Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Week 4 of the No Diet Diet

Bright Owl Kite

This is a rather long posting so I'll start with a reminder that tomorrow is giveaway day here to celebrate my 3rd blogiversary - do come and comment then - the comments on that posting will be open from tomorrow and then over the whole weekend.

This No Diet Diet is really helping me to notice a whole load of habits I didn't know I had and to break out of the habitweb. The outcome most of the time is one of great good feeling, bliss even. In fact I can tell when I've got stuck on a strand of the habitweb by the fact that a gloom settles upon me - it is very strong feedback - it would be more useful if instead I got highly motivated to break free and do something different but at least I do have a signal so, provided I stay conscious enough of how I'm feeling, I'm okay. But the being conscious part is, of course, the challenge.

This week I have done plenty of different things. Not quite in the order I'd planned but as I chose that order I also felt free to alter it.
  • LISTEN - I did indeed attempt to listen to other people more... not always easy... Jim's brother came with his sons so I got more people time than I'd expected... I also made a point of talking (and listening) to strangers when out.

  • CREATE - I covered one of my journals - I got some holographic sticky stuff - prized off the boring grey covers and covered them with this purple - when I reattached them I also attached some bookmarks - I've never had bookmarks fixed to my journal before but I like them! The sticky stuff on the outside though exceedingly pretty hasn't been quite such a success as it makes the covers harder to turn... and that's despite the hours I spent repunching the holes... I've not used this sticky back plastic stuff much since having to cover books at school so I had all the fun of re-learning how it does indeed like to stick to everything, and how easy it is to make bubbles that are hard to smooth out!

    I also made a new pudding - Chocomole - recipe and brilliant write up of it from Jason Mrant - I was planning to feed this to our visiting nephews but they ate out instead so I've more than I meant to have... it is a surprisingly yummy mousse-like pudding - just a little too sweet for me, though without any added glucose. Its an uncooked mixture of guacamole, dates and cocoa, plus a few other ingredients, and it works really well.

  • ACTIVITY - Every year Bristol has a kite festival but I'd never been to it before. We had a great chat with the owner of this crab kite (my favourite of the festival). He told us that although he and his wife do make their own kites this one was bought and though he didn't say exactly how much he'd paid for it he hinted that it was several thousand pounds!

    Crab reaching for the sky!

  • CHANGE - Jim and I changed the kitchen around a little - he put up some new shelves - I then did the rearranging. I also rearranged the mantlepiece in the dining room - I like the idea of changing that frequently as its the focal point of the room.

  • WALK - I did quite a lot of walking - most days I've been out for walks other than just those required to go down to the shops. I've spotted all sorts of things going on locally that I'd otherwise have missed. For instance:

    I was amazed to see this little digger perched up on the steep front garden and the much bigger digger in the street. I wish I'd seen how they got the little digger into position... the big digger didn't look big enough to actually have put it there.

  • LEARN - I had planned to learn more about my mobile.... but instead I tried understanding more about the I Ching - after all its the book of Changes. Its interesting in many ways because it really is a completely different mindset that is behind it and the concept that everything is in flux is a very useful one to be reminded of... even if, as an oracle, I've no idea what its suggesting!

  • STAND - I've really found that I can keep active a lot more than I would have... this is a particularly tricky one for someone with a history of M.E. but the only time I did overdo things this week was going to the kite festival and I'm pleased to say I recovered from that quite quickly. (Unlike the balloon festival a few weeks ago - it took me several days to recover from my one day there...)
There was also an instruction in the No Diet Diet to do two new things from their list of twenty-six. I did these:
  • Listen to something different - I listened to the Beatles - I've never really been into them but it turned out I could sing along and it was fun!
  • Clean something you wouldn't normally - I must remember that cleaning is much more satisfying than I think it is!
This week involves being more conscious along specific dimensions. These are:
  1. Self-responsibility
  2. Awareness
  3. Balance
  4. Fearlessness
  5. Conscience
  6. Emotional Intelligence
  7. Social Intelligence
The idea is that each day one thinks about the day's dimension - the book explains what they mean by them and gives examples - then one picks a person and a situation and one attempts to actively, and consciously, be more aware, fearless or whatever, with that person and in that situation on that day. The key here is to be really conscious of what one is thinking, saying and doing.

And today, being self-responsibility, I'll have to admit straight out that they, of the No Diet Diet, are very anti-fate and luck. Never mind, although I am not, I still think one should act as though one has freewill. Which reminds me, I found that the writer of Wyrd Allies, Tom Graves, has a blog. I very much liked his take on fate and choice. My first comment on his blog, in response to his posting on English negativity, seems to have backfired... my attempt to "cheer him up" seems to have been a real aggravation to him, oh dear. It seems that my habit of cheering people up is another thing I need to look at... it is a typically English reaction to negativity so I expect I was indeed just being habitually cheerful instead of sufficiently understanding. And then I felt upset by his response... so I got defensive... oh dear, oh dear... not a good start to this week!

Yesterday I lucked out in the charity shops and got a couple of very interesting looking books, complete with left-in bookmarks: one is on Australian Aborigine culture - with a wonderful Irish postcard left inside it, and the other on the Zen of travel with a rather sad bank mini-statement from 2003 left in it - they were in the red but only because of bank charges!

I also got a newish dictionary to replace my falling to bits one.

Some people use coins to do I Ching readings however this is meant to give an inappropriately high ratio of changing lines, compared to the traditional method using yarrow stalks. The marble method, however, is designed to preserve this traditional ratio (I've not checked, I'm taking that on trust at the moment) and it involves 16 marbles of 4 different colours: 1 (for transforming yin); 3 (for transforming yang); 5 (for yang) and 7 (for yin). (I've just found quite a good write-up of the marble method here.)

One of the things that I attempted to do whilst doing a "reading" was to let my own images come to me. I got these:
  • A person running late, too late to take a photo before dark.

  • A bicycle parked in front of a closed gate before a wood.
I just hope these mean more to some other part of me than they do to my conscious self - though as I write this I'm beginning to get some ideas and as I don't like them they are probably right... oh dear... something about being too rushed to understand clearly.... more speed (the bicycle) would be available if I didn't rush... then I'd be able to get through the gate and see the forest and the trees... hmm... all too true.... oh dear...

If you want to do an I Ching reading on-line this is good site.


Anonymous said...

What fun kites!
Pretty new journal cover too, Caroline - I love the idea of a journal having built-in bookmarks too. I may have to try making some.

I'm sorry that person was grumpy with you for being positive - especially considering they were grumping about negative attitudes... I like your positively cheerful comments!

andrea said...

I love kites. Used to do a lot with kites when I was a teacher (even wrote/illustrated a book). You have been an industrious and reflective beaver haven't you? You are a wise user of time. Whenever I have some to myself I mostly just deflate. :)

soulbrush said...

how fast the weeks fly, and what a lot of innovative ideas and new beginnings for you and your hubby.

Caroline said...

Tinker - thank you! I'm currently in need of cheering up with regard to those comments so its very kind of you to say that.

Andrea - I'd forgotten about you and kites - I know you mentioned it in the past - I can imagine that when teaching its a wonderful activity mixing design and fun!

Maybe you deflate because you need a rest?

Soulbrush - yes a whole week passed between posts for me - I was a bit too busy to be on-line so much! It was fun. Sorry I didn't visit you so often, you are such a frequent poster its hard to keep up!

Ellen said...

It sounds like the No Diet Diet has become an interesting exploration into many aspects of your life. And the images that came to you while reading are so illustrative. Beyond any personal connections, they certainly would make great beginnings for short stories (I do like my stories.)

Caroline said...

Ellen - yes it certainly has - I feel like the exploration is well worth it with or without any weight loss (though I would prefer it with!)