When I flew into the US on Friday, I was faced with 2 very fascinating humans. My experience inevitably began at LAX airport with predictably ridiculous customs queues. When I got to the front after a whole hour spent reading my book in one of 10 standstill lines being served by only two customs officers spending 3-10 minutes to process EVERY person (there were 500+ of us!), the guy asks me what I do, and I tell him
I’m a mindfulness trainer.
Understandably, he asks what that is, and I say, you know how you have that voice in your head that distracts you from stuff? Like when you’re driving and you arrive somewhere and you can’t remember driving there because you were lost in thought? He’s like OMG maam, that’s ME!! I’m like yea man, that’s everyone, he’s like NAW, you don’t understand, that is ME! Yea, I say, I teach people to train their attention so they can focus on what matters, it reduces stress, anxiety, worry etc, they teach it to the US marines now, you know?
He’s like AW MAN I wish we could chat longer!
I glance back at the 1 million people asleep on their feet in the queue.
He then rummages round for paper to write down my recommendation for him to check out the 10% Happier app.
(By the way – highly recommend it – you can’t go wrong with a tagline
“meditation for fidgety skeptics” :D
All the while peeps be waiting in the giant queue.
They the guy pipes up again “You know man, I really need this, I just feel like I have so much potential, but you know, but I just can’t focus. It sucks man.”
I nearly cried, he was so sincere, and clearly really distressed by his inability to stay focussed.
It could also be that it was 1am in Melbourne + I was at the tail end of a 15 hour flight + an hour in an unmoving queue + hanger + thirstiness + general disbelief at the over the topness of US customs processes.
But whatever, he was lovely.
Then I step out onto the road and the bus pulls straight up and this huge chick jumps off and YELLS (and I really mean screams) UNION STATIONNNNN!! Right into the ears of the Japanese tourists standing right in front of her waiting to the bus, they got a huge fright! Then she flings open the luggage door, lets three people put their bags on, while I get mine off the trolley right in front of her she slams it shut, so I’m like hold up, and she’s like “Well you gone just have to carry that on the bus now girl” as she run backs up the bus stairs.
We then spent the 45 minute journey listening to radio promoting no sex before marriage, while the chick furiously beeped at everyone in her path.
On arriving, a man asked her “could you point me to where the train station is” to which she practically shouted “SIIRRRRR, Step OFFFF the bus, I do not have TIIIIIMMMME to answer yo questions. Move right along sir”
Welcome to Merica!!
She was in such a rush, I couldn’t stop laughing (internally – I was scared of her). I was struck by how badly both these two first touch point humans in my journey to America needed mindfulness – the first to be able to focus and fulfill his potential (in his words), and the second to calm the F down and stop getting so caught up in her rushing mind and thus being reactive and rude to everyone in her wake. Even cars. In a traffic jam.
The world needs mindfulness more than ever.
Yep, even when I’m tired and jetlagged and hangry and possibly delirious, I’m still thinking about how mindfulness could solve so many people’s frustrations with themselves and their lives.
Because it changed my life and I’ve seen it change so many lives now.
Bloody Good Life 101 LIVE is opening for registration in just a couple of weeks!