Pursuit of Calm #22

 

Hello Friends…

You may well of read my recent articles on breath-work and meditationand thought to yourself “Luke…I’m too busy for this SH!T”why on earth would I waste time in my busy day to meditate, or do “breath-work”. 

Aside from consistent alcohol consumption, elevated stress and lack of sleep (often combination of all three), ‘time’ or more precisely ‘a lack thereof’, would be the other most popular excuse given as to why individuals find it impossible justifying and dedicating time to invest in their psychological health.
And the irony?…

Probably a reason why we continue to binge drink, ‘relish’ keeping busy, continually attempt to live productive lives on compromised sleep, and tolerate being stressed-out as ‘feeling normal’, is because we fail to prioritise the health of their psychology.
Possibly the reasons we pro-actively tolerate, and default to, these ill-being habits is for the sole purpose to avoid the psychological elephant in the room…our neurotic mind.

Why are the habits and behaviours that supports and nurtures our psychological well-being largely, at worst ignored, or at best, considered a nuisance adjunct in our day to day?

 

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Firstly, when it comes to ‘being busy’… we’re all “busy”.
We’re all doing ‘something’ during our waking hours.

The reality is we essentially ‘busy ourselves’ with ‘what we value’.
We place a lot of value in our professional careers and our domestic commitments, both of which not only absorbs a significant amount of our time & energy, but generates considerable mental and physical stress.

Outside and unrestrained from these ‘fixed’ day-to-day realities, the majority of our waking hours are spent in leisure.

And just like our professional and domestic responsibilities, we spend our leisure time on the things that we value, just as much as we don’t make time for what we don’t value.

We have always been busy and will continue to be busy. So, if you feel as though you have zero time to reflect, compose and cultivate your mental well-being – then the reality is, you’re not taking your mind very seriously. 

Too harsh?

Outside of your ‘job’ and domestic responsibilities what are you taking seriously?

  • Do you take your car maintenance & refuelling more seriously than your mind?
  • Do you spend more time cleaning your teeth than on your mind?
  • Does showering, buying & applying make up, and selecting what clothes to buy and wear each day given more time than your mind.
  • Do you spend more time, buying and consuming alcohol, planning and attending social occasions than on your mind?
  • Do you spend more time clothes shopping, standing in front of the mirror and accessorising yourself than you do on your mind?

If so, this is because you have prioritised placing value on your physical appearance, keeping clean and being social.
If your physical hygiene & social engagement is important (which it is), how about psychological hygiene?
Then there’s the value you’re placing on leisure-distractions. Is there any consideration given to not only the amount of time this consumes, but how detrimental it can be on our mental well-being.

  • Check your phone, see how many hours are spent staring at the screen – is this more time than what you’d spend on your mind?
  • Consumption of TV, news, Netflix, gaming, porn, gambling…how’s your mind?

 

And you wonder why you don’t have the time, nor the inclination, to invest in the health of your psychology?

Consider this, you have made a choice to be busy by prioritising your time on what you value. If these choices that you have made are keeping healthy, happy and fulfilled, then brilliant… nothing to see here, move along… pass go, and collect your $200.00

However, if the choices you’re making are keeping you tired, anxious, unhappy, grumpy, impatient, overweight and unfulfilled, then does that beg the question ‘where’s the value’ in these choices?

Maybe, just maybe you’re over-expending the finite amount of time you have left on this planet by investing in ‘junk values’. Junk values that make you sick, tired and anxious, and that further exacerbates the stress experienced in dealing with the realities of your work & domestic commitments.

 

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We need to learn how to self-regulate, to get out of our automatic default mode of rumination, of distraction, anxiety, of nervousness and feeling ill-at-ease.
And learn how to quiet-down and recalibrate & compose the mind.

And the simplest way of doing that is attending to our breath…the in breath, then the out breath…release and relax. This is where we calm down and reclaim the kind of composure that we all need now, but all seem to ignore these days.
And, after a period of practice if like me, you might even find it addictive…and that may not be such a bad thing.

We all have the opportunity to recalibrate where and how we spend our time. For as little a 1% of your day (15minutes) dedicated to quietude will, eventually, have a profoundly positive and lasting impact on your psychology, that will provide the momentum and courage to continue to curb the junk-values that occupy & deteriorate too much of our time, energy & health.

Practice. 15minutes. Everyday. That’s it…

 

Coming Up: 

  • The 4 ’S’s: Stress, Sleep, Sobriety & [P]Sychology
  • Is Blaming Your ‘Job’ Really An Excuse?
  • Reflection, Reading & Journalling
  • Strength Training
  • Satiation
  • The 4 “C”s: Calm, Courage, Curiosity & Consistency
  • Habit Strategies

Current Reading List & References:
Training The Mind & Cultivating Loving Kindness by Chögyam Trungpa
Dopamine Nation by Dr Anna Lembke
Welcoming the Unwelcome
by Pema Chödrön
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
The Wisdom of Frugality by Emrys Westacott
4000 Weeks
by Oliver Burkeman
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy
Mindsight: Change your brain and your life by Daniel J Siegel MD
Aristotle’s Way by Edith Hall
Wherever You Go, There You Are. John Kabat-Zinn
“Start Where You Are” by Pema Chödrön
“Breathe” by James Nestor
The Places That Scare You” by Pema Chödrön
“In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts” by Gabor Maté
The Shortness Of Life by Seneca
“Lost Connections” by Johann Hari
How To Meditate – Pema Chödrön
The Wisdom of No Escape – Pema Chödrön
‘Breaking Down the Wall of Silence’ – Alice Miller
Meditations – Marcus Aurelius
Atomic Habits – James Clear
The New Rules For Lifting For Life – Lou Shuler
Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker PhD
Essentialism: The Discipline Pursuit Of Less – Greg McKeown
Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahnemen
Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
The Resilience Project: Finding Happiness Through Gratitude Empathy & Mindfulness – Hugh Van Cuylenburg
Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Foods – Catherine Shanahan MD
The School of Life – An Emotional Education
The School of Life – How To Think More Effectively
The Consolations Of Philosophy – Alain De Botton
Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief – Jordan B Peterson
The Owners Manual for the Brain: The Ultimate Guide to Peak Mental Performance – Pierce J. Howard
The Daily Stoic / Stillness Is The Key / Ego Is The Enemy / The Obstacle is The Way– Ryan Halliday
Indistractable – How To Control Your Attention & Choose Your Life – Nir Eyal
Mindset – Dr Carol Dweck
The Holy Shit Moment: How Lasting Change Can Happen in A Minute– James Fell
Stop Playing Safe – Margie Warrell
The Worlds Fittest Book – Ross Edgley
The Art Of Resilience – Ross Edgley
The Oxygen Advantage: Scientific Proven Breathing Techniques To Revolutionise Your Health – Patrick McKeown
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking – Malcolm Gladwell
The Practicing Mind – Develop Focus & Discipline Your Life – Thomas M. Sterner
Mistakes Were Made – Carol Travis & Elliot Aronson
Man’s Search For Meaning – Viktor Frankl
Life: A Users Manual – Julian Baggini & Antonia Macaro
Good Habits Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick – Wendy Wood
The Madness of Crowds – Douglas Murray
The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
Wired To Eat – Robb Wolf
Philosophy For Life, and other dangerous situations – Jules Evans
Peak – Anders Ericsson & Robert Pool
The Body, A guide For Occupants – Bill Bryson
The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz

Disclaimer: It needs to be noted and understood that what I write on this blog format must not be interpreted nor construed as ‘personal medical advice’.
The written word can easily be mis-interpreted, especially my own god-awful writing ability.
I try to emphasis, as awkwardly as I do, that I have no skills, training nor studies under my belt to advise or diagnose when it comes to medical or psychological conditions.
If you need professional help or advice then please seek it.  
My own advocacy is shot primarily through the prism of my own life-experience. I only promote lifestyle and the related choices and habits that optimise sleep, mindset, nutrition and physical strength. All incredibly powerful and profound methods to improve all aspects of one’s own health-wealth, but potentially not the remedy ‘proper’ for those individuals that may require professional clinical diagnosis, medical intervention and/or treatment.
Peace
Luke