Blue Mind, Vitamin Sea and Salty Hair

Blue Mind

In my last post I mentioned the idea of ‘Blue Mind’ – I got so many lovely responses and questions about it so I’m going to explain it a little more. Just to recap – ‘blue mind’ is a mildly meditative state, it is a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in one moment.

For me, I experience it most often under two circumstances:

The first is being in the water; when I manage to tune out how cold I feel; the sound of the wind and the waves become muted and there is complete silence. In that moment everything is slow. I do not have any thoughts towards what will happen next. I am completely present in that moment. And of course, that is when I experience that cringe to the stomach feeling of a smile creeping from the corners of my mouth; an uncontrollable feeling of satisfaction.

The second is usually when I’m walking in the city and my phone has run out of battery; ironic because I spend a lot of time moaning about living in a city. I don’t experience this when I’m ‘home’ i.e, anywhere north-west – because I don’t rely on or expect my phone to have signal. But when your phone dies in the city, suddenly you’re cut off while still surrounded by people. I really enjoy looking, and seeing, noticing things that totally go unnoticed normally. I start to smile at people, and even say hi to those who smile back. It’s just one of those ‘happy to be alive’ moments. *Note* this does not work when I just turn my phone off… it has to be dead to the world to totally release me from its ties.

Vitamin Sea and Salty Hair (the benefits of)
  • I’m sure we’ve all experienced that feeling of being totally knackered after a day at the beach, there’s our first health kick of vitamin sea. Insomnia; cured!
  • Appreciation – never have I ever felt so content with a cup of tea and somewhere warm to sleep after one too many hours spent outdoors, whether up a hill or in the water. Suddenly a hot shower and some soup is truly the best thing in the world!
  • Refreshed body – there is no greater healer than salt water, it’ll clean your cuts and scratches, exfoliate your skin and boost your circulation – also all your worries will be forgotten (because you’ll be far too cold to think of anything else)!
  • Blowing away cobwebs – this may not apply to those who live in beautiful calm beachy locations – but Scottish wind will blow you sideways. Being by the sea isn’t just for sunny happy days – it’s a good place to be angry. Let off some steam and scream at the top of your lungs; whats the worst that can happen? You’ll maybe scare off a few seagulls.
  • Danger zone to comfort zone – stepping out with your comfort is a daunting thought. Even for me, plunging my warm body into cold water is fairly unnatural – but taking that leap *quite literally* can only be good for our brains. It’s an opportunity to practice risk taking, and a chance to listen to the voice that says ‘just do it.’ We can then apply that confidence to our everyday – I’m basically encouraging life to be a bit more… dare I say it… ‘YOLO!’
  • Witnessing the rare – in a society that demands instant result, immediate reaction and attention, it is easy to get caught in a trap of wanting to capture everything on snapchat and insta story. I question how much we really experience; to witness something happening with our own eyes and using our own brains to retain memories. I’m guilty of not doing this myself, even when I’m out of signal… I’ll experience moments through my phone with the reassuring thought that I can post it later when I get wi-fi. Maybe this is why being in the water creates such a release of pressure; phone-less and left with nothing but thoughts and ideas – no pinging notifications and nagging need to fill people in on what’s happening.

I’m going to share this video with you; it’s an artwork by Tacita Dean – she talks about the green ray (also known as the green flash); something so beautiful and rare that she tried to capture over and over again. What she eventually realises is the act of looking itself is far more powerful than the success of capturing the moment on film.  Tacita Dean – Green Ray (Witnessing The Rare)

Rona X @ronamcmillan 

Books to buy and keep 4ever

My first blog post! AH!

Despite our indecisive weather, spring has finally sprung in Glasgow. So since the sun is FINALLY out and everybody is craving a sunny holiday; I thought I’d fire out a few book suggestions – for all those who like to lie in the park pretending to look cultured and read interesting books. It’s also coming up for exam time, and my top books picks are probably those that will calm those over panicked brains floating around at the moment.

So, here it goes

Tuesdays with Morrie – If you’ve never read this; get it, read it and thank me later. And even if you’ve been made to read this in school or something, read it again; I guarantee each time you read this book it will become more and more relevant to your life. Mitch Albom writes about ‘being human,’ therefore, it applies to us all and I reckon the world would be a slightly better place if we all learnt a few things from Professor Morrie Shwartz. (I’ve read this book 5+ times, so that has got to say something!).

Marina Abramovic – Walk Through Walls – Marina’s story is something of great beauty, pain, humour and danger. Reading about somebody with such an extraordinary outlook on life is remarkable and eye-opening. Marina is a superstar performance artist, she is truly phenomenal and I’ve followed her work for years.. but whether you enjoy contemporary art or not; this read will introduce you to things you have never considered before. ‘Marina has lived like an unstoppable force of nature, with the kind of power that leaves me feeling breathless and disquieted—while at the same time profoundly impressed, awed, and inspired.’ Annie Lennox, Vanity Fair

Blue Mind (Wallace J. Nichols) – As many of you know, I’m a complete water baby and have been obsessed with the contents of this book for the entirety of my university years. The subtitle to this book is ‘The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do’ – it kind of speaks for itself. The term ‘Blue Mind’ has become my favourite phrase, to me it means complete satisfaction in one single moment – it’s a thing of rarity, but we all experience it from time to time. It is actually a mildly meditative state (I know I sound pretentious right now) – but its a thing of beauty and I love it! This book will explain the power of all things ocean and blue, and why being around water is so good for our brains. You will 100% want to go jump in the sea after reading this (and you’ll probably experience blue mind)!

Rona X