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Why We’re Not Deficient

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today we're going to talk about why we sometimes feel like we're deficient or broken, and I'm going to offer a different perspective. A little bit of context here about the way your mind works. So the human mind has evolved to think in such a way that it naturally causes psychological suffering. You see, for the last 200,000 years, most of our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived very difficult and dangerous lives.

Very different to our lives today. In order for them to survive, their mind had to constantly be on the lookout for threats and dangers. And if a person's mind wasn't good at avoiding and predicting danger, they just didn't survive in those days. Therefore, even though we live in a completely different kind of world, this mind we've inherited is still pretty anxious and on the lookout for what could go wrong. Yeah, we sometimes call it negativity or anxiety, but really it's just our minds trying to protect us from harm.

But now, instead of worrying about a 200 kilo bear attacking out camp or a rival clan coming to plunder our supplies, we worry about losing our job or our relationship falling apart, or the economy. Another survival needed in the caveman days is that you had to fit in with the group. If you got rejected from the group, you didn't survive. Humans only survived in packs in those days. Because of that, we all have two primal fears.

We fear we're not enough. We fear we won't be loved and approved of. So what does the mind do to ensure that we'll be approved of? It constantly assesses. Am I good enough? Am I contributing enough? And my special enough am I doing anything that will get me rejected? And the problem with modern life now is that because of the media and the internet, we're comparing ourselves to a huge amount of people, not just those in a small tribe. And that constant comparison ramps up our fear of not being good enough.

And that's one of the likely reasons for a huge surge in depression around the world. Now another thing, in the caveman days, any advantage that you could get to survive was really useful because life was hard and resource really scarce. So the mind was always saying, you need more food, you need better tools, you need better clothing, better shelter. And unfortunately in the modern world, this manifests as a constant dissatisfaction and craving. We never feel content with what we have.

We always want more. So when your mind starts playing out these unhelpful habits, just remember there's nothing defective or deficient about this, and there's nothing wrong with you. It just means you have a normal human mind, just like the rest of us. And your mind is just doing what it evolved to do. It's just trying to keep you alive.

Through mindfulness, we're learning to be not so caught up in and thrown around by this old conditioning of the mind. We're training the mind to adapt and engage in the world with new levels of wisdom, self-awareness and inner strength. So as always thank you for your practice and for your presence here with us and in the spirit of all of this, just inviting you now to settle in for today's practice.

Melli O'Brien

4.6

Why We’re Not Deficient

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today we're going to talk about why we sometimes feel like we're deficient or broken, and I'm going to offer a different perspective. A little bit of context here about the way your mind works. So the human mind has evolved to think in such a way that it naturally causes psychological suffering. You see, for the last 200,000 years, most of our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived very difficult and dangerous lives.

Very different to our lives today. In order for them to survive, their mind had to constantly be on the lookout for threats and dangers. And if a person's mind wasn't good at avoiding and predicting danger, they just didn't survive in those days. Therefore, even though we live in a completely different kind of world, this mind we've inherited is still pretty anxious and on the lookout for what could go wrong. Yeah, we sometimes call it negativity or anxiety, but really it's just our minds trying to protect us from harm.

But now, instead of worrying about a 200 kilo bear attacking out camp or a rival clan coming to plunder our supplies, we worry about losing our job or our relationship falling apart, or the economy. Another survival needed in the caveman days is that you had to fit in with the group. If you got rejected from the group, you didn't survive. Humans only survived in packs in those days. Because of that, we all have two primal fears.

We fear we're not enough. We fear we won't be loved and approved of. So what does the mind do to ensure that we'll be approved of? It constantly assesses. Am I good enough? Am I contributing enough? And my special enough am I doing anything that will get me rejected? And the problem with modern life now is that because of the media and the internet, we're comparing ourselves to a huge amount of people, not just those in a small tribe. And that constant comparison ramps up our fear of not being good enough.

And that's one of the likely reasons for a huge surge in depression around the world. Now another thing, in the caveman days, any advantage that you could get to survive was really useful because life was hard and resource really scarce. So the mind was always saying, you need more food, you need better tools, you need better clothing, better shelter. And unfortunately in the modern world, this manifests as a constant dissatisfaction and craving. We never feel content with what we have.

We always want more. So when your mind starts playing out these unhelpful habits, just remember there's nothing defective or deficient about this, and there's nothing wrong with you. It just means you have a normal human mind, just like the rest of us. And your mind is just doing what it evolved to do. It's just trying to keep you alive.

Through mindfulness, we're learning to be not so caught up in and thrown around by this old conditioning of the mind. We're training the mind to adapt and engage in the world with new levels of wisdom, self-awareness and inner strength. So as always thank you for your practice and for your presence here with us and in the spirit of all of this, just inviting you now to settle in for today's practice.

Melli O'Brien

4.6

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