Headspace

About a year ago I tried to meditate using the headspace app for a while…it didn’t really stick. I struggled to find the right time of day to use it, even though when I did manage to do it, I really liked it.

Last night I was struggling to fall asleep. My brain was over drive so I downloaded the Headspace app again and logged in to try one of their sleep meditations.

The soft voice of the narrator guided me down a river with trees on the banks and fish in the water. Within minutes I drifted off.

It seemed to make me focus on just one thing (the fish story) and that was enough to send me to sleep with headphones on my ears.

it made me want to keep my subscription and try the meditation stuff again.

Furniture

I never thought I would ever care about furniture. For my teens and twenties, furniture was just stuff to sit on or put things on…or lie on. Just stuff to use.

Now though, furniture has power. I have favourite pieces. I appreciate how things are made. I get a sort of mental clarity and peace of mind when furniture fits into a room the way I think it ought to. When it is comfortable.

I think this is born out of family growth and chaos. Like a little microcosm of the world, population explosion in my house has put pressure on resources and spaces. Furniture has become misused – a TV cabinet overrun by unicorn stickers – a lounge suite as a nappy changing station. Furniture gets in the way often – tables and chairs are moved around willy-nilly for little hands and feet to climb onto – nothing more than leverage to reach something high. Just stuff to use.

Interior design and furniture can impact your health and wellbeing. Kids don’t care, and there’s a beauty in their nonchalance, but I am becoming more and more convinced of the power that ‘things fitting into appropriate spaces for particular use-cases’ can have.

Hifi and science

On an anecdotal level, hifi music often overwhelms everything else I am doing. When I hear a song that I like, on equipment that i like, nothing else really matters. I am happy and absorbed, and ensconced in the sound.

On an evolutionary level, why do we humans enjoy music? Why do we dance? What is it about certain sounds that makes me feel like i do? What is the evolutionary function of music? Are these feelings and effects all just neural impulses? If so, to what end?

Luckily I am not the first person to think about these things. I have just come across a book that I hope will help me answer some of these questions, or at least explore some of these ideas.

They don’t teach you calendars at school

Or maybe it was just that I wasn’t listening – either way, I think this should change.

Who doesn’t know how to keep a calendar? This sounds ridiculous, but it has taken me about 10 years to understand how to use and trust my computer’s calendar. At school, timetables were dished out at the beginning of term, pinned up on walls and referred to by everyone else around me. I could always ask my parents, teachers, friends what was coming up and what was due. I could remember a lot (well, enough) of what was important without needing a reference. The net result is that I never developed the skills to keep my own time. I have never trusted my computer calendars until very recently.

When you start using a calendar though, they build upon themselves. The more you use them, the more dependent you are on them, and then the more you will trust and use them again. You are invested, and that makes the whole system work. In this way calendars are a great example for projects in general. If you want to get a project started, then just start. The mental buy-in is what matters. The same thing seems to apply to relationships, exercise, blogging, working a job, keeping healthy.

That is what no school ever taught me – the importance of mentally buying into a concept, and that you can train yourself to do it in order to get something done.

Seems to me, this mental trick in and of itself is one of the most useful things in the world.

Work life balance = ?

Work-Life balance is important – we all agree on that. But what does it mean practically?

My next guest offers some insights. Balance needs to be planned a little and thought about with your family.

He literally built a space (a cabin….a bothy) for balancing his life, getting to nature, being mindful, planning meaningful conversations and experiences away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

It’s inspiring and I hope you tune in on Friday at chimpwithcans.com to hear his story and our chat.

Being intentional

What separates your actions from those of a stone or a piece of wood? Sometimes not that much. Sometimes a lot.

Intentionality is defined by the Stanford encyclopedia of Philosophy as “the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs”. Standing for something. Having a goal at the fore front of your mind.

It’s a lofty concept if you dig into it. Just check out the sprawling Wikipedia page: link. But it is at the centre of my next guest’s life. It gives him some of his greatest experiences and successes. Being intentional affects his family, his goals and his actions.

Tune in to the chimpwithcans podcast this Friday (audio posted to chimpwithcans.com) to hear some more.