As a good northern resident, we don’t have the underground up here, we have the over ground Metro in Manchester (Mr C actually was part of the team that built it). So I always find it interesting travelling on the tube in London. You see, if you are ont’ (on the) bus in Yorkshire, you would find people talking to each other, not everyone, not all the time, but if someone asked you a question or passed a comment on the weather – you would not find it odd to get a reply.
But on the tube the other day I did a very northern thing. I smiled at someone on the Tube and what happened next made me giggle. The person I smiled at quickly looked away and before they did I saw a definite moment of confusion and a “Why is she smiling at me” moment. This was followed by a “I don’t know her so perhaps she is just a bit odd, better not make eye contact in case she’s a stalker” (ok so that’s just a mind read but you know the look, right!) and this was all while she was staring hard at a very interesting tube advert.
I wasn’t surprised as this is not the first time I have noticed this on tubes, but it did make me have a look around. And there was everyone on the tube either reading a paper, looking at the floor, or mostly looking at / playing with their mobile phones. Everyone except for this cute baby – who just smiled right back.
Now this used to just happen in London, but I was over in Manchester a few weeks ago at a restaurant and as I looked around there what did I see? About half of the people waiting for food were on mobile phones. And phones/tablets appeared to be an effective way of amusing hungry children. Now listen, I have no children, so I have no experience in parenting, so I can not really comment on whether this works but this week I have had the pleasure of learning and implementing a new style of therapy called R.T.T. (Rapid Results Therapy, created by the amazing Marisa Peer) and I have witnessed the damage that lack of attention as a child can cause in adults such as feelings of “I’m not enough”, “feeling unlovable” or “I feel different”. Luckily this phenomenal method means it can be changed in one session but so many of the clients were over 35 and so I felt for them because I know what it’s like to feel like something is wrong in life and not understand why.
However, here’s the thing, it’s not just children that are affected by these distractions and alternatives to human connection, this is a bigger problem as it’s affecting adults too.
The more worrying thing is this. Because of all the distractions of life now, because of the constant connection to our electronic equipment we have lost the most important connection of all: Connection to ourselves.
We don’t have enough connection with ourselves. Our attention spans are so short, and we are so used to instant gratification, that we don’t take and are actually in many case, uncomfortable with time alone. In fact some even use the distractions as a way to subconsciously not connect with themselves for fear of having to deal with unhappy emotions they don’t want to face. But would you agree you don’t know what you don’t know?
So let’s test this out, and be honest. If I asked you to leave your mobile phone at home and go away for the weekend, on your own – how would you feel? I know some people would love that, but there are many others who wouldn’t enjoy it, and more who would refuse to do it.
But this is what you need to understand. Without alone time – whether that is a walk with the dog (ok I know that’s not alone but the dog won’t start talking to you), meditation, a long bath or sitting on the beach – without alone time we can easily go into overwhelm. There is so much information coming at you every second of the day, that unless you make a concerted effort to have me time, you never allow yourself the head space you need.
And why do you need it. Well, it is easy to get caught up in reacting. With so much information, an hour or two can disappear before you have realised it, spent responding to stuff on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or your email.
And if we don’t have time to have conversations with ourselves, then how do we know how we feel? Have you ever driven your car home and not remembered how you got there? That’s because you were on automatic pilot. And often that’s how we are living our lives. We are going through the days reacting to what’s going on and not stopping to metaphorically ‘smell the roses’.
Days can go by like that. Sadly, years can also go by like that, where you are stuck on a wheel in golden handcuffs, just doing what you have always done whilst being more and more distracted by all the information coming at you. Do you know that it has been estimated that nowadays you will be exposed in ONE DAY to the amount of information that a person living in the Middle Ages would have been exposed to in their WHOLE LIFE.
No wonder people feel overwhelmed.
No wonder people feel like they have not got enough time. The thing is everyone has the same amount of time they’ve always had, its just they are allowing too much information to distract them, not you right, just someone you know J
And if you can’t connect with yourself, then how can you decide what you want to do, how to spend your time, who to spend it with, and what you feel about what’s happening in your life? And if you can’t connect with yourself, then how can you connect with others? Most people do not live in the moment. They are chewing over the past, or worrying about the future, or they are reading about someone else’s life on social media.
So here’s my tip for today. Reconnect. Take some time out for yourself, every day. Even if it is setting the alarm 10 minutes earlier so you can do just 10 minutes of meditation. As a women especially, it is all too easy to put everyone and everything else first. But let me ask you this if you don’t look after you, who will? And if you don’t look after you, how can you look after anyone else?
Tony Robbins says “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is formed”. I say “It is in your moments of reflection that your decisions come into focus”. Your heart knows who you are and what you want. You just need to create a little time and space so you can listen to it and reconnect with yourself.
It’s in these moments that you can start to notice how you think and what pictures and words are being formed in your head, because when you change the words and the pictures, you change your beliefs, the beliefs that could be holding you back.
Take a listen. Do you call yourself “stupid” or “idiot” when you do something wrong? Or maybe you say harsher words. What if you heard someone calling someone you loved these words? That’s right no doubt you’d tell them to sod off (or even worse!). So why do you let yourself get away with saying those types of words to yourself? And think of the damage it could do if you do this and you don’t even know this is what you’re saying…because you’re too busy to notice.
If you would like to connect with other WHYs women and men who are finding how to become (even more) frickin awesome and understanding how to notice and change these thoughts, then I would like to invite you to join us (if you have not already booked) and come along to our 1st year anniversary party. Yes – Marion and I have been doing this Find Your Why stuff in the Live Love Laugh Lounge, and the Man Cave for a year now. And so we would like to invite you to come along to the Find Your Why! Foundation Dinner Party for Fun Frolics with Frikkin’ Awesomeness and help us celebrate. The people you will find there are a fabulous group of women and men, who support each other to be the best version of them that they can be. They laugh and cry together, normally when we have been a bit mean…no, I’m joking we aren’t mean, we just share the truth.
At first the truth will piss you off and then it will set you free J
So we would absolutely love it if you can make it along on July 22nd to Tankersley Manor, Sheffield. http://www.findyourwhyfoundation.com/1st-anniversary/ where we can all support each other and celebrate all our successes. And one lucky person will win a free place on our next UK retreat in January 2018, which will help you make 2018 your Best Year Yet!!