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Melli O'Brien



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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.

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