“Real estate is a high energy kind of purpose, you need to have a passion and purpose in doing it” – Matthew Johnstone at ARPM 2016

mindfulness meditation selfcompassion compassion arpm2016 arpm matthewjohnstone
Photo: iStock/AZarubaika.

Real estate is a competitive business and comes hand in hand with a degree of stress.

Artist and write Matthew Johnstone won worldwide acclaim after turning his experiences of battling depression into a poignant guide titled I had a Black Dog. He spoke on the topic of ‘Mindfulness: Human doing or human being’ at ARPM 2016.

Matthew said it’s not unusual for property managers to feel overwhelmed occasionally, to worry about the state of the market and feel time poor.

“It’s an instance of ‘too much of this and not enough of that,” he said.

Matthew suggests employing mindfulness into your day-to-day life and work, paying special attention to who you’re with and what you’re doing.

“It’s all about becoming a human being, not a human doing,” he said. “For a lot of us that’s natural. Our minds are like a computer – if we have a lot of junk, spam coming to our mind it takes up a lot of space, clutter. We need to be able to process that. So how do we engage for mindfulness?”

Matthew said mindfulness begins by engaging with the five senses.

“Look around the room – the patterns on the carpet, where the light falls, the person sitting in front of you. Vision is one of the most powerful assets we have, we often forget to use it. Think about taste – we just gobble through meals without thinking about what we’re eating, our smell – our smell is associated with our taste. Smell your coffee in the morning. Our hearing, we should listen twice as much as we speak. Our touch – shut your eyes and feel the texture of your finger, or your clothes. I’m stating the obvious but quite often we’re not in touch with these,” Matthew said.

The idea of acceptance.

“When we’re tired, exhausted, grumpy or stressed, one of the greatest things you can do is accept it,” he said. Acceptance is a really important part of the equation. No one is more merciless and unkind to us than ourselves. There’s that real self-doubt that you can’t do something. Self-criticism doesn’t help, so let’s get rid of that.

The idea behind mindfulness or meditation, Matthew said, is not something you do in the here and now, rather something where you can be calm in that moment.

“We’re constantly surrounded by incredible moments, but we have our foot flat on the gas and rarely go anywhere. When we engage with our senses, the ordinary can become extraordinary.”

Find beauty where you least expect to find it

“I’ve got to say, I believe mindfulness really opens up time, space and opportunity for creativity. People think it’s time wasting – they’ll say ‘I don’t have time to eat well, exercise, meditate,’ – but this is one of the greatest acts of self-compassion,” he said.

— Hear more from Matthew Johnstone —

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