This morning as I spread gluten free vegemite spread on my gluten free toast (yep, my health coaching orthorexia of 2013 has definitely worn off!), I realised that my mind had liquid-nails-ed itself onto a thought.
“You should go and love yourself” it sung in a Justin Beibery voice.
I realised it had been singing that lyric over and over for the past while. “I wonder if he means f&^k yourself?” My mind continued. “Yea he definitely does. I wonder who he’s talking about. That’s not very nice, Beibs. It’s a shame to use love yourself like an insult, as if people don’t already have enough problems with self-love. Even hot people.
I hate when people talk about self-love. Annoying hippies. I wonder who writes Beib’s songs? And does he give them the subjects to write about? Does he have a producer that he talks to for life advice? I wonder if he has a coach. It would be so hard to grow up in the public eye. Like, he’d never be able to be rubbish at sex.
I wonder if Lil Wayne teaches Beibs about sex.”
Eventually, I came out of the mind whirlwind of crap, and realised I was just here in my kitchen, buttering toast, and for maybe half an hour, I’d been completely lost in thoughts.
This is what it’s like to go through life mindlessly. It’s how I lived the quarter century of my life, and how most people go through their whole life.
Mindlessness can seem fun sometimes. Addictive even. You have an initial thought which seems pleasant and enticing. It draws your attention in like a boxer puppy video on Instagram.
Then before you know it you’ve stepped onto a thought train, destination:
who the hell knows.
You could end up in a beautiful paradise being fed organic gluten free linguine by a handsome bloody good chap on a private beach in the Philippines.
But more likely, since your mind has a negativity bias, you could end up in a dingy junkyard with people throwing shoes at you and laughing at your lopsided dimple.
This is where superman comes in.
By superman I mean mindfulness.
But not in the way that the mindfulness craze would have you believe.
Side rant – mindfulness colouring books have really very little to do with mindfulness unless you actively choose to be mindful while you’re colouring. More on that another day.
Mindfulness, or whatever you want to call it (I call it Bloody Good Life 101)
is so much more than what the mainstream thinks it is.
It’s not just for productivity or focus or stress reduction. It will change every facet of your life, from the way you interact with people, to the way you perceive yourself and your life, to the way you butter your toast. Most of the time, when you remember.
You’d think that buttering your toast was a really great moment to zone out into thinking. Toast is boring, who wants to focus on toast. My imagination is wayyy better than toast.
But is it really?
If I apply mindfulness to my toast, I would have smelt the delicious smell of butter and oddly delicious vegemite spread. I would have noticed where my hands were in space and the feel of the cool metal knife in my hand has I spread the too-solid butter around. I would have watched it melt through the tiny little holes in my toast. I would have heard the crunch of the toast as I cut it in half, noticed the rumbling sensation in my stomach and the anticipatory excitement of my tongue.
Our mind will trick us into believing that the movie in the My Head Cinema is way more interesting than mundane daily tasks our life which, by the way, is made up of.
But while that flitty drama in our head might be exciting and dramatic and unpredictable, we have no control over what the cinema chucks on. One minute Mary Poppins, nek minute, The Blair Witch Project. It does what it wants with our emotions, and these affect the way we live our life.“Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions” - Elizabeth Gilbert Click To Tweet
Focussing on my toast, on the other hand, will have me feel a deep sense of calm and peace, maybe even excitement or joy, as I take my attention out of my churning mind and into the only reality there is: Now.
Now is the only place and time I can live a Bloody Good Life.
The excitement you feel watching a movie on a screen is never as elational (new word, folks) as the feeling in your life right here, right now.
Focus on your toast.