Schools are pumping out half-made humans.

It seems to me that the education system is too focused on making a living rather than making a life. There’s always exceptions of course, but generally speaking in at least the standard UK curriculum, schools aren’t incentivised at all to provide education to create well-rounded, happy, healthy, decent human beings. It’s not a priority. What is a priority for them seems to be producing employable consumers.

I don’t think this is the fault of the schools, they are answerable to the government. They HAVE to deliver the required curriculum, or they get backlisted. The government represents us, so it seems within our rights to get the kind of schools we want. The government obviously has it’s own agenda. I don’t understand how they don’t see the following list as super important and include it in the curriculum.

Where will people learn about things such as:

– Self-expression/finding out who you are
– Personal finance (for example student loans and lifetime debt!)
– Mental health
– How mental health and physical health are connected
– How to be a good parent
– How to raise a dog
– How to deal with emotions
– Mindfulness and meditation
– Diet and nutrition
– Critical thinking
– Life fulfilment
– Stress management
– How to run a house
– Relationship communication
– Race issues, gender issues, sexuality
– The importance of play and relaxation
– The importance of time in nature
– The importance of work/life balance
– Spirituality
– Community and cooperation
– Sustainability

Where can we learn this stuff as children if not schools? You can’t rely on parents to teach all this stuff.

It’s all essential stuff. Without the knowledge of these things, decades can be spent trying to correct everything and cause much pain and suffering. It pisses me off.

Maths, science and english are obviously really important, but they won’t help you if you have depression because you didn’t learn about emotional regulation and the importance of work/life balance! No wonder most people are unhappy and dissatisfied with life. (That’s my personal observation and opinion).

Children will grow up to be a part of society, so why doesn’t society give them all the tools they need to be happy, healthy and well-rounded? It’s mutually beneficial to educate them fully so they’re better citizens and better people.

Pupils themselves are pushing for ‘life skills’ to be taught in schools, but there’s more campaigning to be done before it’s in all schools. Holland are ahead of us in lot’s of ways, including teaching mindfulness in schools. Let’s get schools to help make whole humans, not just half one’s! Maybe schools can acquire curriculums from organisations like The Representation Project. 

I think this stuff is worth questioning and thinking about. You know my thoughts. What are yours?

Do you have any thoughts you want to share? Please get in touch at: mindfuelstuff@gmail.com, we’d love to hear from you. If you enjoyed it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.
 
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My Bloggers Sunshine Award nomination

One of my favourite bloggers Terrance Brown nominated me for his Sunshine award and I’m thrilled.

I’ve never heard of this before but it’s something bloggers give to other bloggers who they admire and appreciate the work of.

The rules:
 According to the rules, a nominee should:

• Thank the person who nominated you.
• Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.
• Nominate other bloggers for the Sunshine Award.
• Write the same number of questions for the bloggers you nominated as you received with your nomination.
• Notify the bloggers you have nominated.

Terence’s questions with my answers:

  1. What inspires you to be the person you see in the mirror?

Hmm. I want to live an authentic life and I enjoy being honest and deep and I want to live in accordance with my values and help change society and the world for the better. Also I’m curious as hell and love getting to the core route of problems. Did I answer that right?

2. What phrase or quote do you tell yourself when you’re in need of a self-peptalk?

If I remember, I love ‘This is it” to remind me that life is right now in this moment, and not in my head in the future or past. And I use the question “is this helpful?” When I’m thinking negatively.

3. What are you most grateful for?

I need to practice gratefulness more. As you know, I have depression and it’s very hard to feel grateful when I feel hopeless and empty. But today I’m having quite a good day and I’m grateful for chocolate in times of PMS and grateful for my boyfriends rolling ability.

4. What is your favourite post on your blog, and why? (Be sure to include a link)

My favourite is Acceptance = liberation (https://mindfuelstuff.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/acceptance-liberation).  Acceptance is something I feel is insanely important for better mental health and less suffering, letting go of things you can’t change. Accepting who I am, my depression, my pain, my level of drumming ability, my level of photography ability. It’s about self compassion and I’m still trying and learning to do this. I think everyone would be better off if they were more self-compassionate and accepting of things they can’t change. Accepting it doesn’t mean I won’t improve my skills or situation, it just means I agree that this is here and it is what it is at this moment in time and not to fight the fact it’s here which doesn’t help anyone and just makes me suffer.  So I liked getting my thoughts across to people in this article.

5. What awesome lifehack have you discovered recently that has made you more productive?

This is funny because being too productive is one factor that I believe lead to my depression. I’ve had to learn to slow down a lot and learn to listen to my feelings and know my limits. I was acting as an achievement machine – when really I was human all along. Whoops. Getting out of bed and getting shower can be big achievements for me on bad days.

6. If you could gain any superpower you wish, which would it be and why?

I really like the idea of being able to fly, but I’d probably be too scared to ever use the power! (what if I fall out of the sky? etc) Lol

My questions to my nominees:

1. Was there anything in particular that inspired you to start your blog?
2. What’s one of your favourite quotes at the moment?
3. What 1 or 2 books have impacted your mind positively? 
4. What are you currently learning about or would like to learn about?
5. What do you like to do for fun?
6. Do you think having a consciousness can be a blessing and a curse?

My nominated blogs:

Terrance Brown: http://helpgrowchange.com/

Advanced life skills: http://advancedlifeskills.com/blog/

Always well within: http://alwayswellwithin.com/

How I landed in depression by ignoring all the warning signs.

There were at least four warning signs in my life, that unbeknownst to me, were signalling depression on the horizon. If only I could have stopped to reflect on how I was feeling at the time, and sought help before things got really bad. But I didn’t listen to how I was feeling at all, and I didn’t slow down.

This lead to a breakdown/quarter life crisis, meltdowns, chronic back pain, an anxiety disorder, burn out and finally depression. It’s ironic – I never listened to how I felt and now I’ve lost the ability to feel.

For me, I believe this is how it went down:

Warning sign 1: Stress > Warning sign 2: Chronic stress > Warning sign 3: Anxiety > Warning sign 4: Burnout > Last stop: Depression

If you can relate to any of these, I don’t need to tell you the awful effects any of them have on your mental & physical health, wellbeing, relationships, work and life in general.

I’ve learnt lots about myself going through all these things, but I don’t want anyone else to end up with depression if I can help it. So i’m writing this blog post in the hopes I can help you or someone you know, become aware of the warning signs you have, and to seek help, before things get worse.

I think that with either chronic stress, an anxiety disorder, burnout or depression: your brain is maybe telling you that something seriously needs to change in your life-style, situation, or thinking habits. Maybe you’ve been strong for too long.

For me, my life wasn’t balanced at all. I placed no value on healing, play or rest. It was like 24/7 work/achievement/productivity for most of my life. And my thinking habits were unhealthy and unhelpful. I would constantly over-analyse and over-think. My personality was always a worrier, conscientious, highly sensitive, introvert, deep thinker, strong sense of responsibility, inability to set limits, excessively ambitious, high standards and a perfectionist, with a real compulsion to achieve my high standards and goals.

All of those attributes combined, make an outcome like burnout and depression seem pretty predictable, in hindsight.

You can arrive at depression from many different routes, (trauma, genetics, social or environmental factors). For me, it started with simple stress, (and my innate inability to cope with it).

I believe if I noticed and dealt with any of the warning signs, I could have avoided depression. So watch out for those signs of yours! Best of luck on your journey.

In summary:

– Listen and pay attention to how you feel
– Be aware of your personal limits
– Schedule time to relax and play
– Identify warning signs
– Identify causes
– Identify triggers
– Talk to someone, especially GP
– Minimise triggers

By Annie Charnley.

#DepressionAwareness


Do you have any thoughts you want to share? Please get in touch at: mindfuelstuff@gmail.com, we’d love to hear from you. If you enjoyed it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.

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What if Game of Thrones was a metaphor for today’s world?

In Game of Thrones, the different houses fight each other to get the throne, but instead they could be banding together to fight a much bigger threat: the white walkers. I think we’re in a similar situation. We have all the political parties fighting for a seat in power and countries fighting each other for resources. But we could be banding together to fight a bigger threat: the planet dying.

Our lives are tied to the well being of our planet, we depend on water, forests, deserts, oceans, fishing, breeding, farming. But instead we take all it has to give us and more, we don’t live in harmony with it.

This video shows how man has impacted the environment:

Capitalism has gone too far. Maybe money is the root of all evil? Russell Brand points out: either ditch capitalism and save the planet or ditch the planet and save capitalism.

I’m sick of the people in power not looking at the wider context. Caring more about money and staying in power than people and the planet.

These are some ideas I have about our dying planet:

Causes:
– Overpopulation
– Capitalism
– Wars

Direct results:
– Human and animal deaths
– Deforestation
– Fracking
– Pollution
– Climate change
– Housing shortage
– Job shortage

Indirect results:
– Terrorism
– Rioting
– Protesting
– Starvation
– Low quality of life
– Suicide

It’s not looking good for us all and future generations. We need to stop having wars, stop climate change, use renewable energy, make products using bio-degradable packaging, stop fracking and deforestation. We’re all going to die anyway, everything we attain is borrowed, just like our time here, let’s band together as humans and fight to save the planet, and explore space together.


I hope this had some value to your mind. If you enjoyed it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.

Don’t ignore the ideology and attitude of the party you’re voting for: Promises can be broken.

Don’t focus so much on the policies that you ignore the ideology and attitude of the party you’re voting for. Once people are in power, policies can change and promises can be broken. But if you trust that the leader cares more about doing what’s right than saving face, I think that’s worth taking into account.

I’d love a psychologist to psychoanalyse all the political party leaders, because they all have certain personalities, body languages, tones, vibes and attitudes, that lead me to either respect them or distrust them and their whole ideology/party.

I wish I could vote for Nicola Sturgeon, she seems strong, intelligent, compassionate, fair and fearless. I like her vibe and attitude. Natalie Bennett seems sincere and prioritises the planet and humankind, which is pretty important!

Who or which party is in line with your values?

If you’re not sure who to vote for you can watch the BBC live debate or visit this website where Greenpeace have outlined what they think is the worst and best parts of all the parties manifestos.

Don’t forget to vote on May 7th. 

What’s more important to you: happiness and enjoyment or riches and status?

I think we should redefine the definition of success from monetary based to happiness. Would it be worth the risks to the economy? In my opinion it would, everyone would be happier generally, enjoy their lives more, have less regrets, follow their intuition more and we wouldn’t be destroying the planet. But society has heavily taught us that to be happy and successful we need to make the most money we possibly can and get big careers, or we’re ‘losers’, we’ve ‘failed’ at life.

In my opinion though, if working a part time, low waged job, makes you really happy (like Randy in Clerks working at the video store), then you ARE ‘successful’, you’ve ‘won’, well done, you’re doing what you want with your life. If you’re working at a store, and you hate it, then it’s not for you, you’re not following your intuition. And this doesn’t mean that it’s an unsuccessful or a bad way to live for someone else. One person’s heaven, is another person’s hell, and visa versa.

We’re unhappy because we think the grass is always greener, looking to celebrities and other people we compare ourselves to, to lead the way. I personally haven’t enjoyed my life so far at all because I’ve been striving for success and achieving things, so I resent society for tricking me into thinking that was more important than my happiness. Nothing is taught in schools about how to be happy and parents don’t help either, they want you to get the highest grades so you can secure a decent job, cos they believe the lie too. Also, according to The Guardian, Anxiety or depression affects nearly one in five UK adults. Could this be related to the chronic stress we’re under as humans living today?

Society defines success as being rich, famous and owning loads of stuff. It’s in the best interests of Capitalism to make people strive to be financially successful. If people are happy making little money, and you don’t have anything pushing you to want more for yourself and to be a ’success’, then we’ll be happy but the economy and people at the top milking us for money, will suffer.

So should we be selfish and make sure us and the people around us, enjoy our lives or should we be selfless and give our lives and happiness over to the economy that’s only friends with us for our money?

You can do what you want. Even if you chose a path, that you fall out of love with years later, you can pick another one. Nothing is set in stone, you can change any time. Same goes for falling out of love with people, ideas and religions. As long as you’re listening to your intuition, you can’t go wrong. The trick is – learning how to correctly interpret or know what your intuition is saying!

We can get pleasure from achieving, consuming and collecting in the moment and that’s okay. But if you’re life is defined only by what you’ve managed to achieve, consume or collect at the end, that’s a waste of life. There’s no point in being the richest man in the graveyard, or the one that needed just another year to achieve their goals, in order to be happy. I bet you would happier if you lived every moment as fully as you could, lived with authenticity, did what you wanted, followed your intuition and truly enjoyed yourself. How we spend and our life is how we spend and our moments. “Enjoy the moment because this is all you have. Create for tomorrow, but live in and for today.” – Robert Anthony

Live now, the time is now, this is it… don’t die never knowing what it feels like to be free. Don’t wait for happiness to come to you, because you’ll be wasting your life, time and energy in the meantime. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” – John Lennon

So for a healthier society maybe we need to redefine success to be about being happy in life now. If you manage to enjoy your life, well done – you’re a success!Would this not be a society you’d want to live in?

Summary fuel:

  • Don’t let society or anyone dictate your happiness (“care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner”) – Lao Tzu
  • If you’re happy in life; you’ve made it, you’re successful (in my opinion)
  • Listen to your intuition, do what’s right for you, do what you want to do
  • Don’t compare your life to celebrities or anyone else, everyone is unique
  • Take inspiration from animals and children in how to live in the moment, do what you feel and enjoy life (at least 50% of the time)
  • We are all going to die and we can’t control when, so what do you want to do while you’re here?
*Update: When I say happiness i mean contentment. Happiness is often short-lived. It is often an attempt to overcome feelings of unhappiness. Contentment is a state in which you are at peace with yourself and the world, even if the world around you is not to your liking.

I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. If you enjoyed it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.

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#Thedress that made the world talk (and fight) about seeing things differently.

“The dress is black and blue!” “No it’s white and gold, you’re wrong!” “No it IS black and blue!!! Can’t you see it?! It’s right there!”

It’s fine to have fun arguing over #TheDress but people do the same thing all the time over things like religion, ideologies & opinions.

We have a society where difference – such as experiencing reality in different ways to the majority or experiencing intense emotions – is rejected and condemned and seen as pathologised or a biological illness. But our observations of reality are totally subjective, there’s literally no way two people can look at the same thing and have the exact same interpretation or know exactly what the other person sees. Even the people that agree the dress is white and gold can’t prove that they see the same shade of white and gold as another person.

Our eyes don’t see, our brains do. Brains, similar to computers are basically information processing systems. Everything we see, hear, taste, touch and smell in the external world, gets filtered into our brains. What we’re left with, gets interpreted using our memories, experiences, associations and personality. These interpretations are what create our ideas of ourselves (the “me”), our identities, our beliefs, opinions, thoughts, feelings and the reality we perceive. This is how the human brain has evolved, no doubt to help us survive better.

So what’s bad about this natural brain functioning?

Well the consequence is that we think our reality is the only reality, but “Our truth” isn’t actually “the truth” like we seem to believe it is. Our opinions and perspectives aren’t facts, but when you treat them like they are, problems and fights occur (racism, homophobia) and sometimes to deadly levels (religion). It’s so easy to assume the reality we see is the truth because we only have our own experience that cant be compared to anyone else’s experience from inside their head and lives.

For instance, an extreme opinion might be “gays are an abomination.” That is not a fact, that’s just that person’s opinion, so it would be more accurate to say “it seems to me that gays are an abomination, but what do I know? That’s just my opinion.” It loosens you up, opens you up to new ideas and people who might not deserve your hatred and judgement just for being themselves.

You also begin to believe you can control things outside of yourself to fit with your idea of reality and when you can’t, it makes you really upset/angry/stressed.

“Our maps of the universe, our ideas should be changing all the time…It’s the way children’s brains form before they are wrecked by the school system. It’s the way that all great scientists and artists work. But once you have a belief system, everything that comes in either gets ignored that doesn’t fit the belief system, or gets distorted enough so that it can’t get into the belief system…Anybody who has a belief system that covers the whole universe, that would be the Roman Catholics, Orthodox Islam, Scientologists, CSICOP, the Marxists, the Objectivists, and most of the assholes, well, what happened is, their brain stopped receiving new signals. Or to the extent that new signals do get in, they all have to be edited to fit into the belief system.” – Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Wilson said don’t believe any one else’s BS (bullshit and belief systems) including your own, and I very much agree. This is because you’re believing an interpretation not a fact/truth. Similar to whether the dress is white and gold or blue and black.

“Reality is merely an illusion albeit a very persistent one.” – Albert Einstein

Reality is an illusion because we are illusions, our brains create us, not us. I believe we’re just clever enough to be aware of what it’s doing and think it’s us doing it.

Problems I’ve had when believing my own belief systems have led to low self esteem, believing I’m not good enough, and that other people know how to live life and that there is a way to live life that I’m not doing. This is destructive to me, I become jealous and really low. But it’s just a belief I have about myself, that has come into existence from experiences, memories, personality etc. It doesn’t mean it’s a fact. To question my beliefs about myself is liberating, like I suddenly realise I’ve been limiting myself, trapped in my own prison.

Problems I’ve had believing other people’s belief systems and opinions is, I doubt my own opinions and decisions. And think I’m doing something wrong or there’s something wrong with me because I’m not like them. Comparing all the time. Leading to more unhappiness and low self esteem.

It would be great if we were educated from a young age that everyone sees things differently and opinions aren’t facts, wouldn’t it?

I want to add that this is based on my own personal way of looking at things.

Things to practice fuelling your mind with:

•  Our perceptions aren’t reliable

•  Use “maybe” a lot more in speech to help us remember our opinions aren;t facts

•  Don’t believe any one else’s BS (bullshit and belief systems) including your own


I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. If you enjoyed it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.

Follow my blog by email on the top right hand side, and get inspiration, articles, videos and quotes on thinking, questioning, growing and learning about yourself, others, life and the world.