Let’s see if you can relate to one or more of the following:
Living on autopilot: not being able to remember what you did during the day. Doing the same things over and over even if they don’t work for you – you’re too busy to even think about a change.
Chaotic computing: 20 different tabs open, multiple projects going on at the same time, distracting notifications, pounding away for hours and at the end of the day, you’re not sure if you accomplished anything of significance.
Self-medicating: Food, shopping, television, alcohol, sex, phone apps, social media, and other distractions. You look up and an hour (or two, or three) have slipped by without notice.
Worn out, stressed out, tired out, depleted out, just plain ol’ out.
When you looked in the mirror this morning – did you even see yourself? Do you recognize the face staring back? Did you even notice?
Accelerating pace of life
Sky high expectations
Gotta keep up
But somewhere along this crazy, chaotic living, we’ve also bought into the belief that because we can’t keep up, we must be broken.
This search to fix our brokenness is found in all the searching we do…
#newyearnewme – THIS year is going to be different!
I’m going to lose weight!
I’m going to try this diet, this fad, this shake, this pill!
I’m going to read this book and follow this website!
THIS, this is what I’ve been looking for…
And not only are we searching – people are selling. The self-help industry is booming. We live in a consumer climate, and we’re being sold on the idea of upgrades – the message is that we can “buy” our needs.
Look here – look there – look under here – look everywhere out. Surely the answer is out there somewhere.
The Street Light Effect
Let me tell you about the old man looking for his keys. It was late at night, and he was under the streetlamp searching. A policeman asked him what he was doing and upon hearing the issue, the policeman starting helping the old man search. After a moment or two the policeman asked the old man, “are you sure you lost the keys here?” and the old man replied “oh heavens no, I lost them in the park.” at which the policeman exclaimed, “then why on earth are you searching here?” and the old man replied, “well…this is where the light is…this is where I can see.”
How many times do we look for solutions where we think it is easiest to find them?
Why are we afraid to look inside?
Why are we afraid of our quiet?
When did we lose confidence in ourselves?
I don’t have all the answers, but I do know where to find them…mindfulness.
Mindfulness at its root is “why are you doing, what you are doing, when you are doing it?”
Why: Why the new “whatever new is for you?”
Wanting to lose weight in of itself isn’t “bad,” but if we’re expecting it to fix a hole in our heart, we might want to examine that need before jumping into 2 or 3 new workout trends.
What: Ever pick up your phone to do something and then do something else…only to find you’ve forgotten what you started to do in the first place?
When: There’s a time for everything. But maybe social media first thing in the morning isn’t the best idea. Leave time for the tasks that are meaningful to you for the first thing…let social media wait until later. But there are also days like Monday. I’m a superhero on Monday thinking I can knock out 20 projects by noon. Recognizing our time and energy are finite and responding accordingly is the real superpower.
Mindfulness forces us to evaluate what we are letting into our finite lives.Mindfulness forces us to evaluate what we are letting into our finite lives. Click To Tweet
Okay, great, now what?
Start with five minutes a day. I recommend first thing in the morning. Go ahead and grab that cup of coffee and sit in the quiet. It’s just five minutes. Set your timer if you find yourself getting antsy. Check in with yourself…what’s happening in your mind? How do you feel? How’s that cup of coffee? Do you like the flavor? Isn’t that brewed warmth the best thing ever???
No books, no phone, no tv; just you and the quiet.
Then, maybe, after a couple of weeks (try tracking with Way of Life), try a meditation app – but beware, a common trap of mine is to open the phone to open meditation app and then see a notification and feel compelled to open, say Facebook and 20 minutes later “oh yeah, meditation.” Sigh.
But maybe meditation isn’t you’re thing. Then pray. Or write. Or walk. Or dream. Whatever you’re thing is, let it remain quiet. Create some space within your mind to figure out your why, what, when.
You have amazing things to say…be quiet so you can hear them.
The legal stuff – I’ll never write nor promote a product I don’t believe in…with that said, this post could contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you – these small commissions simply help me finance this blog. Thanks for being here.
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