© Copyright 2022 Artwork by Cordi Neckermann
‘Contact Tracing: You have been identified as being in close contact of a confirmed case. You must book a test kit: pcr-my-order.com'
That was the message I received on a pretty hectic Saturday morning. I was in the middle of getting breakfast ready for my family and had my eye on the clock so we could leave on time for football practice, and now we had to take a covid test too before we leave, just great. Ah yes and ordering the PCR test. I did that while getting ready. Bad idea!
In the midst of getting dressed, while running around to make sure I packed my son’s water bottle and football shoes, I went through the process of ordering the test. All standard procedure right? I clicked and entered all the information, address, birthday, oh yes, and my card details because they charged £1.28 for rush-shipping the test. Done! And out the door we went into the bright sunny day thinking all was well.
Wake up call!
Sunday morning my bank account was emptied with all kinds of transactions that weren’t mine. You probably already guessed it just from reading the text message above. The whole thing was a scam. Does the NHS ever charge shipping when sending tests? No, no and double no. Did that dawn on me afterwards? Yes! But while I was trying to multitask that lovely Saturday morning this did not compute.
The human brain is not capable of performing two tasks that require high-level brain function at once. I know that. I even have it written on a post-it pinned to my wall but I still fell into the trap. Why? Because I was rushing, thinking I need to be super mum instead of activating my inner superhero whose job it is to protect me from all the stress.
Rushing never ends up being useful or helpful. All it does is add stress and increase the chance that mistakes are made or, even worse, that an accident happens.
The worst part about having my card details stolen was not even that all my money was taken. It was getting endless calls from people pretending to be my bank after the fraud case had been closed by my actual bank. By the end of it all, I really didn’t know who to trust anymore and that caused even more stress. Luckily I didn’t fall for any of the phone scammers. First and foremost because they were all far more friendly than the customer service agents in my bank. That made my Spidey-Sense tingle immediately. The other giveaway was that they asked me for details they should be having on their system, which an actual customer service agent won’t do.
Also, on a little side note: If a “customer service agent” tells you they will change your bank sort code for you just hang up. That is NOT possible unless you are changing banks!
Anyway, after a week of calls from friendly fraudsters I made the decision to quit. Quit all rushing and multitasking because it always seems to end in more stress than I was trying to avoid.
More work for my inner superhero
I believe all humans are equipped with a protection mechanism. Kind of like the cerebellum in our brain which takes care of our basic physiological needs and survival instinct. Just like we have a voice that is always criticising and judging, we have a voice that knows what we need, what feels good and what we need to say no to. I call that voice my inner superhero.
I got to know my inner superhero through practicing yoga and meditation. It helped me to become still and just listen to all the mind chatter, and find that voice that is actually me amongst other people’s ideas and belief systems: My voice of intuition. I just call it my inner superhero because I love comics.
The bottom line of my fraud story is that it’s not enough to connect to your inner superhero (or intuition) once and then it’s done. It is a constant process, like maintaining a really good friendship. Just as we go for coffee with friends to catch up and have a good time, we need to catch up and make a date with our inner superhero.
It’s a date
With my resolution to quit multitasking and rushing comes the commitment to spend more time listening to my inner superhero on my meditation pillow, or better my meditation bean bag. Life has its ups and downs and when things get stressful and more intense, instead of ditching the date with the inner superhero - aka yoga practice - we need to remind ourselves to be even kinder to ourselves and listen more to what we really need. Even though I take time every week for yoga and meditation with my lovely Happy Morning Yoga group, there are times when life gets super hectic and a 10 minute superhero date is necessary every day. Have I been doing that lately? Nope, I let myself be swept away be current affairs. But after my little scam-wake up call I’m back on my meditation bag every day for at least 10 minutes because rushing and stressing is not going to change anyone’s life for the better.
Happy people don’t start wars!
So why not start with yourself? Your good mood will uplift others and keep spreading. If fear and hatred can spread love, kindness and compassion can too! Listening more to your inner superhero - aka intuition - brings all the love and kindness to you.
From you to you!
Let’s change the world one content and loving heart at a time!
P.S. Thank you scammers for the wake up call! It was worth it.