I have been thinking quite a lot about the state of corporate America. I want to be clear that there is much good in our capitalistic system, and without it the quality of life would be much worse today. The point of this post is not to demonize corporate America, but instead to get consumers to think through the reality of the world we live in. The subject of this post has been rolling around in my mind for quite some time, but this post in particular was brought about after watching Dr. Mark Hyman in an interview with Mikhaila Peterson below. In the interview Dr. Hyman talks about patients he has seen that have been completely transformed from serious medical Illness with just a change in diet. If you are skeptical, I would be too except I happen to know several people who have experienced a medical turn around in their physical health by just changing diet. Dr Hyman is often demonized and he talks briefly about it in the below interview. Even if you are skeptical, let’s just say for the sake of the conversation that Dr. Hyman claims are true, and that we could cut medical spending drastically by treating people with proper diet. Where would that leave the large pharmaceutical, and medical companies? Would their board members just roll over and say “well I guess we will have to collapse our entire business, because it appears the problem we have been addressing won’t need to be addressed to the extent that would allow us to survive”. I think not, because if they couldn’t replace their revenue to keep their financial health up, they would likely try to discredit those touting the benefits of treating more patients with diet rather than medication. I also happen to know some people who were deficient in one or two vitamins or minerals, and just by getting proper supplementation were able to safely, and under the care of a doctor stop taking three or four prescriptions. How will anyone ever get the money to study this to the level that big pharma does? I work in a very good software company, and we are owned by a private equity firm. Even in a great company like the one I work for you aren’t going to get a private equity investor to give up without a fight regardless of what the truth is, if they can’t save their company by coming up with an alternate product to help their business survive.
How are we to be sure that we are getting the best treatment, that we can get from our current medical establishment? I only used the medical establishment as an example. This also applies in many other areas outside of health. You could just as easily take the latest research on the negative impact of social media is having. Are Google and Facebook going to suddenly stop training us to buy things with their algorithms? No absolutely not, because their C Suite and board of directors would not have it, and you can be sure that anyone who comes up with a competitive product that doesn’t do this would not be supported by advertisers.
It is time for America, and people all over the world to start rethinking their relationship with money and convenience. I would really like to see this conversation explode at the consumer level. This won’t be easy, because for many people who are covered by their employers medical insurance, the prescriptions that are harming us long term are cheaper than buying the right foods and supplements on a monthly basis. It is also much more convenient for us to use Google when we want to find something, or Facebook when we want to chat with a friend, because there are no second good alternatives.
Do you struggle with racing thoughts? Are you often attacked by negative emotions that make you believe some form of the idea that you are no good? Is your self-confidence low? Do you often see the negative in things, and rarely see the good? If you answered yes to these questions, you are not alone. Many more people that you think experience these problems. Everyone experiences them at some level. I am writing this post today because eight years ago I had an ADHD life coach who introduced me to Mindfulness. I didn’t do much with it at the the time. During my educational journey to becoming a life coach myself, I discovered something that lead me back to Mindfulness. Once I learned what I am about the share with you, Mindfulness became a powerful tool for me. One that has helped me to catch negative thoughts, and simply acknowledge and let them go. I became aware that all those negative thoughts were not me. I was someone different than those thoughts. This post is broken down into two sections. The first is “Levels of Consciousness” the second is “Mindfulness”. I did it this way because it is learning the levels of consciousness that caused me to see the great value of Mindfulness.
Levels Of Consciousness
We all have thoughts coming at us all the time. Sometimes they are coming at a furious pace, and other times a little slower. Sometimes they are encouraging, and other times they are telling us we are no good. I was exposed to Freud’s Iceberg Theory several times before it really impacted me. Imagine your mind as an Iceberg. The surface of the iceberg above the water represents our conscious mind. It contains all the thoughts that we are aware of at any given time. Just below the water’s surface there is another area that represents the subconscious ( preconscious ) mind. This is where the answer to queries like 2 +2 = 4, and other facts and memories are stored. When someone asks you a question that you know the answer to the answer is called back to consciousness. The largest area in the conscious structure is the unconscious mind. This is the area of the Iceberg well below the water’s surface. This is where unconscious memories, events, and emotions are stored. The majority of these items were stored prior to your tenth birthday. This is also where most of our values, opinions, and worldview come from. The unconscious mind is the source of the thoughts that constantly come to mind, and the sometimes negative emotions that accompany them. When I was three years old I lost my dad, which had a tremendous impact on me. The problem is I don’t remember much about my dad or even missing him. My mom recalls that I cried for days, and was a complete train wreck. All those emotions are still stored in my unconscious mind, even though I can’t remember their source. Just before working on my life coaching certificate, I took a college counseling class. Our professor, to whom I will always be grateful was an experienced trauma counselor. She knew that many of her students were interested in the helping professions, because they had deep hurts themselves. For this reason the vast majority of the lessons were accompanied by homework that was designed to help us pick our own lives apart. I had heard Dr. Jordan Peterson say in a several talks that “People don’t know what they are up to”. I didn’t know exactly what he meant until I understood the impact of our unconscious mind on our daily actions. If you want to overcome issues in your life it is important to recognize the thoughts are causing those issues. It is not an easy task to recognize much less change the negative thoughts and emotions as they enter your mind. This is where the power of Mindfulness can come to your rescue.
Mindfulness or mindful meditation can be practiced in a number of ways. There are a lot of great resources on Mindfulness. Lot’s of TedX talks on Youtube. For those of us with ADHD being attentive or mindful doesn’t come naturally. The most common way of practicing Mindfulness is just to turn off all distractions like television, smartphones etc.. You can sit or lie quietly in a comfortable position. Relax, take a couple deep breaths, and just purposefully become aware of your environment. You can do this with eyes open or closed. Notice the sounds in your environment. Maybe the sound of a running refrigerator, birds chirping, or the sound of a ceiling fan. If you have any thoughts enter your mind just gently acknowledge them and go back to put attention on your breathing or sounds around you. I takes a while to quiet the mind, that is why they call it practice. I will typically do this about 20 minutes or so twice per day. Even if you only do two minutes a couple times a day you will notice a difference. Once you learn to quiet your mind, you will catch thoughts as the come. When you do just acknowledge them without judging and go back to whatever you are focusing your attention on. Many people use their breath as an Anchor to go back to. Another way to practice Mindfulness is to take a simple task, and for a minute or two try to quiet your mind and perform the task paying attention to every small action. An example of this would be what I am doing right now. Normally I type instinctively and pretty quickly. Right now I am paying attention to every letter I type. I am doing it deliberately, and slowly. Paying attention to every space and character and not thinking about anything else. Spending time alone in nature with no distraction is another great way to increase Mindfulness.
Go back and watch some of the YouTube videos linked above. If you would like to find out more about Life Coaching, go the contact page and send me a message. I do a thirty minute online consulting session free of charge.