Anirac's journal

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Anirac Morgan replied the topic: Anirac's journal

Trying to figure out a sort of set-up similar to the one Yoshio has, so it will be easy to update often, also including goals and such. It's easier said that done, lol. I'll figure something out though, I usually do when inspiration strikes me. In that way I kind of have an artist soul, I often have to let inspiration hit me whenever I need an assignment or something done. This counts the same, because it has to contain some of my planned work in easily distringuished points, as well as leave room for thoughts and reflection regarding said activity.

It's a fun mini-challenge.

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Johannes (Yoshio) replied the topic: Anirac's journal

Actually the latest layout I use had been presented by Jax to use in the Adept and Knight Training area so that we can make sure to do our weekly or monthly report easily and not missing something. I just modified it slightly so that it fits my needs. If one looks closer, it might be noticeable that “categories” are changing from time to time depending on what I feel is important enough to have its own (sub-)category.

Anyway, have fun and I’m looking forward to your layout!

Qui-Gon Jinn: "We cannot control our emotions, but we can decide how we go along with them."
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Anirac's journal

As Yoshio notes, "... things can change ..."

The PLP is a general layout for things you wish to study or 'do' which will help you along your Path of Discovery... to becoming a Jedi Realist. What may seem 'a good idea' when you first make it out may be the least important after three or six months down the road. The PLP is a map; not the journey so... keep it open enough so you can color outside the lines if you so desire.
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Anirac Morgan replied the topic: Anirac's journal

This applies for yesterday

A link to the mental health forum I do volunteer support in:
www.depressionforums.org/forums/ . If Yoshio, Connor or Jax want my member name there (I've already written a confirmation in my DF profile) please message me. It should be possible to register and check my posts through a shortcut on my profile. Not sure this can be done without registering.

Mental Health support: 20 min

Didn't have a lot of excess energy yesterday, but I stopped by the forum and went through the LGBT subforum. Back when I was a moderator there, this was my main responsibility. It tends to get less replies than the other subforums, so if I don't have a lot of energy I prioritize this one. Posted on two threads that hadn't gotten any other replies. Another habit from my moderating days there was that we aimed to ensure all threads received at least one reply, so nobody would feel ignored or neglected. It was a tough job, considering DF has 80 000 or so members. In any case, the habit still sticks, so I am more likely to reply to a thread that has few or no replies.

JCO Moderating:

As soon as Jax is back I can ask admin to send her a FB message confirming that I moderate in the Jedi Church group. Until then I'll simply post time spent and challenges/experiences along the way. Moderating is fun, but there's the harder days and tougher tasks. Some people respond badly to being moderated, and I've had a bad burn once already during my JCO moderating time. It was actually a bad burn that made me quit moderating in the DF, despite having been moderating for almost 3 years.

Book/Movie:

Other:

So, basically the two upper points are constants, I've been doing those almost every day for a few months already, so might as well have them on top whenever updating my journal. The other category is, well, for anything else. Regarding #3 on my PLP I'll list the title of the book/movie on top, and finish the journal entry with my review/essay on it. Since I am in and out of these upper mentioned forums more times during the day, it'll be easier to either edit at the end of the day, or simply write the journal the day after. But I'll see what works best in this regard. The book/movie point won't be there unless I've actually read a book or movie, but for now I put it in, as an example, as I'm still working on this format. Title up there, review/essay at the end.

Qui-Gon Jinn: "There's always a bigger fish."
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Jax replied the topic: Re:Anirac's journal

Please write a summary of what you learned through these experiences and how it affects your path. That will be sufficient proof at this point. :-)


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Anirac Morgan replied the topic: Anirac's journal

Wow. It's really been 6 months since I was here last?

That's a long, long period of time.

I am trying to continue my Jedi training outside of my main training forum, and escpecially now after I was knighted there. I finally had the time to redirect more energies elsewhere. However, admittedly, I spent some time feeling a little lost afterwards. A little confused about where I really wanted to go from there.

Where did I want to go? What was I to do? How should my training continue?

For a while I just felt a need to train through life, and remove myself from the forums for a bit. My back injury back then complicated things too. Now, this last past 6 months, I feel I have learned a lot. I've progressed. Not sure quite to where, but it doesn't matter all that much, all that matters is where I am right now.

There has been some changes that should be reflected in my learning plan. As I have been absent I won't make a case for the work I've been doing in that regard, but I'll write up how things will be from now on.

Regarding point 5. physioteraphy for shoulder.

This became physioterapy for back. I had a session last week which I'll add here. It was technically my fourth visit, but I'll add only this one.

Actually, I think I have to look into the whole PLP to make sure it correctly reflects my plans from here on and out.

The dates I can throw out the window. Obviously this was made 6 months ago, and I was absent all this time.

Excert from my PLP

Activity 1: Volunteer work at Mental Health Support forum 10 hours (Didn't do, so I am starting now)

Activity 2: Moderating at the JCO on FB (Jedi group) 10 hours (this I've done, but I'll do another 10 hours, because obviously I didn't record them)

Activity 3: Expanded theory studies (ex. comparative religious studies,
philosphy, New Age/Wiccan material)
10 hours

Activity 4: Meditation practice 10 hours

Activity 5: Physiotherapy (for shoulder) 10 hours

Activity 5: Physiotherapy for back + core training/yoga exercises 10 hours


Total Hours = ___50_______

In the core training is included the exercises I've been asked to do and been doing, daily to strengthen my core muscles to aid in recovery and keeping my back healthy. Aka keep the back pains at bay.

Lastly, I apologize for my long absence.

At first it was due to the back injury keeping me away from sitting by the computer, hence I neglected most my training areas at that point. Then when I returned I meant it to be simply while I was undergoing my Knights trials at TotJF, which required a lot of effort and work. Then afterwards I just felt really tired, and had to direct my focus on other things.

I want to get back on track with training now. Here in particular.
This place as a great training program with a good focus on practical application.
So, I'll get my focus back.

Qui-Gon Jinn: "There's always a bigger fish."
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Anirac Morgan replied the topic: Anirac's journal

Physiotherapist session last week (1 hour)

As before, he helped me a lot. What he did was generally just treat the area with heat (made me lie down on a heated jello pad) then massage my lower back. Which really just eliminated the pain. Also, he gave me updated tips on how to proceed with exercise. According to him, I have a very strong back. The problem is that my stomach muscles aren't nearly as strong as those of my back, hence whenever I carry a heavy load or do something demanding physically the back muscles take the entire brunt of the effort, making them worn and painful. So, his new orders were to do sit ups. Lots of them. Now, I really detest sit ups, so I suggested a few other alternatives.
This was okay.

Physical exercise today (half an hour)

I have this new plan I always follow. First this resting stretching position, which has a different name most places called "Childs position" or at least a variant of it. You sit on your knees, then lean down until your forehead rests on the ground, arms lying down along your side, palms up. This stretches the back in a very comfortable way. It's also a stabilizing pose, so I use it after doing counter-poses.

www.yogajournal.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Childs-Pose.jpg

After this I do cat & cow. Which is basically just you standing with knees and palms on the ground, raising the top point of your back, and then lowering it again as you breathe. It's to wake energy in your back, and also it works as preparation for tougher back exercises.

I follow that up with the Cobra. Which is you lying on your stomach, legs flat down, raising your upper body with palms on the ground. Although I do a modifyed version, with instead of on palms, my elbows. Sometimes I'll raise to palms, but not today. It's pretty rough on the back, and I am still kind of skittish.

Then I'll do what's called lying down twist, in directly translated from Norwegian, lol, because I am using a Norwegian guide book. You lie on your back, raise your knees to your stomach, tip them to the side so that your upper body remains straight, while your lower body twists to the side. I straighten out the one leg, making it twist properly. It feels really good when you get a good stretch.

Then I did a few repetitions of this, followed by a Yoga version of sit ups, and going into plank position for a bit, to strengthen my arm muscles.

This usually takes around 30 minutes, it took 25 today.

I'm doing this pretty much every day now, mostly around lunch and sometimes twice a day. Today I didn't do it until the afternoon.

I walked to work today, and I'll be walking home.
Been doing that for the last past weeks, lol. Mostly because I am broke, hence don't want to waste money on a bus ticket. But it's also fairly good exercise.

I haven't been on the JCO for a while, not a lot. I'll get back to it, and update here :)

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Jax replied the topic: Anirac's journal

Thanks for the update! For the JCO hours, you can simply write a summary of what you have learned from the prior hours. That is sufficient for documentation.

Do you do cat cow on the floor? I usually prefer that, but it works things differently. You might find it is a good one to add, as well as thread the needle. I am still building up to a consistent practice. Babies make consistency challenging. lol
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Anirac Morgan replied the topic: Anirac's journal

I do cat &cow on the floor, yes. Also, I tighten my stomach muscles while doing it, which presses the back up automatically. It's not instructed in the book, but it's for stomach muscle training. At least a little bit :P

I haven't seen an exercise called thread the needle, what do you do? Might be in my book under a different name or of a different variant.

Lol, yes, babies do have that effect :P
Always figured if I get one 'll have to make the yoga into playtime. Kid can lie there and watch and I can make funny sounds while entertaining it with funny movements.

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Anirac Morgan replied the topic: Anirac's journal

What I have learned moderating

Being a moderator is definitely a challenging task. Part of that challenge comes from new members who don’t know the rules, and some of it comes from other factors. I joined the JCO in late 2012, became a moderator early 2014. I loved the idea of what the JCO was. Part of the challenge this last past year, and part of what I’ve learned through moderating, has been accepting change. I remember a conversation between me and one of the old admins in the early days of my moderating there, how he mused about how the JCO would inevitably change, and my stubborn reassurances that it would not. We would keep it as it was, and it would always be what it was because we could make it so. I was enthusiastic and fresh, and very naïve. The only constant is change; everything is fleeting, everything is lines in the sand. This last year there has been some changes, and some of these have been difficult to accept. I had to learn to let go of what was, so I could effectively work with what is. JCO isn’t exactly the same as it was when I first joined, when I first began moderating there. New faces, new ways of doing things and with that it has changed. It is not so far from where it was, but far enough so I have struggled keeping up the work I’ve been doing there. Learning acceptance is vital in most things, particularly when it comes to our attachments which come in many forms.

Another lesson I have had to face through my moderating has been accepting reality instead of adhering to ideals and judging others accordingly. I have had an idealized view of what a moderator is, what he or she does. I will hold myself and my fellow moderators to a much higher standard than I would anyone else. Almost unfairly so! This last year there has been some disappointments. Because of my somewhat unfair view of who we should be as admin and moderators, sometimes people fall short. Sometimes I fall short. This particularly applies when these people are Jedi Knights and Masters. I put them on a pedestal and expect them to sit comfortably there. I wasn’t aware before how much I do this, and how it cause disappointments for myself when people fail to live up to the ideal I turn them into. When I first joined the JCO I was a fresh youngling, hence it was not all that hard to impress me or earn my respect. Some of my issue this last past year, particularly in moderating, has been experiencing other sides of people I respect and has been looking up to. You sit in the back room, you get a different view. You have to accept that these people are people and hence have their own struggles to fight, their own weaknesses. It’s easy to feel disappointed and fail to understand. To me, a moderator puts the community first, above your own individual desires and needs. You act as a diplomat with respect for others, communicate well and do what is in the best interest of the community as a whole, as well as protect individuals if they are being harassed or wrongly treated. I’ve seen some things I consider wrongdoings, and I’ve seen things been covered up that should have earned a disciplinary reaction. I’ve been faced with having to either rock the boat and cause a disturbance or having to step aside and simply accept because there’s not much to do about the issue. I’ve had to tread carefully in the waters and really pick my battles wisely. Some battles have been necessary and been resolved, others have simply caused trouble and I’ve had to readjust.

Lately people have been bending a few rules. Where they should act as moderators, as Jedi, I see people acting based on their own personal agenda. People who have failed to remain objective and act according to their moderator responsibilities, and I have judged it rather harshly. I’ve had to avoid falling into cynicism, to think that it won’t matter regardless what effort is put into something. And I’ve had to take a closer look at myself and the demands I sit with. I still hold to my ideals, but I’ve definitely had to take a more realistic approach to things. Learned to be more understanding, less harsh in my judgments. More gracious in how I view people. Also, I really detest conflict. Part of my interest in moderating has been my liking for making things peaceful, for settling things. Giving a service in the shape of helping to keep an environment good and comfortable for people. Sometimes, unfortunately, in order to do that you have to take up an issue and deal with it. You can’t run away from every confrontation, and there will be confrontations when you moderate. The key is how you handle it, but even when I’ve been as diplomatic as I know how to be, picked my words like I was writing some kind of master’s degree, even then sometimes things have spiraled. I’ve had to learn to accept that sometimes delivery and intention isn’t enough, sometimes you can’t reach people even if you really want to. Sometimes people have to learn and accept things for themselves, and part of being a moderator means being stern when you need to be.

Which is where my insecurity issues have at times been a problem, as I’ve been hesitant to press an issue if someone I consider more experienced has a different view. However, we can all make mistakes. Youngling or master, what I’ve learned in my moderating is that everyone makes mistakes; everyone steps outside the line at times. And people can react in a volatile manner despite whatever words you use; you cannot always predict how someone will react. Being a moderator means sometimes fighting the uncomfortable battles, being honest when you see something that’s problematic and that can be far more difficult than it sounds like. I had to raise an issue against someone well-respected and protected and that was a very intimidating thing to do. On this I was given support by other mods and admins eventually, so I was reassured I was in the right, but it was still very daunting. Personally I’d rather have avoided the situation, but as it had consequences for our members, many of which were new and vulnerable, I felt the only right thing to do was to step up and press the issue. It was difficult, and I felt that self-doubt for days afterwards, but the situation was dealt with and handled.

However, despite accepting that things won't always flow with the current, one particular lesson I think is vital, is how much is in the choice of words. How you chose to present something can make all the difference. I have seen a thread turning to chaos, experienced making it peaceful again with a few well-chosen words, and then had someone cause it to spiral out of control with a thoughtless remark. I’ve had to fight my own resentment at seeing a topic dealt with suddenly turn sour because so many are so careless about how they choose to phrase their messages. I’ve sat there and though; “Geez, how can it be so bloody hard to just treat people with respect and care?!” Those times I have had to take a break to calm myself before getting back to the moderating. Some days it has felt like some people just want to aggravate others so they have an excuse to punish them. People have their weaknesses, and pushing buttons in order to expose these weaknesses instead of treating them with a bit of care, maybe help them learn something, it seems the easy way of provoking people is simply favored over consideration and care, take the difficult route of guiding over the easy way that is pushing people away.

Being a moderator has helped with my confidence and it has made me view things more realistically. It has helped me see a bigger picture of the reality of things. It has definitely helped me grow on the Jedi path. It’s made me aware of some of my own weaknesses and strengths, as well as helped me see others better. It has been an exercise in diplomacy and decision making the entire way. I have learned a lot about my own nature, maybe particularly my shadow side. How easily I can get frustrated with people, and how I can get very judgmental when it comes down to it. Because I do expect a lot from some people, and far less from others, and I can be equally as harsh as I can be forgiving. Awareness is the first step towards change. It’s when we are pressed that we easier find understanding of our own nature.

Onwards, I am unsure if I wish to continue moderating. Part of that is due to the change of nature I feel has been ongoing. Part of it is my need to continue growing and I am unsure if this is the best way to do so. I stepped back a lot the last period of time, and although I continue to watch and help out, I feel in a way that this part of my journey might be drawing to an end. It might be time to put my energy and time in other things.

Qui-Gon Jinn: "There's always a bigger fish."
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