It would seem in this very chaotic world that we all need to calm the fuck down and be more aware of our surroundings and of who we are, or at least, this is what we are led to believe. Recently, there seems to have been a spate of “personal growth” that is always plaguing any social media feeds you might have with, ‘positive affirmations’ and ‘uplifting’ messages to either confirm how great you are or they just make you feel shit because you’ve just realised that “everything’s rubbish” including you. Boohoo. This can only be a good thing, right? Yeah, of course. We all need to develop ourselves internally, I was going to suggest that we “explore” ourselves internally but that conjures up some pretty severe flashbacks that no-one needs to deal with again, ever. ‘Sorry Rolph, What? Can I guess what it is yet?’  No thanks.

What are we looking at here? Mindfulness, being mindful. Simple enough, surely? So what is it?

A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. Or at least that’s the definition on Google so it must be true, eh?

One of the important things to do when being mindful is … well … not! That’s right, the most important thing is to “not”, as in, stop thinking and “not” do anything else other than the “thing” that you’re actually doing, become completely absorbed into whatever it is you’re up to. Not so easy though. Making Tea is a good time to start this Zen-like transformation as there are many parts to making Tea but performed correctly with patience, you will end up with a perfect cuppa, so here we go.

Put the kettle on, shit, no, put water in the kettle first, where’s the kettle? Stop, lets start again.

Consider your cup of Tea and what it means to you….  (it’s just tea – “shut up brain”)

Pick up the kettle, and notice the weight of the empty device as you place the kettle under the tap… (I wonder how many times the water in the bottom of the kettle has been boiled – Shut up  brain). Carefully fill it up and notice the refraction of light as you look through the water cascading from the tap… (it’s like watching a horse piss – shut up brain, damn it)  Put the kettle on to boil and appreciate how the bubbles move through the water… (I could do with a shower really, and then I could make a sandwich, actually what am I going to have for lunch, I haven’t got the stuff for a sandwich , have I? I wonder what Charlie’s up to. He makes a good sandwich, always has, always buys decent bread though, thats the key. I remember when I ate all of those boot laces sweets and puked them up after having a whitey, ha, that was funny, What was I doing again? Fuckstix! I was making tea…) …. and then enjoy your cup of well considered and utterly divine tea, mindfully made of course. ( oh you utter bastard, I completely missed all of that coz I was thinking of other… stuff… Bollocks.)  Yeah, it’s not that simple being clear of all thoughts.

A study which came out 6 years ago (which is probably out of date now) shows that we consume about 174 newspapers worth of information everyday through 24 hr TV, social media, internet searches, advertising everywhere, radio, screens in cars and public places, it’s coming from everywhere. There is a lot of information out there. I don’t know if we have evolved enough to handle this data, a century ago we didn’t have this problem. How are we supposed to concentrate with all of these distractions? or more to the point, how are we supposed to not be so distracted by everything when there is just a glut of everything, all the time, everywhere?

So to be blank and empty ourselves of our daily thoughts that seem to be getting in the way of really experiencing life fully, we need to be just… empty… no emotion… a bit like staff at DIY stores I suppose. I was in a major DIY store recently and I have never seen such empty human beings, they were truly being mindful because none of them had a clue about what the hell was going on. I asked a meek looking someone at the ‘information’ desk where the shovels were. The reply? “Erm, think they might be in the gardening area?”  Don’t fucking ask me you daft bastard, I don’t work here… good guess though…   I practically take him by the hand to the “Garden section” and he shows me the ‘shovels’…. these are trowels bud, not shovels. “oh, I’ve only been here a couple of months and I don’t know my way around yet” What?!?!?!  So, in realising my obvious frustration, he asks “what is the shovel for?” For eating my fucking breakfast with!,.. I mean…c’mon, really? It’s for digging my shitty Zen garden, you complete pillock!   I then realise that all I really wanted was a chainsaw and that I had become sidetracked myself but I knew I couldn’t dare step into the realm of trying to describe something that had two separate words combined to create a useful garden tool. Do you have any chainsaws? “We should sell ‘saws’ but we don’t sell bicycle chains”          ?  Right…. I’m going to leave now before I loose the will to live, I think I’m burning up inside, I may well be suffering from a pulmonary embolism and I can’t communicate with you anymore. Good luck with learning how to breathe through your nose dickhead.

The funny thing is that this fella was probably more in tune with the void that is required to be truly mindful, and all I have left, is pure contempt and rage at the human race for allowing some desperately crack addicted traffic warden the misfortune to get pregnant and allow her spawn to run free on the rest of the civilised world, if there is such a thing. Shit. I need to meditate, maybe. I bought my wife a copy of a book about being mindful and I can’t help but think that maybe I should of bought her a copy of playboy instead…

What’s the difference between being be mindful and not giving a fuck? Not a lot, none at all if you ask me.

Fuck it.

Changing Man