Some of the great Masters that I study (Paramahansa Yogananda, His Holiness the Dali Lama, Deepak Chopra) all say, in one way or another, that our mind is here for us to use, not for our mind to use us. One way to notice immediately if you have let your mind “runaway” with you so to speak, is to listen to the way that you talk to yourself. What are those voices saying? Are they positive? Are they negative? What is the conversation that you are having with yourself on a daily basis? I realize that paying attention to this can be a lifelong study if you choose it and I believe that just taking this one step towards paying attention to your mind, can be a first step to leading a happy life.
Today marks the 51st day since I left my “safe” job of 10 years as the Associate Partner for an IT consulting company and embarked on the seas of Coaching full-time. I know that although I have been Coaching since 2001, that it could take some time for all of my efforts of “getting the word out” about my Coaching and my website (Sacred Path Coaching) and all that I can offer people. Well this is fertile ground for a reckless mind such as mine, to just pull out all the stops of negative thoughts, of doom and gloom, and of past failures. What I am doing is when I become aware of these negative voices/thoughts, I say, “STOP” and I re-direct my thinking to what is the next right action for me to take towards creating and having a successful business.
In other words, I’ve put my mind on a leash. It’s a very nice leash, but it is saying to my mind, “You’ve had your run with my life, now let’s see what happens when we train you to think thoughts that can be helpful for me instead of hurtful”.
One of the ways that I am becoming more and more aware of my thoughts is to meditate for 30 minutes each day. To give myself quiet time for me to slow down and “listen” to what The Great Intelligence has to say to me. Please don’t be discouraged if when you sit down to meditate your mind is throwing out every thought in the book that can trigger so many feelings inside of you. The mind is behaving like a child where a boundary has been set. There are many excellent methods of meditation and books out there galore on it. Find the one that “speaks” best for you. Many traditional churches have embraced the idea of Centering Prayer. A book that I found helpful on meditation is by Jack Kornfield entitled, “A Path With Heart”. The most important thing though is for you to give yourself the gift of time for you to be quiet and recoup. I have found the morning time, before I begin my day the most helpful because it seems to set the tone for the day.
At any rate, you do not have to be at the whim and mercy of your negative thinking anymore. You can learn how to “obedience train” your mind just like you would work out your muscles so that you could do a sport, or run, or swim. The mind is no different, it just wants us to think that it is!
For the next week, try the following:
1.) set aside 30 minutes a day to meditate or just sit still;
2.) notice the thoughts running through your head, write them down if you want
3.) when you notice a negative voice or thought, say “Stop” and re-direct your thinking to something positive. Google on “positive thoughts” or affirmations if you have none, find some and when you notice the negative thought, read your affirmation.
4.) think of your mind as a muscle that you are just starting to work out after a very long time of not working it out. So give it time to get in shape. Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself room to grow.
Let me know how this works for you, I want to hear from you!