it and keep going – keep coughing – keep hacking out the poison and clearing the build-up – because the Other Side is sooooo good.

    Keep on that train – I’m with you (and LOVE the drawing, btw – poor Turbo! XD )

  4. Cindy del Valle

    Same non notices for me as for Sandra, so happy to see it on fb too (even though I would search for it since I love reading your blog).

    I used to think my dreams were significant and try to analyze (over analyze) them. It was exhausting and led me back to non productive habits. Then I took the approach dreams are the brains way of processing out non useful information. It became easier to dismiss the nightmares and they stopped interfering/occurring so much. You just find whatever works for you (as you are), and you will succeed.

    Keep riding that train of tenacity and you might be surprised at how many passengers will join along the way!

  5. Jennifer

    Woo Hoo! On board with HOPE! Next stop FAITH! Keep up the incredible work. 30 minutes of meditation is amazing! I’m so impressed by your progress, Randy.

    And.. ditto on not getting info about updated posts. I just check into Facebook every night and link from there.

  6. Jennifer Maerz

    I can’t tell you how much I love reading your blog. It’s become part of my morning ritual. I love how the challenges become breakthroughs and become different challenges that lead to greater breakthroughs. This is the best experiment ever Randy.

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