anyone else like mindset as much as i do

It might seem impossible to make sense of a nation-wide racial revolt being dropped into the middle of a pandemic in a country that’s already seething with bitter cultural divides, but let’s try anyway.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to get political here. Instead, I’d like to use this as an opportunity to walk you through how I go about processing extremely emotional and upsetting public events such as this. I think this is important because right now, due to social media and camera phones and 24/7 news coverage, as a society we’ve become bad at processing these events in a helpful way. I’ve had to kind of teach myself to go about reading about these things in a more objective manner and it’s not easy. So, I figured I’d break down my process here. 

First, when approaching any difficult subject, before even starting, I try to remind myself of a few things:

  • There is little evil in the world, but lots of stupidity and selfishness – With the exception of truly heinous shit, most people are not motivated by evil intentions. In fact, it’s usually the opposite — most people do awful things with the best of intentions. Therefore, we should not assume people’s intentions to be evil, but rather try to understand why they believe what they are doing is good. 
  • Everyone suffers. The question is, for what reason are they suffering? – It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that nobody should ever be insulted, attacked, hurt, threatened, etc. Not only is this unrealistic, but if we are going to stand up to dangerous groups, individuals or ideas, we have to be willing to sacrifice. Therefore, the question isn’t whether people should suffer or not, rather it’s a question of whether they are suffering for a good reason.
  • Prepare to sit with the contradictions – People and groups can be both good and bad simultaneously. In fact, they usually are. Two opposing viewpoints can each be partially correct and partially incorrect. Evidence can be complicated and suggest contradictory conclusions. Be prepared to sit with these. Your mind will try to push you to be comfortable on one side of the fence or the other, but do not let yourself fall into mental complacency. Life is complicated. Issues are complex. Sit with the uncertainty. 

With those assumptions in place, I then start asking myself a series of questions, and do research around the answers:

What is the historical precedent?

There is nothing that happens that has not happened countless other times throughout human history. Human societies, for the most part, are flawed in the same ways and make the same mistakes. But we forget about those mistakes every generation or two, so we end up repeating them.

Getting historical perspective is immediately useful because it snaps you out of irrationally feeling that what’s happening is of “end of the world” proportions. It humbles you to see that every generation before you has gone through a similar struggle. And in most cases, things eventually improved. 

In this case, the United States has a long, long, long history of both police brutality and racially-motivated riots stretching back hundreds of years. They happened not so long ago in 2014, in Ferguson and Baltimore. But also the Rodney King riots in 1992, the DNC in 1968, Detroit in 1943, Tulsa in 1921, the Red Summer in 1919, etc. Race riots are as American as baseball and apple pie. And sadly, that’s because racism is as American as baseball and apple pie. It’s an inextricable part of our country’s history, and despite great progress made over the past 100 years, the data is overwhelming and clear: this continues to be a huge problem today. 

What human biases are at play?

If there’s one psychology lesson everyone should be forced to learn in school it’s that human perceptions are fundamentally inaccurate. Your mind takes shortcuts and these shortcuts are, by and large, self-serving. Our perceptions consistently fall into common traps, and unless we’re aware of them, we’ll helplessly fall into them again and again.

There are many such traps, but I’ve found the following to be the most common and consequential: 

  • Actor/observer asymmetry – When other people do something wrong, we assume their intentions are bad. When we do the same thing, we assume our intentions are good.  
  • Confirmation bias – The tendency to only seek out views and attitudes that reflect our own. See: all of social media. 
  • The fallacies of composition/division – The tendency to judge a whole group based on the actions of one member of that group. Also the tendency to judge an individual based on their affiliation with a group. 
  • Salience bias – Our tendency to focus on what causes an emotional reaction regardless of whether or not it is important.
  • Negativity bias – We pay more attention to negative events and perceive them to be more important than positive events. (Note: This is why the news is always so negative.)
  • Impact bias – A tendency to overestimate the future impact of whatever is occurring in the present moment.

The most important bias in the current situation is that of composition/division. Our minds gravitate towards a false “black people vs police” dichotomy. Yet, reality is far more complicated than that. Police in some cities were marching alongside protesters. Many of the looters and rioters were white, masked, and not part of the protests at all. Most of the protesters were non-violent and most of the police were non-violent. But, due to our negativity biases, we saw and remembered the violent ones on each side. And due to our salience bias, we overemphasize the actions of the violent ones over the peaceful majority. And due to the fallacies of composition and division, we make assumptions about two groups based on the actions of a small number of individuals.

Generally, the more incendiary an event, the more “exhausted” our rational minds become and the more we fall back to our mind’s “shortcuts” like the one above. If you familiarize yourself with the above biases, you will soon begin to notice that at least 95% of all political “takes” are simply some form of bias or another. In fact, a lot of news media is designed to leverage these biases to capture and hold your attention. The right does it. The left does it. We all do it. And only by learning to spot these biases in yourself and others can you begin to undo it. Understanding cognitive bias is a type of mental freedom that must be earned through continuous effort.

What are the major socio-economic trends in play?

Okay, here’s where it might start to get triggering, so bear with me. Let’s look at some of the broader social trends going on so we can put some context on what’s happening. What are the social, economic, and political factors that influence this event?

Let’s start with perhaps the most obvious question and the most surprising result. The data is limited and fuzzy, but it seems that police killings of unarmed black suspects are actually down over the past seven years. In fact, it looks like African-American incarceration peaked in the 90s and has been coming down ever since. 

Now, let’s slow down for a sec. Chances are that reading that just gave you an intense emotional reaction. I want to state two things clearly: first, just because things have gotten better doesn’t mean they aren’t still a huge problem. And second, just because the public perception is wrong about this, doesn’t mean their anger isn’t legitimate. 

Remember, we’re holding contradictory notions in our minds here. Something can be getting better and be wrong. Some people can be wrong about the facts but right about the issue. Public perception is wrong all the time about stuff like this, but that doesn’t make their anger or frustration invalid. It just means that we have to dig a bit deeper to understand more of what’s going on. 

It’s hard to see the riots occurring during the COVID-19 lockdowns as purely coincidence. Black Lives Matters protests have happened regularly over the last five years, but they were almost always peaceful and orderly. 

Also, what was striking about the protests was that many of the looters and rioters weren’t black. In fact, from most of the footage I saw, it appeared that the violence was usually instigated by young white men. Many of the Black Lives Matters protesters were even yelling and pleading for the white rioters to stop. Many of the rioters seemed to not even give a shit about George Floyd or racial equality. They appeared to be in it purely for the mayhem. 

I remember taking a course on geopolitics in university with the professor harping over and over again: revolutionary movements and civil unrest almost always start with large numbers of unemployed young people (particularly young men). They have the most energy and anger towards the world as well as nothing to lose and nothing better to do. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 40 million Americans have recently been furloughed or laid off. These layoffs have disproportionately affected the working class, most notably minorities and young people. 

Therefore, a picture begins to emerge. Yet another infuriating death of a black man at the hands of a police officer. Mass protests emerge around the country, initially by civil rights groups for racial equality. But amid the chaos of the lockdown and the pent up anger and frustration of the young and unemployed, shit got out of hand. 

Which brings me to the last long-term trend, the real frustration that I think is underpinning this unrest: A complete and utter lack of effective leadership in the United States. Note: this is not a Trump thing or an Obama thing. Sadly, in the 21st century, it is an American thing. 

I am thirty-six years old. Despite crippling problems with health care, education, gun violence, immigration, climate change, stagnant wages, income inequality, and racial equality persisting for my entire adult life, I have never once seen my government help with or resolve any of these issues. For as long as I can remember, it has been: tax cuts, war, tax cuts, bailouts, tax cuts, bailouts. I have never seen things get better in this country. Only worse. I have never seen anything substantive from my leaders, Democrat or Republican, that makes me proud of voting for them. I wasn’t alive for the moon landing. I am too young to remember the Berlin Wall falling. I don’t give a flying fuck about Saddam Hussein. My introduction to my nation was 9/11, followed by hearing about friends and classmates being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, followed by graduating into the worst economic collapse in 86 years, followed by thirteen more years of absolutely no fucking solutions. Forty-five years of no real wage growth for the middle and lower classes? Nothing. Kindergarteners being shot at school with assault rifles? Nothing. Eleven million bankruptcies due to a corrupt and dysfunctional health care system? Nothing. Black people being repeatedly murdered by police, live, on camera? Nothing. An entire generation of young people saddled with over a trillion dollars of debt just to go to school and then told to stay home and not work as soon as they get out? 

So, if you’re wondering why the kids are running through the streets destroying everything in sight, now you know. 

Stay safe. Show some love to someone this week, preferably a stranger. 

We’re all going to need it. 

Valuable Post

The Opportunity in Adversity

By Eckhart Tolle

Life unfolds between the polarities of order and chaos. It is important at this time to recognize these two fundamental opposites, without which the world could not even be. Another word for disorder is “adversity.” When it becomes more extreme, we might call it “chaos.”

We would prefer, of course, to have order in our lives, which means to have things going well. We would like relative harmony in our lives. Yet, that very often is marred by the eruption of some form of disorder. And, usually, we resent that—we get angry, or despondent, or sad.

Disorder comes in many, many forms, big and small. When disorder comes it usually creates a kind of havoc in our lives, accompanied by strong underlying beliefs. “There’s something very wrong, this should not be happening, maybe God is against me,” and so on. Again, we need to understand that disorder, or adversity, is inevitable and is an essential part of a higher order.

 From a higher perspective, a higher level, the existence of order and disorder, or order and chaos, is a necessary part of the evolution of life.

 Many people have found that they experience a deepening, or a deeper sense of self or beingness, immediately after and as a result of having endured a period of disorder or chaos. This is sometimes called “the dark night of the soul,” a term from medieval Christianity used to describe the mental breakdown that many mystics experienced prior to awakening spiritually. There was an eruption of disorder, of destruction. Then, out of that, a deeper realization arose.

 And although that can be very painful, the strange thing is, it’s precisely there that many humans experience a transcendence. A strange fact is that it almost never happens that people awaken spiritually while they’re in their comfort zone. Or that they become deeper as human beings, which would be a partial awakening. It almost never happens. The place where the evolutionary shift happens, or the evolutionary leap, is usually the experience of disorder in a person’s life.

And so your life then moves between order and disorder. You have both, and they’re both necessary. There’s no guarantee that when disorder erupts this will bring about an awakening or a deepening, but there’s always the possibility. It is an opportunity, but often, it is missed.

 So here we are at this time, and our mission is the same: to align with the present moment, with whatever is happening here and now. The upheaval that we’re experiencing at the present time probably will not be the last upheaval that’s going to come on a collective level. However, it is an opportunity—because although this is a time for upheavals, it is also a time for awakening. The two go together. Just as in an individual life, you need adversity to awaken. It’s an opportunity but not a guarantee. And so what looks tragic and unpleasant on a conventional level is actually perfectly fine and as it should be on a higher level; it would not be happening otherwise. It’s all part of the awakening of human beings and of planetary awakening.

To learn more about Eckhart’s teachings on Conscious Manifestation, sign up for the free miniseries here.

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Absolutely adore everything about method

Here’s a helpful filter to know when to worry: does something sound too good to be true, or does it sound so bad that people give up and stop thinking for themselves?

Either way, when everyone around you agrees, it’s worth asking some questions. Questions like: “What’s really going on here—and who is threatened by disagreement?”

Consider it an opportunity! When it comes to Coronavirus life, an astounding amount of groupthink is currently taking place. It’s as though everyone is taking the collective temperature (no pun intended…) before deciding what they believe and how they should act.

To be clear, I’ve said several times that the most important thing we can do is keep people safe. And as an introvert who frequently spends twenty-four hours a day by myself, I’ve also been social distancing for most of my life. (“Social distancing is the new silent retreat.”)

But whether it’s COVID-thinking or something else, if you can’t find someone who disagrees with you, someone who has another perspective—it’s time to worry. Or at the very least it’s time to widen your circle, read different media, and consider opposing viewpoints.

Otherwise, you’ll never have the chance to experience the courage of changing your mind.

Questions

Speaking up as the only dissenter in the group requires bravery, but so does acknowledging that you might not be right about everything. Are you courageous enough to do so? Most people aren’t.

Fortunately, you aren’t most people … right? You are an original—so think for yourself, and don’t accept what you’re told without closely examining it.

One more thing: have you ever heard “You must learn the rules before you break them”? This is a classic gatekeeping strategy.

Just imagine: If you’re trying to break out of prison, you don’t need to spend forty years becoming a model prisoner before you hide in a laundry cart. You’ll be much better served by studying up on successful prison breaks.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you’re taking care of yourself and working on something you believe in. The rest of us need you to keep going.🙂

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anyone love mindset as much as me

Some of the links below are affiliate links which means I may earn a commission if you make a purchase at no cost to you. This post is not sponsored.

A few weeks ago, a friend told me she’d found a book called 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week by Tiffany Shlain. The title intrigued me and luckily it was available to download from my library, so I started it that night and finished reading it the next day.

As I was reading the book on Sunday, I decided I was going to try a weekly digital detox starting that day and then every Sunday for a month.

Is unplugging from technology worth the effort? Here's what I’ve learned after doing a digital detox every Sunday for a month.

I’m already pretty conscious with my phone usage (my phone is always on do not disturb mode with time limits for social media apps), but I’d never thought to take a full day away from my digital devices.

When you’re constantly plugged-in to apps and devices designed to steal your attention (Netflix has said their main competitor is sleep), you start to lose track of reality and your identity outside of technology.

I thought this was the perfect experiment to see if it would have a positive effect on my mindset. After implementing weekly digital detoxes every Sunday for a month, I’m sharing the lessons I’ve learned and how I made it work without getting bored.

What A Digital Detox Looks Like


Is unplugging from technology worth the effort? Here's what I’ve learned after doing a digital detox every Sunday for a month.

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The book 24/6 is based on Tiffany Shlain’s experience of taking one day a week off from technology. Inspired by her Jewish heritage, Shlain calls them “Technology Shabbats”. She combines a screen-free twenty-four hours with Shabbat rituals like a special Friday-night meal with family and friends.

Her family (kids included) goes screen-free from Friday night to Saturday night and limits all smart technology like cell phones. They even use a landline to make phone calls and a record player to listen to music (I knew I wasn’t going to implement these things with my experiment).

What most inspired me to try this idea out was the author’s description of her Saturday routine. Here’s what her family’s Tech Shabbat’s look like (I’ll share mine later):

  • Friday afternoon – pick up fresh fruit and flowers from the farmers market
  • Friday night – host friends for dinner (make the same meal every Friday to take out the guesswork)
  • Saturday morning – journal, read
  • Saturday afternoon – music (listening and playing), cooking, excursions to the library, bike ride, basketball, yoga, scheduled activities, errands, etc.

The Benefits of a Digital Detox


Why would you want to go tech-free once a week? Here are some key benefits to this weekly practice:

More time for hobbies

Unplugging gives us time to grow and learn new skills. Often we avoid doing this because we think we don’t have enough time, but really we don’t have the attention span to even try.

Personal growth

Shlain talks about her own struggle with impatience and how unplugging helps her to practice patience. When we practice unplugging, we can develop our character strengths and work on improving our weaknesses.

Deeper connections

When we unplug, we’re able to give our attention more generously to the people around us. It also gives us the opportunity to connect more deeply with ourselves without distraction or comparison. 

“By giving you a complete day off each week from screens, from obligations, from being available, letting you reflect and connect, tech Shabbat becomes the ultimate technology to make you the most creative, present, and productive version of yourself.”

Tiffany Shlain

My Digital Detox Routine


Is unplugging from technology worth the effort? Here's what I’ve learned after doing a digital detox every Sunday for a month.

My usual Sunday routine would involve watching YouTube for hours, scrolling through social media, and browsing the internet aimlessly. Though I didn’t follow the detox as intensely as Shlain does, here are some rules I set for myself:

  • No checking email
  • No social media
  • No YouTube
  • No computers
  • Only use phone for texts or calls
  • No TV during the day (one or two episodes at night was okay)

Here’s a monthly recap of what my Sunday schedule looked like:

Week 1

  • Started the 24/6 book on Saturday night and decided I wanted to try it the next day
  • Went for a walk in the morning
  • Read for most of the day
  • Did a family dinner over Facetime
  • Watched an episode of Tiger King

One thing I noticed is that I had a hard time falling asleep. I was expecting the best sleep of my life, but unfortunately it didn’t happen.


Week 2

  • Made pancakes for breakfast
  • Spent most of the morning reading Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
  • Meal prepped (I did use my phone so I could follow some recipes)
  • Cleaned my apartment
  • Went for a walk
  • Family FaceTime dinner
  • Watched an episode of Too Hot To Handle (a terrible show, don’t watch it lol)
  • Did a facemask and took a bath

I went to bed around 10:45 after reading. I woke up early the next day (Monday) and actually felt motivated to get things done right away.


Week 3

Apparently I forgot to write down what I did on this day. Oops!


Week 4

  • Went for a walk
  • Read The Bend in Redwood Road by Danielle Stewart
  • Meal prepped
  • Spent too long on Pinterest + Amazon trying to find a kitchen corner shelf
  • Cleaned my apartment
  • Family FaceTime dinner
  • Facemask
  • Watched an episode of Into the Night on Netflix (such a good show!)
  • Went to bed at 10:30

I definitely broke my detox this day by spending way too long on Pinterest and Amazon on my phone. I was feeling inspired to find a corner shelf for my kitchen and that led to overthinking which one to buy. That night, I woke up at 3:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep until 5.


Week 5

  • Made pancakes for breakfast
  • Read The Bend in Redwood Road by Danielle Stewart
  • Visited my mom for Mother’s day with my sister (we sat 6-feet away from each other on the grass)
  • Cleaned my apartment
  • Meal prepped
  • Worked out (I used my iPad to follow a workout)
  • Visited my boyfriend’s mom for Mother’s day (again, we sat 6-feet away from each other outside)
  • Watched one episode of Girls

I felt tempted to go on social media this day, but spending time with family (at a distance, of course) kept me occupied. Looking back, I could have probably created my own workout without needing to follow a video. I didn’t have any issues falling or staying asleep this night.

Related Post: 5 Ways To Have A Healthier Relationship With Social Media

What I’ve Learned


After a month of this challenge, here are some key things I’ve learned or experienced from unplugging once a week:

It gives me something to look forward to

Taking a day away from the online world feels like an escape and an excuse to get away from it all. I knew on Sundays that my day would be calm and relaxing, and that made it something to look forward to every week.

I can stay occupied without technology

I’ve read more books in the past month than I have in a long time. It definitely made me realize that I can keep myself occupied without relying on technology. If you’ve ever wanted to take up a hobby or learn a language, this would be the perfect way to do it.

I’m more productive on Mondays

Since I wouldn’t stay up late on Sunday night watching Netflix or scrolling through TikTok, I woke up on Monday mornings in a good state of mind. I felt like I had more clarity and motivation to get started on my to-do list without procrastinating.

I’m more motivated to be efficient

Knowing that I couldn’t do any kind of work on Sunday made me more efficient during the week. Instead of telling myself I could do a few things on Sunday, I got them done ahead of time so I could fully embrace my tech-and-work-free Sundays.


Would you try a weekly digital detox?

Based on what I’ve learned and experienced from this monthly challenge, I definitely plan to keep doing these Sunday digital detoxes. I think I’ll even try to go the whole day without watching TV to see if that makes a difference.

I hope this post has encouraged you to try your own digital detox one day a week for 24 hours. If you want more ideas for making a digital detox work, I highly recommend the 24/6 book.

The post Digital Detox: What I’ve Learned From Unplugging Once A Week appeared first on The Blissful Mind.