To Be Still…

A photo by Mathias Reed. unsplash.com/photos/wEoRDzrgmT8

We are all on the move. The pace of life seems to be forever increasing. Life is fast, work is busy. Too much to do in too little time.

Our lives are a frenetic ball of activities bouncing from day to week, week to month, month to year. And it doesn’t ever seem to stop.

When was the last time you had a moment of pure stillness? A time when you didn’t need to be somewhere, do something, speak to someone? When you could just be still? Is it even possible to be truly still?

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The Fear of Missing Out

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I’m not one for sales – especially around Christmas and New Year with hoards of people all pushing and shoving to get a bargain. However, like most people, I find myself buying things ‘on sale’ or ‘on offer’ on a regular basis.

Often this leads to us buying things we don’t need, which is especially wasteful if it’s food. Nonetheless, I find it happens, a lot.

So, why buy things we don’t need? Perhaps one reason is that we don’t like to miss out. What if the offer ends and we didn’t get a bargain?

But the fear of missing out often leads us to actions that are not in our best interests, such as giving up money for something we don’t actually need and may end up throwing away. So, in such instances, the fear of missing out has ended with us throwing away our money.

It can also lead you to throw away your time and, sometimes, throw away your dreams…

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In Reality

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The human brain is an amazing thing. Combined with the five senses we have the ability to imprint amazing memories on the mind. Millions of nerve endings in the brain firing away, capturing memories of faces, voices, sounds, smells, temperatures, tastes…

One of my favourite times of the year is Bonfire Night, the 5th of November. It’s a UK tradition every 5th of November to light bonfires, have fireworks, eat pie & peas, toffee and ginger cake.

One of the reasons I love it so much is because it impacts all the senses. The smell of bonfire smoke in the air, the sounds and colours of the fireworks, the temperature outside – usually freezing! – and the taste of the food. It’s been the same since I was a child.

Of course there are many other important, special and enjoyable days of the year – some planned for and others spontaneous: birthdays, weddings, holidays, concerts, sporting events… And yet, it’s struck me lately that the ‘reality’ of these special times and events don’t seem to satisfy us anymore…

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The Spectrum of Regret

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Regret
verb – to feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over something that one has done or failed to do.

noun – a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over an occurrence or something that one has done or failed to do.

However it’s defined, we’re all familiar with regret. That horrible sinking feeling of disappointment, of failure. Those thoughts and moments when you wish you could turn back time and do something all over again.

Perhaps it’s a wish to make different choices… undo the bad decisions… say something differently… avoid the wrong turns.

But of course we can’t do that. We have to live with our choices. Which, I guess, makes regret a pretty pointless emotion. After all you can’t undo things, un-say things, or go back and take a different turning in your life. And even if you could, you have no idea whether that would have led to a better outcome.

It’s easy to look back and think ‘if only’, but you then allow your imagination to play out a different set of circumstances that seem brilliantly better than the situation you’re in today.

But it is just that – imagination. It’s not a different path your life could have taken, because it doesn’t exist.

So that’s it – regret solved. Sorted. Worry no more!

Ah, if it were only that simple…

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Of The Moment

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Everything in your life, including your life itself, is temporary. Everything is “of the moment”. You are the only constant in your life, you are with you for your whole life – however long or short that turns out to be. Everything else, everyone else, is transitory.

This is why it’s so important to be able to let go.

You have to be willing to let anything and everything go because the reality is that, at some point, you might have to: your car, your job, your partner, your salary, your possessions. There are no guarantees.

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The Danger of Being Too Careful

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Make no mistake – it’s a scary world out there. All sorts of bad things could happen to you. You’re putting your life in danger everytime you get in a car (two thousand people die every year in road traffic accidents in the UK). So you should be careful when driving.

You could get attacked when you are out in the street, so be careful there too. Someone could break into your home and beat you to death, so be careful and lock your door. One day your heart could stop, so be careful of what you eat and make sure you get your exercise.

There are a multitude of terrible things that could happen to you at any given moment, there are hundreds of horrible ways in which you could die today… But most probably you won’t, thankfully…

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