Listener beware of these 3 essential points.
Your mind is precious, unique and deserves the chance to grow and evolve. Humans are genetically wired to be seekers of knowledge. At Body Helix, every medium we use must be filled with messages that build trust, convey gratitude, and add value to you, the recipients.
This blog will explore ways to protect your mind’s tranquility. With tranquility comes positive energy. Tranquility sharpens the five senses, calms down emotions, and enables you to focus more easily on mental and physical activities. Here are the topics we’ll cover:
- SOMETHING FEW ENJOY
- MIND ECHOING
- BEWARE OF MIND DUMPING
- DO YOU DESERVE MY ATTENTION?
SOMETHING FEW ENJOY
Let’s start with an illustration to set the mood. It’s early dawn. You’re sitting in a kayak in the middle of a serene lake. The water shimmers like glass. You are alone, relishing the tranquility. Your mind revels in the silent music of nature – something few enjoy today.
Through the fog, you hear a motor but can’t make out the image. It’s likely a fishing boat moving through. You are familiar with that sound. It motors along, and you never see it. The sound eventually fades away, and you return to your little universe, where everything is peaceful.
As you relax and fall deeper into your place of tranquility, you feel a gentle rocking motion in your kayak. This rhythmic swaying grows in intensity. Suddenly your mind shifts to alertness as you try to maintain your balance as the ripples grow to capsize waves. With your tranquility gone, your complete attention is focused on staying upright in your kayak.
You seem caught up in a cycle of swamping waves that bob you up and down—the disturbed water surges and rolls. You find yourself expending your energy trying to stabilize yourself. You maintain a low center of gravity by keeping your weight centered in the kayak.
And then, gradually, the waves decrease in intensity and frequency to slower, smaller ripples promising a smooth surface once again. You drift back to your quiet space in nature. You are one with nature again – peaceful and tranquil.
You know what happened. This was simply a pattern of waves created by the fishing boat. A boat moving over the surface of undisturbed water sets up waves emanating from the bow and stern. The fishing boat’s wake created a momentary disruption, an echo of something else taking up space in the world.
Those waves made you feel unsteady and unstable, maybe even unsafe. It was also an invasion of your tranquil space. I bet you may have ideas on how to ban motorboats from your meditative lake.
“The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater his success, influence, and power for good. The calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.” ~ James Allen
This wave formation (wake) that overtook you was an echo of the fishing boat. And even though you were a bit frantic while trying to keep from keeling over, you knew that the wake would subside. You weathered the disruption!
While you were steadying and paddling, I imagine you were yearning to return to the quiet refuge of your placid waters. I bet you weren’t wishing for a fleet of fishing boats to come by and toss you all around for the rest of your time on the lake.
Sometimes, life is like a fleet of fishing boats creating turbulence so severe that you continue to topple and bobble without hope of gaining control of your vessel. This constant unrest is the ‘norm’ in some people’s lives.
Think of these waves like magical sirens of Greek mythology that sing you into more treacherous waters. The waves pass beneath and around you, and their melodies increase in intensity and frequency. They grow strong, and you unwittingly allow them to have power over you. Their echoes force you to beg for more waves, bigger waves – until you capsize and drown. Nightmare.
Okay, a bit melodramatic, but think of these mind echoes of life like those hypnotic songs of the sirens. These waves are bombarding you every day. Rather than the wake of a fishing boat, I’m talking about the wake of digital technology, the turbulence of our emotionally charged political climate, or the instability of our collective moral compass.
These constant echoes are programming our minds. They push you towards more and more chaos and disruption. Frankly, if you aren’t careful, you can lose tranquility entirely. And further, you may not even know or care that you have lost it.
After years of repetitive mayhem echoes, you may become uncomfortable with tranquility, perhaps even to the point of dreading ‘quiet space.’ Your once thoughtful, peaceful world fades, and the echoes of confusion, hurriedness, and truncated unformed thoughts become your accepted norm. You are but a reflection of a millennium of genetic echoes. You become an echo of the constant unending disturbance around you—another nightmare.
BEWARE MIND DUMPING
At its core, Google tells us that mind-dumping involves ‘dumping’ all the thoughts, worries, lingering questions, negativities, and to-dos in your head out onto paper or another medium, often with the goal of decluttering the mind or helping manage stress or anxiety. However, I think most of us can relate to another version.
Mind-dumping is often the act of venting (consciously or unconsciously) and dumping your emotions, thoughts, and feelings onto another person to release frustrations, gain attention or as a coping mechanism. This kind of unsolicited offloading is toxic to your friends and loved ones.
We have enough dumping going on in the world around us without our friends dumping on us. Trillions of bits are dumped into our minds daily. Some bits are worthless time wasters, and some bits can be precious. Unless you are very savvy and discerning, you will be unaware of the dumping effects.
Beware of mind dumping. It can shape who you are or who you are becoming.
Coach’s sidebar: The human mind is today’s most sophisticated computer. This human-computer can achieve powerful things. Even as individual neurons die, our neural networks readjust, fine-tuning their connections to sustain optimal data transmission. The power is yours. Take good care of your mind. How? Exercise regularly. Eat healthily. Hydrate properly. Get adequate sleep. Prevent injury. Practice meditation. Sound familiar?
Below are 3 cautionary points. Consider these warnings. They may help you identify when you are being pulled away from your natural, tranquil state and are in the throes of the mind-dumping echoes of the world.
1. Beware of the News
Many of us feel compelled to watch the news on TV. We can feel like missing out if we don’t tune in. The truth is you are missing out – missing the drama, the emotional upheaval, and the negative manipulation. Today’s “news” is not worthy of our time. It is destructive to our tranquility.
Give yourself a break. Plan a morning routine of allowing only inspirational reading/watching/listening. The world is full of amazing people who are building a better planet for us to share. Seek out the good news stories.
A morning habit will forever change the way you begin each day. It will direct your intentions toward accomplishments and inspiration. Studies have proven that a good morning routine can improve your mood and that a good mood will stay pretty much the same throughout the day. Watching the TV news won’t do that for you.
Coach’s sidebar: Try listening to a TED TALK in the morning. These are usually only 15 minutes long, and there is a huge variety of interesting topics from which to choose from intelligent humans with incredible stories.
2. Move away from fast talkers
Here is something I learned while training with Buddhist monks. When you ask Buddhist monks a question, they listen intently. They pause, think, and reflect before responding. When they speak, they do so slowly and softly. Monks are never characterized as loquacious since they mentally prepare their responses in an organized, thoughtful manner.
The digital age is creating a generation of what I refer to as ‘Text Talkers with Fractal Thoughts.’ They talk at 1.5X speed. Fast talkers are hard to follow. They prattle on quicker than listeners can digest the information.
Sometimes, fast talkers jump from one subject to the next without coming up for air. Do they think the faster they talk, the more they say? Do they get a headache from listening to themselves? I have experienced that the faster someone talks, the less meaningful their content. Unfortunately, in our skimmed, bullet-pointed comprehension culture, the emotional state quickly takes over the undisciplined mind and produces drivel.
Practice enjoying your time with your friends. Try out conversation subjects that require meaningful thought. Slow down and ask questions that involve reflection. Do this kindly, and you will develop a much deeper level of friendship.
3. Don’t be a good listener. Be a selective listener.
Most people believe they know a good listener when they meet one. However, in my opinion, listening is one of the most misunderstood areas of communication.
We’ve all heard the “be a good listener” platitude ad nauseam. Or maybe we’ve been instructed to give someone your ‘undivided attention when you are a good listener. Suppose you ascribe solely to this tenet of listening skills. In that case, your precious mind can quickly become a dumping ground for every morsel drama in the universe.
I’m taking a firmer position here than most because I have realized there is no end to the victim mentality – the root of suffering, drama, negativity, and self-pity. My position is this: If you give anyone free, open, and unending access to dump gossip, pessimism, and victimized thoughts into your mind, you will end up just like them. Your personal power, clarity of thought and tranquility will all be flushed down the toilet.
If you are serious about creating a strong mental space in which your tranquility thrives, then get serious about what you allow into your mind. Become a selective listener. Become a discerning listener. If you master this listening skill, you’ll find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat listening intently because you have someone in front of you who inspires you and helps bring meaning to your world.
DO YOU DESERVE MY ATTENTION?
Ponder this suggestion and use it with kindness. Protect the most precious thing you will ever have, which can never be replaced – your time. If you want my time, you must be deserving of it.
If you want my undivided attention, make it worth my time. If you want me to sit and listen to you, then be willing to talk about things with significance, insight, and inspiration. If you want my responsiveness, add value to me, you, and the world around us.
Don’t be afraid to reveal your beliefs or ideas in honest conversations. Curate a list of questions that will help prompt thoughtful dialogue. Unplug from social media and mindless scrolling and learn to regain your ability to think and reflect.
Just like any habit, improving communication takes time. Prior to the clarity of language comes clarity of thought. Reflective thinking (slow and deliberative) and reactive thinking (fast and instinctual) exist at opposite ends of a switch. When one is “on,” the other is “off.”
If you intend to create (or re-create) yourself, be vigilant about vetting the content you allow inside your mental firewall. Your mental strength commands that if someone expects your undivided attention, they must earn it. Why? Because your mind is precious and deserves growth content. This is the way to own your personal power.
Of course, this concept will go over like a lead balloon for those who wish to pull you down. For those folks, I recommend keeping your distance and limiting your time with them. You can still love them, but it’s not your mission in life to reform their misery.
Every ‘now’ is an attention opportunity. Every encounter – work, meeting, school, shopping, dining, traffic, sports, etc. – is a fleeting moment we can choose to make the world a better place.
Coach’s Challenge: Learn something of clear value. Share that thought seed with your friend. Know your message and know your audience. Have dialogue in such a way that your friend can listen and understand. Although planting the seed is necessary for growth, it alone does not ensure growth. Actual growth takes time and depends on what kind of inspiration you want to harvest. Be both patient and observant. You will know when you can offer more – planting at a greater depth or providing more seeds. A successful harvest of inspiration requires hard work before and after the seed is planted. Seeds are amazing – small, seemingly lifeless, yet capable of generating new growth and change.
Body Helix is dedicated to cultivating and exploring a growth mindset and salutogenesis. We urge (sometimes admonish) you – our friends – to enjoy wholesome lifestyle choices. That’s what friends do. Providing the finest compression gear and unsurpassed sports fuel, we help keep our friends active – a necessity for increasing healthspan.
Learn. Share. Inspire.
Be well, my friends.