Today as I walked through Melbourne city I felt really hopeless.
There were so many homeless people, so many people looking downcast, people fighting. Today my mind concluded that life is hard and sad, and that what I’m doing with Project Self is pointless.
I jumped on a tram and then ruminated about the pointlessness of everything for a few minutes. I was aware of a background sense of panic and overwhelm that I often get when I walk down the busiest streets of Melbourne CBD.
My hand kept reaching for my iPhone for some sort of distraction from the shitness I was feeling, but we all know how well that works. It sucked me into a bit of random app opening a number of times, then I realised what I was doing and forced myself to put it in my pocket and direct my attention into something other than
my downward spiralling mind.
I redirected my attention into the uncomfortable feeling I felt inside my chest, the sort of gripping, a bit like a mixture of anxiety with some heaviness. My mind was still telling me about how hard the world is and how little I’m doing to improve it and how I can totally understand how so many people slide into hopelessness, depression and anxiety. Every time I realised my attention had become caught up in the doom of my mind’s words, I redirected it back into the sensation I could feel in my chest.
It didn’t make me feel better, it still felt unpleasant,
but my attention held me anchored while the emotional storm of hopelessness swirled around.
Sometime later in the afternoon I realised I no longer felt terrible anymore. I didn’t feel great, but the impending doom had passed. Somewhere along the way my mind had forgotten to keep dwelling, and the storm had moved on.
Mindfulness doesn’t make everything perfect and shiny, it doesn’t eliminate moods and emotions and overwhelm.
It helps you become aware when your mind is heading in an unhelpful direction, and it gives you tools to weather the storm rather than getting swept out into the depths of the ocean.
It’s not about clearing your mind, it’s not about being peaceful or zen or emotionless.
It’s about choice.
It’s about training your attention to go where you choose it to go.
When there’s a prevailing wind, you’ll feel it, but you won’t end up being blown off course by it.
It’s the most powerful thing I’ve ever learnt, and I want to show you some of the possibilities it opens up.
People say that the sky is the limit, but I think that until we learn mindfulness, the mind is the limit.
It’s a powerful tool, but left to its own devices, our mind can very easily keep us stuck.
Which is why I believe with all my heart, and even with my logical, cynical mind, that mindfulness is the missing piece in the puzzle.
As one of my BGL Group clients remarked “I can see now why it’s so infectious, once you’ve learnt a bit about mindfulness, it’s like you’ve got this secret that you can navigate life with!”
Join me in my new, FREE 6 day mindfulness challenge,
I’d love to show you a bit about this thing that completely and utterly changed this cynical, pessimistic overthinker’s life.