We are living in extraordinary times. Never before has it been easier to access information, to learn about any number of things and to do so much with the click of a mouse or a swipe on our smart phones. Whilst this access to learning and knowledge has created wonderful opportunities, it has also created in us a sense of never getting enough done, of constantly feeling a little overwhelmed.
We have apps to support us to be more organised, to schedule our events in the cloud and to entertain us all the while. At the same time our energy sources are being overstimulated. Our eyes and ears have never had so much to deal with and our minds are often anywhere but in the present. Life can often feel chaotic and we wonder to ourselves if only I was more organised or disciplined would it all be easier. And so we continue to try to up our game by repeatedly reviewing and refining our systems or we (perhaps guiltily) opt out of ever being able to manage our complex 21st century lives.
The levels of stimulation we are receiving on all our sensory channels is keeping us in a permanent state of readiness. This creates in us an on-going unease, a restlessness, a constant impulse to check what’s happening in that all consuming digital world. When we don’t check-in our bodies can begin to become jittery and crave that little lift we get from our nervous systems being stimulated by the virtual world. So what are we to do if we want to reduce our increasing levels of anxiety and our feelings of insufficiency?
As always our best bet is to take small steps and use our three centre’s of body, mind and feeling. It is worth reminding ourselves that the mind is extremely facile and often overrides information coming to us from our emotional and physical centre’s. Being aware of this will encourage us to take a little more time to check-in on these levels by simply asking ourselves (internally) some very simple questions such as:
What am I feeling in my body right now?
What is the quality of emotion I am experiencing in this moment?
What stories am I telling myself?
What else am I noticing as I turn my attention to what I’m hearing, seeing and feeling?
And if you are in company you could add:
How do I feel when I’m with this person or these people-what am I noticing?
If we do this several times a day we begin to experience life in very different way. Instead of living in a somewhat altered reality powered by external stimulus we begin to tap into our inner resilience and resourcefulness. Life becomes richer and more textured.
Try it for a week. Set your phone to remind you and aim for three times a day. Once you’ve done it for a week…try to extend it for another week and then make it an ongoing practice. If you wish, jot down a few notes of what happens to you when you take these moments to centre yourself. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised. All it takes is to develop the very simple habit of checking in with yourself regularly with some simple questions and little bit of presence