Those who know me well know that I have a bit of a thing about Clairvoyants, getting my tarot cards read, positive spirituality – that sort of thing. I don’t take it too seriously, I think it’s just part of my fascination with the future and I find it gives me a bit of a positivity boost about what might be around the corner when life feels a bit tough at times.
This Saturday the temptation of the spiritual strip at Paddington Markets was just too much for me and I decided to give palm reading a try for the first time. I excitedly sat down next to the grey haired Nanna wondering what spiritual insights she would feed my future obsession with, but after 2 minutes it dawned on me that, unfortunately, she was by far and away the craziest lady I have ever spoken to. I started to feel a little uncomfortable about parting with my hard earned cash in exchange for her ramblings. Ramblings which were for the first 5 minutes mainly her telling me completely incoherent stories about nothing. But just as I got that sinking uncomfortable feeling in my stomach that I’d made a bad choice her focus shifted well and truly onto me. And it got pretty intense.
She shared several visions as she scrawled across the markings on my hands with a cheap biro. Some good, some pretty exciting and some a bit scary if I am honest. (Watch me always belt up in taxis from now on, apparently I may break my arm in an accident at some point.)
The thing that really stuck with me the most, mainly due to the terrifying ugly face she pulled to make her point, was a clear message from her that I didn’t learn how to slow down and give my mind some meditation and calm, by the time I’m 50 I will end up a mad lady who can only sit, stare and gibber (hence the need for the awful facial demonstration). She was deadly serious as she delivered this message and the traumatising thought is one I have been pondering over ever since.
Coincidentally, I also stumbled across this report later on this weekend via Core77.
Each idea and thought towards living a happier life is presented and then given an action plan in the form of recommended changes to government policy that will promote well-being in Finland through a more sustainable lifestyle.
It’s pretty long – but an absolutely fascinating read. There are a lot of truly interesting points for me that could inspire many more blog posts. But the point that resonated with me most was about the bad choices we make in our lives to live faster, save time, get short term fixes for happiness and, what the true consequences of our actions are for us and for our planet.
In a world that revolves around work and income, the consumption race has no finish line. Striving for happiness through increased capacity to consume is like urinating in one’s trousers on a cold winter day: it only provides a fleeting moment of warmth. The pressure to increase our capacity to consume even dominates our free time, which is spent buying things. Productivity increases and we fill our homes with purchases that provide only momentary joy. Our lives are divided between work and free-time, or making money and then spending the money we have made. There is no room for genuine free time.
Reading this, still in the fairly disturbed mindset the Palmist had left me made me wonder if I, and probably many of us, are victims of exactly this?
The Mouldy Yoghurt
It made me think about an incident that occurred in the kitchen at work a few weeks back. When I do something wrong and someone pulls me up for it it really plays on my mind. I was in a rush (as always) to make breakfast in the morning, while I was doing this I noticed I’d left some yoghurt in the fridge. Probably a good few weeks ago, so was likely to be really rank and nasty by now. I grabbed it and without thinking chucked it in the the bin.
“You could have recycled that.” I was slightly taken aback by my colleague’s comment – but she was right. It would have taken me 3o seconds longer to rinse it and recycle it, but because I was so obsessed with the fact I had no time I was purely focused on the fastest way to throw away the yoghurt anything other than putting it in the bin didn’t even cross my mind. Recycling one yoghurt pot might not make a massive amount of difference, but it still matters in the long term.
When pressed for time, we often make poor decisions regarding food, clothing and housing, as well as happiness.
I am sure I am not alone, thousands of people every day make bad choices only to save them time. Time which for me, is saved only to then work harder, longer and the by product is we consume or waste more. Referring back to the Finnish report.
Living slower, being happier makes us happier and kinder to the planet that we live on.
So, what has it all taught me?
I fear I may sound a little preachy here. But these are my personal out-takes, I hope you can benefit from them too.
- Really make sure you are making the time to think about your personal priorities.
- Every choice you make has an impact on you and our world. These decisions deserve some consideration about what you are sacrificing before you just ‘do’.
- Always consider your own wellbeing and your planet’s day to day and try to learn to recognise when you’re not.
- It might not be feasible to always live like this – but at least its worth giving it a try.
So, even thought she was a bit nuts – I think my impulse Palmist reading was absolutely worth 30 bucks. (I got a discount for being over 25). Even if just for the entertainment value of some of her wild stories, like me being Julius Caeser’s private belly dancer in a former life! She also had some other quite interesting thoughts on my future… However, on a serious note, the fact she made me stop, focus on being in that moment with her and as a result she has influenced my future path with some valuable lessons for a healthier happier me make it an absolute sound investment. From today I’m on a mission to ensure I am still in sound mind and coherent on my 50th birthday. I might not always do the right thing, but at least now I am consciously thinking instead of always jumping straight in, plus – I’ve started recycling.
photo credit: By JeffreyFClark