Your body is way different from your mind. Your mind has an agenda. Your mind calculates, judges, and recalculates. It’s a busy machine that isn’t always your best friend. Your body is always your best friend, and you’ll teach your mind to be your best friend in the next chapter. But realize here that your body doesn’t lie.
Sit still and listen to the requests your body makes before they are cries. Sit still and be with this miracle so you can understand how it talks to you. Does it need to eat very first thing in the morning, but you’re going on a run instead? Does it need to lay down on the floor, in the dark on a hot summer day? Does it want to jump around and scream, instead of go to bed? How can you tell the difference between the will of the mind and the requests of the body? You may not know the answers right away. It takes time to get to know and use this temple in the way that it was meant to be known and used. Enjoy.
We aren’t taught to maximize the use of our mind in this culture. Movies like The Last Samuri and the Karate Kid tell us that to train the mind reaps many rewards and successes. Not only that, but when you train the mind, you keep emotional outbursts, paralyzing fears, and second-guessing at bay. Just think of all the extra time you’ll have to play, explore, and live when you let the garbage of the mind stop multiplying.
There is one and only one training, which must occur for you. It is meditation. The good news is that there are many retreats, books, practices, and techniques that you can dial in your specific style by using. The bad news is that you will have to quiet your mind. I can hear your mind now. It says, “You can’t shut me out.”
There are many misconceptions about ‘the mind’. Is it our friend or foe? The mind gets a bad rap. I accuse it, take it for granted, let it torture me with negativity, and worst of all, second guess it. As a recovering over-thinker, I realize it truly has its place. The place for the mind is to be the expert in these situations:
- What was I just doing?
- Where is the grocery store?
- Is this a safe place for me?
- This project will be fun.
- Do I really need another pair of shoes?
- It’s time to eat.
- It’s not time to eat.
- That black patch of pavement looks icy.
- They are being mean to me.
When the mind sounds like this, its time for it to take the back seat:
- You can’t do that.
- You’ll never be good enough for x,y,or z.
- Let’s go over this for the millionth time (usually while you try to sleep).
- He’s lucky that happened to him, but it won’t happen for you.
- You’re fat.
- You’re old.
- You’re too young.
You get the picture. A healthy mind is unattached and straight-forward. Once you’ve begun to over-calculate, over-articulate, over-compensate, over-analyze, over-achieve, and over-judge – you need a tripwire to stop from the downward negative spiral that will ruin your life for a time. The more it happens, the worse your outlook on life is. This is serious stuff. I want you to understand how imperative it is for you to get this under control. My guess is if you get it under control, and your friends get it under control, and the drivers on the road get it under control, and the workers on the phones and computers get it under control, and more of us continue to get it under control, there will be a break through on planet Earth. We will be nicer, clearer on what we want and need, emotionally intelligent, calmer, less stressed, and overall more peaceful.
That’s the cost when your mind goes South. Now I’ll give you a game-plan so you can keep it positive more and more. It’s not black and white. The mind can play tricks on you, so the goal is to head toward upliftment, positivity, and gentleness. That’s your day’s work.
Here’s what you do:
- Find a meditation teacher you enjoy.
It’s so nice to have help when you deal with the depths of your mind. Take a 6 week course or one-on-one and make sure it’s in person. You need that person’s energy to find your way.
2. Find a 20-minute meditation for the morning and for the evening.
Yes, that’s 40 minutes a day. It is the smartest thing you can do for yourself and those you love. I enjoy the app, Insight Timer, and I also seek out audios that have just enough talking with silence to focus on my breath. Find what works for you. It should feel expansive, peaceful, and a bit frustrating.
3. Meditate with a group.
When you meditate with a group, your meditative strength is multiplied. It’s great when you start out. Your nearest Unity church will have a meditation group, or some yoga classes go more deeply into meditation. Ask them how long they’ll meditate.
To help link all this together, meditation will allow you to slow down and observe your mind chatter, so you don’t get so emotionally caught up in all the negative messages, and hurried stressful thinking that cause you to ruminate, wrestle, and elaborate in an unhealthy way. It will keep you out of overwhelm more often, and you will see that your life gets smoother, with less drama.
You become more gentle with yourself, more clear of your direction, and an overall more charming person to be with. Put it in your calendar and start today. Meditation will make such a difference in your happiness, so don’t delay.
Along with meditation, you will continue to benefit, as you keep positive in daily interactions. The beauty of life is to learn about yourself, as you make choices, take action, and learn from challenges.
These ‘Mind Practices’ are subtle and beg awareness and discipline from you. The motivation comes when you see results, so give these practices a whirl for a month, and see what sticks. Here’s another useful one:
Learn from each of the ancient philosophies on who you are. Get reports from numerologists, astrologists, proven psychics, astrocartographers, Chinese element theorists, archetype quizzes, and any ancient theories that you are drawn to discover.
It’s a great game to play as you widen your horizons and contemplate your possibilities. I like to listen with an open heart, record it, and then listen over and over until I can say to myself, “Yes, this is true about me or no, this definitely does not resonate.” It’s not about the accuracy, it’s about how it bounces off of you.
Readings allow you to ‘try on’ parts of yourself that might be repressed or not actualized. You get to decide to take them or leave them. Who knows, since you’re in life for the long haul, they may decide to come back around. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. You CAN have everything, just not all at once. You wouldn’t know what to do with it if you got it all at once. Let life and divine timing piece out your opportunities and challenges as you can handle them. There is no hurry. It is okay to wait.
But do get a reading in the calendar for yourself, and take time to let it integrate until you get another reading. Be gentle with yourself as you grow and understand how your mind functions, what your body longs for, how you work best, what foods keep you in optimal shape, what your habits are when you get scared, how you act when you feel completely free, and how to treat the ones you love better than you did yesterday.