The tragedy that is Notre-Dame

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As the human population raises its consciousness over time.

We begin to question things that we had very little information on in the past.

Why are we farming animals for consumption?
Why are we dropping tankers of oil into the ocean?
Why are plastics used unrecyclable?
Why do we need a house full of ‘stuff’?
Why can’t we work a 4-day week?
What do we do once artificial intelligence removes entire layers from the cake that is the corporation?

The biggest question, however, is, why on earth,

Is there still war?
Still hunger?
Still people with no shelter?
Children with no parents?

In an age when Apple corporation has £285 billion cash in the bank.
And societies consciousness edges ever higher.

There will be a shift in understanding.

A prime example of that is the instant response to the Notre-Damme fire.

And don’t get me wrong, to see history, art, a place of spiritual fortitude for many be destroyed. That is a sad day.

However.

Billionaires of Gucci and Louise Vuitton and others pledge hundreds of millions to rebuild the cathedral.

I personally believe 15 years ago; this would have been seen as an honourable and their names would have been regarded highly.

Unfortunately for them, society is now very much aware of the disproportionate spread of wealth, health, education…basic human needs.

So, is the £8 billion and 40 years it will take to rebuild the Notre-Dame worth it?

Everything is impermanent.

Yet the stories we tell ourselves as humans don’t seem to be.

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Are you letting every emotional event run your life?

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Have you ever lashed out, got very angry, said things you wanted to retract immediately, gotten intensely upset?

This is completely normal.
But it shouldn’t be the norm.

It is considered normal because it is most common in all of us.

However, behaviour like this is far from normal.

What should we do when we begin to lose control of the situation, our mind and what we are saying?

This is a process of self-awareness and then processing whatever it is you discover.

Self-awareness is being able to answer the question, ‘why am I feeling this way?’

The answer to this question is the root reason for your loss of control.

And being able to answer this question either in the moment or very quickly after the moment when you are in a peak state of emotion will allow you to pinpoint the exact thought which is anchored to that emotion.

Let’s think about two examples,

Example one

You have a savings pot of £20,000 which you have been diligently saving over the last 2 years. A property investment opportunity comes along, the numbers work, location works, there is tenant demand. The majority of your investment boxes are checked. Your partner says, come on let’s do it. But you get scared and fall silent. You think over this investment for the next 5 days, getting even more annoyed. 5 days go by a someone else has now purchased the investment.

Example two

Your wife has been a bit off with you the last couple of months. Generally fine but not completely herself. One day you tell her you are heading out to the pub to watch the football with your friends. And she flips, she starts shouting at you for going out for the second week on the trot. You get annoyed but head out anyway. What you are not aware off is, her emotional explosion had nothing to do with you going out, but something you did two months ago.

These examples are two extremes of the spectrum, which does make it complicated, this peak state of emotion sits on a spectrum of:

How strongly a thought is anchored to extreme emotion.

The anchoring of this thought is strengthened through time and significance of the event.

Example one is strongly anchored
Example two is mildly anchored

How so?

And please understand that these are made up examples, but the concept can be applied to any thoughts which you need to process.

Example one is about behaviour around money. The guy cannot make an investment decision quickly even though he has all the relevant information. Why? Because in this scenario he cannot be parted with his savings pot. What is important here is, the feeling that overcomes him when he thinks about spending that savings pot. He gets scared.

This is where the self-awareness is required. When he is at his peak state of fear (scared) what is he thinking? Why is he thinking that? Is that truly him thinking it? Where has that thought come from?

Only he will have the answer, but we are human, and we are all in this together, so there can only be so many scenarios which the root of his fear could stem from:

Parents told him to always save never spend
Money does not grow on trees
He saw his parents struggle for money
He saw his parents lose their savings in the past which later meant family hardship
He has lost his savings in the past
He lost money on a bad investment in the past

(Any of these seem familiar to you?) The next step is for him to identify what it is for him. Let’s say for the sake of this example that his parents lost their savings in the past and then went into hard times.

He really should explore this rationally. Observe himself and process this situation. The reason he is scared to invest his money is because of something which happened to his parents many years ago. That means his frame of reference for money is how his parents managed it many years ago.

So how does he overcome this?

If he processes this rationally, decodes it and understands why he feels fear every time he has to think about spending his savings. He will then be free of this negative anchor.
This will allow him to make decisions in the now. Instead of based on past events which were out of his control.

It really should have been handled when he was a child, at that moment. By his parents, through open and honest communication. However, they would have be going through their own significant event to have realised the damage it was doing.

This is an example of a strong anchor because it happened so long ago, the root is hidden away in years of life.

Let’s look at example two.

This sits on the opposite side of the spectrum to example one.

When you speak to your wife the next day you ask her to be open and honest and tell you why she shouted at you. She explains that 2 months ago at a party you went to with your friends, you went to the bar and bought your friends a round of drinks and didn’t think to get her one. (easily done guys). It angered her at the time but thought she had gotten over it.

This is an example of something small blowing out of proportion. But why did she then shout at you 2 months later?

Again a fictional example, but it could have been the very fact you was seeing your friends and drink was involved.

The thought attached to the night at the party is anchored to the feeling of anger.

Can you see that every time going forward, whenever you see your friends and drinks are involved, she would be angry?

This is an example of something recent, something small which potentially could become massive over time. To a point where the original reason becomes foggy.

In this instance, your wife would need to process this feeling and thought. Why am I getting angry right now? Oh dear, it’s linked to that night at the party. Let’s just openly talk about this so I can detach this thought from that feeling.

Seems simple right?

Just work out the thought which is anchored to a peak state of feeling/emotion. Then process it.

Sometimes you may hear these scenarios referred to as limiting beliefs, blocks, significant emotional events.

Depending on where they sit on the spectrum, they become harder to deal with.

But the two things that help process these situations are:

Self-awareness
Open communication with yourself and others around you

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Why did I enrol on to a 10-day silent retreat?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In my official capacity, being a husband, multiple business owner and a user of social media.

And in my unofficial capacity of being a reader, writer and sharing short video messages.

I bear a lot of responsibility. Yes, for others around me, but first and foremost for myself.

Namely in processing the day to day and making decisions. The challenge I face is, with these many inputs coming in on a daily basis from:

  • Wife <3
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Business A
  • Business B
  • Business C
  • Future business
  • Being coached
  • Being Mentored
  • Reading
  • Absorbing information from Social Media

How on earth do I know if my thoughts and decisions are truly my own? Or based on my own limiting beliefs and/or human bias (that we all face).

So how does one take a step closer to understanding their own mind?

It is two part – 1. Remove the inputs (silence) and 2. Ensure the meditative practice excludes religious bias, spiritual bias, chanting, anchoring, speaking, comparing (Vipassana – by the way is the meditative practice I am enrolled on to).

(as a bonus, simplifying clothing and food so that for 10 days, these daily choices do not create a distraction).

Therefore, I am left with just myself and my own mind.

I rarely do things of a whim, because it sounds fun, or it’s the latest fad. I dive into a period of research and then make a decision quickly. Either it’s a yes or no.

This was one of those decisions that I spent longer on the ‘don’t do it side’ (You wouldn’t believe the excuses that my mind conjured up towards avoidance). Not only because I will be off the grid for 10 days but because I will be off the grid for 10 days, by myself.

(Keep an eye out for a future post on my experience – no guarantee I will share as this will depend on the intimacy of the outcome).

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What happens when you go the extra mile?

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Typically, I would use a business example here. But there are so many out there who just kept going and unintentionally became household names.

  • JK Rowling
  • Oprah
  • Jeff Bezoz
  • Jack Ma
  • Elon Musk

But what does that look like in someone’s everyday life? I and my wife joked on holiday recently. That every time we applied that principle on holiday, we found something magical.

Driving just 15 minutes (literally extra miles) beyond the tourist beaches of Croatia (which were very busy) we always found the most isolated beaches with very few people on them.

Follow my Instagram at www.instagram.com/toortalks to check out some of those beaches and keep an eye out for a future travel blog from Croatia.

The message of today’s blog is, the extra mile isn’t something special only the richest and most famous people experience. It occurs in everyday life.

  • Venturing beyond everyone else to find a new beach
  • Walking an extended route, when most people turn left to loop back around, you keep walking straight
  • Sending the extra email
  • Reading those extra few pages
  • Or in my case, this very moment – writing an additional post

What are you doing tomorrow? What can you do to go that extra mile?

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Are we living in the worst time in history?

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The challenge we face now is, there is an appearance that the world is in a worse of place. Often it appears as if:

  • Nature is being destroyed
  • The planet is being destroyed
  • Economies failing
  • Democracies breaking down
  • Technology making humans irrelevant
  • Terrorism

Yet in actual fact it is the best time to be alive. Ever.

In the book Enlightenment Now, one of the discussion points the author highlights is the idea that, the news reports on events that occur in the immediate.

That means the event is noteworthy. The incident is normally isolated and appears to define everything around us, as it is placed in direct contrast to day to day life, we are living in.

In simple terms. Bad news is easy to report, its fast and there is something always happening.

Whereas good news takes years, decades and even entire generations to come to fruition.

  • Clean running water
  • Global connectivity
  • Convenience
  • Transport
  • Medicine
  • Automation
  • Electric Vehicles
  • The simple fact that there are no global wars, where young men and women get shipped off to protect a nation

The things we now take for granted are the result of years and years of incremental progress. Which doesn’t make for much of a news article. Especially because many of the good being done in the world is scientific.

I guess the message is, sure, read the news. But put it into context.

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Why do we feel lonely?

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There is much talk of the internet creating a physical human disconnect amongst young (and even the older generation).

The introduction of an online world, social media and even video games are so real that it requires no physical human interaction.

Without a doubt every human being needs connectivity to achieve a higher level of human fulfilment.

But the first step to curing loneliness is not to go seek out other people. But actually, to seek out yourself.

Wayne Dyer explains: ‘You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.’

People who generally have to spend prolonged periods alone:

Writers, artists, scientists, parents of new born children.

I also believe freelancers; new age business owners and entrepreneurs also now fall into this category.

Why do these people appear to be able to manage being alone for such long periods of time?

It is most certainly they like the person they are alone with.

Did they always like the person they were alone with? Unlikely.

Did they work towards liking the person they were alone with? Likely.

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