Stimulate Positivity

Thursday 29 March, 2001

Spoke to Karaj this morning. I failed to lay any foundations in Germany. This is not good enough. If I really want to get back there then I need to lay the foundations so that when the conditions are right, everything will fall into place. The fact that I have no idea how it is going to work is no excuse. All I need to do is talk to people. I was so preoccupied with my own expectations that nothing happened. A missed opportunity. Relax, forget the expectations and assumptions and concentrate on the laying the foundations brick by brick.

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A Consistent Perception of Self

Wednesday 28 March, 2001

I still feel subdued, I still feel inadequate, I still feel pissed off with my life, and I still feel the futility of everything. I feel as if I’m going nowhere. I am having to change. It isn’t easy. Still, I have little choice but to persevere. The alternative is a return to something I don’t like anyway. Carry on, smiling.

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Doubts & Conceit

Monday 26 March, 2001

Returned to England this morning. The goodbye to Francis itself was no problem. Things felt much better because we talked last night. However, as I write I can feel all the familiar feelings again. I feel subdued, alone and unsure of what to do with my life. It may not be as severe as it sometimes is, but the feelings are nonetheless there, and there’s nothing I can do about them. Whilst travelling, I was surrounded by working people on mobile phones doing business on the move. I wonder whether I will ever be so enthusiastic about what I do, or whether I will ever find anything worthwhile.

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Addressing That Sunday Feeling

Sunday 25 March, 2001

The last full day today and it’s a Sunday. I am determined to raise the issue of Sundays before the day is out. I want to talk about them because they depress me so much. I had the chance with Sunil and Dev a couple of weeks ago but I didn’t take it. Went for a walk to the baker’s this morning with the usual paranoid, perfectionist fantasies in my head about how many rolls and doughnuts I should buy. I do it all the time. Relax.

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Get the Foundations Right

Friday 23 March, 2001

Francis and I looked at some internet lectures and found a fascinating one about cosmic evolution. It all comes down to the ultra-early Universe. The conditions have to be right and it’s the quantum errors in the very early explosion of the big bang which eventually give rise to a non-uniform Universe in which life can proliferate. Get the foundations right and everything else will take care of itself.

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Back In Germany

Thursday 22 March, 2001

I arrived in Germany yesterday and as I walked the short distance from the underground to Francis’s house, it felt like I had never been away. I smiled a broad smile as I rang the bell. Francis opened the door and we hugged. Paula was there too which was a lovely surprise and we hugged too. The three of us sat down and began to chat. Just like old times.

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Whatever We Do We Become Good At

Monday 19 March, 2001

I spent the morning doing some woodwork, putting together a box-drawer on wheels. When Karaj had started to explain to me what he wanted doing, I felt the usual emotions of negativity and heard the familiar words in my head, ‘I can’t do this’. I checked myself and told myself that I can do it and I will enjoy doing it. I was right; not only was I capable, I also enjoyed the exercise and I did a very good job in a short space of time with no problems whatsoever.

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Challenging & Growing

Saturday 17 March, 2001

Men’s group. The day was all about challenges. There were challenges to individuals about commitment, and about avoiding being challenged by questioning instead of listening. And there were challenges from the younger members of the group to the elders to connect and contribute more, and to share their invaluable experience of life.

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Again, Verbalise Your Issues!

Friday 16 March, 2001

Another lie-in this morning. I exercised quite vigorously last night so I left it today. Apart from that I am just about back to normal. Just in time for the men’s group tomorrow.

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Checking My Assumptions (Eventually)

Thursday 15 March, 2001

No exercises this morning. I had a lie-in instead. It feels so good to be back in a semblance of my routine. I feel quite refreshed and I’m getting myself ready for the next session of the men’s group on Saturday. I also spoke to Karaj about verbalising my dilemmas and fantasies. On the 6th March 2001 I had written this in my journal:

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Contact Can Often Be Enough

Wednesday 14 March, 2001

Today I received a letter from Francis. It was a lovely letter. The dialogue continues [When I left Germany in 1999, Francis and I had agreed to maintain contact only through writing letters to each other]. He writes very well and makes some excellent points about life, about people and about himself. In his letter he asks me what I think about comparisons with other people. He couldn’t have asked a more pertinent or more relevant question. He loved the newsletter and was delighted to be a part of it. I put together a compilation of recent diary entries for Francis about making comparisons:

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Verbalise

Friday 9 March, 2001

5.50 E&M. Tricky at first because I haven’t done them for a few days and there was some stiffness and pain. It struck me that I actually prefer the noise my mind makes to the silence of a quiet mind. Unbelievable really but true nonetheless. This realisation alone could help me make progress with my focus, concentration and relaxation. As usual, I felt much better and much freer after the exercises.

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Relax & Lighten Up

Thursday 1 March, 2001

6.05 Had to drag myself out of bed. My body ached, and the pain and tiredness tempted me to stay where I was. However, I exercised and felt much better afterwards. It has taken three days to make any sort of recovery from the weekend. The lethargy has been bad enough but the negativity was the real issue. Today I feel much better about everything. I am not as tired as I have been, I feel physically stronger and I am not torturing myself mentally with all the comparisons which have been going through my head over the last few days. In a way, the comparisons seem to have been occurring at a background level – gnawing away at me without me realising. There were clearly times when I was consciously deliberating over the differences between me and my friends, but even when I caught myself and tried to stop comparing, there seemed no respite from the trickle of negative feelings which occupied me day and night. Comparisons really do cause me problems.

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