2019 and a New Year’s Resolution that I might actually keep……. 2/2

“Several years back I started my own company in Cambridge. Capitalising on the areas’ status as Europe’s “top tech’ hub” and the availability of local talent and business expertise, things have gone from strength to strength. I have financial backing and a full order book. I also have a great family, good friends and colleagues. I earn well and am respected by my peers.  I’m ‘living the dream’.  So why do I feel unfulfilled?”

Continuing the theme of ‘living in the present’ and the work of Eckhart Tolle https://cambridgeap.com/blog/2019-and-a-new-years-resolution-that-i-might-actually-keep/ , he goes on to suggests a number of tactics for separating the mind from the body:

‘Ruminatus Interruptus’ or, breaking the continuous flow of thought.  With your new awareness of the power of your mind and the ways it influences your thoughts and actions (&happiness!), ask yourself the following: “What will my next thought be?”

 If you commit to this action you will interrupt the flow of/ from the mind.  Doing this regularly will allow you to interrupt at will, reduce the power of the mind and separate yourself from it. Judging requires you to engage the mind and so plays into its hands. Focus on avoiding making judgements. If, in the middle of your working day, your body tells you it wants to run… don’t analyse the emotion, follow the impulse instead.   Later, when your (nagging) mind tells you that you’ve wasted time and should have been working, don’t judge.  Accept the sentiment but don’t act on it. You’ve broken the link between your mind at the need to follow its every command.

Judging requires you to engage the mind and so plays into its hands. Focus on avoiding making judgements.  If, in the middle of your working day, your body tells you it wants to run… don’t analyse the emotion, follow the impulse instead.   Later, when your (nagging)mind tells you that you’ve wasted time and should have been working, don’t judge.  Accept the sentiment but don’t act on it. You’ve broken the link between your mind at the need to follow its every command. 

[Those of a certain age might fondly recognise the picture on the left.  For the rest of you –Google it, you’ve been missing out.]

Tolle’s 3rd suggestion for separation of mind and body is “active waiting”.  This is the idea that anything could happen at any time, it could be important, and you need to be ready for it. 

 As a result, your focus must be on the NOW. There is no time or space for daydreaming, planning or recalling past memories.  

This focus also promotes further awareness of the body which may be called upon to be ready for anything and so the senses are heightened. 

So, we’re better at living in the NOW, managing the mind’s control over us and we’re a “coiled spring”, ready for action.  Excellent, we’re on the path to personal happiness, fulfilment and, (for the spiritual amongst you), enlightenment.  Things are looking up ….

“I’m now living mainly in the present – this is good.  

Unfortunately, my partner has left me – this is not good. “

Living with someone who is ‘fully in the present’ creates challenges for those who share their life. 

The ego of the partner may find the peace and calm exhibited
by their newly enlightened ‘other half’ both challenging and threatening.   

Strong opposites struggle to co-exist in close proximity andthe partner’s ego may become problematic by trying to disrupt the peace, or continually referring to the past.  In dealing with this issue it’s important to recognize that this is not the partner’s conscious behaviour.  

By not judging, criticizing or attempting to change thepartner you have the opportunity to see and deal with them as they really are.  Obviously, if they perceive that your new outlook is driving your happiness and fulfilment, they can choose to follow a similar path.

“This is great – I’ll never feel pain again….”

If you never feel pain, you’re one of the following:

 Clinically insane

Heavily medicated (in which case, sharing can be  good…)

Dead

(Please select as appropriate)

Even if you are fully ‘in the present’, feelings of pain and sadness are natural and unavoidable.  So, should you suppress them and pretend everything is fine?   (Answer:  No)

Not all pain is self-created – some is beyond our control.  For example, the death of aloved one – this pan is real and unavoidable. Living in the present allows us to mourn and feel sadness. It also allows us to accept the situation as it is and that it can’t be changed –thereby avoiding additional and unnecessary pain. Accepting the situation, while feeling sad means you’re not wasting your time and energy on wishing things were different. 

Finally, does living in the present mean living a passive life; unwilling to address things that irritate or trouble us?

Not really.

It is an internal process and insights that need not preclude appropriate action to improve your situation

Rather than accept the status quo, the insights derived allow for a rational analysis of the changes needed, breaking them down into individual and manageable issues to be resolved one by one. Focusing on the present, keeping the past and the future where they belong, allows an assessment of what’s wrong NOW and provides a framework for making the necessary changes.  

As mentioned at the top of this blog, I’ve not yet experienced a major life-changing impact from practising Tolle’s techniques andtactics. I have however seen some positive changes and hope to benefit furtherby ongoing application.   If you would like to comment or discuss further, please contact me via the CAP website… https://cambridgeap.com/contact/

Chris Taylor


2019 and a New Year’s Resolution that I might actually keep…….

1/2

“Several years back I started my own company in Cambridge. Capitalising on the areas’ status as Europe’s “top tech’ hub” and the availability of local talent and business expertise, things have gone from strength to strength. I have financial backing and a full order book. I also have a great family, good friends and colleagues. I earn well and am respected by my peers.  I’m ‘living the dream’.  So why do I feel unfulfilled?”

As a Cambridge-based business consultancy focused on
supporting local growth, we’ve heard the above comment (or a variation thereof)
on many occasions. Indeed, many of us will have been through the same
‘navel-gazing’ exercise ourselves. 

As a confirmed cynic / realist (delete as appropriate), my default
position is that ‘that’s just how things are…who am I to expect such a level of
personal satisfaction… etc.’

However, a project recently undertaken for one of ourclients provided the impetus and time to seriously consider what’s may bepreventing people from feeling truly happy. 

In doing some reading around the subject, I came across ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. Tolle is known as a ‘bestselling author and renowned spiritual guide’.  Whereas the latter descriptor jars somewhat with my own views and beliefs (see above: cynic/ realist), I found his hypotheses interesting and began to put some of his ideas into action. I can’t claim a ‘Road to Damascus’ type epiphany as a result but I am seeing some positive signs in my self-management and ability to detach myself from negative and (essentially non-productive) thinking.  My take on and understanding of Tolle’s approach follows – for your consideration, comment and critique: 

Contrary to the image, the general consensus is that we wantbetter lives, inner peace and ‘enlightenment’. Tolle’s conjecture is that all of this is available to us if we ‘live inthe present’, thereby limiting / avoiding “pain”. In order to achieve this, weneed to look at how we control our minds. 

We spend most of our time living in the past or thinking about the future.  We’re either reminiscing / regretting past actions or planning for actions to come (often with a degree of trepidation). We spend most of our time living in the past or thinking about the future.  We’re either reminiscing / regretting past actions or planning for actions to come (often with a degree of trepidation). 

Ever put off a major work task – it’s too big, too complex,it requires too much time….? Did you worry about the amount of work you’d need to do orthe fact that you’d already missed opportunities to make a start? The resultantparalysis is a common outcome. Living in the NOW though, you can break the task down into aseries of (manageable) current issues that you can focus on and resolve. 

Tolle definespain as the mind’s inner resistance to external factors beyond its control.This resistance drives a negative emotion (pain). 

Have you ever become really angry in a disagreement?  What was the real impact of that anger? Were you thinking clearly / acting rationally? The likely answer is No! In fact, your anger almost certainly added to yourfrustration and increased your pain.  But, the pain is real – so what can we do about it?

The ego (or “Happiness Police”) is the auto pilot thatexercises control over your thoughts and actions – without your knowledge. Think of a discussion / argument where (with the benefit of hindsight) you mayhave overreacted. (Go on – try…)

Your ego had taken control – this is its “raison d'être”.   If you’ve ever fallen out with your partnerover something essentially trivial (and who hasn’t?), it’s likely to have beenyour ego asserting itself to ensure it remains the most dominant and importantpart of your mind.

The mind is responsible for pain – it constantly brings upthe past (regrets) and plans for the future (anxiety). You can’t actually affect either of these so you’re experiencing pain for pain’s sake.

Tolle suggests that we need to reduce the power / impact ofthe mind and proposes that to achieve this we develop a greater awareness ofand focus on, the body.  My next blogwill continue this theme and explore further tactics, issues and implicationsof “living in the present…”

Chris Taylor 


Our Winter Comfort Campaign 2018

The festive season is all about giving so this Christmas we have come together with Cofinitive who are running a campaign to collect donations from across Cambridge in aid of Wintercomfort.
Wintercomfort supports men and women who are homeless or vulnerable by offering them vital welfare services and opportunities for learning and training. Their day centre is open seven days a week. They will be open throughout the festive period, including Christmas Day, providing Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.
In the last year they have helped 742 individuals, welcoming an average of 52 people each day into their day centre. They supported 52 people back into employment, making lasting, positive changes in their lives.
Wintercomfort is in need of the following items:
Socks Thermal Socks Pants (new please)
Ladies knickers (new please)
Ladies bras
Gloves
Hats
Fleeces
Waterproof trousers
Waterproof jackets
Good quality backpacks
Good quality sleeping bags
Roll mats
Thermarest airbeds (that don’t need pumps)
Belts
Nail clippers
Shower gel
Shampoo
Tooth brush + paste
Men and Women’s Deodorant
Men’s Razors
Shaving Gel (not cream)
Make up/aftershave Baby/face wipes
Chocolate bars + sweets
Hot chocolate sachets
Mini flask
Torch
Sewing kit
Hand warmers
Notepad and pen
Key rings
Supermarket vouchers
Sim free budget mobile phones (RRP £15)
Dog toys
Dog food
So whilst you’re doing your Christmas shopping, why not add a few of the above to your list and drop them off at our office.
Cambridge Advisory Partners
(box located at reception)
Regis Building
1010 Cambourne Business Park
Cambridge
CB23 6DP
Contributions can be made until noon on 20th December, and then we will be delivering all donations to Wintercomfort. Thank you for supporting the campaign!

 

The Cambridge Advisory Partners Team