What Is Your Mission?

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.

Fusion

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:

  1. Recognise our inner commentary 
  2. 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

Keep going

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.

The cherishing self

On my quest for inner-peace, and enlightenment a.k.a “know thyself” I attended a local Buddhist meditation class. The theme was self-cherishing, in simple terms, less suffering may be attained by shifting our focus away from the self, and towards others.

It is true when we are in a dark place the world shrinks to a pin point reference, and the universe contains only our damaged egos. I felt vaguely horrified listening to the talk, to consider my selfishness as responsible for my inner angst.

There is truth to the argument, it’s a stoical stance – suffering is relative. However, I can’t quite shake the belief kindness and love directed inwards, along with forgiveness and compassion will be my path to a gentler ego with the ability to see beyond the black fog.

Self forgivneness

Reflecting on a difficult journey, and wrestling with those crushing destructive inner voices of:

“You’re not good enough”

“You are a failure, a quitter.”

“You’ll never be happy, no matter what you do, or how hard you try”

“You don’t deserve to be different from everyone else. What gives you the right?”

I have started on a 30 day yoga camp; alongside a sore and perplexed body (but you hardly moved during that 30 minutes!) I also discovered a beautiful and kind person who is giving me permission to love who I am. It sounds soooooo cheesy and such a cliché. However, it is giving me hope one day I can say out-loud from an authentic self, and with sincerity:

“I love you, and I forgive you.”

Social Media Etiquette

Having recently joined a Whatsapp group and partaken in groups before, I’m always left wondering: “How much is too much?” and “What is appropriate to share?”

I’m something of a giddy pet hamster with a new wheel to play in. I’ll put a lot of time and energy into the activity but not ask, “Why am I doing this? Where is it going? What is it I want?”

I am probably doing myself a disservice. I know, deep down, the answers to all of those questions:

  • Why and what is it, I want?
    • I don’t want to feel alone and a freak. I want to be understood. I want to be looked-after by a benevolent and kind community who will stroke my ego and tell me it will all be ok, and that I am an amazing person. Cue social anxiety: “Why hasn’t so-and-so responded?”, “Have I over-shared?”,and “I’m too needy”.
  • Where is it going?
    • This is the harder of the three to answer and probably the most important. Others will have answers but I must remind myself it is me who owns the issues, and ultimately my responsibility to take action…or I could just bathe in the warm fuzzy glow of:
      • broken=please support + fix me …….a little longer…