Today I took some sweet potatoes out of the oven, started humming a song, and thought –
I forgot to put music on. Took a few steps towards my iPhone, then thought, no, Andrea you idiot, put the sweet potatoes back in the oven first! Did an about turn in the middle of the room and walked back to the oven, grabbed what I thought was the olive oil and doused my sweet potatoes in it only to realise it was apple cider vinegar. Shit.
This is a perfect example of not being mindful. All forms of multitasking fall into this category. Do one thing properly or many things half assed!
Another is the bike route I take on my way to yoga.
There is a huge road crossing that used to be really hard to get across for cyclists because there are a million office workers crossing all over the road. So the council decided to intervene and paint a bright green cycle lane on one side of the crossing with two huge bikes painted on the road with arrows.
So then pedestrians started to queue up in the cycle lane instead. So the council put up two sets of traffic lights, one for pedestrians and one for cyclists.
The pedestrians still continued to cram themselves into the cycle lane.
So the council intervened again and painted PEDESTRIANS in huge letters with a picture of a person and an arrow to show pedestrians to use the huge pedestrian area rather than the green cycle lanes.
90% of people continue to queue up and cross in the cycle lane.
It’s very frustrating to cyclists, who now all have to go on the pedestrian side of the crossing just to get across!
I find it so incredibly fascinating that the majority of people walking to work along this strip are so caught up in their heads that they literally have no awareness of the huge, blindingly obvious signs telling them where to walk.
It makes me excited for Project Self’s potential to help people – never has there been more need for mindfulness in society!
It’s not anyone’s fault that they are so immersed in their thoughts – this is just how we’re becoming.
If you live in a city and own a a smartphone, you can’t help but become a chronic over-thinker.
With smart phones and iPods and iPads and billboards and city traffic and people everywhere and google and notifications popping up all over the place (even on our watches!?), our attention is getting spread pretty thin. We’re going through an age of information overload.
Our minds are not equipped to cope with this rapid influx of external stimulation, especially visual and auditory.
We’re becoming less and less reactive to external stimulus.
A circus with a couple of shabby horses and a clown would have thrilled our grandparents, yet we’re now up to the incredibly complex audio visual experience of Cirque du Soleil. Ads are becoming more and more blatant; marketing more in your face; and reality TV shows are getting absolutely ridiculous.
I remember watching the hunger games and thinking, you know what, it’s actually not that far fetched to think that fashion might actually end up as mad as that; and the movie is a brilliant commentary of the way the reality TV seems to be heading.
And all the while, we need more and more to make us excited about life.
Our brains are normalising machines – whatever we experience, our brain finds patterns and routines and normalises our experience. We normalise stress to the point that we think we feel fine when we’re actually completely wired on coffee and adrenaline. We normalise experiences that used to make us happy in the same way.
This is a recipe for boredom and numbness.
Which does not lead to a bloody good life.
With all this hyper stimulation, we are become less and less excited about little things. Hell, what little things, we don’t even notice little things. We’re looking for BIG, BOLD, CRAZY things!
And this means we need more money! So we work harder. And our minds get busier. And then we need even more craziness to make us raise an eyebrow! It’s a vicious cycle.
But these things will never make us lastingly happy, we’ll just normalise those too.
So what do we do about it?
I’m sure you can guess what I’ll say…
- Learn mindfulness.
- Learn stress reduction techniques.
- Learn to calm the fluctuations of your mind so that you can actually FOCUS on what you’re trying to do.
- Learn not to get caught up in your busy mind. Because if you don’t, it will take you over. It already has.
Your memory is already deteriorating.
You find it hard to focus on one thing at a time. You realise mid-conversation that you’ve not listened to anything the person has said. Your thoughts are constantly wandering. You sit down to work on something really important, then an hour later you realise you’ve spent the last hour doing something rather unimportant. Probably involving cat videos.
This is what Bloody Good Life 101 is all about.
You’ll learn to calm down your monkey mind. You’ll learn not to get caught up in its incessant thinking. You’ll learn how not to lie awake at night. You’ll learn how not to snap at your friends and family. You’ll learn how to focus on the things you really want to focus on; how to listen properly so you can be a better friend and lover; how to get over emotional traumas quickly; how to enjoy your life to the max without needing to change anything in it. You’ll learn how to make decisions and solve creative problems with ease.
And when you can do all those things? You’ll be as stoked as me in this picture here. I guarantee it.
If you’ve been thinking about working with me, learning mindfulness, or getting yourself a bloody good life coach, there will never be a better time than now!