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On right livelihood or 'get your dreams done!'


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Since 2017 seems to be a really auspicious year, I've been able to attend a couple of workshops taught by two esteemed member of this forum: @Craig and @Dave.

I had a good deal of fun and brought home interesting concepts, some of which were puzzling. I just wrote a question as a Facebook PM to Craig, but maybe others here could elaborate on it and/or find it interesting as well. I hope this is the right thread to post it.

“So…the question is simple, but conveying it into words takes a while.
One of the most important concepts I took from the Cologne workshop was the importance of “right intention”, that is to say how intention shapes results. I'm already (trying to) incorporate this element into my practice.
There's another thing I find hard to understand, though.
Both you and Dave (and even Carsten) talked about the “quality of the experience”. One could train for a lifetime and yet waste every minute of practice because he doesn't apply himself the right way..
What's “the right way”, though?
Does it mean one needs to focus on kinesthetic sensations and/or specific breathing pattern, or is there more to it?
As long as meditation goes, I've been instructed by my (now vanished) teacher to just apply the instructions and trust the process, but when it comes to unfamiliar stuff like Doaist-inspired practices, Stretch Therapy and Physical Alchemy doubts creep in.
For example: I'm practicing the horse stance, how can I bing the “right quality” into the exercise? Of course I'd appreciate the benefits of “just” and increase in leg strength and muscle volume, but if there's more to gain from the exercise I'd like to tap into that inner potential.
I hope my question is clear, it's always difficult to talk about this stuff. =)”

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6 hours ago, jaja said:

What's “the right way”, though?

Move your awareness from what is happening in your mind to what is happening in the body. Doubt exists only in the mind. When you muster sufficient energy to move all of your awareness into the body and its millions of sensations, there will be no doubt. Some people say, "just do it", but that is not sufficient instructions, IMHO. Moving awareness as I suggest with change the experience and, in time, become the new way of relating to reality.

I am sure the others will have more to say.

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  • 2 months later...
On 30/1/2017 at 10:26 PM, Kit_L said:

The modern schedule is why you need such an investment... Instead of discussing generalities, please mention how many hours a day you work, and travel. Do you have a lunch break? How many times a week do you need to go out at night (assuming this is part of the necessary social life you mentioned)?

I'm now able to answer this. I work 5 days a week, from 9:30 am to 6 pm; unfortunately I work in another town, so I have to get up at 6:00 am and I come back home around 7:30 pm. I manage to have a 20/30 minutes meditation session in the morning and a yoga nidra one in the evening. I have a (usually short) lunch break, but I can't do much with it aside from…well…eating and socializing. Friday and Saturday evening I'd like to go out with friends and/or spend some quality time with my girlfriend. I also hope to spend some weekends having fun and maybe attending few workshops.

Talking with one of my coworkers about the office life and the damage it does to your body, he said one cannot really undo the damages in the little time left during the day: according to him the only solution is to totally change the lifestyle. Opinions on this? I'd really like to attempt at the “impossible”.

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1 hour ago, jaja said:

I'm now able to answer this. I work 5 days a week, from 9:30 am to 6 pm; unfortunately I work in another town, so I have to get up at 6:00 am and I come back home around 7:30 pm. I manage to have a 20/30 minutes meditation session in the morning and a yoga nidra one in the evening. I have a (usually short) lunch break, but I can't do much with it aside from…well…eating and socializing. Friday and Saturday evening I'd like to go out with friends and/or spend some quality time with my girlfriend. I also hope to spend some weekends having fun and maybe attending few workshops.

Talking with one of my coworkers about the office life and the damage it does to your body, he said one cannot really undo the damages in the little time left during the day: according to him the only solution is to totally change the lifestyle. Opinions on this? I'd really like to attempt at the “impossible”.

Here's a couple ideas.

* Work from home. Saves you about 4 hours per day.
* Obtain some type of standing desk, then alternate between sitting and standing every half hour or so.
* Work less. Do you really need to work 40 hours a week? What are you doing it for? Do you need that money? What if you worked 36 hours, taking one day off every two weeks? Or even 32?

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I am aware there’re better solutions, but right now I’m looking for the optimal approach to my current situation.

To be compleately honest, my mid-term goal (2-3 years) would be to achieve a ST qualification, so to apply the acquired knowledge in the long run. But **now** I need to focus on the next six months top.

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11 hours ago, jaja said:

right now I’m looking for the optimal approach to my current situation

There is no optimal approach to your current situation; I think this is what Phi was pointing to. And your colleague is simply wrong in his/her assertion that "one cannot really undo the damages in the little time left during the day"; Phi's suggestion re. standing and sitting alternation is exactly what I do, every day, with the refinement that when I sit, I sit on the floor with a bolster and a low table, and move between many positions as I work. This probably will not be possible in an office environment. 

Eating once a day in the evenings has worked for many people too, and then that short lunch break can be used for some playing/exercise/rejuvenation. 

You will be most welcome at our next London workshop, and it is likely that we will have a year off the following year (so 2019). 2018 is the year that we know we  will be coming back (and that schedule is on the website).

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On 9/23/2017 at 1:43 AM, jaja said:

Talking with one of my coworkers about the office life and the damage it does to your body, he said one cannot really undo the damages in the little time left during the day: according to him the only solution is to totally change the lifestyle. Opinions on this? I'd really like to attempt at the “impossible”.

I don't like this point of view because it elevates physical wellbeing far above the value I place on it, compared to social/mental wellbeing and financial wellbeing, which I think need to be traded-off against it, and each other. I think I take my physical health with the seriousness it deserves, and in my experience the physical 'damage' inflicted by office life is very, very fixable, and tends to be overstated by those who hate office life more for non-physical-health reasons (e.g. personal/political etc.). But that's easy for me to say, as I work in a healthy office with pleasant, active people. 

I do think people who work in unhealthy, even toxic, office workplaces (either due to people and/or culture) do tend to deceive themselves about the damage it does to them, but I think the bulk of that relates to people and culture, and shouldn't be ascribed to the 'damage' of asleep glutes and tight hip flexors, even though there is a heap of confounding variables at play, mixing up cause and effect. 

 

 

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 I think I take my physical health with the seriousness it deserves, and in my experience the physical 'damage' inflicted by office life is very, very fixable, and tends to be overstated by those who hate office life more for non-physical-health reasons (e.g. personal/political etc.). But that's easy for me to say, as I work in a healthy office with pleasant, active people. 

I understand where you are coming from. I used to be a major critic of office life (In many ways, I still am). My issue with the 'damage' that working in an office is that it is all intellectual load. There is often virtually no 'being' in your body. The chairs and environment is designed to create practical situation so you can efficiently do your work - not designed to allow you to experience being in your body. Connection, attention and awareness of your body decreases with long periods of time spent NOT using your body (in my experience) - that's not to say it's impossible to have a good level of connection, attention and awareness of your body while maintaining an office job, but it is harder.

 

I'd also say that for many people here, the goal is not to trade off various types of wellbeing with one another. But to be able to achieve their own 'right livelihood', where there isn't a battle of priorities. Being able to make enough money, while being mentally, physically & socially healthy! As Kit might say: 

""Do some good, have some fun, make some money", in that order"

For myself, I live in a massive city (Seoul). I have a one hour commute each way (2 hours a day commuting) and spend most of my day inside an Osteopathy Clinic with little natural light. But I get to talk, teach, stretch, move, educate and treat people. I run classes and eat wonderful food. I walk for about 40 minutes a day and manage to help my wife learn to lift weights and get strong 3 times a week, as well as training myself (She was very ill recently and is recovering her strength still). I feel very lucky that my work allows me to maintain my wellbeing.

Also, I am very happy that you live in a happy office! I suppose I am a little jaded with office life as 90% of my patients work in offices and they have such low physical literacy and such high psychological stress. (True of London and Seoul, as far as my practice goes!)

 

 

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6 hours ago, dannyg said:

I'd also say that for many people here, the goal is not to trade off various types of wellbeing with one another. But to be able to achieve their own 'right livelihood', where there isn't a battle of priorities

Hello Danny! Great post, I completely agree. 

The important question for many, I think, is: How can I change what I do for a living to live a life not only in my mind? Any desk bound activity that is performed 40+ hours a week is taking its toll on the body and the mind in one way or another. On the other hand we cannot go back to the forest and all become mokeys again. Many people enjoy what they do, but not *how* they do it. We as a culture have to fundamentally change the way we think about work and how we build our lives around it. Standing desks and such are a great start. But I feel the real problem lies somewhere else. Great topic, I would really like to see more about this.

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On 23/9/2017 at 6:26 AM, Kit_L said:

You will be most welcome at our next London workshop, and it is likely that we will have a year off the following year (so 2019). 2018 is the year that we know we  will be coming back (and that schedule is on the website).

Ah, my usual luck! I'll book a spot asap. :)

I have to be honest: I was hoping in the existence of a “magical routine” or a special tip to make the most out of little time, but apparently I just have to make room for a little bit of stretching.

@Richmond It wasn't my intention to demonize office work, I think it's possible to be healthy (both mentally and physically) and still work there. Having said that, I still have few issues to address and this type of job kinda gets in the way of my improvement. It's as simple as that.

@dannyg Thank you for sharing your experience, really. The struggle right now is to make my two top priorities to coexist in the best way possible: get rid of useless tension (and thus improve posture) and get good at my job. I know I'll make it, eventually.

 

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@jaja: London is a hop, skip, and a jump from Italy. Please think about how far we have to come.

And another suggestion: if you have to work in another town, consider moving to that town. I know you have some family obligations presently that may make that difficult/impossible, but please consider it: commuting is truly dead time, even if you can read/meditate, simply because the commute constrains other options.

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Many people enjoy what they do, but not *how* they do it. 

Yes. I found this very insightful Markus. 

Quote

We as a culture have to fundamentally change the way we think about work and how we build our lives around it.

While it seems easy to intellectually notice that other things are important - it's very hard to embody different things and change our deeply rooted beliefs. I'd love to see @AshwinT's take on this, as he made a huge life shift not so long ago.

 

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 I know I'll make it, eventually.

Yes, exactly. This has been a key for myself. Acknowledging that overcoming obstacles in our path can take time, and being kind to yourself (having self-compassion) about the time the journey takes. I used to beat myself up over not living the life I wanted, I still have to deal with my commute and living in a busy city - but it's getting easier.

 

I hope you manage to find a way! What worked for my when I was in London was finding a simple physical routine that was hard enough to challenge - but not enough to make me sweat. And doing it a lot. (For me that was bridging work and headstands. At intervals, throughout the day). My focus was on 'feeling' the bridge better, rather than physical development. 

 

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commuting is truly dead time

I understand this so much. It's hard to meditate while standing in a busy subway carriage. I took to doing courses on edx, coursera while commuting over the summer - which was handy. Reading is always useful for me, and I try to do that. I'm working on making in a 'better' commute. I was going to try to cycle - but it's actually about 18km each way - and there is no shower at work. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
12 hours ago, AshwinT said:

Sorry this note is a bit rough; just thought I’d jot down a few thoughts for the forum.

On the contrary, @AshwinT; I found that very helpful indeed.

I am currently buried deep in the fog in which you found yourself in 2014.  I've known for a very long time that I'll never be complete - or fulfilled, or useful - until I dig myself out of my currently unfulfilling career.  I've talked ad nauseam about it, to family and friends, for at least a decade; bouncing around ideas for new directions without any real degree of commitment.

12 hours ago, AshwinT said:

1. Write more:  Sitting around daydreaming is great but for the most part leads to nowhere.  I’ve spent countless hours daydreaming but it’s the 0.01% of thoughts that I wrote down that were seeds that allowed me to evolve and grow.  Buy a cheap notebook and scribble down random thoughts when they occur.  Type them up and organise them on your computer.  Look over this every day and see how it proves a fertile ground for more thoughts and actions.

I've been doing this!  I currently have two Google Docs on the go, with ideas for what I hope might become books at some stage.  Just keep chipping away at both with ideas, as they come to me, or I read research and/or articles that resonate.

12 hours ago, AshwinT said:

2. Try new things: The key change in 2014 was that I started to DO.  DOING is key.  Talking and dreaming gets you nowhere.  You have to take the first step and DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING.  It doesn’t have to change the world, it doesn’t have to change your life, it doesn’t have to be the final answer.  I find that too many people (myself included) hang around for years waiting for the final answer without doing anything.  Action begets change begets more action and you start a virtuous cycle of evolution to a new you.

Doing this!  I called last year, the year of "venturing outside my comfort zones".  Did a hand balancing course with Yuri, volunteered to be an amateur participant in a stage play.

Need to do much more here, but seem forever held back by lack of resources (time, money, etc).

12 hours ago, AshwinT said:

3. Be diligent. Do one little task every day: This follows up on the previous point.  It may not be a grand, sexy task.  It may just be paying a few bills or reading an article, or reorganising your notes.  Doesn’t matter.  Accomplishing a little task gives you a sense of satisfaction that feeds your overall mental state and puts you in a good frame of mind to do bigger tasks.

Not doing quite so well here.  Chronic sleep deprivation, co-sleeping and "independence challenged" toddler, task-juggling, and I am sure much more, all conspire to distract.  If consistency is the name, of the game, I am misnomer personified.

12 hours ago, AshwinT said:

4. Surround yourself with supportive people:  There will always be naysayers.  Some will not support you because they project their fears onto you.  Some will not support you because they’re jealous they don’t have the same amount of courage.  Some will not support you because they dislike change or the unknown.  Talk to people that care about you and demonstrate to them that you’re making an informed decision about the direction of your life.  They will become your greatest cheerleaders.  Let them question you and challenge you in a positive way.

Got this one nailed.  My partner is incredible.  Supportive in every way, but not afraid to call me on my bullshit.

Pleased to see you acknowledge this.  Supportiveness is paramount.  But blind positivity is an empty, often counter-productive, platitude.  Nothing wrong with - in fact, nothing more useful than - challenging someone from a place of love.

12 hours ago, AshwinT said:

5. Remove the Ego:  Your friends or family may have expectations of you in terms of your status and career.  You may have built up an ego based on your current career - i.e. I am an accountant or I am an academic, etc.  You need to dissolve this.  Let it go.  Remove the labels.  Become “tabula rasa” ; a clean slate.  This is difficult and may take years to do.

Totally OK with this.  I am a technophobic software developer.  Zero ego wrapped up in that, and will be all too happy to see the back of it.

12 hours ago, AshwinT said:

6. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Become unafraid of being afraid: Finding your purpose is tough.  Forging a new, unconventional path is tough.  If you’re totally comfortable 100% of the time then you ‘re probably not pushing your limits enough.  Being a little uncomfortable forces you to constantly evolve and leads to positive growth.

THIS! ... is where I think I am finding the most difficulty.

I would be happy to walk away right now, and never look back, if I was on my own.  But I fear for what it might mean for my family.  All wrapped up in feelings of responsibility; being a provider; etc.

We're (as a family) starting to take concrete steps towards changing the balance of home/parenting/career responsibilities, but it feels like a very long road ahead.

12 hours ago, AshwinT said:

7. Change comes through EVOLUTION not REVOLUTION: Rome wasn’t built in a day.  It’s good to think of macro timelines to focus your goals, but they should be more like months and years rather than weeks and months. 

Patience.  I should be good at this, by now.  I'm a guitarist - who had no talent and had to play for years before anything resembling music, came out of the instrument - but stuck at it.  I'm also an ultra-trail enthusiast whose only real talent is excessive stubbornness.

I imagine this becomes easier as the path forwards begins to clear.  Being patient when you have no idea where you're going, is very difficult.

12 hours ago, AshwinT said:

8. Have faith:  Know that you cannot see the whole path.  When you’re driving in the fog you can only see 20 meters in front of you but you trust that you’ll get there in the end.  Have faith in yourself and in the journey you have embarked upon.

Haha!  I just touched on this in (7).  I'm trying.  My faith is like a rollercoaster.  Exhilarating highs, sickening lows, twists and turns, all while someone shakes the loose change from my pockets. 

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Thank you for your post, @AshwinT! Interesting contribution indeed!

 

On 12/10/2017 at 2:05 PM, AshwinT said:

1. Write more:  Sitting around daydreaming is great but for the most part leads to nowhere.  I’ve spent countless hours daydreaming but it’s the 0.01% of thoughts that I wrote down that were seeds that allowed me to evolve and grow.  Buy a cheap notebook and scribble down random thoughts when they occur.  Type them up and organise them on your computer.  Look over this every day and see how it proves a fertile ground for more thoughts and actions.

I love writing and I'm good at it, so much it's basically my job. Only downside is it can become just another mean to avoid taking action.

On 12/10/2017 at 2:05 PM, AshwinT said:

2. Try new things: The key change in 2014 was that I started to DO.  DOING is key.  Talking and dreaming gets you nowhere.  You have to take the first step and DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING.  It doesn’t have to change the world, it doesn’t have to change your life, it doesn’t have to be the final answer.  I find that too many people (myself included) hang around for years waiting for the final answer without doing anything.  Action begets change begets more action and you start a virtuous cycle of evolution to a new you.

I started challenging myself few years ago and never stopped since. I'm now realizing it's easier to do that when you have loads of free time, not so much when you're under work schedule. I've almost completely cut off media consumption in order to optimize the time I have available.

On 12/10/2017 at 2:05 PM, AshwinT said:

3. Be diligent. Do one little task every day: This follows up on the previous point.  It may not be a grand, sexy task.  It may just be paying a few bills or reading an article, or reorganising your notes.  Doesn’t matter.  Accomplishing a little task gives you a sense of satisfaction that feeds your overall mental state and puts you in a good frame of mind to do bigger tasks.

Doing well here too, but I've noticed my attention during those tasks is weakening, which is not good.

On 12/10/2017 at 2:05 PM, AshwinT said:

4. Surround yourself with supportive people:  There will always be naysayers.  Some will not support you because they project their fears onto you.  Some will not support you because they’re jealous they don’t have the same amount of courage.  Some will not support you because they dislike change or the unknown.  Talk to people that care about you and demonstrate to them that you’re making an informed decision about the direction of your life.  They will become your greatest cheerleaders.  Let them question you and challenge you in a positive way.

This is a huge problem of mine: I have to get rid of naysayers and toxic people in general, but some of them are long lasting friendships or even relatives, so I feel overwhelmed by guilt. I also have troubles finding positive people, apparently.

On 12/10/2017 at 2:05 PM, AshwinT said:

5. Remove the Ego:  Your friends or family may have expectations of you in terms of your status and career.  You may have built up an ego based on your current career - i.e. I am an accountant or I am an academic, etc.  You need to dissolve this.  Let it go.  Remove the labels.  Become “tabula rasa” ; a clean slate.  This is difficult and may take years to do.

I've always avoided labeling myself, I don't like labels. Unfortunately I feel peer pressure A LOT, so I have room for improvement here. Meditation, Yoga Nidra and ST could help in this area.

On 12/10/2017 at 2:05 PM, AshwinT said:

6. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Become unafraid of being afraid: Finding your purpose is tough.  Forging a new, unconventional path is tough.  If you’re totally comfortable 100% of the time then you ‘re probably not pushing your limits enough.  Being a little uncomfortable forces you to constantly evolve and leads to positive growth.

Work in progress. I was there…once. Nowadays I find it really difficult.

On 12/10/2017 at 2:05 PM, AshwinT said:

7. Change comes through EVOLUTION not REVOLUTION: Rome wasn’t built in a day.  It’s good to think of macro timelines to focus your goals, but they should be more like months and years rather than weeks and months. 

Totally agree, nothing to add aside from the fact that it's damn hard.

On 12/10/2017 at 2:05 PM, AshwinT said:

8. Have faith:  Know that you cannot see the whole path.  When you’re driving in the fog you can only see 20 meters in front of you but you trust that you’ll get there in the end.  Have faith in yourself and in the journey you have embarked upon.

I do not have faith. No matter how I try I cannot phantom why things will get better. I know I'm primed to think this way, but I don't know how to change my mindset.

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  • 1 month later...

I want to share a little update on the topic (hopefully an improvement).

I'm trying to make the best out of my current situation, so I've established a new routine.

  • I do stretching at least three times a week, with focus on HF, chest (thanks also to the baby whale) and neck.
    • I managed to get the help of my girlfriend to do partner work once a week, but something isn't quite right.
      • when she sits on me during the HF stretch, she keep slipping down.
      • during the shoulder depression exercise I can barely feel the benefit, while at @Dave's workshop it was fantastic; she also tends to slip down. Maybe her weight isn't enough to leave a mark? I'd like some opinion on this, maybe it's my “fault”.
  • My morning meditation is a must, so I'm still doing it right after I get up.
  • Sometimes during the day (morning or evening) I do some core work (plank and reverse curl mostly).
  • I go to the gym at least two times a week, as soon as I get off the train, in the evening.
    • I try to apply @Craig's cues on glutes and armpits activation while doing my exercises.
    • I've incorporated some explorative work, like passive hangs (they feel niiiiice!).
  • I've enrolled in a Shiatsu course (first level). Lessons are on Saturday mornings, biweekly; workshops every Thursday evening, right after work.
  • The time spent commuting isn't really wasted if I do something productive: I've resumed reading non-fiction books. I'm not sure it's a good thing for me (I tend to overthink), but I can literally feel the rush of dopamine while I gather knowledge! Ahaha!

That's about it, really. It's not much, but it's not bad either, considering the limited amount of time I have. The only downside is Yoga Nidra: I still have to figure out how to make it fit in the schedule.

Also, I think it would be useful for me to become Craig's student…but probably it's best to wait at least till the end of my Shiatsu course.

Ive come to a realization: since all this well-being related practices are something I feel I need to do for the rest of my life, probably i should think about a way of make some money out of them. It's just a thought, for now. An intimidating one, to be honest.

Thanks for your attention. :)

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5 hours ago, jaja said:

during the shoulder depression exercise I can barely feel the benefit, while at @Dave's workshop it was fantastic; she also tends to slip down. Maybe her weight isn't enough to leave a mark? I'd like some opinion on this, maybe it's my “fault”.

I found out that a good partner, and also the capacity to relax is important in this stretch. If you're not able to relax, there wouldn't be much depression and so you wouldn't feel it as much. Positioning is also crucial, I went from barely feeling anything to really feeling the stretch when some adjustments was made by my partner upon Kit's cueing.

Maybe post a picture or short video of you in the stretch, more helpful that way. 

 

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On 11/19/2017 at 8:07 PM, jaja said:

when she sits on me during the HF stretch, she keep slipping down.


Concerning this: If you're doing the hf stretch at the wall with your girlfriend sitting on you, facing the wall, maybe give her the clue, not to just sit and let her weight push you "down", but to push a bit against you (the direction should be horizontal, away from the wall; she could, for example, push with her feet against the wall or if the distance is too long for that, use some yoga blocks or something on the ground before the wall and let her push against those). This should create enough counterforce to prevent her from slipping down. It will also make the stretch more intensive. In split work you don't want to push down but to go into more length (while being very sensitive to your hips, holding them always square). You can think like: Depth will come by itself if you get the necessary length. But the necessary length will not come as easily if you just push down. You could try it naked too. Skin isn't as slippy as clothes. ;)

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/12/2017 at 11:05 PM, AshwinT said:

I have a deep interest in conscious capitalism so am researching ways to have impact in this space.

Conscious capitalism: this is what Liv and I are engaged in, I believe. @AshwinT: excellent post, thank you.

On 10/14/2017 at 1:09 AM, jaja said:

I also have troubles finding positive people, apparently.

I just re-read this whole thread. This comment from @jaja is key, I feel, as it illustrates a fundamental error in perspective. In my experience, you cannot "find" positive people; they will experience this 'finding' as an energy suck, for the most part. Change can only begin with oneself. When you are positive (and I am not talking about a weekend 'glow' kind of residue from doing a good workshop, as an example) but when you are genuinely positive from the inside, that attracts positive people—no finding necessary.

A teacher I worked with expressed this idea like this: in the process of growing, or trying to grow, the people around you can support you (these are rare) or will consciously or reflexively hold you back. At some point you have to decide which group your friends, family, and colleagues belong to and, this is the important part, simply have very reduced or no contact with the latter group. If you are growing, the people around you will have to either grow too or be left behind. Realistically, this is evolution at the personal scale; there is no way around it.

 

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On 17/12/2017 at 11:37 PM, Kit_L said:

Change can only begin with oneself. When you are positive (and I am not talking about a weekend 'glow' kind of residue from doing a good workshop, as an example) but when you are genuinely positive from the inside, that attracts positive people—no finding necessary.

I agree on this. Yet a question arises by itself “how to be positive?”

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I agree on this. Yet a question arises by itself “how to be positive?”

@jaja: same advice I have been giving you (in multiple forms, and to many others here) since you joined the forums and started posting. You have amply demonstrated that no thought processes will lead to this state—it's like a drunk looking for his keys under a street lamp, though he lost his keys in the park, because the light is under the street lamp. Thinking cannot solve this dilemma, though the mind will insist it can.

This is the advice I have given you many times: stop thinking, and act, with awareness. If the actions do not produce the desired result, assess, recalibrate, and change directions, while still doing, with awareness. This is tinkering, or experimenting.

The direction, "stop thinking" is achieved by dropping the awareness into the abdomen, taking in a deep breath, and breathing out while relaxing completely. Only the multiply repeated experience that results will achieve what you want. You cannot 'stop' your thoughts (in Yoga, some schools claim this will only break your mind; I agree), but you can direct awareness elsewhere. The more you relax, too, the less you will think obsessively. This is why I recommend immersing yourself in the experience of stretching and developing a relaxation/meditation practise. If you are actually experiencing the doing of these things, you will not be trapped in thought.

When you are not trapped in thought, your natural positivity will manifest. If you turn your mind back, you have experienced this in your own life already, many times.

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@jaja for the partner HF stretch, if your partner slips down check that the fabrics you are both wearing aren't the culprit. Also, you could try the partner assist with knee behind your glute plus holding your front leg's hip. See image on FB at https://www.facebook.com/StretchTherapyKitLaughlin/photos/a.1480158905399929.1073741886.314219068660591/1480164218732731/?type=3&theater

 

Sometimes when the stretchee is not able to go very deep into the lunge it's really hard for the stretch to sit on them and not slide.

 

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On 12/20/2017 at 2:49 PM, oliviaa said:

Sometimes when the stretchee is not able to go very deep into the lunge it's really hard for the stretch to sit on them and not slide.

We have seen this often in tight people. Try putting the back leg's knee on a thick support (this will change the thigh angle WRT gravity) or do facing away from a wall and close to it, so your girlfriend can put her feet against the wall/floor and use her quads to stop  the sliding.

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