9/9 Check-In

On 2/2 I began my year-long journey to create life long habits for myself and throw in some fun intentions as well. The plan is to check in every month to monitor my progress. How did I do since my last check-in on 8/8?

Nutrition & Training

The diet has continued to see some improvement in my weight loss goal. There have been some “slip-ups” but overall I am down 14 pounds with 28 pounds to hit my goal.

Yoga & Meditation

OM MG I am so far behind with this and I felt this the other day while stretching for a run.

Photography & Writing

  • Photography- Took on a portrait session recently and it felt good to get behind the camera again. I had missed this more than I thought I would. Archives are still an ongoing process. PUSH ON BEFORE THE END OF YEAR.
  • Writing- Blogging sporadically counts, right?

10/10

As always, I see some progress, see some room to do better, and hope that next month’s check-in will be better than the last!

Disappointment

Once again I have logged off from the work machine here in my home.

After taking a break, and eat some dinner, I sit back down in the same chair that I have been parked at for nine hours earlier in that day. But all the ideas I was scheming and looking forward to while I was working has disappeared.

Now what?

How do I begin anything creative for myself (?) because right now, again, I am struggling.

Reminders

  • Read everyday
  • Spend time with nature.
  • Ask questions
  • Never stop learning
  • Don’t pay attention to what others think of you
  • Do what interests you the most
  • Study hard
  • Teach others what you know
  • Make mistakes and learn
  • It’s okay to not know everything

Khmer Empire Hypothesis

Since my research on the Khmer empire of Cambodia seems to be in a bit of a lull right now and have been unable to articulate it into text properly, I want to go ahead and put my hypothesis out in public. I have yet to read any archeologist’s research or conjecture about this and I think it could be enlightening for the ancient history of this empire.

High up in the Kulen Hills, northeast of the Angkor province there is a river flowing through it with a unique archeological feature called the Valley of the 1000 Lingas. The stream bed has carvings representing Hindu deities along with thousands of phallic-shaped stones. Along with the are a few yonis, representing females and wombs.

The thinking here is this valley is an underwater temple and that the water flowing through this temple would bless or fertilize the fascinating water features of the Angkor temple complex below. The water would also flow into the lake called Tonle Sap and the surrounding rice fields. Here, the Khmer civilization itself would thrive and grow into an empire of at least one million around Angkor Was alone.

My theory is that the original kingdom started in these hills and then migrated down into the plains below. The Angkor Was temple site was built around this idea of a blessed kingdom.

A yoni, representing a womb with eggs and a birth canal bears an amazing resemblance to the Angkor Was temple site itself.


The five tower spires representing the five eggs inside a yoni above Angkor Wat

It is a hypothesis to be sure and I would love to prove it on-site in the near future.

8/8 Check-In

On 2/2 I began my year-long journey to create life long habits for myself and throw in some fun intentions as well. The plan is to check in every month to monitor my progress. How did I do since my last check-in on 7/7?

Nutrition & Training

The diet has continued to see some improvement on my weight loss goal. There have been some “slip-ups” but overall I am down 14 pounds with 28 pounds to hit my goal.
Since last month I have placed the gym membership on pause thanks to the global pandemic.

Yoga & Meditation

This discipline is lacking because it has been to convenient to roll out of bed 30m before I take my 15-step commute to my home office. Must to better!

Photography & Writing

  • Photography- I haven’t touched the archives in three months. I think I burned myself out more than halfway through the project. Must get back on track.
  • Writing- Send inspiration please.

The work-from-home situation is ongoing until further notice and this has affected my creativity. Last month I mentioned that I was searching for a new home office setup and I have found my solutions in a couple of desks, bookcase and leather chair. More on that later(?)

9/9

As always, I see some progress, see some room to do better, and hope that next month’s check-in will be better than the last!

Meditation Alternatives

“You need not meditate; just close your eyes and sleep or think about one of your fun moments in life.”

Is there an alternative for meditation besides sitting on a zafu, legs crossed and chanting “om?” Yes, there is.

Staring through the window

One of the benefits of working from my home office are the windows. Unfortunately it is next to an abandoned house but there are beautiful trees and all sorts of critters peeking in to watch me work. When I need to, I will stand up, lean on the window frame and stare out. This has many benefits:

  • Your mind becomes calm
  • Your concentration level increases
  • You will connect with nature
  • You will get instant relief from the digital world

Look at photos

The mobile photo gallery in our pockets is an excellent time to remember and reflect. I enjoy swiping and reliving these memories. I think about the people in these images with love and take the time to wish them well. When I have more time, I will bring out the photo albums because these old photographs bring me happiness and soothes me.

Nature Walk

Walking is one of the best way of relieving your stress and good for health, but what is a nature walk? Instead of walking on the same ground or park, try to walk in a different route every day. It gives you a new perspective of life for sure. Humans like to explore. The more you explore, the more you connect with yourself.
Most importantly, those thoughts that are going everywhere will slowly settle down, and you will soon enjoy the walk as your mind will think only one thing which is exploring a new route. It is why most creators can go for a quick walk and come back with a new idea.

Meditation does not mean it has to be done in a sitting position by closing your eyes and letting go off the thoughts. I enjoy changing it up and achieving similar results; a clear mind.

“Competition…

…is for losers.” I told the trainee today. The new guy was asking for advice on how to get his productivity up and how to beat his fellow trainees. So I continued:

When you try to beat other people, you set yourself up to fail. But going against yourself, trying to improve yourself? That is a competition you have control over. It’s one you can win.

I wish I understood this when I was younger because this would have saved me a lot of frustration. In some ways I should still apply my own advice.

A Different Approach

“Good Will Hunting” movie fans will remember the bar scene where the campus know-it-all is confronted about his knowledge of the evolution of the market economy in Massachusetts’s southern colonies. Though the guy speaks confidently, Will reminds him he’s quoting passages from a book.

“You got that from Vickers ‘Work in Essex County,’ page 98, right? Yeah, I read that too. Were you gonna plagiarize the whole thing for us? [Do you have any thoughts of your own on this matter?]”

If you’re reading what everyone else is reading or working on an unoriginal idea to bring up in conversation or even in the office, who would you prefer to work with? Someone who can regurgitate back to you the work that has been done before or somebody who brings a novel approach to research and development?

In my experience, the person who spends their time reading the same works as others or practices the same method of working is replaceable in a conversation. I’d rather talk to someone with a unique perspective.

My approach is different. I follow my curiosity unconditionally and read topics of my interest, no one else’s.

As a suggestion, try to read or speak or act differently so you can have more to contribute.

How I Learn and Think

Way back when I was in school and university, I had to read quite a bit of material prescribed by teachers and professors.

Today, I still read many books and white papers but these are determined solely by my curiosity or even fun. I am permitted to be autodidactic and read about what I think is interesting.

When I allow myself to learn unconditionally, I allow myself certain behaviors such as:

There has to be a benefit either in the immediate or in the near future. I think of it as a knowledge repository. I don’t know when I will use it, but it will be there when I need it.

It does not have to stand alone, but it could be a piece of the puzzle that helps work out something in my comprehension of the topic.

My curiosity overrules obligation. Therefore I am more interested and can appreciate it.

If I learn what feels obligated (everyone else is reading, you should too, Chris) then that means I have learned what everyone else has. This will help me blend in with groupthink and mindsets. Boring.

Oops

11:30am- While searching for a way to export this blog to plain and markdown text files (future-proofing), I installed a script that my webserver did not like. The memory usage spiked real high real fast. I logged into the back end, removed the offensive script, and hoped for the best. This may be the last post for a few days in hopes that things get restored properly.

7:35pm **Update** I’m back!