Silliness is underrated
Bubble is nudging her owner; looking up at him with tail wagging as proof of the delight she is experiencing.
It is a beautiful morning and she is out walking with her owner and her mate ‘Buster’. There is life all around, yachts in the harbour, sunrise glittering in the water and everywhere people and dogs are out exercising.
Bubble’s owner however is not so enthusiastic; he has a grim expression on his face and arms crossed. He looks as if he is busy worrying, so much so that Bubble’s nudging goes unnoticed.
At our second encounter Buster has found an ice-cream container with a little bit of melted ice-cream left at the bottom. Tail wagging his tongue can just reach the smooth, sweet ice cream. He is enjoying this when the owner shouts: ‘Buster, leave that rubbish alone!’ Bubble who is socialising with a new dog friend is also called; ‘Come here Bubbles’
There is no doubt who is enjoying the morning trip the most, and yet aren’t we supposed to be the clever ones?
Perhaps Mr. Grim named the dogs Bubbles and Buster in a moment of deep clarity, knowing he needed these beautiful creatures to repeatedly burst his ‘grimness bubble’?
We all have Mr or Ms Grim within us and most likely spend much time with him or her at the forefront of our experience. Mr Grim was certainly not the only one who looked grim during the morning walk, in fact there were only two humans on the whole walk who didn’t.
What is happening???? We are lost in thought and when we are identified with thought, then our thinking is our only window for experiencing life and that makes our view a little narrow, self occupied and non joyous.
In effect we reduce the moment to a means to and end, as an obstacle or as an enemy.
What can we do?
- Check in with the Now and with kindness and curiosity ask: ‘what is the mind’s response to this moment and can I let go of that and just be present?’
- Tune into the body, knowing there you can access unprocessed data, which is always in the present moment – very different to the characteristics of the mind.
- Engage in mindful walking. This is walking while being aware of the sounds, the sights, the smells, the sensation of the morning air on the skin, and everything else the body is experiencing.
Finally, I think silliness is underrated! Perhaps we need a jolt, a reminder that it is ok to be silly, to laugh, to fool around, to feel free and non serious – even without alcohol. Who said life was supposed to be so serious?
Not a dog!
But then after all what would a dog know…
Master your mind rather than being a servant to it
Whenever we want to change anything in life, the place to start is the mind. Whether the change is calling for being more effective or productive, being less stressed and experiencing more joy, having more clarity of thought or more rewarding relationships or just feeling more alive, it all starts in the same place. THE MIND.
Being able to focus, having clarity and mental agility are some of the best investments we can make in our life generally as well as our working life. Consider how much time (and money) is wasted in your organisation every day due to lack of focus, lack of attention and clarity, distraction and daydreaming – (perhaps not even pleasant daydreaming).
Imagine if we used our thinking capacity more as a tool, as something that took orders, rather than it running the show willy nilly!
It is very difficult to change something that we identify with, something that we think is Me. A distance needs to be created between who we experience ourselves to be and what we think. This requires mind training.
Here is an exercise – try this:
Close your eyes and don’t think of anything for 45 seconds. If this was easy for you then you know how essential this ability is. If you didn’t manage, don’t worry, most people find it difficult. The good news is that this skill can be learnt through Mindfulness practice.
Recent research in neuroscience has demonstrated conclusively that mindfulness training can increase attention, enhance memory, improve energy, reduce stress, and positively impact our overall sense of well-being (please contact me for research details).
Did you know that stress is believed to trigger 70% of visits to the doctor and 85% of serious illnesses? (UK HSE)
Not surprisingly some of the world’s most progressive and prestigious organisations and companies such as Google, Apple, Carlsberg and Harvard University are using Mindfulness training. The results they experience include what the research found but also additional benefits such as; better teamwork, less absenteeism, more creativity and innovation as well as increased efficiency. Importantly, it has been a huge factor in significantly improving the bottom line.