In response to last week's article in which I wrote: “When life hands me lemons, I make chocolate cake and keep others wondering how I did it. Actually I received quite a bit of interest from people wanting to know “how do I do this?”
Well, my recipe is quite simple really. It is this: by being less intensely focused on the problem (the lemon) and more focused on anticipating a beautiful solution (the chocolate cake).
Now don't get me wrong, living the High Tech Hip Urban life is not exactly a "Lemon”. Downtown with its endless bars, resto’s and UberEats there is plenty of food and entertainment choice. Our temporary capsule is so slick in design, hardly any time needs to be spent on cleaning. Nevertheless, living here is becoming a stress factor to me.
This is week four of our capsule living. The never-ending city noise, dust, lack of airflow and grey mass is turning on me. Sunrise has made way for Sound-Rise! Trucks, machinery and building noise starting at no less then 5.00 am, which for me is not exactly yet the start of the day. Even in weekends, the city council deems it necessary to unleash leaf blowers on those few dead leaves!
My lookout in the morning is on a soul destroying grey roof surrounded by high rise offices - not the lush greenery I'm used to. Why don't these high rise neighbours get together and invest in creating a beautiful lush green rooftop, instead of this ugly grey mess? Happy green outlook = happy workers and happy mindsets. Altogether the beautiful "green" oxygen we so desperately need to function well (sounds like chocolate cake to me!)
I know, the City Council' s green urban planning is always on the agenda, but surely city corporations can do more with ugly roof conversions. Amazon is showing some leadership in building the Amazon biosphere as its new HO, green inside and hopefully green outside. I'd be interested in seeing what the air quality will be like inside the "biosphere".
The other thing I have noticed living here, is the lack of quality air. There is often heavy dust and other irritants in the air with bad airflow, creating stuffy minds and sick people. No wonder that sinus problems have been on the rise among office workers. City architects may learn from how urban buildings are now designed in Australia. From my living and working experience in Sydney, both office and living dwellings have better air circulation through innovative window systems creating improved air flows.
Our modern way of urban life doesn't always fit with how we are genetically programmed. The stress is becoming chronic versus only bursts of "fight - flight" responses that we experienced as Hunter- Gatherers. Our Cortisol levels are staying too high for too long, with the obvious physical and mental health consequences.
I can keep on writing about the incessant city lights, “fast food” eating out multiple times during the day, endless backpack toting line of office workers with smart phone-hands. All triggering endless problems that contribute to upsetting our bio-rhythms. But I won’t go there, because I promised not to focus on the “Lemon”, didn’t I?
Some TIPS that can help becoming smarter adapters and flourish in modern city life:
• If you need to relocate for a project, choose wisely, consider both the short and long-term. If it has to be capsule urban living, plan regular escape trips away
• Get a 15-minute dose of “green air’ regularly
• De-focus, give your brain space - let it roam
• Make time for quietness, take time out and switch off in a nice comforting area
• Keep the day and night rhythm separate as much as possible
• Exercise in daylight, switch off by soft night light and no “blue” light before bedtime
• Invest in a nice quality comforting eye mask and noise reducing earbuds J
• Most importantly, tune into a peaceful mindset, for yourself and with others. You, are enough!