In this blog I will not be continuing chronologically with the topic of my previous blog of redefining ignorance – this will be continued at a later time. The reason for this is that a fascinating point came up today.
Normally, my coffee drink of choice is a cappuccino. I have been drinking cappuccino’s regularly for a couple years or so now. The reason I like them is because I don’t like to put sugar in my coffee – I find it defeats the point. So basically, I justified the cappuccino addiction (as I just saw today that it was in fact an addiction) by saying to myself that I did it to make drinking coffee a little easier, since I don’t take sugar.
As a result, having a cappuccino was something that I saw as my daily ‘treat’, while at the same time I justified this habit/dependency that I had created because it was my way of getting coffee, which I have defined as a good thing, because it helps me focus and do work and blah blah blah.
What I really was not seeing was how this habit was affecting me. I mean, it seems innocent enough, right? The last few days I had been noticing how difficult it was to study, do work and generally focus myself, specifically with things that really matter that need to get done. I would even set very specific and attainable goals for myself for my days, and I just couldn’t stick to what I had planned. I was becoming frustrated with my inability to focus myself and be effective/directive in my daily activities. Sometimes, because of this there will then be side effects where I will do other things/other behaviors will arise to compensate for this. Within this state of being unfocused and in a kind of haze, without realizing it, I was beginning to accept it as my normal state of being, like this is who I am, and this is where the tendency to overcompensate comes in, where I would find ways to become overzealous or ‘psyche myself up’ for my daily activities. I would sometimes become frustrated because it is like I am aware on some level that there is something wrong with me, and yet I was not conscious of what it was at all, and therefore helpless to do anything about it.
Then today, at one point I really felt lost, because I had already had my daily cappuccino, and yet, I just couldn’t focus at all. I felt lost. So I got up and went to the local coffee bar. For whatever reason, I decided to try something new. I wanted a black coffee. This was really interesting because I’m not really sure what the motivation was, other than the appeal of a black coffee being cheaper than a cappuccino. What I had chosen, I didn’t realize, actually turned out to be an espresso. I noticed and had a slight experience of feeling disappointed when I took my coffee and it felt so light lol. But then I gulped down the expresso and went back home. When I got home I decided to study Thai language. As usually, when studying, there were moments of distraction, but I didn’t latch on to them. I stayed the course and studied. The determination that I had all day long as my intent, suddenly had a stronger resolve in performance. I studied quite well and ended up memorizing 10 words that I had previously been struggling with. Then after studying, I was onto the next point, and then the next, and the next. Within all of this, my focus was much better than it been in some time. It was really cool. Six hours later now, the espresso caffeine has worn off for the most part, and yet the focus is still better than it has been in the last few days.
A few key insights I have realized with regards to health and diet are: the mental relationship and the relationship we have to the experience of eating food is paramount. From my perspective, it is this relationship that really plays a crucial role in whether or not foods are healthy for us. Why do I not overeat tons of sugar which could have a detrimental effect on my health? I simply don’t have that kind of strong, positively charged relationship to those kinds of sugary foods that would create an addiction which would cause me to eat past the point of when the body is saying ‘enough’. From what I can tell, the human body functions quite well on it’s own – it is the mental relationship that we develop to foods and things in our world that fucks up what the body would normally otherwise regulate and manage effectively. In this way, it is interesting how one food (or activity, for that matter) may be a problem for one person, while it may totally not affect another person in any negative way whatsoever. That’s why it is sometimes foolish to make blanket statements about the health/food/nutrition.
What is interesting about this addiction is that it was very insidious. It had become most detrimental, purely by virtue of it being a habit, by it becoming normalized, and therefore, unquestionable (or at least very difficult to question with clarity). This point speaks volumes to the way we as human beings live and exist in general – existing in insidious habits and patterns, their lethality being by virtue of the fact that we have just always done things in such a way. This is the main point to take away from this experience. What other habits/patterns have I been overlooking and justifying with ‘a grain of truth and reason’ that it is for a better/higher cause/purpose? I will, in my personal journal, list all such points that I am aware of or suspect.
Furthermore, this point has clearly been holding me back from being effective with other points, so it is interesting to see how sometimes we are trying to correct a point and see that we are unable to, and sometimes need to step back and not obsess/fixate ourselves, so that we can take a look at the bigger picture and consider things outside of our initial frame of mind. It is sometimes surprising to see how when we deal with something that we may have otherwise normally overlooked, we end up finding the key to other things that we are well aware of require a change. It usually always tends to be these things that we take for granted and resist giving up. Like many other addictions/habits/patterns I’ve dealt with, this one, by the end of it’s time, did very little for me. The pleasure I perceived to get from it was very little, and more by virtue of the habit than the actual experience. It just gave me a nice little feeling – but at what cost?