Enlightenment on a budget

So you finally ‘woke up’, you can see through all the marketing, the consumerism and the general BS that drives most of the economy.
But rather than feeling liberated and freed, you’re stuck in this kind-of cynical and depressing middle-ground.

So next step, you start meditating and going to yoga class.  To take things to the next level you start researching online and hear about all the yoga retreats that you can attend, and even read about ayahuasca retreats tripadvisor.

Ayahuasca, if you haven’t heard, is a herbal ‘drink’ that is often used by indigenous tribes in Peru.  It has been touted by the likes of former CNN reporter Amber Lyons as a cure (for want of a better word) for mental health problems including anxiety.

As good as this sounds, unless you have a spare grand or two floating round in your savings account, a trip to Peru to speak to ‘Mother Ayahuasca’ is probably not on the cards.  Other ironically expensive Buddhist-treats including flotation tanks, are beyond the budget of many of us too. So if you can’t afford to buy into the ‘enlightenment industry’, what can you do?

Flotation Tanks
You can learn more about them by watching this documentary:

 

American comedian, and martial artist Joe Rogan has one is his basement.  But he’s rich, and I am not.

Here is an alternative, which I’ve found a lot more effective for sensory deprivation than a floatation tank. Although, you will look proper mental.

Listening to white noise on it’s own, with sound proof ear phones is enough on its own, to normally produce hallucinations etc, due to the impact of sensory deprivation. Add the weird white-eye-mask to this, and you’ll feel ‘bodyless’ in about 20 mins.

 

Ayahuasca
Whilst ‘Mother Ayahuasca’ possesses the female energy, San Pedro and Peyote cactuses posses the male. 

 

You can’t use San Pedro or Peyote in the UK 😦

You can however get an Easy Jet flight over to Amsterdam, and buy and use Peyote or San Pedro legally. I have never done this myself, so cannot tout for the quality etc of what you can buy, but do feel it necessary to emphasise the importance of site and setting at this point. Don’t use it in the cheapest hotel you can find in Amsterdam. I’d recommend reading up and making some enquiries on Reddit.

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Creating Positive Change

So I just watched this Ted ex video –

 

This screenshot pretty much summarises the take-away message form the talk:

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 20.19.20

Do these things for 21 days, and we should all be wonderfully happy…so here goes:

  1. My 3 Gratitudes
    Today I am grateful for:

My piglet

Elinor

2. My next door neighbour being a plumber after the sink decided to explode this evening.

3. My wife being an ace Mum

 

2. Journaling – I guess that’s what I’m doing now

3. Exercise – done today in work

4. Meditation – will do the ‘headspace meditation’ for 10 minutes on youtube after this

5. Small Acts of Kindness – ah hell, will have to find something nice to do before i go to bed!

Getting Focused on Work or Studying

Get a binaural beats study ‘soundtrack’ on youtube:

Proven (to a certain extent) to aid focus, mood, reduce anxiety and some aspects of creativity.

Set and start a Pomodoro timer – http://tomato-timer.com/

This allows you to work it ‘sets’ of 25 minutes, with 5 minutes break in between. Ideal for focus.  Wait until your 5 minute break to think about what else you need to do etc.

And off you go…

 

If you don’t like binaural beats, instrumental rock (or any music without vocals and with a beat) seems to work just as well for focus.

 

Here’s an interesting infographic too – cancel all meetings is the basic, underlying message by the looks of it!

optimizing-workflow-infographic.jpg

Image Source

 

 

Your Children are Not an Extension of your Own Ego

Having being brought up under the giant shadow created by, and constantly compared to Graeme ‘The Rock’ Sutcliffe, competitive parents and parenting has long been something that annoys me greatly.

Want to make your child feel not good enough?
Then quote your Mum-friends comments to your own children, and paraphrase their totally genuine anecdotes about how great their children are…and how your child must do better

Want to make your friends feel shyte?
Then tell them how great your child is, how they came 1st in every exam ever and are destined to be the next saviour of the free-world.
This in turn will no doubt lead said-friend to evaluate their child’s relative short-comings and pile tonnes of pressure on to their yet-to-fully-develop shoulders, so that they may then bask in the vicarious success of their own offspring when this fantastic parenting technique starts to pay off.

I’m working on some default responses for when a parent attempts to passive-aggressively put-down my child…these include:
“oh wow! your child is amazing! please tell me more…”
“Go away before I punch you in the throat”

Obviously, it’s best not to react to any type of boasting. It’s generally a sign of insecurity on the part of the person doing the bragging.
Just see it for what it is – a knobhead move

 

On a slight tangent – there’s a pretty cool article here  – If you want your child to perform well at Sport:

Based on psychological research, the three healthiest statements moms and dads can make as [kids] perform are:

Before the Competition:  

Have fun.

Play hard.

I love you.

After the competition:

Did you have fun?

I’m proud of you.

I love you.

 

 

How Watching Made in Chelsea is Consuming your Soul

Now I realise that TV producers find the biggest morons possible to make these shows more ‘entertaining’, and that the likes of Joey Essex pretend to be thick as pig-poo just to market themselves – for example by pretending he can’t tell the time – you didn’t believe that one did you?

Even with this awareness, watching horror/comedy programmes like TOWIE and Made In Chelsea is rotting your soul.
But Why?

Jealously!
Even though every philosophical book and self-help book tells us not to compare ourselves to others, we can’t help it.  Jealously is regarded as a secondary emotion. Triggered by anger or fear.  In this case, we all tend to get angry by watching a group of idiots, live amazing lifestyles that are way beyond most of us.

This ‘unfair treatment’ makes us angry – we work hard all week, and we can only dream of a lifestyle like that – unless we take out a ruck of loans that is.  Don’t do that.

Anger at what we perceive as unfair treatment, such as unequal-pay for doing the exact same job as someone else, is such an instinctive reaction, that even monkeys display it:

The only remedy to this anger is – not to watch the tripe in the first place, and find some intelligent friends who can see through the ‘consumerism culture’ and can enjoy doing things that don’t cost any money. Like blogging.Made-In-Chelsea--007