Modern life demands so much from us nowadays, more than most of us have time for. In today's world we are exposed to more levels of stimulation in one day, than someone living 250 years ago would have been exposed to in their entire life! Our days are spent juggling work, kids, a partner, running a house, errands and paying bills, and if you're lucky, maybe a social life or time to yourself! By night time we often find ourselves flopping into bed feeling frazzled and wired from the craziness of the day, and anxious over the demands of the day ahead. Many of us have lost touch with our inner clarity, our inner voice - better known as our intuition. We have lost our ability to concentrate and are easily bored, filling any gaps in our day through trawling social media and checking our phone app's and emails. In my view, we’re practically never completely present anymore and many of us have no idea of the meaning of this simple concept. Our minds are no longer fed or entertained in the way they were by things like – books, theatre, music or movies. The finer shades of life have been lost.
The only solution for many of us to survive this crazy world we live in, is to multitask or juggle numerous things at once and pay attention to the voice in our head that dictate how we think, feel and consequently act.
But the effect of this “multitasking” and allowing ourselves to be pulled in every which way by the stresses and demands of everyday life, is a sense of disharmony and lack of contentment within ourself and our life. This state of disharmony is perhaps the most notable characteristic of our time, and what lies at the cellular level of many of our physical, mental and emotional imbalances which can eventually develop into a chronic illness or disease.
The feeling of having too many forces vying for our attention and demanding so much from us, is causing us to live with a constant feeling of not “having enough time”. As if everything was going faster and faster.
The concept of 'not having enough time' is actually just our minds way of convincing us that this is the case, when in reality, we're just not living in a conscious enough state that enables us to manage or prioritise our time well. And so urgency ends up trumping importance every time.
The absurdity of trying to fit more life into each moment is that we fail to be in the moment - the moment we want to enjoy is the place and time where we are not.
Like the words of John Lennon's famous song - “Life is what happens while making other plans”. Life goes on while we are someplace else but in the present moment.
The question is, how do we survive and stay sane in today's crazy overwhelming world amongst all the stress and stimulation? Waiting for the day to arrive when we will have no stress or even less stress in our life, is about as absurd as waiting to win the lottery - the chances of that day just coming along and plopping into our lap are buckley's and none!
It may come as a surprise to learn that the secret to experiencing less stress in your life and more inner contentment, lies in learning how to live consciously. To live consciously is to live now. Not by filling the moment with more but by being completely present. Not to constantly chase after only that which gives us pleasure, but learning how to find pleasure in what we do. Choosing to live simply, or at least avoid the excess. Not because of an ascetic wish for self-sufferance, but from realising that happiness cannot be bought.
Being able to practice being in the moment, as well as understanding that the present isn’t a piece of time in between the past and the future – there to be filled with as many “experiences” as possible - is the key to less stress and inner contentment. This may comes across as sounding all very 'Zen'! BUT, Im sorry to say that it's true and as foreign as this concept may sound to your mind right now, being able to harness and practice this simple concept will be the beginning of experiencing change in yourself and in every part of your life.
Here's a little 'guide' that may provide a good starting point to learn and understand more about how you can feel less stressed and overwhelmed with your daily life and find that inner 'calm', through living in a more conscious state. But please feel free to add any tips or advice you have in the comments section below! The more the merrier!
* Check out a local meditation course
Here's a list of a few I highly recommend
Tim Brown Meditation, paddington, Sydney The Broad Place, paddington Sydney
The Compassion Space, Melbourne
Transcendental Meditation courses, Australia ( This is the style I practice, oh and so does Hugh Jackman...if that makes it seem any less cra cra)
* Handy books and resources
The Power of Now, Erkhart Tolle New Earth, Eckhart Tolle
The Conscious Club
Chris 'Dorje' Walker - Dorje's website offers FREE downloadable guided meditation and relaxation MP3's as well as a video intro guide to Qi Gong.
Of course a healthy mind wouldn't be complete without a healthy body! So why not combine the two and grab a copy of my book Love Your Gut