No skill is of any value if you don't have the Presence of Mind to use it.
Our minds, the stories we tell ourselves and the stories we are told
Our modern minds are filled with an interplay of narratives. The inner narrative (the story of our lives) combines with the stories of others, the contrived theatre of the news cycle, and the melodramas of celebrities.
To escape, we don't need another foreign holiday; we need to learn to train our minds.
Our culture is in denial of the existence of the mind
The idea of training the mind is taboo. When did your teachers speak to you about training your mind? It's not on the curriculum. The mind is only part of the cultural narrative as something that becomes broken and needs to be fixed by experts with drugs!
Resilience is how we cope with adversity. At the heart of resilience is mental focus. If our attention is constantly drawn to a disempowering narrative, we lose hope and optimism, and we compromise our natural inbuilt inner strength.
I teach practices that will help you let go of disempowering and unhelpful narratives and return to Presence.
What is Presence?
Presence (sometimes called mindful awareness) is a natural state of mind. It is driven out of our experience in the modern world.
Presence is the legacy of our ancestors' connection to nature and each other.
An invasive media cycle plants new wants and needs in our distracted minds through viral newsfeeds, advertising, PR, product placement and influencers. This cycle of "news, information, and entertainment" distracts us from the present moment with empty promises of security, pleasure, comfort and happiness.
"Being associated with happiness helps build stronger emotional connections between consumers' memory structures and the brand," - Steve Hastings, a marketing expert on Marketing Week Feb 2014.
This is how they manipulate our minds. It's wrong because happiness is how we experience, not what we experience.
Happiness is experiences we need less of over time to feel good. Consumer Culture sells us experiences we need more of over time to feel good.