Reality Update!

I took a step away from Vlogging and Blogging a couple of months ago. It was taking over my life, everything else that I enjoy doing fell by the wayside and I was getting progressively less and less happy. I thought about coming back with a Vlog, but why not a blog? If people want to know about whats going on with Lewis Kirk at Fragments they will read it, if not they will just scroll on by……

We have to be careful what we wish for, because it may not take the shape or form that we imagined. The reality may be very different from our perception of what it would be like. This is where I came to with my Vlog on youtube.

Sometimes I have grand ideas about curing the world of its suffering in one Vlog. One inspirational talk will cure the world.. ha. But I truly feel we all suffer to some degree and that there is a cure for suffering. This gets me to the heart of this article.

There are two sources of information that have initiated this thought process; The book Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari and the Netflix original series Black Mirror. I read Sapiens a few months ago followed right after by its sequel Homo Deus. Black Mirror has been on my radar for years but I never got round to watching it. These two together have influenced me in a big way, even thought I am only four episodes in to Black Mirror.

Here is my thesis. Some people yearn for what is real, others wish to escape reality. If we yearn for what is real, and have the means to attain that, we will engage in activities that we love, maybe hobbies and being around other people at parties or on holidays. If we wish to escape reality, there is a chance it is because we don’t have the means to enjoy it. Where do you find yourself? Escape or experience?

Why would we want to engage in a reality that consists of waking up, going to work, coming home and dealing with hyperactive children, and then finally have two hours of restbite before beginning all over again. For me, as someone who wishes to participate in reality I have a few options in how I spend my few spare precious hours at the end of an evening or early in the morning.

I like to read, I have been studying Hungarian for a few months, and I also feel an urge to meditate longer and more often than I do. But these things require an effort at the end of a long and stressful day. I must summon some energy reserve from somewhere deep within me to spend an hour reading, or learning Hungarian vocabulary, or god forbid, sitting with my eyes closed for a whole hour!

So whats my point? What am I getting at?

If we don’t make an effort and move towards real things, this would include real experiences, real interactions, real life, then just the opposite will occur. When there is no effort at the end of my day, and I have no energy reserves because the kids have played up, or because my body is tired, or because I am feeling a little down, what do I end up doing? Watching Youtube? Watching TV? Scrolling through social media. Now you may relate to these thoughts and feelings and you may not, but you must have an opinion one way or the other.

(A thought just occurred that I should erase everything to this point and forget about it) But why? Why do I care what people think about my writing? Why is it important for it to get lots of views? Because that is what we are told gives us meaning.

  • Lots of followers and subscribers
  • Lots of likes and comments
  • Lots of money and status
  • Lots of friends
  • Lots of hours spent watching Netflix

But none of this is real! They are just numbers. More is better.

But if we strip ourselves of all of these numbers, all the social media friends, even all the real friends, all the money, everything. What is left?

Yet this is most real thing that we have, and we are masking it with anything we can get our hands on.

Watch Black Mirror. Read Sapiens. Get informed about where we might be heading, and then ask yourself how it looks and if it is something that you would want to experience. And if you think I am exaggerating or becoming paranoid that the machines are coming for us…. Just look around the next time you are in a public space, or on public transport, or anywhere that you can find lots of people. You can even do some introspection and look at yourself. Maybe its better if we perform it as introspection.

Do I experience the world around me fully. Where I am, the people I am with, the surroundings, the smells, the sounds? Or am I more interested in what the screen can deliver for me? What someone else is doing, where they are, someone else life. Can there be anything less real than being more interested in another persons life than your own?

There is a choice. We can live our own life to the full. Follow our dreams, begin a new hobby or learn a new language. Read a book, (sapiens…). Begin a mindfulness/meditation practice. Something real.

Alternatively, we can remain hypnotised by the screens that are all around us, distracting us from reality and the present moment. These are two distinct paths, leading to two distinct realities.

The choice is yours.

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I took a step back – Now Apple are advising the same!

I have recently taken a step back and a break from my social media. I deleted it from my phone! Having the app on your phone is like having a cupboard full of sweets and chocolate in the house when your trying to loose weight, its just too easy.

Whats interesting about this is that Apple have released a new keynote software update speaking about exactly the same thing; “screen time software.”

This software allows your to access weekly reports of your activity; how much time you are spending on your phone, where you are speeding it. How often you pick up your device and whats drawing you in.

Watch the video to find out all about it!

Link to YouTube

 

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My conversation with Gabriela Chang – Ms Miami International

In this great episode I speak with the current Ms Miami International, Gabriela Chang about her journey to this point. She is an inspirational character and has recently become a supporter and spokesperson of many children’s organisations.

In this wide ranging interview she speaks about some of the hardships that she has been through which have give her a perspective in which to relate to some of the young people she is now working with.

Gabriela has so much to give, and her passion and enthusiasm comes across in this video. Please be sure to follow her journey on her website and social media profiles.

YouTube Link

 

 

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Filed under Harmonious Development, positivity, Random Acts of Kindness, Vlogs

Understanding anxiety and 5 ways to manage it better

Anxiety is something we have all experienced at some stage of our lives. It could be described simply as a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear that can be mild or severe. These fears ad worries are often related to thing which may or may not occur in the future. Anxiety is a natural human response when we perceive that we are under threat.

1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health issue during our life. 25% of 13-18 year olds suffer from an anxiety disorder and 80% of people diagnosed with an anxiety disorder don’t get any help.

There are many symptoms which I go into in the video and also some of the people I have worked with have given me permission to share how it manifested for them. A big part of anxiety is for us as individuals to decide when it becomes a problem and when it is time to do something about it.

At the end of the video I share 5 ways that we can manage our anxiety better. I hope you find some value in this video and it helps you going forward in dealing with your anxiety.

YouTube Link

Some helpful links I mention in the video

My Vlog on Mindfulness : https://youtu.be/uk3anD3wYvI

Tim Ferris’ Interview with Gabor Mate : https://youtu.be/H9B5mYfBPlY

How to overcome fear and anxiety booklet : https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/overcome-fear-anxiety

Understanding anxiety and panic attacks booklet : https://www.mind.org.uk/media/1892482/mind_anxiety_panic_web.pdf

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Filed under Harmonious Development, positivity, The Mind, Vlogs, Zen

A snapshot of the future – Augmented Reality

I was at the park over the weekend and was observing the world going by as I often do, when it struck me that more people than normal had their faces glued to their phone screens. It was only an hour or so later that I realised the reason for this and it was because everyone was playing the augmented realty game Pokemon Go.

Now what is augmented reality? One definition I found is that it is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a users view of the real world thus providing a composite view.

It can also be quite dangerous to have your eyes glued to the phone screen, and towards the end of the Vlog I share a short montage of people getting into trouble because they are not being mindful of the world around them and the dangers it can often present.

The reason for this Vlog is that we have a responsibility to take control of our lives and create the future that we want to see, and not just go with the flow only to wake up in ten years and realise that what we are living is not what we wanted.

YouTube link

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Review of last week & what’s coming next week

In this short episode I reflect on what I learnt and experienced from last week and look forward to what is to come next week.

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How to be mindful – 5 helpful tips for more mindfulness

In this episode I’m talking about all things mindfulness. What is mindfulness? Why practice mindfulness? And also sharing 5 tips to increase your mindfulness practice. By the end of the video you will have all the tools necessary, and know everything you need to begin practicing mindfulness.

I have had a mindfulness practice for close to 10 years now and it has transformed my life, its increased my level of peace and happiness and allowed me to experience every aspect of my life more fully.

The 5 mindfulness tips I share are:

  1. Mindful activities.
  2. Focussing on the breath.
  3. Become aware of the sensations in your body.
  4. Remove distractions.
  5. Include a 10 minute morning meditation into your daily routine.

Link to YouTube

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Filed under Buddhism, Gurdjieff, positivity, The Mind, Vlogs, Zen