Advice: recycled wisdom or get your own, fresh?

I was on Hung Lee’s Recruiting Brainfood on Friday lunchtime — loved it! — and at the end we were invited to share practical tips for mental wellbeing, at this time of ‘unprecedented change’! I felt resistance to the idea of giving tips and here’s why.

Scrabble pieces spelling tips and tricks next to air pods
Image by wiredsmart Young on Pixabay

We all have a fresh, bubbling source of creativity, fresh thinking and ideas available to us every single moment of every single day.

You’ll have had these. The shower moments when the lightbulb appears. The walk when everything becomes clear. The pits of frustration or sadness and even depression when a fresh thought strikes like a bolt of lightning. read more

The brilliance of life — when you know what to look for

I’m writing today with an offer. An offer to shift your perspective around the human experience of this thing we call our life. On the other side of that shift is everything we’ve been looking for.

River - Content at the bottom - apparent reality. Programming in the middle represented as a sandbank - stories, concepts, beliefs. True Nature at the top - the source of infinite potential and creativity.

This image is a useful way to see where I’m inviting you to look. Most of us have grown up entirely focused in the content of experience — what’s going on in this apparent reality in front of us. Then some people might move into therapy, counselling and coaching which encourage the exploration of the programming — why is this happening, where did that belief come from. I’m pointing you to true nature as the source of all of life, the real ‘you’ behind the imagined ‘you’. read more

The intellect doesn’t know

We’ve been taught to figure things out when something feels difficult. We’ve been taught to analyse what’s going on to find an answer. These are activities of an intellect that just gets in the way of the very thing it’s looking for.

Have you ever had an experience where you felt like you were chasing yourself round in circles in your mind? read more

Are you running yourself into the ground?

When people are smart, high achieving, wonderful people who care about doing a good job, in and out of work, it’s very easy to reach a crunch point.

I often see it where clients are doing exactly what Bill describes in this quote.

Things are busy at work, it’s all go, glued to screens and phones and meetings for hours. Lots of coffee, lots of sitting and maybe some sugary, processed, quick-and-easy food chucked in for good measure.

In the presence of this, it can make sense to try and balance. With all this unhealthiness at work I must make sure I go running or to the gym, I must make sure I eat well at home, I must make sure our family time is full of maximum-quality experiences. read more

The cult of busy

When we’re lost in the story of what we think “busy” means we find ourselves in judgement of others or being judged. Frustration, upset, anger, suffering. When we see through it, we’re free to act from love.

Photo by José Martín Ramírez C on Unsplash

I laughed yesterday at the synchronicity of life. I’d just finished recording another podcast episode* with Gary Bridgeman & Natalie Nuttall and went on a call with Andrew Smith.

Andrew told me he’d been working with a group in business recently about ‘the cult of busy’ and how they’d told him being busy was like a ‘badge of honour’. I burst out laughing! These words were literally the title of the just-recorded podcast. Word. For. Word! read more

A new year, a new decade – no should’s

Image of water with a quote about not needing to celebrating new year in any particular way. No rights and wrongs. What happens is what happens.

We’ve constructed new year’s eve on 31st December.

But what if you’re Jewish or Chinese or Pagan?

Then we’ve constructed the idea of new year as a time for reflection, for celebrating or mourning what’s passed, for looking ahead to what’s next.

What if we knew that we didn’t have to do any of it? read more

Uncertainty can feel shaky but there’s a reason for that

With changes afoot in my life I momentarily got caught up, believing the scary movie in the thought-reel of my mind. All perfectly designed to wake me up.

Uneven ground road sign

Things look uncertain.

I just had a meeting that’s confirmed a significant price of work with a client is coming to an end after Q1.

I left the meeting (later than planned) and got a flat tyre, currently waiting to be recovered.

Two kids are at home alone, first time on their own together (they’re known to argue!) for longer than intended. read more

The rules, they’re killing us

How the intellect is taking us away from clarity, brilliance and the perfect next step.

Image of traffic in Kathmandu
Image credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Gy3kRVUvx0

My mum recently got back from a holiday in Nepal. She was telling me about the experience of crossing the road in Kathmandu. Two things struck her.

The first was that the drivers decide the lane system. With no markings on the road, no lane information signs, no overhead illumination in greens and reds about which lines are open and closed. The drivers just drive in a way that makes sense based on the volume of traffic. Six lanes heading into the city in the morning, just one heading out. The opposite in the evening. It just makes sense. And they don’t need a formal system to tell them to do this. It just works. They’re connected. They’re not in their heads. read more

Stressful thinking doesn’t mean a thing

What level are you working at to try and solve stressful thinking? Is it making the difference you hope? Is it adding in more to-do’s, should’s and complexity to life?

Man on sofa with his head in his hands
Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Over thinking leads to..

Stress

Leads to

Poor sleep

Leads to

Inhibited cognitive function & IQ

To try and change we can work at the level of:

  1. The immediate problem — work longer hours, trudge through the to-do list, have exasperated conversations with colleagues and bosses. Use caffeine to stay awake, grab quick-and-easy-processed-food, some alcohol at night to shut off & wind down.
  2. The next problem down — the sleep — create the perfect sleep environment, have consistent bed time & wake up times, lavender, pillows, heavy blankets.
  3. Or the next — the stress — walks, meditation, exercise, change jobs.
  4. Or the next — the thoughts — switch the negative for the positive, recite mantras, practice helpful beliefs.

None right or wrong. It can make sense to do these things because it can seem really real that stressful thoughts need fixing and changing and getting rid of. They feel yucky. Why would we want them? read more