To Remember

Some things that I forget, and that other people forget too – that remembering will probably make life more wonderful, for all involved.

'Untitled: Night' Watercolour 2015

Focus and be aware. The more attention you pay to an activity, a lecture, a friend’s troubles, a stir-fry, the more you will enjoy it, be engaged with it, and remember the experience. Be aware of your surroundings; the sound of the wind through the trees, the cars passing by. Be aware of the people who surround you; their thoughts, reactions, what they might be feeling based on their own individual context. Be aware of yourself; notice how you are unintentionally tensing your jaw, how delicious that toast was, why you feel irritated after scrolling through your news feed. Put your phone away. The aim is to live life in flow, so focus – one thing at a time. Concentrate on what is important in every moment.

Do not be too hard on yourself. List your daily/weekly achievements and do not do anything until your emotions, thoughts, anxiety/stress/frustration/sadness have been addressed and calmed.

Surround yourself with productive, honest people who make you happy and inspire you. Limit your time spent on the social periphery in regards to who is important. Don’t waste your time and money with boring, predictable coffee dates or beers, but be open to new people and try not to take them simply at face value. Remember, many people in their 20s are wrought with insecurities – as are you, to some extent – so be warm, but do not compromise yourself or go out of your way to accommodate them and their expectations. Limit the wide range of people you spend time with on an organised basis, so that you enjoy fulfilling friendships that are not shallow. You want relationships that are solid, authentic, and genuinely help to make you a better person. This applies to online, geographically challenged relationships just as much.

The brain and the mind are much more affected by the body than you think. This is why exercise, meditation and health are important. Mood can be changed by changes in the body – go for a walk or a run if you are feeling mentally tangled or stuck.

Minimalism. Less is more. Try to cull unnecessary items, documents, objects that are lying around, and clothes/shoes/jewellery that you no longer wear. Finish one of the many books you are in the process of reading. Clear up the paper, materials, bags, magazines and other things that decorate the floor. Put them away. You should only really need 3-6 pairs of shoes, likewise jackets. Focus on quality rather than quantity – and don’t discredit that phrase just because it has become a cliché. Think about it; the less you hold onto, the freer you are.

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