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regentrude last won the day on March 14 2019

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  1. I don't like the wellness app either. It was one of the resources we got from work, and so I decided to try it. The format drives me crazy, as does the chipper cheerleader type person in the videos. I hate typing on the phone and, with the obvious privacy concerns, am not going to put anything in the text boxes. An old fashioned paper journal will work much better for that purpose. (Oh, and I hate programs where you must to complete step #n before step #(n+1) is unlocked! I wanted to come back and write more about the you-are -not-your-thoughts idea which I have wrestled with in a different content, but can't find the correct words and quotes at the moment. I can see how this would be obvious for self-harm, but that is not what I was referring to; the quotes I had in mind were more related to what letting go of thinking does in meditation, and how thinking is addictive and in the way. I'll get back to that. That sounds very beautiful and wise. Thank you! I've bookmarked the site and will check it out when I have some time.
  2. Yes. I can tell when something is crap as I write it. But somehow it still needs to be written. Sometimes it gets thrown away. Sometimes a tiny sliver of it gets reused later for something good. And also yes on the not thinking. It's an intuitive process for me.
  3. But isn't every writing advice to first take care of quantity and write regularly, as opposed to worrying about producing the one singular masterpiece? There is this delightful anecdote from Art&Fear:
  4. No, I don't think so. I once spent an entire morning watching and chronicling the life of a spiderwort blossom (they only bloom for one morning and fold up at noon and die) and then wrote a poem about that. That was sheer presence any moment of the journey.
  5. If I measure by the volume of work I create, I have a clear record of the times when I am productive (I keep all notebooks and drafts), and those have always been the emotionally charged periods. The decades of satiated contentment and emotional equilibrium have yielded barely anything. And yes, there are periods that are so disorienting that I cannot write anything, like the past two months; I was struggling to keep my head above water work wise and had no brain capacity left over for anything creative. And there is a strong correlation between quality and quantity; if you work a lot, there's going to be some good ones in there.
  6. I guess those are the kind of emotions that come to mind in context of letting go of emotions. Certainly if somebody had a feeling of unbridled joy, it would not occur to them that it could be harmful, unhealthy, and they should let go. Which was kind of the starting point of the conversation. But even positive emotions could be dwelling in the past or looking to the future: both nostalgia and anticipation are not unpleasant, but are obstacles to being in the present. Identifying with the past or projecting onto the future are both ways to construct the persona we believe to be our identity. BUt is it?
  7. Oops. Mailbox full. I just cleaned out - you can send pm now.
  8. No, it is not. But exploring these ideas has been very helpful for me to recognize dysfunctional attachments to emotions or states of mind that had me stuck on certain thought patterns. We can argue whether there really is an ego and a self; using this language as a metaphor was useful to describe and understand phenomena I observed. Ultimately, my goal is to dissolve unhelpful thought patterns that are unproductive and cause suffering.
  9. No, for me, that does not necessarily mean complexity - some things can be simple. I am a minimalist and look for simplicity without being trite or trivial. Complexity for complexity's sake is not something I aspire to; obviously, it has its place where it is needed. For me personally, my best work is something that I would like to read: expressive without being wordy, imagery that speaks to the reader on a subconscious, emotional level without requiring sophisticated interpretation from the intellect, attention to detail, and somewhere in it something that's relatable about the experience. It is work I feel proud to share. Mediocre work does not give that satisfaction. Not a very precise answer, I know. But I know it when I see it 🙂
  10. Thank you for your thoughtful response, katilac. But aren't most emotions and thoughts related to either the past (regret, guilt, shame) or the future (fear, anxiety)? So, feeling/thinking them means being not present in the moment. And if we, for a moment, accept the thesis that suffering stems from attachment to either the past or the future, and the only solution is to be present in the now, aren't emotions merely the drama the ego plays to make us believe we are the image we have constructed of ourselves, from our past and projected onto our future? So, if we want to become present and aware, they are a hindrance? Thanks for discussing this with me, folks; I've been thinking a lot about this lately.
  11. I was thinking more along the deeper philosophical implications of the "you are not your thoughts" teachings in DBT and the observing but not attaching to thoughts in Zen: what am I? If thoughts and emotions are not part of the real Self, but only expressions of the ego, and only by letting go of them I can come to conscious awareness: what, then, is the place of art? If art is purest expression of Self, but thoughts/emotions are not part of the self, how does that all fit?
  12. oh yes! My best work has always been created in periods when I went through difficulties. So I am very reluctant to sink back into what I like to label in my head as "fat contentment"
  13. Adding another thought (I'll add this to the OP as well) to discuss: the whole "you are not your thoughts" business. Especially interested in hearing from other artists. I (kind of) see where the advice is coming from, but as a poet, it's precisely my thoughts and emotions that are vital for my creative work. Without them, there is no Art, and without that, there is no me. Not paying attention to thoughts and letting go of emotion, doesn't that turn us into robots? Any artists, and of course anybody else, care to weigh in?
  14. I think that's not just true for guys. Everyone of my friends was totally swamped and overwhelmed by work, and I never experienced the " oh now we have sooo much extra time to connect". (Maybe that's reserved for people who don't work?) Everybody has to handle their own crap, and there is limited capacity to reach out to other people, which now requires a deliberate effort even for small talk, since casual social encounters no longer exist. Almost every contact I have had, online or via phone, I have to initiate. Which of course also means that the whole advice to reach out when you're in need feels unrealistic: who are you going to bother with your troubles, if everyone has their own and even a casual chat requires a specific effort? Feels like an imposition on their time. And that is not just my impression, but several friends voiced the same.
  15. yeah, that was my feeling, too. I lean towards letting it wash over you and experiencing it fully before saying thank you and goodbye. That's why I was puzzled by the "no!" advice
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