Reading from the book of life, a chapter on “Finding your mission” provided a useful insight into creating focus and direction associated with our careers. It’s true, those of us with no plan, are distinctly disadvantaged when we come up against organised planners. The idea behind the concept is finding work purpose towards a service to humanity. It goes beyond our personal needs, but doesn’t have to be a massive and worthy cause, like finding the cure for HIV or malaria. It just needs to be something we can imagine improving the lives of others.
I think I’d like to lessen the psychic stress of individuals living in our current sensory overloaded society, and create visual imagery to remind us of our interconnectedness, vulnerability, and sensitivity in a temporal world of layered complexity.
Following the principles of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) I discovered the challenges of fusion.
In simple terms it’s when our thoughts become the only Truth. Whatever our inner voice says – we just accept. Traditional CBT encourages challenging, and over-riding our loud inner critic. ACT however, endeavours to get us to:
- Recognise our inner commentary
- Lessen the impact through observation and acknowledgement, without automatically fusing with the narrative
Often the biggest challenge (certainly for me) is hearing that voice. It’s become so massively fused I seem to shift through various states of being without time to recognise or cognate what is happening.
Mindfulness is excellent practice to allow time and experience of observing. Sometimes it feels 10 minutes in a day hardly balances out the remaining hours to survive; but it starts to leak out of practice periods and can give surprising STOP moments where I find myself saying:
I HEAR YOU, AND I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING
Mental health is a curious phenomenon. I journey through the day vaguely perplexed by my physical tiredness, and overwhelming desire to crawl into bed and sleep.
It feels like a chronic or post-viral fatigue. I have to practice pacing, grading my activities to reduce flip-flopping between spikes of activity, and crashing inertia.
Sitting and staring out the window with my dog curled up on the floor at my side has become a wonderful pleasure. I hope never to lose appreciation for this experience, before guilt mobilises me into activity.