Couple’s Therapy

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I love Casey Neistat, who doesn’t, right? He has a podcast with his wife Candice called Couple’s Therapy, I am hooked on the podcasts. Although Candice is often being criticized as not being “friendly” on camera, that she’s a spoiled brat with a rich father and a rich husband. (Casey’s net worth is at $12 million as of 2019) Personally, I find her “IDGAF” attitude super attractive and alluring.

Her personality really shines through in their podcasts. It surprises me how honest and open they are with each other on the podcast. I want to talk about this particular episode because it highlights the constant battle between men and women, and I can definitely relate to Candice in this episode.

Candice wanted to start a YouTube channel for her jewellery brand, Billy. Since Casey is the youtube star, it was only natural for Candice to request her husband to create the channel for her, makes sense, right?

Casey has a different plan thou, he thinks she should go through the whole process of learning from scratch, and the videos will be more authentic if she makes the vlogs herself. No one understands her better than herself, and the skill she learnt will become part of her capital.

From Casey’s perspective, it’s definitely a more pragmatic and rational approach. But he forgot women are anything but rational. Candice was put off by her husband unwillingness to help, she was mad.

I can definitely relate to Candice because I thought about a million similar episodes between my husband and myself. I am anything but a weak woman that wants to rely on her husband to do things for her. I don’t need to, but it’s nice to be taken care of occasionally, and men don’t understand that.We definitely struggle a lot in this area, my husband once expressed that he likes me because of how independent I am. He is put off by “needy” women, he’d say. What he fail to realize is that wanting him to do certain things for me doesn’t take my identity away, I am still an independent woman, strip away our biological differences, as regular human beings, it feels nice to do nice things for each other once in a while.

These days society demands women to fit into a certain frame : we must be capable of doing everything for ourselves. As a woman, we may find ourselves constantly battling our natural instinct to be nurtured (like a delicate daisy 😂) , or to take charge and “wear the pants” in the family. I think we can find a balance and be both instead of choosing one or the other. If only our male counterparts can understand that.

Candice later proposed that Casey find someone for her, which is a reasonable request. But Casey insisted she ought to learn it herself 😂 A perfect solution would be, Casey hire someone to teach Candice film making and editing, problem solved !

Distracted

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Image by Lenus.me

Being constantly pulled into multiple directions seems like all we do these days, stimuli often fill in the gaps : whether it’s eating with our screens, listening to podcasts/music when we drive, juggling between a million browsers as we work on our computers…I can go on and on.

On our flight back to Kuching, there was a solo female traveler seated next to us, with a thick book sitting on her lap. Once the seatbelt sign is off, she put the book down, took out a sandwich from her bag, ate her sandwich, cleaned up, and continue reading again. I jokingly mentioned to my husband how the simple ritual of eating differs between this western girl vs us, the Asians, if you go into restaurants and cafes, you will notice alot of Asians tends to eat with the screens infront of them. Either that, or they’d take a million photos of the food untill they become cold and soggy.

Couple of months ago, I forced myself to eat without distraction. Force is a strong word, but that’s how difficult it felt to me. I held on to it for a long time. However, the deeper I got into my prep, the harder it was for me to stick to the ritual, even now, I am still taken aback by how much dieting has impacted my ability to concentrate and stick to my habits, especially towards the last few weeks of my prep. I do thrive on routines and months of habits tracking has built a pretty solid foundation for me, still, I have succumbed to the temptations a few times.

I think setting rules and boundaries for ourselves is so important, even thou these habits may seems frivolous to most, but they can train your discipline and they will add up over time. There are some non-negotiable rules I set for myself daily, such as no screens before 7am (since I wake up at around 5am daily), daily meditation is a must, and I must include a daily 30 minutes, stimuli-free walk outdoor (no podcasts and no music) daily. These small accomplishments serves as daily affirmations for me.

“A lack of self awareness is poison, reflection and review is the antidote.”

“By constant self discipline and self control, you can develop greatness of character.”

“The most powerful control we can ever attain, is to be in control of ourselves.”

An update on Meditation practice

A compilation of my meditation practice back in 2017

When I first started this blog, I wanted to document all things personal development related, at the time, I was in a transition of building new habits, I was inspired after reading the book Digital Minimalism by Dr. Cal Newport, and James Clear’s Atomic Habits.

There were a couple of habits that I wanted to work on, social media addiction is one thing (there will be another update soon), but I want to write about meditation, for I find that it is the backbone of how we can be more aware of our behaviours, thus bettering ourselves in all aspects of our lives.

I am not a stranger to meditation. Back in 2017, I’ve hired an online coach Olivier Goetgeluck. He has prescribed daily meditation practice as part of the training program for me. I believe the Universe knew what I needed then, that’s why I was connected to Olivier. At the time, I had no problem adhering to all the physical training he has prescribed for me, but I struggled with the meditation practice.

I remember how anxious I felt each time I had to start meditating, thoughts were constantly running through my head, it felt as if I was having an anxiety attack, I remember I could barely sit for 3 minutes in the first 1-2 weeks.

I’ve made great progress overtime, I’d meditate for 20-30 minutes atleast 3/4 times a week, sometimes I even took my practice outdoor. I felt so proud of myself, it was even more satisfying that any fitness achievement.

After 6 months with Olivier, I eventually moved back into powerlifting/physique training, I tried to keep up with the practice, but I relapsed. I was doing it very sparingly, until I stopped doing it completely.

Fast forward to March this year, after reading Atomic Habits, meditation was the first habit that I wanted to cement. There are so many helpful tips from the book, but the three main points that has helped me the most was :

Master the art of showing up

Repetitions

Habits Tracking

To summarize the three points as listed above : I only have to show up, duration didn’t matter as much, with that, I’ve gained enough repetitions, which then help the habit stick. I’ve also used bullet journaling to help me stay accountable.

Referring to my blog posts on meditation, I’ve started back in early April, I’ve probably only missed 3-5 days since then. I prefer to do it first thing in the morning, before I even brush my teeth, for 20-30 minutes a day. On days that I have to go out early for work, I simply move it to the end of the day.

It is the single, most powerful tool you can use anywhere, anytime to improve your mental well being, better than any supplementation or medication intervention.

What are the benefits ? I didn’t really care about all the scientific research on meditation, although they may help further convince you to start. What I’ve noticed with myself is that, I am much more aware of my behaviour. Take driving for example, I used to be very hot headed on the road, other drivers used to piss me off easily, not anymore. I use to look for distraction (browsing on the phone…horrible, I know) with every brief stop in between traffic lights, I’ve stopped doing that either…there are many many other examples, but you get the idea.

That doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated and angry. I do, more often than I like. It’s definitely much more easier for me to catch myself thinking certain thoughts, if I feel angry, I would be giving myself a pep talk, :”Why are you angry? It’s not going to help the situation.” By then, I would have already calm down. This has been incredible in terms of managing my emotional intelligence…thou I have to admit, I am forever a work in progress.

That’s the whole point, when we aim to become a better human being, there is no final destination, it’s a constant work in progress.

I will be going for a meditation retreat, probably not as hardcore as 10 days silent retreat, (I just can’t do that to Anya) but a weekend away just to learn to skill would be very beneficial for me. I feel I am finally ready.

And I hope I’ve convinced you to start.