Sep 4

FROM CONSUMERISM TO COMMUNALISM…A PIPE DREAM?

 

 

Question. If the goods/services being advertised in the various media were absolutely necessary…that is to say they were ‘needed’ by the average human being (based on disposable income indicators), why do they hire actors or superstars to convince us? Why do they use near-naked males/females to stimulate the senses? Subliminal signs and sounds. Colour codes. And that’s just scratching the surface. If these goods/services were indeed necessary (not compulsory like motor insurance :)) wouldn’t the natural need for ‘things’, coupled with affordability, direct the human flow of customers to the respective ‘thing’? Furthermore, I just listened to a radio advertisement and, having a keen ear for voices, word choices, the authenticity and connection of the speaker to the overall message being conveyed, I found the tones of the characters used to be very robotic. Could it be the digital age compelling us to accept the monotonic tone of a robot to tell us what we MUST buy, lest we be haunted by a neighbourhood of fully equipped Joneses, left man/woman-less, lose street cred…or whatever the penalty implied in the ads for our NOT purchasing the goods/service being advertised. It all sounds like a subliminal stick up of the mind to me. There you are, torn between the items you absolutely MUST purchase and those you don’t get and then have to endure the shame, lower social ranking, poor self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy…in general the stresses arising from the knowledge that you don’t have the said high end commodity or the new brand of human weave, it’s much the same (especially if Mrs Jones/Lacretia respectively has one!!!). Exaggeration for some of you, but a real dilemma for others!

 

NO AGE LIMITS

 

 

Take your average teenager…my son for example…just 16 yrs of age and he has already developed a mild fixation on ‘the latest IPhone’. He is NOT working! How did the consumerism-wizards get a hold of these young minds that don’t earn a cent AND get them to convince us parents (whether by coercion/emotional blackmail) to spend so much (as a ratio of earnings) of our hard earned cash? Remember, I’m referencing the average and below teenager and don’t get me wrong, my son has an IPhone, but it’s certainly not the latest version…and he didn’t get this one ‘as it drop’ in the Apple stores! Case in point. I watched a YouTube video recently showing that a certain community in Liverpool (England), which was designated the ‘poorest’ part of the country, had record crowds at its Apple store in the town, on the morning of a new IPhone launch. Lines (‘queues’ for the British-British), were extremely long! The consumer bug had clearly bitten hard and embedded itself deeply in the psyche of those folk. Matter over mind you could say.

 

 

But what about us? Have you ever stopped to consider how badly bitten you are by the consumerism bug? How many things in your home, for example, are regularly used and not just giving you or the home-helper grief to dust each week? How triggered are you when the advertisements for, or even the second hand news about, the launch of the latest IPhone, BMW, Nike, Dolce & Gabbana …(I’ve run out of name brands as I’m a hopeless non-follower of fashion)…add your own brands here…then answer the question J. Now don’t be defensive. I am by no means judging anyone here, God forbid, I too am working daily towards a re-balancing of my life, re-evaluating what I need more of (which by the way is ostensibly non-material) and what I can identify as non-essential clutter (be it physical, mental or human), to lighten and simplify my life somewhat. My hardest trigger to resist comes from the vicarious pangs of wanting to help my son keep up his street cred amongst his peers, while pointing out to him that he must not put material things before people and a conscious livity, that the yearning for the IPhone is fed by the marketers who use their mind manipulation tricks, that keep persons reaching and reaching perpetually for ‘things’ that they don’t need. But heck. He’s been a great son, doesn’t ask for much, he did well in his CXC’s. Maybe just this once…let me check the cashflow? See, I’m not perfectly de-consumerised, but I plead Maternalism! 🙂

 

WHO IS AT THE CONTROLS?

 

 

So if we are all the consumer puppets, who/what is pulling our strings? Perhaps those benefiting most from the consistently turning consumerism treadmill, supported greatly by highly paid marketing houses and not forgetting the Joneses, who never fail to bring attention to their latest acquisitions. I heard recently on BBC Radio, which is one of the few media sources I still get a sense of ‘factual-ness’ from (remind me, that’s a different blog topic), that the top advertising agencies in the world now hire the top neurologists, to assist them in knowing how the human mind and brain work!!! Now that struck me, as a person fascinated by neurology, to the extent of becoming a Neuronet therapist to assist children with learning challenges, but I digress. Those corporately hired neurologists…by all accounts,  are not hired to find out what the REAL needs of consumers are…more so to further manipulate minds, to steer wealth/last pennies in the direction of capitalist giants. Case in point, right now ladies, count (in your head if you are not in close proximity to your closet); how much shoes yu have? Now, how many do you wear regularly? Ok, then. Nothing new here I hear you say, but as the mind manipulation will now be based on the latest neuroscientific research, developed by privately hired neurologists…advertisers will be taking the term ‘getting into our heads’ to new levels. As I think about it, these same neurologists could, if more morally than materially guided, be more useful to humanity by devoting their time and expertise to developing mental skills that foster universal harmony. Anyway. It’s not for me to judge, but I’m just saying, as a born-again marketer, preying on highly stressed and strategically targeted masses, through mind-bending advertising, just seems wrong-up! I don’t know if I will be classified as a whistle-blower, but I recall my marketing course had us exploring strategies for, ‘capturing’ the minds of the consumer, persuading them that they ‘need’ this or that product/service that they never knew existed. Keep them purchasing, working to purchase more, borrowing to purchase yet more, then, financially extended, family relations strained, health compromised and consistently exhausted, you convince them to take the commercially advertised drugs that will keep you going that little bit longer, without checking the cause of the pain, in between the commercially advertised 2 weeks vacations…after which, the pain still exists.

 

 

Wow. Not a very pretty picture, now that I’ve stopped to read back. So, let me change gear and share what possible alternatives there are for those of us still hooked by the consumer-chain yet open minded enough to explore an alternative ‘livity’… or at least ease up on the throttle of our racing consumption engine. I’m not advocating a cold turkey extraction from the consumer train…that would be tantamount to jumping off an actual moving train and experiencing the shock and resultant psychological disorientation…as you realise you have just taken your whole wardrobe of Gucci shoes and matching handbags to the charity shop! I know it’s not easy once you are entwined, to unravel the old livity and re-ravel a new one…without the proverbial ‘trappings’. See, we even give the ‘things’ a name representing bondage! So, let’s get creative, like the marketers of these multi-billion dollar advertising agencies…with their highly paid neurologists.

 

 

If George Orwell did it, picture this. We are now in the year 2030…

 

There will now be a one month intermission.

 

Log in again the first week of October to…

 

FIND OUT MAKEDA’S PROPOSED ALTERNATIVE LIVITY STRATEGIES IN PART 2 OF “CONSUMERISM TO COMMUNALISM…A PIPE DREAM?

 

 

Jun 5

CHANGE YOUR LIFE STORY…OR NOT.

 

CHANGE YOUR LIFE STORY…OR NOT!

 

 Image result for LIFE STORY

 

Over many years, as a result of multi-level conditioning/programming, I, like many of you would have arrived at the belief that the events of our lives are mapped out well before we arrive on the planet. Fate. Destiny. Call it what we will, we give in to the twists and turns of the life journey on the collective understanding that we cannot change the events in our lives. ‘Our Story’ is written in the book of life and we are mere spectators to the unfolding.

 

Well, after many years of observing and experiencing life intently, I no longer hold that belief. After all, ‘belief’ is simply a series of thoughts that we continue to think’…until we change them, right? So, if you will indulge me, allow me to explain why I know that we create our future, as ordained by our Supreme Creator, through our thoughts.

 

MIND OVER MATTER

 

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My interest in the human brain has revealed some amazing facts that continue to inspire me with awe. My deep fascination started when I trained as a Neuronet Therapist, as a means of supporting my son’s early learning. I also became a Learning Performance Specialist, sharing exciting brain facts and learning strategies with high school students across England and Wales. When I coach students in the practices of right/left hemisphere integration for better learning outcomes, I love the look on their faces when we apply the theories and prove that their shift in both thinking and specific right-brain integration practices, positively impacts their ability to learn and remember stuff! Once the students understand the correlation between their thoughts/mind practices and their grades, they are more ready to learn. Further, sharing with them that in one day, all the cell phones in the world cannot generate the same level of electrical impulses as their individual brains, usually gets their attention. Yes, I’m talking neurons firing! Giving off impulses as they connect with other neurons making up the billions forming networks in each of our magnificent brains.

 

BRAIN WAVES

 

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Now, imagine if these neurons, when firing, could emit ‘waves’ that travel outside of our physical bodies. Well, they do. Scientists have measured waves, akin to micro and wifi waves, from the brain of humans, feet away from the head of the subject. The same pertains to the human heart, but that’s a different story.

 

Imagine now, that these waves go out into the atmosphere and alter matter. Yes, that’s what I said. Changing matter external to the body.  Not only is matter altered, but matter is magnetized to you on the basis of the signals contained in the thought-waves. Literally mind over matter! Let this important point sink in a little, because the magnitude of this fact forms the basis of my assertion that YOU control and create your future life events, based on what you think, consistently, about any particular ‘matter’. Good or Bad. So, for example, if you wake up each morning and your first thought is ‘mi salt’…’nothing is going on for me’, it is important to know that your transmitted thought wave has gone ‘out there’ and will be matched with the magnetized confirmation of your statement. Have you noticed how the people that constantly state how sick they are rarely heal? The women that sing the sankey that ALL men are bad, generally repeat a cycle that affirms their belief and predominant thought, time after time attracting ‘bad men’.

 

It boils down to the fact that we are vibrational beings. Yes, we are full of vibes. The physics students amongst you will be able to relate to the fact that all beings and objects are matter, vibrating at differing speeds and frequencies. The human being included. So when someone says, they don’t like your vibe, it is a loose reference to the vibrational energy they are picking up from you within their vibrational zone. And visa versa.

 

LAW OF ATTRACTION

 

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Anyway, I’m not the first person to reach the above conclusions. Google is there for all of us to fatten our factual reserves. I simply chose to share this fundamental information with you on the premise that if it works for me, why not have others out there achieving balance in their lives through the ‘The Law of Attraction’? There are many writings and videos for you to listen/watch on the topic. I, for the most part, am paraphrasing what I have gleaned. In short, that we magnetise our life experiences based on the thoughts we entertain and the vibrations/waves we consequently send out into our universe. Watch the video called ‘The Secret’ and mull over the evidence presented.

 

You literally have to manage your thoughts on a daily basis to keep your life boat sailing smoothly. It doesn’t mean that life won’t rock your boat or the water won’t get choppy from time to time (those are the contrasts of life at play), but the key is, in recognition of what you don’t want showing up, is to adjust your thinking to smooth out the future journey.

 

Since we’re using the analogy of a boat. The other point is that we have been led to believe that life should be about struggle. What if we simply had to focus our minds and thoughts on what we WANT to see/happen/have and not sing endless sankies about what we wanted to eliminate. Close your eyes and place your thoughts (and consequent feeling) on abundance, in place of daily moans about being broke! Instead of lamenting the fact that you are single and can’t find a good man/woman…[after first ensuring that you are reflecting all the positive things you desire in a significant other],… emit those vibrations through positive thoughts of love and a mutually gratifying union. Feel it till it’s real! Anything you push against, fight or resist, creates a tension that creates more of what you are resisting against. Again, the law of attraction. Instead of fighting for peace, why not be peace? The wars on drugs, terrorism etc. in actual fact gives more energy and momentum to the very things not wanted. Why, because when the collective vibrations are emitted, the magnetism can only bring that to you/us/them, what is being focused on…e.g. war, crime…Trump!

 

GO WITH THE FLOW…DIVINE FLOW!

 

Image result for BLACK MAN ROWING BOAT

 

So rather than rowing your life-boat upstream, allow your life-boat to go with the downstream flow, guided by our divine source, for smooth sailing. The Rastafarians call the inner higher self the I in I. We are indeed Spiritual Beings having a Human Experience. I like this perspective of reality as it celebrates the God essence in each and every human being, regardless of location or station in life. It also encourages us to be kinder to one another, resolving that EVERY life matters! So allow your boat to float merrily, merrily, merrily merrily, gently down the stream, rowing only when and where guided (compass = feelings and intuition, as they are free of human ego interference)…and life will indeed be ‘but a dream’.

 

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The mind is powerful! Our natural vibration is harmony of mind, body and spirit. Well-being, Modern lifestyles and dysfunctional cultures have unfortunately eroded this natural order and I, like many like-minded around the world, am passionate about guiding others to a more harmonious life. Happiness is our birthright!

 

So, since our thoughts (and feelings) do indeed become our reality, if you don’t like what keeps turning up in your life…change your mind and create YOUR NEW STORY!

 

ONCE UPON A TIME… 😉

 

Mar 7

SELF-RE-DISCOVERY

SELF-RE-DISCOVERY

 

Self Discovery 5

 

Just think for a moment. What if who you are now and what your life is about, does not reflect the ‘authentic’ you? Is not congruent with your personality type, inborn talents or deep passions. Now that can be a frightening state of mind to give attention to, right? It becomes even more daunting (or liberating), when you are considering this when you are outside the category of ‘spring chicken’. Let me give a little personal context to this topic.

 

Self Discovery 2

 

It struck me a few months ago that I am now approaching the phase of my life that is considered, according to chronological categorization, as ‘middle aged’. The senior Crone woman that has already passed through the other two demarked stages known as Maiden and Mother. All of a sudden, my self-assessment took on a more bird’s eye view scrutiny. The last time I remember having this level of intense reflection about my life was when I was approaching 30, looked at my life, mildly panicked and decided that it was time to make some drastic changes…being that I was unmarried and without child…and the clock was ticking! I know, I know…all stereotypical nonsense, but I was raised by a traditional Jamaican woman that would make the subtle (not) point whenever a friend of mine got married. So, what did I do? I packed up my life, took a 5 week soul searching trip to Ghana, West Africa, returned to England, then made rapid plans for a brand new life in Jamaica! Uncharted territory, my having only visited the island twice before! A little dramatic some might think. I mean, many women approaching 30 might have just gone to the hairdressers and changed their hairstyle. Not me. My life had to be shaken up out of the monotonous, non-committed zone and thrust into a new adventure that would sate my free spirited, adventure seeking nature. My family were not at all surprised. They knew that when my ‘mad head’ took me…things were bound to be transformed!

 

So fast forward to now, I’m a mother (check), approaching mid 50’s, had amazing life experiences in the tropics…yet I’m feeling that tell-tale itch again, that cannot go unscratched. Who am I now and am I living my full, authentic life? What are my true passions and purpose? Have they changed? 20+ years on…just who am I?

 

ARE YOU REALLY WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

 

Self Discovery 8

 

So, since I’m currently working out my future ‘lane’, I invite you to take this journey of self-re-discovery with me, so you too can hit your life’s refresh button. Some of you will find it very difficult, while others will enjoy the ride. Ready? Here goes.

 

Just imagine (close your eyes for greater effect…after you have read the instructions of course 🙂 )…imagine that all the things, places, people and hobbies that currently make up your life have been gathered, assumed or imprinted on your life over X many years based on family traditions, national customs, influence of friends, previous relationships/heartbreaks, requirements of your job or fear! We will leave out governmental rules/regulations as I don’t want to insight anarchy. Imagine that you are being given a clean slate upon which to create your ‘dream life’, including the things you value, cherish, are passionate about…generated from your own mind and feelings. I know, trying to peel away the external influences to get to the pure YOU factor might not be as easy as we think, but I’m going for it and encourage you to do the same. Create a vision board. Go for walks in nature. Dig up the photo album and look back at the ‘old you’, the things you used to do, places you used to go and simply reflect on whether or not you wish to re-create or eliminate specific things from your NOW life. Or create exciting new stuff!

 

THE ONGOING PROCESS

 

Self Discovery 3

 

Now, first thing tomorrow morning, when you open your eyes, take note of your first thoughts? How do you feel? Are you feeling alive, happy, excited to start the day, full of vitality and the wonders of life? Or is it more like…”Oh Lord, it’s Monday morning already???” If its the latter, which let’s face it, is one of the biggest ‘elephants-in-the-room’ for many of our lives, it’s time to ask those deeper self-examining questions. Do I like what I do? Am I where I want to live? Am I with who I want to be with? What did I love doing when I was young(er)? [Disclaimer: I am in no way suggesting that you quit your job, move into the hills or divorce your spouse…unless of course any of those things are necessary for the positive expansion of your life to its full potential].

 

AN EXAMPLE

 

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Recently I (re)discovered that I love to play pool. I used to do so in my 20’s and became quite good at it. I had forgotten this fact until I attended a community street dance recently and eyed a pool room full of young men and couldn’t resist the urge to put my coin on the table for a game. I was in my element! The joy it brought back to me, the energy rush, after so long away from the table, was palpable. The game was very close, I lost, but that was cool. I vowed to find a spot in Kingston where I could re-sharpen my skills and play ‘for fun’. I don’t business that I’m a ‘middle aged’, female executive with a British accent! In the pool room…it’s a level playing field and the respectful competition is fierce among the bredren!

 

I’m sharing this example with you because sometimes we surprise ourselves with the things that reconnect us to our joy. Often simple things. So make a start. Observe yourself and your feelings as you revisit old and even new ways of being, living and doing YOU!

 

WHY NOT DO THE THINGS YOU LOVE?

 

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The big question then becomes, why did I/why do we stop doing the things that bring us joy? Do our lives become so full with surviving in our societally acceptable/respectable worlds, that there is no room for round the clock joy? Too eutopian?

 

Self Discovery 6

 

On the drive to school each morning, our car is filled with music and my son and I singing/dancing along [while exhibiting all due care and attention to road conditions, Officer!]. In contrast, we notice the faces in the oncoming lines of back-to-back rush hour traffic and the ‘doom and gloom’ staring back at us is significant. Just 7.30am and so many furrowed brows. Stern looks. Impatient horn honking. Strange looks at our exhibit of joyfulness. Mimed quarrels.

 

TIP: It is a proven fact that listening to music from an earlier era, especially if it was your ‘hay-day’/teen years improves your mental outlook, level of joy and even physical health. Dig out those old hits, convert them from vinyl or tapes first :), and make your rush hour journey an Old Hits session. When the significant drop in road rage statistics is announced…remember me!

 

Self Discovery 7

 

NOW WE ARE AWARE…WHAT NEXT?

 

Once we rediscover the things that still float our boats, we must remove the excuses that stop us getting back into the said activity. I spoke to a middle aged, unemployed mother recently who, through sad eyes, spoke of her love for baking, which she hadn’t done for so long. When I asked her why she didn’t just go for it, she firstly cited lack of funds to buy ingredients, but encouraged by my blank stare, honestly shared how demotivated she had become because of other domestic pressures, lack of home based support/motivation and a consequently dwindled self-esteem. You see how easy it is for our minds to lead us into ruts that make our simple joys seem insurmountable? As we spoke about pastry, her eyes lit up, her slumped posture straightened up…she was (mentally at least) in her element! We have to break the imaginary barriers that we place between our current ‘livity’ and the joys of our hearts!

 

Image result for pastry making

 

So! Here is your homework. In addition to the suggested exercises above, determine what is your BAKING? Or POOL PLAYING? Do you love to dance, yet haven’t dropped a foot in years? Did you use to play an instrument or listen to music regularly, but have parked your passion back in the days when music was played on vinyl? My dears…it is TIME. Dust off the instrument, polish up our dancing shoes, join the drama club, enroll in that Salsa class, get that pet etc. etc. etc. The reality is, if we do not make the time to bring the simple joys into our mind space, then back into our lives…it will be difficult to be that joyful partner/spouse/friend/parent/employee that adds real value to the lives of others. Let the phrase ‘Please Yourself’ take on a new spin, because once you are pleased and your glad bag fills to the point of bursting…you will naturally ‘Please Others’! Even the children will share in the fairy dust sprinkling of joy and lightness in the otherwise heavy home. Come on…push yourself! Put those shoulders back, take a deep breath and say to this world…”I claim my joy!” Anything less and you are shortchanging yourself and robbing the world of the magnificent divine plans for your unique, fully accomplished life!

 

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While I have not seen the statistics, I am certain that happier drivers have fewer accidents, so just think, as well as being much happier…you will be protecting your No Claims Bonus! See you in the traffic! Then in our offices when your motor insurance is due. ;).

 

P.S. If the self-re-discovery process gets too overwhelming, link me for a Psychodrama Session and we can journey together!