A poem entitled ‘Why won’t you’
Why won’t you listen
Why won’t you try
Why do you give up
Why do you cry
The weakness is human
The spirit is strong
The issues surrounding you
Will be gone before too long
Why do you let a small obstacle win
Why do you continually succumb to sin
To err is human
To forgive is divine
To run is not fun
Do your art you’ll be fine
Your weaving is ready
Yet you have not yet spun
What are you doing
Your work needs to be done
Sit up, listen, and dry your tears
Now is the time to face your fears
"Why do you wash the dishes?"
The Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh is well known for asking his students this question, then informing them that if you think the answer is “To get the dishes clean” then you are mistaken.
The reason to wash the dishes is simply to wash the dishes. What he means by this, is that the idea is to be fully present and involved with the act you are engaged in at that moment, and do the act simply for doing the act, and not just for a particular result.
This is one powerful mindfulness technique that can bring you back to the present moment and reign in that monkey mind. You can do this wherever and whenever. You no longer need to go sit on a mountain top or lye on a beach in order to achieve inner peace. It was the old way of thinking to believe we needed to place our body somewhere pleasant and calming in order for your mind to be happy and still.
Science has shown that what determines your level of happiness, or stress, or mindfulness, is if your mind wanders or not while you are engaged in any other activity. The more present you are, the more you are engaged and completely involved in the act in the moment and doing that, the more joy you get from it; that is the new way of meditation and mindfulness.
It was Ram Dass who said ‘We have become human doings instead of human beings’. Somewhere along the way we have got caught up in gadgets, real time news, data, apps, media and content consumption we are so busy being busy and we are endlessly distracted so much that our mind has gone from being a tool, to being our master.
You have heard the saying ‘where attention goes, energy flows’ Well attention is like WIFI – we can’t necessarily see it or feel it however on some level it is there and it connects things together. We can’t touch the waves of WIFI any more we can touch the energy we put out and bring in to ourselves yet it is there and it works. Realising this, consider where your attention is right now. Consider where your attention goes for most of the day. This is what you are creating.
According to a research survey of a quarter-million responses, on average, minds were wandering 47 percent of the time. That means nearly half of all our time is controlled by our minds, thus we are at effect of our thoughts and we are losing the potential for focussed attention in that 47 percent of our lives. As Eckhart Tolle has said, “Compulsive thinking has become a collective disease.”
And what is making this compulsion continue is the plethora of gadgets that essentially help us stay in our minds and create us to be endlessly distracted, with our attention focussed into our phones, tablets and computers. So what we have become is people who are absorbed in their screens, not present, basically zombies at the beck and call of our minds, and usually either reliving the past, or worrying about the future, and the present moment passes us by.
Even now, reading this post, has your mind wandered? Have other thoughts arisen without your bidding? From now on start to pay attention to your thoughts, and observe where they go – do you often think about the past? Or do you often worry about the future? Your monkey mind is just like an errant child and you need to control it and keep an eye on it, otherwise it will run rampant. So consciously observe your thoughts, and practice being mindful in every moment. If you notice your thoughts start to run away on you, or you are getting distracted from the present moment, bring your mind back to the now.
If it helps, give your mind something to do while you focus on being present. Because our mind is like a computer – it is a problem solver – a calculating machine – a computer takes inputs, or problems, and calculates them through its CPU/brain, and gives you an answer/solutions. So give your mind a puzzle or one thing to focus on to keep it on task and keep it in line.
The more you notice your mind wandering, and the more you bring it back to the now, the easier it will be to identify and control those errant thoughts, and this will give you the ability to focus your full attention towards the moment and the task at hand and realise the quality of attention you bring to whatever you are engaged in, enhances the energy flow and creation, bringing you greater awareness, productivity, energy levels, creativity and inspiration.
Inside struggle, the way out is to connect with others. Its about being in a like minded group of people who speak their truth to each other.
You can’t find a passion by being alone or being upset with yourself.
You can find your intent and passion by stretching outside your comfort zone.
If your mind tells you stories and if you believe it then it can lead you down a tricksy garden path away from your true direction and purpose.
Sometimes your higher guidance can wave a carrot in front of you and tell you a story and lead you away from the one thing you are meant to be doing..
Always look at everything from all angles. Look at all the stories your mind is telling you and look at the other side of the coin and that is what you need to be looking at.
Did you know when cortisol levels in your brain spike, meaning you get heightened stress responses, your brain actually freezes… It’s part of the fight or flight response where all resources move to your limbs and instinctual reactions …
Which doesn’t serve you when you are in an office environment and you can’t flee and it’s not appropriate to fight but you have constant stress…
It can actually inhibit brain activity and make you less effective! When people get shitty at me in the office it actually makes me freeze and get upset then I can’t function or think about anything..
We can counteract this by breathing properly, communicating clearly and kindly to colleagues, taking regular breaks, and eating and drinking enough to fuel your body.