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Jackanory Tell Us a Story

16 . 06 . 24

How’s your week been? What are the high points, the bits you’ve enjoyed? What have been the bits you could have done without? It’s good to take stock, to be aware, to be conscious…

It’s been the most mind-expanding, knowledge-stretching, wonderful week for me, having attended a couple of great events. One on Monday and one on Wednesday. I've learned so much from some absolutely amazing speakers, some pretty influential thought leaders.

I’ve got so much to tell you! I'm going to share some of the biggest takeaways with you here from Monday night. Next week I’ll talk about the other stuff too. Too much to say in one email. I could write a book! (Now there’s an idea)

I feel so privileged to have been in these rooms with these people. The best feeling ever is that I have myself to thank for putting myself in those rooms, by making the decisions I’ve made leading up to where I am now.

You get to choose to do that too!

We are all, after all, a combination of the thoughts we have, the people we surround ourselves with, and the decisions we make. (Read that again).

I was offered a ticket to go and see Deepak Chopra with one of my best friends, so I seized the opportunity and joined her. Deepak is a world-renowned speaker and author on the subject of alternative medicine, an expert in the field of mind-body healing. If you don’t know him already, I’d recommend looking him up. He’s pretty big news and well worth listening to (a great start is his book ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’ - I listened on Audible during the daily school runs).

I didn’t get into Deepak Chopra for years. I do a lot of meditations, and I think it’s important when using guided meditations that we find one with a voice we find relaxing. Deepak Chopra’s did not fall into that category for me! So I totally discounted him, for many years probably. That is until somebody recommended a podcast he did with Oprah Winfrey. I listened and was blown away. Mind changed. Eyes opened.

So as I say, Monday night, I had the opportunity to see him speak at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. It wasn’t a sell-out, which is a real shame, because so many people—the entire world actually—would have benefited from hearing what he spoke about. There were indeed plenty of passionate people there though. Each and every one of us came out quiet, thoughtful, pondering the enormity of what we just heard and experienced.

For starters, hear this.

Deepak explained that our ‘understanding’ of this vast universe of ours, and our experience in it, is deeply influenced by our human perception and interpretation…

Stay with me.

He started by setting the stage with some information relating to the size of our universe, as much ‘fact’ as possible from a human perspective and using the scientific model we currently have to go off. Completely blew all our minds! (The following is paraphrased hugely you understand - the talk was two hours!):

Mind-blowing facts from Chopra about the size of the universe

  • Only 4% of the universe is composed of atomic matter, that's the stuff we can see and touch. The rest, 96%, is dark matter and dark energy—essentially unknown and invisible to us (I’m certain he said only 0.01% actually but Google says he say 4%... anyway. Not much!)
  • If the entire universe were the size of Earth, the observable matter, so everything we can see and touch, would be the size of a sugar cube. The rest is vast, mysterious, and beyond our current understanding.
  • There are estimated to be about 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe. Each galaxy contains millions to billions of stars.
  • Our Milky Way galaxy alone is estimated to have around 100 billion planets. Extrapolating this to the observable universe, there could be an estimated 200 sextillion (2 x 10^23) planets.

Should I continue? Take a breath. Read that again. WOW.

He then went on to discuss us; humans.

He explained that much of what we consider to be reality, is really constructed from stories and concepts created by the mind (we know that, right, but I think this really helps you ‘know’). Beyond raw sensory experiences (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell), everything else is a narrative we create to make sense of those experiences.

So, with your mind now a little expanded (I hope) I want you to stop and reflect on your own life for a moment here. How many of your worries and the things limiting you from doing or being what you want to do or be, are based on these constructed stories?

So then, might I suggest that by questioning and working to shift that inner narrative to one that supports a more useful approach to life, you can overcome those self-imposed barriers and live more freely? Well, that's exciting isn't it!

Feels pretty massive when you realise that so much of what holds us back… might well be just stories.

How many of your thoughts and worries are just constructed stories?

With that question in mind, I want to leave you with a couple of really simple, quick, actionable things you can do to work on this. To enable you to focus on what really matters to you, and work toward creating new stories to better support bringing focus to those important things in your life. Your health, your relationships, your passions…

  • Spend 5-10 minutes every day reflecting on your thoughts and feelings - you can do this whilst on the commute, sitting on the loo, making a cuppa etc. Write down any worries or limitations you notice and question how true they really are. "Is this a story I've created?" and "How can I shift this narrative to serve me better?"
  • Do Something That Brings You JOY: Think of one thing that when you do it, you feel real joy. Now make sure you incorporate that thing into your daily routine. Why shouldn’t you?! Make this as much a non-negotiable part of your day as brushing your teeth.

When we start to regularly question the validity of our internal narratives, and build in these non-negotiable joyful ‘things’ into our life’s, that’s when we start to create a more balanced, fulfilling, and sustainable way to live—our personal and professional life all as one beautiful, enriching, worthwhile life experience.

Make this your best week yet. You get to choose.

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