Menopausal or not, I have been analysing life for what it is rather than what I think it should be.
Have you noticed the the number of self-help books, meditation, mindfulness apps and specialists claiming that practising self awareness will help us find personal happiness, calmness and meditation?
Phrased as ‘mindfulness’, feeling good, how to be happy, much has been written on the subject.
We know and understand the importance of making time for ourselves but have forgotten how to practice the art of being happy because we are so consumed with our busy lives.
Most of it is common sense with occasional wisdom and guidance thrown in designed to help our inner selves and to make us more centered, calm and productive.
But hang on a minute isn’t happiness largely down to us?
Aren’t we responsible for our own destiny and happiness?
Shouldn’t we be the ones capable of managing our own lives rather than reading it from a manual or worse, being dictated how we should live our lives by work bosses and organisations with poor managers?
We are blaming the internet, work, jobs and life for how we feel and, rightly so, but I also believe we’ve forgotten how to really live.
Mindfulness being centered and calm is about living in the moment, it is self awareness and is designed to help us alleviate the stress and anxiety, now a by product of 21st century living.
With deadlines looming ever larger, people doing the work of 2 or 3 people and every spare minute filled with work tasks, we don’t have time for ourselves, time to think or reflect on what and who we are, life for many has become an exhausting routine of mundaneness and familiarity.
Technology bares the brunt of our angst as it has undoubtedly increased anxiety and working hours.
Designed to promote speed and productivity and to help identify and solve problems by making light work of tasks.
Instead, we have become servants to technology and are compliant because we rely on its very existence.
This technology age has hard coded our brains to ‘always being on’.
We are overloaded with too much information to the point that we can no longer process it.
What then happens is panic, anxiety and fear because life has become one long roller coaster.
It is like being in a relationship where you’re the only one that is giving.
We spend vast amounts of time in front of a screen whether it is a smartphone or computer screen, we seek answers to questions, we check social media to reassure ourselves that our lives are valuable and worthy.
The busier we become the less time there is for meeting and talking with people.
Our smartphones are our link and lifeline to the outside world.
What is the answer?
I have no idea!
I have read a good few books on the subject because I am at the age where I feel that if I make one small perceptible change to my life that shift could potentially have an impact on me and others around me.
Most of what has been written is common sense the reality is that we know what we need to do we’ve just forgotten how to.
Making the time for ourselves and family, taking that long walk or having brunch.
It all boils down to time and we have less spare time than we did ten years ago.
There are still the same number of hours each day but somehow it is squandered by the ties that hold us down.
The media and by that I mean books, social media, blogs and channels all try to perpetuate a myth that if we just make time and be ‘mindful’, everything will be alright.
Making the most of our life, reminders to be more self aware and to live in the moment add more pressure to our already pressured life.
Low job security and long working hours make it difficult to think about finding time to press the pause button.
The narcissistic nature of social media where many ‘big’ themselves up makes us even more insecure and worthless.
I don’t see mindfulness as the antidote to all of society’s ill.
Until the work place changes and offers more flexibility regarding working hours and organisations empower their employees to make decisions that are right for the company they work for, nothing will change.
Stress and anxiety will remain commonplace in our lives and this will manifest itself in our children.
And so the myth that is the perfect work-life balance alludes us even more.
I am certain that we are mindful; we’ve forgotten how to look meaningfully and really take in what is around us.
The old woman with her shopping bags wearing a colourful hat, the young couple kissing lovingly, the cloud formation in the sky.
Mindfulness is about making the time to be more in tune with our lives and those around us.
But, talking about it and actually doing it requires a massive shift.
Even if we find ten minutes a day to stare out of the office window or walk around the park with a sandwich in hand and take in the beauty of what is around us surely that’s good enough.