A Mindful Review

Jim:    Greetings friends.  And, welcome to another podcast in our continuing series on our podcast Fishing Without Bait, where we attempt to assist people in living a life without definitive expectations, as when we set definitive expectations we often set ourselves up for failure and we set ourselves up for disappointment.  And, as always, I’m joined by my friend and co-host, Mr. Mike.

Mike:    How are you doing today, Jim?

Jim:    Just great.  I thought I’d like to review.  Mike, how often do we drive through life looking at it through the rear-view mirror?

Mike:    A lot.  We’re looking back.  We look back on high school – how many people were bothered by how their high school life was, or what they did last week, or mistakes they made – even that very morning.

Jim:    How many times have you been with friends and it all turns to reminiscence of the past?

Mike:    A lot.  I talked about how we recorded a podcast for far, far too long.  There was a lot of that happening.

Jim:    Yes.  There’s much reminiscence about the past when the present is right in front of us.  Quite often, we do go through our lives.  We attempt to be mindful and aware when we’re looking through that rear-view mirror to see where we’ve been rather than where we’re going.  And, again, we’re going to review just a little bit about what mindfulness is.  It’s non-judgmental awareness – paying attention and have a beginner’s mind.  If everyone out there is unfamiliar with those terms they can refer back to our previous podcasts.  So, Mike, let’s check in – not into a hotel or a motel, but into your life.  Mike, and everyone, let’s be right here and right now.  So, let’s review some of the self-defeating words that often prevent us from participating in the moment – words like, I have to, I must, need to, be better, should.  How often did you hear those words growing up, Mike?

Mike:    A lot.  You should do this.  You should go to college.

Jim:    Absolutely.  How often did you hear them from your parents?

Mike:    A lot.

Jim:    How often did you hear them from your teachers?

Mike:    Every day.

Jim:    Right.  So, how often did we receive those words rather than words of encouragement and support.  Again, these are barriers which separate us from being in the moment.  These are words which separate us from being mindful about our actions because when we use these words we’re letting emotions control our lives.  We’re letting our emotions control our mind, and we’re letting our emotions make our choices for us.  Mediation – we always get back to mediation.  And, Mike, as we referred to in the previous podcasts, mediation is not about disassociating.  It’s not about leaving our bodies.  It’s not about flying to the moon – although we couldn’t bring back some rocks.  It’s really and truly avoiding time traveling and being right here and right now.  As in the past, Mike, we’ve talked about our mind being like a – trying to be a helpful neighbor that comes into our yard and mows over our flower bed.  The Buddha refers to the mind often in his writings as a wild horse.  Do you ever feel like your mind is a wild horse, Mike?

Mike:    Mm-hmm.  Just kind of bucking around in my mind.

Jim:    A bucking bronco.

Mike:    Yes.  Right.

Jim:    So, how do we break that bucking bronco?  Do you often hear people talking about racing thoughts?

Mike:    Oh yeah.

Jim:    Do you often hear people that their mind’s like a hurricane?  Or they can’t settle down?  That probably is the number one issue as to why people cannot sleep – is the wild horse.  What we’re doing here on this podcast and the mindfulness that’s sweeping the United States long overdue, is about breaking that bronco.  So, how does this occur – how did this occur particularly in western civilization?  Do you believe that we lead an over-stimulated life, Mike?

Mike:    I think I’m part of that over-stimulated life in my work.  Yes.  Certainly.

Jim:    Could you talk a little bit about that?

Mike:    Yes.  Certainly.  When I do a lot of my work, of course, I’m trying to be very connected to my clients and the trends and everything going on, and I think a lot of people have what’s called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) so they have to go check, in their minds, their Twitters and their Facebooks.  And they’re watching TV and have it on in the background and have to have that input happening into their brains.  And again, just not kind of stepping back and having that just be.

Jim:    So, again, like we’ve talked about in the past and reviewed – that it’s when these social outlets become – they own us and we have less control over them, when we feel that I have to check in on Facebook, I have to be on Twitter, I have to be plugged in.  And, sometimes I wonder, what are we plugging ourselves into, Mike?  Mike, have you ever felt out of control?

Mike:    The only time I’m not is when I’m behind the microphone, Jim.

Jim:    Have you ever thought that emotions make us believe that we have no choice in our life, Mike?

Mike:    Yes.  Certainly.

Jim:    So, tell me a little about that.  Let’s use an example.  Let’s say that you have a wonderful day.  You go out there.  You meet a lot of people.  You do a lot of good things.  Maybe you make some money to pay the electric bill.  And, your wife calls you – right on your way home.  And, she says, “Hey honey, Mike, let’s go out to dinner tonight.”  What would you generally say to her?

Mike:    I’d say, “Sure.”

Jim:    Yeah.  You’ve had a great day.  Your emotions are up.  You’re feeling great.  “Oh, sure, we’ll go out and eat.”  So, let’s say that the first thing in the morning, you got up and your car wouldn’t start.  Then you drove 15 miles and had a flat tire.  Then when you were at a stop sign, someone rear-ended you.  And, for the last payment that you got in the mail, someone had written you a bad check.  And, then on your way home, your wife calls you and says, “Hey Mike, I don’t feel like making dinner tonight.  Let’s go out and grab something.”  What are you more prone to say?  

Mike:    I’d probably say let’s go grab something because I don’t want to deal with anything.

Jim:    Generally, the rottener humor we’re in, the rottener choice we’ll make, when we let emotions run them.  Quite often, what we also do is, we make our choices out of habit.  We make our choices out of the easier, softer way – as coming from the 12-step world.  There’s a quote, and it’s an anonymous quote, that says, “There is a choice you have to make in everything you do, so keep in mind that in the end the choices you make make you.”  And, in our next podcast I wanted to review today a little bit about where we’ve been and perhaps where we are, and perhaps some goals and ambitions that we have for the podcast is about – life is truly about choices, Mike.  And, it is the one thing that you do have in your life, although many people believe – and as we’ve spoken about before, that their lives are obligations.  So, in our next podcast I hope everyone will be able to join us.  We’re going to delve a little bit deeper into the nuts and bolts of making choices.  So, until then, we ask you to live your life without expectations – fish without bait.  

Please check out our website at FishingWithoutBait.com where you can listen to the show, comment on our discussions and find out where you can subscribe to our podcast.  Fishing Without Bait is a production of Namaste Holistic Counseling, P.C.