For those of you who have read my Trilogy, or those who know what I was doing, here is an update on how I am progressing.
Perhaps 'progressing' is not the correct word. 'Coping' might be more accurate.
Mindfulness of Self, the first book covers tuning in to your own body and your thoughts. Very new age and goes against the grain for me. However, it helped me manage my travel stress anxiety, which is now not so great a concern. Stunningly, it has enhanced my normal self too. This is not exactly as good as it sounds. At some moments I feel particularly detached from reality, mentally. This is where the physical mindfulness exercises help tremendously, which ought to be obvious. This has helped but I still get the sensation of being far too awake or far too conscious. Which I just accept.
Now I am not claiming to be a superhuman but the 'enhanced' me has come into being by following the guidance of book one. This is a difficult concept to believe unless you have spent nearly a year being mindful and experienced it for yourself but let me give you an example. Imagine a private road where you can manage to hit 60mph a couple of times over the course of five miles. The 'enhanced' version of you can go no faster but can now maintain 60mph over most of the route.
The owner of the company I work at once remarked that sometimes I manage to operate at a level far beyond what he considers to be my 'normal' operating range. He said that if only I could be depended upon to basically 'perform on demand' I would be very valuable. Now, he can say whatever he pleases but that comment has stayed with me. I wrote the Trilogy of books whilst in this 'enhanced' state. The 'enhanced' state is now my normal state. It is somewhat disorientating.
So, what is this enhanced state? Could you achieve it too? Well, my thoughts are now my own. My thoughts are well disciplined. Stress and worry have dissolved to nothing. This in and of itself is fantastic. A colleague asked me a question, I answered, 'I am employed to make decisions about how best to deploy company resources to the greatest effect.' He thought that was an excellent phrase and one to remember. You can use it whenever a line manager asks why you haven't completed a task. Obviously, the enhanced me would never be asked such a question. Or simply answer it with silence, before asking my own question. That, dear readers, is why stress and worry have gone from work. I am simply doing my best with the resources at my disposal. If asked can I do it better, the answer is yes, in time.
My 'enhanced' self can concentrate or perhaps focus is a better word for as long as I choose to. I notice as soon as my mind drifts and I can choose to let it or re-focus on the task I have set myself. The key word here is choice. If you are unable to monitor your thoughts in real-time then you cannot make the choices you wish to make. This is how worry is vanquished. Worrying is where you have completely lost your ability to choose how to direct your mind. Something may concern you and you may choose to spend some time pondering the issue or not. This is power. A great power. A superhuman power, over yourself.
That is the discipline you gain over your mind and you get a similar connection to your own body. Currently I am typing stood up with discomfort in my shoulders, back and calf muscles. I simply notice this and change position. All simple stuff but crucially important. I am now sitting. Again the increased connection to your physical body can be overwhelming. As is the 'enhancement' of your own senses. I doubt my senses have improved but my connection to them has. Smells, taste and touch feel far too 'real'. Again, this is disorienting, particularly with all the other enhancements.
I hadn't expected any of this. If you choose to travel the same path, I hope that you enjoy and appreciate the transitions in awareness. Rather than wonder if you are having a mental breakdown or a brain tumour or some such like. Not that I worried but I wouldn't have been surprised either.
What next? Well, I shall carry on practicing the mindful behaviours. Which isn't particularly difficult as I do them naturally and I am happy to schedule in the more formal mindfulness sessions. What comes next isn't particularly clear. So, no change there then.
The one change I have deliberately avoided mentioning is my enhanced connection to the universe and to the things it is made up of, such as people. I do expect this connection to strengthen. I will quickly explain it, it is a basic joy and love of, well to be blunt, everything.
For those who do not believe me, you are right.
For those who do or who want to believe me, practice being a mindful being and you will be following my path to becoming a mindful being. I see no reason for you to fail. There is no pass and there is no fail. You will simply become a better version of you. The basic logic is sound. How could you not become a better version of yourself if you practice being a better version of yourself? Nothing could be more obvious. For those who do not believe, why?
I hope I am not preaching at you. I am not even trying to educate you or teach you how to live or what to believe. I am simply stating the obvious, become a better you by practicing being a better you. I am truly amazed at how much I enjoy being a better version of me but far more importantly, how much I enjoy simply being (alive).
The title, the integrated whole has two meanings.
1) Your monkey, human and computer simply work together - mostly :-)
2) We are all of the universe, we are not simply just in it.
You take care, buy the books, become a mindful being and have your friends join you in enjoying life, as best you can. It is NOT a competition
If you don't believe me, which part of you made the decision? (That, my friend, is a trivial example of the level of awareness I enjoy.)
As always, take care