People talking to you, Zoom calls, Books, Podcasts, Blogs, Emails, TV, Radio, Netflix, Magazines, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Consoles, Clubhouse, Whatsapp, Newspapers, Apps, Notifications, Shares, Retweets, Tags… what have I missed?
Today, in particular today – it seems everyone is tired.
Probably no more or less exhausted than we’ve been for months, but if you’re the kind of person who tends to soak up the general emotional atmospherics –
you might agree that today has felt… soupy.
Not the comforting kind.
I showed you a chart and we looked at the bottom half and I rudely challenged your boredom – today I want to look at the top half.
The anxious half.
In one blog/post/email – we can’t make massive inroads in that.
If you did our 5-day Overwhelm or Calm, Chilled and Under Control challenges
or you’re in Human Upgrade –
reviewing those and going through the systems again WILL.
But today I want to ask you a different question that wasn’t in the challenges.
Maybe an elephant in your living room.
And like my last post –
I appreciate you letting me take liberties with your time and asking impertinent questions.
I honestly think they are important.
Actually, most of the things I write are the things that I need to keep reminding myself of. This whole wisdom / mind-mastery thing is an ongoing, active process.
You can get as many books and courses as you like –
but if you don’t give yourself regular, kind, bollockings
about the bits you’re rubbish at…
actually putting them into practice.
You’ve just got an impressive bookshelf.
This one is one of my rubbish areas.
Probably my worst one.
I’m talking about SOLITUDE.
I know at the moment you might be swamped with actual people in the house,
or you might be entirely on your own.
You might be desperate for physical touch or just to have a decent poo without an audience.
It’s not really about that.
Scan your mind, if you will – across a typical day for you.
How many of those hours are you free from inputs from other minds.
That list at the top.
All information from Other People’s Minds.
We’ve been forced into our houses, to work, to teach, to eat, to entertain ourselves without the normal variety that comes with normal life.
Without the breaks.
We’ve been actively encouraged to make use of the internet/screens for EVERYTHING.
And the things are so bloody addictive and efficient that it hasn’t been difficult to do.
In fact… very clever people have spent a LOT of money making sure that we are utterly hooked.
We are kind of stuck here for a moment –
and those screens are lifelines for lots of us – so we have to be realistic about this.
But think about everything else you already have to do…
this information from other people’s minds – is filling every tiny available gap.
We are constantly ‘socially stimulated’.
It’s fun, it’s entertaining, it’s convenient, it is keeping us sane
and …. it’s totally exhausting us.
There is so much of it, that it’s actually changing our brain chemistry.
When we read/interact with/listen to/watch/talk to another mind it fires up the social and analytical aspects of our thinking.
Which is fantastic and vital and God knows, if you’ve been on your own during the pandemic you physically crave it.
There has to be Solitude too.
This whole lockdown situation
(and actually smartphones in general)
has robbed us of lots those times of solitude.
Waiting in a queue for the post office.
In a waiting room
Having a coffee in a coffee shop – even if there’s a general hubbub.
Aboard a train, a bus.
Even in the car.
Sitting in the park.
It’s incredible to collaborate, bounce ideas and do research –
but eventually, we have to make sense of all that info
and actually come up with our own answers.
Have you ever had a ‘brainwave ping’ in the middle of the night?
A stroke of genius when you were in the shower?
Could it have been the first time you ‘unplugged’ from other people’s minds for a bit.
We are not supposed to be in a constant state of interacting with other people’s ideas ALL the time
When we reacting another mind, we fire up the social stimulation and social analysis aspects of our mind.
Too much of it starts to lower our mood and increase our anxiety.
As if we didn’t have enough on our plates to do that already.
If we want to make meaningful choices and decisions –
we need mental solitude.
To process things.
To work stuff out.
To make plans.
So I invite you to ask this question of yourself – very gently.
Without giving yourself any kind of a hard time whatsoever,
if self-attack is your thing (it’s all the rage at the moment)
Could you carve out a little mental solitude today?
(not for a bit, because I am not a total moron)
going to invite some of you to a digital detox later in the year.
When we’ll parachute, like gap-year travellers, out of a helicopter into this notion.
And of course, none of this might be a problem for you at the moment,
in which case, awesome.
Happy for you petal.
Keep it up.
But for those of us who have been subjected to a relentless onslaught of other people’s minds.
Can you think of an opportunity today where you could?
Literally putting it all down, switching it all off – even music.
You could time yourself.
Maybe start with a couple of minutes
Even see if you can increase that tomorrow
You could even journal.
Or just stare out the window or walk around the block.
It sounds wafty, but honestly, if you are burned out –
it’s a low-commitment start.
I think it could be the start of something life-changing.
As BoJo (sigh – what now?)
has tentatively told us today that things are going to start slowly heading back to normal,
perhaps we can start to get match-fit for that.
(or even start just leaning into it and thinking about it)
So that when we start putting life back together –
We can make really good decisions and plan the sort of stuff that will really make us happy..
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