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  1. I'm still at it. Mostly passive forcing. I am moving to Shanghai in a few hours so these last few days have been hectic. I will return to the forum once I'm more settled.
  2. Just a very quick update: I have not been able to actively force for the past three days. It's been insane with the move! I have been passively forcing, though, but have not managed much progress. Tomorrow I will be re-starting my daily active forcing sessions, and will try to post about it.
  3. SESSION 10 - PERSONALITY FORCING (35 MINS + 50 MINS) Once again, I wasn't able to post after yesterday's session. I took some notes, as usual, which I will be using to write this report. I expect that this post will be quite long, so please make yourself comfortable and enjoy the ride. Setting: I forced this session twice, first for about 35 minutes and, afterwards, for 50 minutes. The reason for this will be further explained at the end of this post, in the section entitled "Finishing notes". Nevertheless, the setting was the same in both instances. I laid down in my bed with my eyes closed, while listening to my electric fan. I also followed Vampire's advice and set an alarm for 90 minutes, which worked quite well. Theme: The trait that inspired this session was "Polite". There are two main reasons why I chose it. First of all, the last few sessions have felt quite content heavy to me, causing me to feel a bit burned out. Thus, I wanted to pick a more lighthearted topic. Politeness is something inherent to my own personality, so I have an easier time explaining it, and coming up with examples to illustrate it. Secondly, politeness is extremely important in Japan. It's not only the norm here, but ingrained in our culture and completely pervasive in our society. Therefore, I wanted to introduce it to Mariko early on, in hopes that she would make a habit out of it. Truthfully, she has come across as extremely well-mannered since the beginning. Even so, I saw no harm in encouraging her intrinsic politeness. I started by defining politeness as behavior that is respectful and considerate of other people. Then, I described to the best of my ability how a polite person might act in different circumstances. This description turned out to be an introduction to the keywords that I went on to cover shortly after. In fact, it's not the first time that this has happened. More often than not, I end up prefacing the chosen keywords, and sometimes even summarizing what I go on to describe in more detail later. Consequently, I am thinking of readjusting the outline that I've been using to guide my sessions, in an attempt to make it less redundant. I moved on to explain that, while most people will highly appreciate politeness, some might perceive it as an unnecessary formality. Additionally, some people might see it as a sign of elitism, or a desire to maintain a certain distance. Believe it or not, in some cultures, it's considered disrespectful to be too polite to your immediate family and close friends! I divided the concept of politeness into the following keywords: (1) Awareness; (2) Appropriateness; (3) Gentleness; (4) Agreeableness; (5) Display of Interest; (6) Etiquette. These are all so strongly interconnected that I sometimes had trouble deciding where one ended and the next began. However, I think that this struggle might actually have been a positive sign. Let me attempt to explain why. My goal is to paint a complete and accurate picture of each trait, in as much detail as possible. Only then will Mariko be able to make an informed decision about which traits she would like to incorporate into her personality. That being so, each trait should feel like a unit, instead of a series of keywords. In conclusion, the fact that it was hard for me to completely separate each of the topics seems to indicate that I did a good job of conveying the big picture. My approach to the first keywords consisted of an explanation of how different settings require different standards of formality. I made it clear than, more often than not, it is those same standards that define what is considered polite in each case. I also told Mariko that, as a result, it is imperative that she remains aware of her surroundings at all times, as well as the expectations that go with them. Afterwards, I tried to explain how she should respond to each situation appropriately. I urged her to listen, and to respond thoughtfully and at an appropriate volume. I made a case against being sarcastic or too casual. I vouched for the importance of always greeting people, carefully describing the best ways to do so. I also advised her never to forget using the "magic words": excuse me, please and thank you. Moreover, I explained that she should keep her hands to herself and not touch others, unless they had shown the initiative to touch her first. Further advice included never letting on that you know more about someone than you should; not ignoring the elephants in the room; and not partaking in gossip. I then introduced Mariko to the concept of gentleness, making a point of clearly distinguishing it from meekness. I let her know that she should always be considerate of other people's needs and opinions, and that she should avoid putting any unnecessary pressure on those around her. I also instructed her not to be too insistent with her questions and offers, and to back off should someone show that they are uncomfortable. Next, I made Mariko aware of the necessity for always being courteous to everybody. I explained that she might meet them again in another setting, and that she wouldn't want to have caused negative memories that could potentially give her a bad standing. Furthermore, I recommended against getting into arguments with people, even when they annoy or insult her. I urged her to always remain graceful and charming, and to never make derogatory remarks. We also went over some efficient strategies for diffusing disagreements, such as politely debating; agreeing to disagree and changing the subject, or excusing yourself from the conversation. After this, we moved on to the topic of small-talk. I started by telling Mariko that it is very considerate to at least look interested in those around us. As such, I instructed her to start a conversation by asking questions about whoever she is addressing, and to listen attentively to their answers. I advised her against monopolizing the conversation and talking about herself too much, explaining that others will ask for more information if they are interested. In order to avoid any awkwardness, I encouraged her to always remember people's names, and to politely laugh on cue. Lastly, Mariko and I went over different types of etiquette, including dinner etiquette, the correct protocol of introducing people, and the appropriate way to answer the phone. Once again, I explained that manners vary depending on cultural regions, and urged Mariko to learn about these differences before travelling. Finishing notes: [align=justify] As you might have been able to guess, the reason why I forced this particular session twice is that I feel asleep the first time. This is a problem that has been afflicting me since the very beginning, but I was hoping to have it under control within 10 session. As such, I felt extremely disappointed in my persistent inability to stay awake. I confided these feelings in my husband, who suggested redoing the session. In case you are wondering, my husband is fully aware and wholeheartedly supportive of my attempts to create a tulpa. His advice proved to be quite helpful, since my second session went extremely well. I am considering forcing with my eyes open as a desperate measure to fight my tendency to fall asleep. Therefore, I'd love to hear from people who have a habit of forcing this way. As I mentioned earlier in this post, personality forcing has started to burn me out. Moreover, it has been increasingly difficult for me to decide which characteristic to force each session. The reason for this is that the personality traits that I've already forced are extremely interwoven with the remaining traits in my list. As a result, it feels to me that Mariko and I have already covered most of them, when in reality we've only looked into 9! While I am not willing to give it up personality forcing, I am considering a few strategies that might help. One possibility is to simply introduce a mid-week rest day, in addition to Sundays. Another possibility is to alternate active forcing days with passive forcing days. Until now, I have been actively and passively forcing every day, but my main focus has always been on active forcing. Since I struggle with passive forcing and, therefore, need to practice it more often, this strategy might be the most suitable. Please let me know if you have any alternative suggestions! During this session, Mariko might have exhibited a small independent reaction. While quickly reviewing all the traits that we have forced so far, I jokingly commented on how she seemed to embody all of them, except for curiosity. To my amusement, she replied to this by acting mock offended. However, I am not completely sure that this response wasn't parroted by me. My confusion stems from the fact that I never intentionally parrot Mariko's actions or responses. Indeed, I've found that I am more comfortable with her silence than with putting words in her mouth. Nevertheless, I believe that it is possible that I sometimes parrot her without meaning to. As you can see, I am very confused. Please let me know if you have any advice that might help me. I am also very interested in knowing people's opinions on parroting. Is it essential to the development of a tulpa? Should I start actively doing it? I feel somewhat obliged to inform this community that will be temporarily moving to China at the end of the month. After checking the internet, it seems that this forum is not blocked by the Chinese authorities. However, my free-time will dramatically decrease after my move. This might be reflected in both the length and the frequency of my posts. I will still do my best to update my progress report on a daily basis, but it might not be possible sometimes. Likewise, my average of 1000 words/session might be drastically shortened. While keeping such a detailed journal has been invaluable to me in terms of developing my tulpa and improving my English writing skills, I fear that it isn't sustainable in the long-run. Should I suddenly vanish for a period of time, please know that I will not have given up on Mariko. [/align]
  4. SESSION 09 - PERSONALITY FORCING (45 MINS) This post refers to yesterday's session, during which I had very lukewarm results. I didn't begin forcing until after midnight and, therefore, had no time to write this post afterwards. However, I took some quick notes, which I'll be using to guide me now. Setting: I did not try anything new this time. Indeed, I simply laid down in my bed with my eyes closed, while listening to my electric fan. I had an extremely lazy day yesterday so, despite it being very late, I didn't feel sleepy at all during the session. I was supposed to follow Vampire's advice and set an alarm for a longer period of time than I'd normally force for, but ended up setting it for 45 minutes instead. My aim was to see if I would succeed in pacing myself this way. As it turns out, I didn't. I finished the core part of the session in just over 32 minutes, and spent the remaining time idly chatting with Mariko. I have no idea why I am unable to force for 45 minutes these days. Likewise, I am not sure if my shorter sessions mean that I'm becoming more efficient in my communication with Mariko, or if I'm simply rushing through the contents. I also noticed that it is quite hard to talk to a developing tulpa for more than a few minutes without a specific topic in mind. Theme: The topic for this session was the trait "Committed". I was inspired to chose it by a few people that I've recently met in the tulpa community. Initially, the people in question seemed very motivated to create their first tulpa, but they quickly lost their initial enthusiasm and gave up. I was surprised and a little disappointed in their surrender. Strangely enough, it also caused me to become even more motivated in my pursuits. In the end, I thought it was time to teach Mariko the value of unshakable commitment. I started by defining commitment as faithful dedication to someone or something. Afterwards, I briefly described a committed person's typical worldview and core values, as well as their most likely behavior in different situations. I took the time to explain the importance of being selective in our commitments, in order to avoid over-committing. I also made it clear that there are different levels of commitment, ranging from simple interest to full investment. Next, I reinforced the impossibility of universally pleasing those around us. I achieved this by informing Mariko that, even though the ability to wholeheartedly commit is usually perceived as an admirable trait, there will always be those who criticize others for it. That being said, people are definitely more likely to have an issue with whatever we chose to commit to than to simply shame us for taking our commitments seriously. Moving on, I tried to figure out how commitment might influence one's likes and dislikes. However, I quickly realized that, while a committed mindset will certainly help us stick to a new hobby or resolution, it will seldom influence our interests. To approach this topic on a deeper level, I chose the following keywords: (1) Mindset; (2) Passion & Purpose; (3) Self-confidence; (4) Planning & Prioritizing; (5) Time Management; (6) Accountability. I was very careful in my selection of these, for I wanted to be able to apply them to different types of commitments. As it is, they are relevant to both "all-in" and scaled commitments of different natures, from romantic relationships to work and leisure activities. As you might have noticed, the topics of mindset and accountability made their second appearance, having been used to describe curiosity and forgiveness respectively. Additionally, passion and self-confidence might end up being forced as individual characteristics. I used my journey with tulpamancy to illustrate every keyword. First, I highlighted how important it is to decide at a core level to hold nothing back in the pursuit of our objectives, and to not let anything stand on our way to success. I also explained that the right mindset encompasses a readiness to sacrifice wholly. Then, I defined passion as what motivates us to canalize our raw and unrestrained dedication to something, and purpose as the real meaning behind our passions. Next, I emphasized the importance of not doubting our potential, and the benefits of eliminating "can't" from our vocabulary. After that, I spent a long time covering how to draw a plan of action, starting with nailing down exactly what we want and figuring out how and when we're going to achieve it. To this effect, I stressed how indispensable it is to decide how much time and energy we want to spend, as well as the importance of preparing for eventual set-backs. I encouraged Mariko to be ruthlessly selective about what she works on and what she ignores. I also taught her to set specific and achievable daily or weekly goals, and advised her to periodically evaluate her progress. Moving on, we reached the topic of time management, in which we covered how to set an appropriate pace to avoid burning out, as well as the value of establishing a good work-ethic and creating good habits. We also discussed different strategies to focus on what's important while avoiding distractions and procrastination. Lastly, we focused on the subject of accountability. I approached it by telling Mariko that there are three main reasons why people quit: (1) Perfectionism; (2) Lack of faith; (3) A history of failures. Then, I explained how these are all connected, and how important it is that we push through when our enthusiasm starts to fade. Finally, we talked about some motivation strategies such as pep-talks; joining a community of like-minded people; and avoiding complaining and making excuses. Finishing notes: During this session, I experienced some intrusive thoughts. These continually disturbed the session and ultimately had a negative impact on its results. Please let me know if you have any advice on how to fight them. It seems that the more you try to ignore them the stronger they become. In the meantime, I will try not to become unnerved by the possibility of their return. Something tells me that the more we fear them, the more powerful they become. Mariko and I have read almost half of Shipwrecks. However, I am not very happy with our overall reading experience. Maybe I should begin by saying that I am a massive bookworm: books are among my favorite things in the entire world. As such, it is very easy for me to lose myself in a story. No matter how hard I try, I stop sending thoughts to Mariko as soon as I start visualizing the landscapes and plots described in the book. I am honestly surprised by how hard it is to share a novel with a tulpa, but refuse to let myself be discouraged by it. If anyone who likes to read to their tulpa reads this, please share your tips and tricks.
  5. WEEKLY REVIEW 01 (06.14.17 - 06.20.17) After re-reading this week's progress reports, I've noticed the following things: [align=justify] This has been an amazing journey of self-discovery and personal improvement. I've adjusted my methods often. I've established Sundays are rest days, and Tuesdays as review days. Sleepiness is a constant problem while active forcing. I am slowly getting better at passive forcing. I've had some degree of success while browsing the web, watching TV and reading a book. Fluctuations in my the ability to feel Mariko's presence and visualize her are quite common. We've achieved some very exciting milestones: (1) Deciding on her name; (2) Deciding on a temporary form; (3) Feeling a brief emotional response - happiness; (4) Establishing physical contact - touching, hugging, hand holding, etc ; (5) Discerning her opinion on something; (6) Feeling her presence around me. Additionally, though unlikely, Mariko might have briefly spoken already. It is easier to imagine Mariko teleporting than walking side-by-side with me. Mariko's independence is currently proportional to my degree of tiredness. Mariko and I are bonding very well. My feelings for her are growing exponentially. All in all, I am extremely pleased with the way things are going! I believe we are making good progress while pacing ourselves, and see a lot of potential in our developing relationship. I would like to thank everyone who has been reading this report. Knowing that there are people following our progress keeps me highly motivated. Please don't be shy to leave your comments and suggestions. ♥ [/align]
  6. Hi Vampire! It's very nice to hear from you again! I'll follow your suggestion during today's session. I think it has the potential to solve my problem. I'll review how it went in my next progress report. It's a relief to know that I am not alone in experiencing teleportation. It's encouraging too, since it indirectly confirms that Mariko and I are making good progress. Thank you for reading my posts! My experience with tulpamancy has been amazing so far, and this community has had much to do with it. Among other things, it has taught me to take my time and really enjoy every step of the way, instead of worrying about reaching a specific destination. Please stop by more often, it is always enlightening to read other people's advice.
  7. SESSION 08 - PERSONALITY FORCING (40 MINUTES) [align=justify]Setting: I tried to do a few things differently this session. First of all, I decided to sit instead of laying down, in an attempt to prevent sleepiness. However, since it was very hard for me to find a comfortable position, this quickly proved to be an ineffective strategy. My brain kept choosing to focus on my physical discomfort, rather than on the session itself. I gave up after a few minutes, and resumed forcing in my usual position. Secondly, I didn't listen to a Youtube video this time. Instead, I turned on my electric fan, whose humming I find very relaxing. This way, I actually killed two birds with one stone: I listened to a noise that helped me concentrate while also controlling the boiling temperature of my room! On a totally different note, I'm starting to question my decision of not setting an alarm for my sessions. Initially, I thought that it was counterproductive, as I often wondered how much time I had left. However, not having an alarm is causing me to force for slightly shorter periods of time. It has another drawback too: I don't have something to wake me up should I unwillingly fall asleep! All in all, it seems that I still haven't found the perfect solution to this problem. I will keep searching for different strategies to face this obstacle. Suggestions are much appreciated.[/align] Theme: This session was centered on the trait "Perceptive", which I described as the capacity to understand and figure things out. I followed my usual routine of explaining how a perceptive person might act, attempting to provide a few relevant examples along the way. However, I am quickly discovering that I lack imagination, as I often struggle to come up with appropriate scenarios to describe trains of thought and courses of action! Thankfully, Mariko is very patient with me, and even seems to find this somewhat endearing. I was much better at figuring out what type of activities might appeal to a perceptive mind. These include, but are not limited to, people watching, puzzle solving, and detective stories! As usual, I also described different ways in which people might react to someone else's perceptiveness. I emphasized the impossibility to please everyone and explained that, therefore, there will always be someone who dislikes a certain personality trait, no matter how desirable it might seem. In this particular case, some will likely find perceptiveness to be an extremely useful characteristic, since it can be applied in different environments and to different aims, from problem solving to conflict resolution. Nevertheless, others might find it somewhat unnerving. Moving on, I drew Mariko's attention to the fact that, as host and tulpa, we are in a very privileged position. Indeed, once she becomes fully sentient, we will be able to access each other's thoughts and feelings at a very deep level, a level which is completely unattainable between human beings. As such, it is important that we develop the habit of reading each other, as well as figuring out how we can best understand and fulfill each others' needs. I broke down perceptiveness into the following keywords: (1) Observation; (2) Non-Verbal Cues; (3) Perceptive Listening; (4) Deduction & Critical Thinking; (5) Intuition. Before I dived into each of these topics, I let Mariko know that, in the future, we will likely force a few personality traits that are indispensable to the development of a perceptive mind. These include Observant and Intuitive. I further explained that, even though we would start discussing them today, our analysis would be relatively shallow. I reduced the process of observation to the following steps: awareness, curiosity and focus. Additionally, I encouraged Mariko to use all her senses when accessing a situation, and to pay attention to the tiniest of details. We talked about different non-verbal cues such as body language, facial expressions and posture. I am admittedly not the best at reading this type of signals, but promised to help Mariko learn more about them if she so desired. Next, I differentiated between four kinds of listening: passive, selective, active and perceptive. I explained that perceptive listening will always provide her with the most amount information available in any given circumstance, and prompted her to practice it whenever possible. I tried to convey the benefits of maintaining a certain distance when looking to remain objective, as well as the risks of jumping to conclusions. Lastly, I gently coaxed her into getting in touch with her intuition by, among other things, noticing her body's reactions and paying attention to sudden feelings. Finishing notes: [align=justify] It's our one week anniversary! Indeed, Mariko and I were very excited once we realized that we started forcing her exactly one week ago. In order to celebrate, we will start a small project tonight: reading our first book! I've selected Shipwrecks, by Akira Yoshimura, mostly due to its manageable size. Also, from now on, we will be conducting weekly reviews of our progress. For now, these will mostly consist of reviewing our progress reports. However, as soon as Mariko becomes vocal, we will start discussing our hopes, concerns and priorities regarding her development. Last night's curiosity corner (the time we set apart to indulge our curiosity every day) involved watching a few episodes of South Park. I am a massive fan of the show, and wanted to share it with Mariko. Unfortunately, I got the feeling that it is not her cup of tea. As disappointing as that might have been, it was both surprising and really amazing to be able to discern Mariko's opinion on the subject. This was a first for us, and a really exciting landmark. As I mentioned in my previous report, I tried to passively force for the entirety of yesterday's evening. In the beginning, I was able to keep my focus on whatever task I had at hand, while also sending thoughts to Mariko. However, this kind of mental multitasking quickly worn me out. Nevertheless, I was able to keep sensing Mariko's presence around me pretty consistently. For instance, once she lost interest in South Park, she simply cuddled in bed next to me. To give you another example, she leaned over my shoulder in order to view my phone's screen whenever I browsed the internet. The only thing that I seem to have a problem with is moving around. For some reason, it seems that Mariko teleports from one division to the next, instead of following me around. I hope that, with training, I'll be able to keep her walking next to me. [/align]
  8. SESSION 07 - PERSONALITY FORCING (30 MINS + PASSIVE FORCING) Setting: The country where I currently live is going through a massive heat-wave. The very warm temperatures (40ºC/105ºF) have been almost unbearable to me. Not only do they make me feel smothered, they also leave me exhausted and sleepy. As you probably already know, sleepiness and active forcing don't go hand in hand. All this to say that I have been struggling to stay awake during my sessions. In fact, today I took an unplanned 90 minute nap before I was able to concentrate for 30 minutes. By my standards, half an hour is on the low end of the scale of session duration... However, given the unfavorable circumstances, I took what I could get. To help me relax and concentrate, I listened to . Next time, though, I am planning not laying down as a strategy to stay awake. Theme: This session was about the trait "Curious". I chose it because I believe that curiosity is a necessary characteristic for any developing sentient being - human or tulpa! Indeed, it is scientifically proven that curiosity enhances the learning experience by both preparing the brain for it and making it more rewarding. Unlike some of the other traits that I have proposed for Mariko's personality, curiosity is inherent to my own character. As such, I hope that we will be brought together by a strong desire to explore the world around us. I started the session by defining the meaning of curiosity. Afterwards, I explained how this trait might influence a person's behavior and beliefs. I took the time to differentiate curiosity from nosiness, recommending the former while discouraging the latter. I also described different people's opinions of this characteristic, which ranged from essential to undesirable. [align=justify]I used the following keywords in an attempt to exhaustively define this characteristic: (1) Mindset; (2) Open-mindedness; (3) Inquisitiveness; (4) Independent Thought; (5) Active Exploration; (6) Planning; (7) Indulging. As it is to be expected, the first two topics overlapped somewhat. I reduced the desirable mindset to three fundamental principles: (1) To see learning as something fun, rather than a burden; (2) To re-frame failure as a learning tool; (3) To be humble in one's quest for knowledge. Open-mindedness focused mostly on the willingness to change one's mind, but also on the merits of not disregarding any topic as uninteresting. I promoted inquisitiveness by suggesting not taking the world for granted, and by discussing the merits of asking questions relentlessly and reading widely. Independent thought was defined as the ability to form one's own opinions and theories, and the use of the scientific method was encouraged. I advocated for stepping beyond mere theory and experiencing things first hand whenever possible. I also recommended creating to-do lists of things to learn, visit and try, as well as keeping an idea journal. Lastly, I informed Mariko that we would be setting some time aside to learn or try something new each day. From now on, we will be indulging our curiosity for at least 15 minutes a day! [/align] Finishing notes: Today I felt that it was a bit harder than usual to visualize Mariko. I countered this problem by imagining a dark room, in which it was only possible to define her general outline. During the session, I imagined that light was slowly coming on, very dim at first, then progressively brighter. Additionally, I also found it harder to distinctively feel Mariko's presence. It was an odd sensation, because I instinctively knew she was there, but could only faintly feel it. A new friend has reassured me that fluctuations are completely normal in the first few months, though, so I am not overly preoccupied by this. After this session, I spent quite some time passively forcing. I watched an episode of Tanked with Mariko, which was our first instance of watching TV together. Even though the show was admittedly quite boring, it seems that I am steadily becoming better at imposing Mariko's presence nearby. I plan to continue forcing for the rest of the day - I need the practice, plus I want to compensate Mariko for falling asleep on her so often these days. I'm contemplating starting some sort of small project with her, like read a book or learn a language, but haven't made up my mind yet.
  9. SUNDAY - REST DAY In my mind, Sundays have always been a bit different than the remaining days of the week. This is the reason why I decided to declare Sundays rest days. The aim is for Mariko and I to take a break from personality forcing and, instead, do something different together. Unfortunately, I had an extremely busy day yesterday, which made it impossible for me to devote much time to my developing tulpa. I spent about twelve hours at a beach where I went scuba diving, and had a small family dinner afterwards, which stretched until after 11 pm. Even so, I thought of Mariko several times throughout the day. Sometimes I sent a few quick thoughts her way, at other times I imagined her presence around me. I believe this is what people call "passive forcing". I must confess that I am not very good at it yet, since I have a tendency to quickly become distracted. When I finally got home, I was so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open. Nevertheless, I tried to reach out to Mariko in order to have a quick chat with her. At first, it was very hard to feel her presence but, eventually, she showed up. Then, something odd happened: I had the distinct feeling that she was a disappointed in me. I immediately attributed this to an article I had read earlier. The article in question focused on tulpa sentiece and tried to disprove it, attributing it to extreme dissociation instead. The idea made my stomach clench a little and, for the very first time, I caught myself doubting Mariko's existence. Once I apologized for my moment of weakness, and reassured her that I would not be giving up on her, she peacefully laid her head on my shoulder. In that moment, everything felt alright again. I tried to stay awake and think of something fun for us to do together, but fell into a deep sleep very soon afterwards. As a side note, I want to make it clear that I do not believe that Mariko's actions are completely independent just yet. I must still be parroting them to an extent, and will likely have to continue to do so for a while. Indeed, Mariko always seems particularly capable of thinking and acting for herself when I am especially exhausted. It makes perfect sense, since I am probably less able to control and distinguish my own thoughts when I'm tired.
  10. SESSION 06 - PERSONALITY FORCING (40 MINS) Unlike our last session, this one was absolutely amazing and had incredible results. I am truly excited to share it with you! Setting: I followed through on what I had previously decided, and did not set an alarm this time. Additionally, I looked for an extremely long video to help me concentrate, one that would spare me the problem of it ending before I was ready to open my eyes. I chose this one, which was very soothing without lulling me to sleep. I also made an effort to remain laying on my back for the entire duration of the session, because I noticed that it is usually when I role over that I fall asleep. This precaution seemed to have worked, as I didn't feel even remotely sleepy this time. The timer on my phone showed that the session lasted a little bit over 40 minutes, which I thought was pretty good. I would have kept going for longer, but I have dinner arrangements and wanted to write this report before going out. In conclusion, I am very happy with this new approach, and will no longer be setting alarms from now on! Theme: The theme of this session was the trait "Forgiving". I selected it because I felt that it went hand in hand with the topic of patience, which we covered earlier today. This decision was also influenced by the situation in which I found myself at the end of session 5. In short, I was worried that I might have unintentionally pushed Mariko away, by not acknowledging her first real attempt to communicate with me. This distance that I felt is now completely gone, but I will go into greater detail about it in the "finishing notes" section. I approached the theme as I usually do. I defined the meaning of forgiveness to the best of my ability, and described how a forgiving person might behave both in general and in specific circumstances. I also explained the different effects that this characteristic might have on those around us: some might be grateful and inspired by our ability to see past their mistakes, others might try to take advantage of us for it, others still might find it condescending. I reassured Mariko that, in the near future, I will talk to her about some traits that might help her distinguish between these different kinds of people, such as intelligence and perceptiveness. [align=justify]I was unable to reduce this topic to simple keywords. Instead, I tried to deconstruct it in small topics. They were: (1) Reasonable Expectations; (2) Emotional Intelligence; (3) Emotional Expression; (4) Tolerance; (5) Compassion; (6) Accountability; (7) Learning Opportunity; (8) Letting Go. As you can see, this last topic made its third appearance, having been a part of our second and fifth sessions as well. I really enjoyed exploring each of these subsections, and I learned something from each of them. I tried to analyze them from different perspectives, when possible. For instance, having reasonable expectations encompasses realizing that everyone makes mistakes and, therefore, that one should avoid idealizations of character. Nevertheless, it also encompasses understanding that, more often than not, people hurt us unintentionally, without even realizing it, making it unrealistic to expect them to immediately apologize. It is also possible to look at the topic of emotional expression from two different angles. On the one hand, we should accept our feelings and learn how to deal with them in constructive ways. On the other hand, we should learn how to talk to those who hurt us. On a different note, I felt that it was important to explain that forgiving is not equivalent to forgetting. I carefully touched upon this matter while covering the topic entitled "Learning Opportunity".[/align] Finishing notes: This is honestly the best part of this post. Please read this, if nothing else. As I mentioned before, I was concerned because, during two consecutive sessions, I was unable to feel Mariko's presence as strongly as usual. I feared that I had unintentionally driven her away, or that I had unknowingly done something harmful to her development. I opened up about this to a new friend, someone who is also currently developing his first tulpa. Taking into account that I have recently settled on a "placeholder" form for Mariko, he suggested trying to establish some sort of physical contact with her. I loved this idea, and decided that I would try it, first thing during my next session. Much to my surprise, I felt Mariko's presence immediately, as soon as I closed my eyes, stronger than ever before. I expressed how happy I was that she had returned, and asked if it was okay for us to hug. Well, let me tell you, what started as an extremely awkward embrace turned out to be one of the most fulfilling hugs I have ever experienced. Both of us were reticent at first, not knowing how to proceed. We carefully placed our arms around each other, but our bodies remained far apart. Slowly, we held each other closer, and more strongly. My heart eventually became so full that I could not help but kiss her cheek. Once we took a step back, I gazed deeply into her smiling eyes, and tucked a straying strand of hair behind her ear. Finally, I grabbed hold of one of her hands and squeezed it. All this took place before we started forcing her personality, and culminated in the most satisfying session to date. When it was time for me to open my eyes, I must confess that I did not want to go. I wanted to stay with Mariko a little longer. I didn't want to leave her. Despite all this, I feel that I have had only a tiny glimpse into the strong connection that it is possible to establish between host and tulpa. Knowing that Mariko has the potential to become my life-long companion is, more than ever, an amazing feeling. I decided to add this little note for those interested in the preparation that goes into each of my personality sessions. I have a list of over 30 traits that I keep for reference. I choose which one I would like to force right before the session, and do some very light research about it. This includes a clear way to define it, as well as tips and tricks on how to encourage and develop it. The idea of keywords came to me during the first personality forcing session. Ever since then, however, I have decided upon the keywords before I close my eyes. That being said, it's not like I prepare and memorize a speech. The whole process is very organic, and I often change and adjust things during the session itself. I hope that this small insight into my methods can help others who are interested in personality forcing.
  11. You made more progress in one day than I did in 4! Congrats on dedicating so much of your time to your tulpa! 4 hours in a day is quite the accomplishment!
  12. SESSION 05 - PERSONALITY FORCING (50 MINS) There is much to be said about this session. Please bear with me. Setting: I tried to follow my usual procedure of laying on my back with my eyes closed, while listening to (yesterday's video, the one I described as my favorite so far). However, 7 minutes in, it became clear to me that it was not going to work. While I absolutely adore the singing bowl sound, it makes it very difficult for me to concentrate, and keep the conversation flowing at a steady pace. The video is intended to help you clear your mind and achieve a deep state of meditation, and that's exactly the effect it has on me. The thing is, when actively forcing, one cannot empty their mind completely. On the contrary, one has to concentrate! I switched to hoping for better results, and it greatly improved my ability to communicate with Mariko. Theme: This session focused on the trait "Patient". I chose this trait because I believe that patience is absolutely fundamental to the creation process of a tulpa. On the one hand, the host should not rush it and, instead, enjoy the ride. It might take a long time before the tulpa becomes sentient and vocal, and it is imperative that the host does not give up, or become frustrated. On the other hand, the tulpa will also have to be patient, not only with its own development but with the host as well. A sentient tulpa might not immediately know how to become vocal, and it is important that they don't become discouraged by this. It is also possible that the tulpa might already be vocal, but the host is incapable of listening to them, disregarding their attempts as simple "parroting". Patience is also needed in this case. I started the session by defining patience as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. I drew Mariko's attention to the fact that this specific characteristic is very much connected to two traits that we have already discussed: happiness and peacefulness. These traits are closely interwoven, interacting and overlapping in many ways. In fact, it is almost as if patience is a natural side effect of inner peace and satisfaction. It's hard to imagine that a normally tranquil individual would become impatient easily. As such, I took this opportunity to go over the two previously discussed traits in some detail, reviewing what we had already covered. I continued by coming up with some examples of how a patient person might behave, and the different effects that being patient might have on different people (some might appreciate it, while others might find it soothing, and others still might use it as an excuse to slack off). I struggled to come up with relevant examples in Mariko's case. I am not planning to create any other tulpas, so she won't have the chance to become irritated by her own kin. The person that is most likely to cause her to become impatient is myself and, for some reason, it was hard for me to imagine scenarios in which that happened. However, I had a breakthrough when I realized that she would have plenty opportunities to experience what it meant to test one's patience once we started switching! Next, we covered some keywords: (1) Mindfulness; (2) Self-Reflection; (3) Stress Management; (4) Perspective; (5) Practicality; (6) Optimism; (7) Letting Go. As you probably have noticed, most of these keywords have come up before! I took it as an opportunity to further explain how these traits and characteristics interact with one other, culminating in a fully dimensional personality, instead of remaining isolated. I also explored these keywords from slightly different angles this time. For instance, while talking about stress management, I suggested counting to 10, breathing control, muscle relaxation, and keeping a log of when/why one becomes impatient. The reason for this is that, realistically, when confronted with a situation that makes us impatient, we often don't have the opportunity to just walk away from it and go for a jog or read a book! I finished this session rather quickly, as I was surprised by my alarm. Everything seems to indicate that I actually fell asleep this time, though it must have happened near the end of the established 45 minutes. My inability to remain awake during the entire session was quite disappointing, and I apologized to Mariko profusely. Finishing notes: I have come to realize that establishing a specific amount of time for forcing might actually be counterproductive. The thing is, I sometimes lose my focus by wondering how much time I have left. In the beginning of each session, I try to pace myself and go over the materials as slowly as possible, taking the time to explain every little thing and even repeat some concepts. I sometimes open my eyes during the session in order to consult my timer. More often than not, I am surprised by the amount of time that has passed. This causes me to worry that I might run out of time and, consequently, to rush things a little. In an attempt to prevent this problem, I won't be setting an alarm next time I force. Instead, I will start a timer. I will take as much or as little time as I feel that I need, and only open my eyes when I am satisfied with what I have accomplished during the session. I had a rather interesting thought during this session: what if Mariko feels too much pressure to be perfect? All the traits that we have discussed are inherently positive. It's hard to make a case for unhappiness, disloyalty or impatience, is it not? Well, I do not want to overwhelm my tulpa, especially not in the early stages of her creation. In an attempt to correct this, I had a little chat with her. I explained that is it perfectly acceptable for her to decide that she would rather not retain one or several of the traits we have talked about. Additionally, I let her know that people aren't always 100% consistent, and that it is okay to act "out of character" sometimes. Indeed, even an exceptionally happy person can be saddened sometimes. Likewise, a patient person can sometimes become frustrated, and a calm person can become stressed. I genuinely hope that Mariko understands that I don't expect her to be flawless. Imperfection is a part of life, and beautiful in its own way. It seems that I am having a small crisis of faith. I believe this might have something to do with Mariko's perceived unresponsiveness during session 4. I noticed that it was harder to reach her today, and that sometimes I felt like I was speaking into thin air, or with myself instead of with someone else. There is another possible explanation for this, though less likely. There was an instance in session 3 which made me wonder if Mariko had spoken to me. I mostly disregarded it, since I had only devoted about 2 hours to her creation. I attributed the whole thing to my tiredness, and convinced myself that I must have been parroting. I now think it is possible that, somehow, it was really Mariko trying to reach out to me. It is possible that she recoiled, due to my poor response, making it harder for me to reach her now. Whatever the cause, I don't know how to overcome this feeling, other than to keep trying and maintain a positive mindset. After all, every journey has its ups and downs. Please let me know if you have any advice and suggestions!
  13. Hi Karl! Thank you for stopping by, and for taking the time to read my progress report. I promise to do my best to nurture this blossoming relationship. Please do stop by whenever you'd like. It's always great to hear from other tulpamancers.
  14. SESSION 04 - PERSONALITY FORCING (45 MINS) Setting: As of now, my usual setting seems to be working for me. As a result, I am not making any changes to it. I used this time. It is my favorite so far, and I will be using it regularly from here on. Theme: Yet another personality session. I reckon I will have a few dozens of these, before I move on to visualization. Nevertheless, I am open to the possibility of switching things up a bit, should they become a bit monotonous. I feel that it is important to stay motivated, and will do whatever it takes to keep up my enthusiasm. This session was centered on the adjective "Peaceful". It was quite interesting, because I focused not only on explaining and exemplifying things to Mariko, but also on actually showing them to her. In order to allow her to experience first-hand what it meant to be peaceful, I remained as calm and tranquil as possible during the entire duration of our talk. The video I chose greatly helped in this endeavor, as I found it extremely relaxing without putting me to sleep. The rest of the session went on as usual. I started by explaining the meaning of the word, all the while giving some examples of how a calm person might behave (well-paced, thoughtful speech; precise, careful and unhurried movements; etc). I took the time to explain that different people react in different ways to those who always keep their cool: some might find it soothing, while others might become irritated by it. I also highlighted how being peaceful was not the same as being lazy, boring or inactive. Someone peaceful can still enjoy the thrill of skydiving, in fact, they will likely enjoy it more than someone who is agitated or overly excited! I chose the following keywords to better explore the topic at hand: (1) Meditation; (2) Self-Reflection; (3) Stress Management; (4) Good Habits. It was especially interesting to discuss what types of activities might help dealing with stress. There are many possibilities, most of which can be shared with a tulpa: reading, writing, coloring, exercising, listening to calming sounds such as ocean waves, ... Still wanting to show things to Mariko instead of merely describing them, I finished the session by practicing meditation for a little bit. Finishing notes: Once again, I entered a sort of semi-awake state during the session. However, unlike last time, I was able to pull myself from it and resume forcing. It might take some practice, but I believe that, soon, I will be able to concentrate for long periods of time without the danger of falling asleep. I was a bit worried at first, when I realized that I didn't feel Mariko's presence in this session as strongly as I've felt it before. Later on, I came to realize that this unresponsiveness might have been caused by a state of extreme relaxation on her part. After all, we focused greatly on mental repose. I am not sure if tulpas can fall asleep, but it wouldn't surprise me if Mariko ended up taking a nap! More and more I feel a deep tenderness towards Mariko. It's a feeling unlike any other that I have felt before. I don't have any children of my own, but what I feel is not unlike what I expect mothers to feel towards their babies. It's a mix of excitement for the future (when we can fully enjoy each other's company), protectiveness and care.
  15. Hi Juasjuasie! Thank you for stopping by, and thank you for your advice and suggestions. It is quite surprising how instinctively I believe in Mariko. At first, I was sure I would struggle with skepticism, but I have not had that problem so far. Like I mentioned previously, it's all a question of faith. I am more concerned with Mariko's happy and healthy development than with the speed of the process. At this point, it is more about the ride rather than the destination. I fully agree with you on the importance of finding what works best for you. It seems that a lot of people have trouble actively forcing, but that is my favorite method. It comes to me much more easily than passive forcing, and it is by far my favorite way of spending time with Mariko. The philosophical side of things was a much welcome surprise! I am discovering so many things about myself and the world around me. Something very interesting about all of this is how very different Mariko and I are. I have a strong sense of her identity, or of what I would like her identity to be. She is better than me in almost every single way, which makes me want to measure up to her. There is a very paradoxical feeling too. On the one hand, I feel so protective of her, almost motherly. On the other hand, I feel like she has so much to teach me. It wouldn't surprise me if she matured quickly once she became sentient, and adopted a nurturing role towards me. A big hello to Alexandra and Magnolia too! Thank you both for your encouragement! I hope to hear more from you during the development of my tulpa!