Hands up if you would like more peace of mind?
Or a LOT!!!!!!?????!!!?????
My hand is up for A LOT and this has been a work in progress for me for a long time. I have been curious to figure out the best ways how and I will be sharing one way with you shortly.
The 1st Thing: You are not your mind
Have you heard this – ‘you are not your mind’ – before?
Did it go in one ear and out the other, or did you sit with it for awhile, before it drowned out by more immediate issues? Or did you truly get it – and apply it?
My challenge is that for most of us this is a little too confusing to put to practical use. So let me see if I can re-frame it, so it is actually useful for us…in this quest for peace of mind.
I best picture the brain as being divided into three distinct parts (in a very general sense and using the triune model). There is the upper (cortex), middle (limbic) and lower (cerebellum) brain.
The middle and lower brain:
- They are about survival.
- They are heavily associated and attached to the past, in order to make sense of the now, and influence future choices.
- They create or are strongly influencing our ego.
- They create mental ‘thoughts’ (which are very different from thinking)
- Let’s call this the lower mind.
- Generally associated with creativity, imagination, wisdom, willpower and visualizing the future.
- This is where ‘thinking’ occurs; where thinking is a conscious act. We consciously direct our attention, awareness and wisdom in a specific direction; and often for a specific purpose.
- This part of the brain can override the lower parts of the brain.
- Let’s call this the higher mind.
So circling back to the statement ‘you are not your mind’; it becomes more clear for me when I change the statement to…
You are not the thoughts that constantly bubble into your mind.
Unfortunately most of our thoughts are about a poorly filtered interpretation of the past, or are just made up sh#t about a future that does not exist in this moment, and is based on some past or perceived fear.
So you are not these thoughts. You are so much more.
The 2nd thing: It is to do with hijacking
The lower mind loves to hijack the upper mind when you are not paying attention.
And is very good at it. Damn it!!
Let’s take this example. You are driving behind a car that is going slower than the speed limit. Suddenly thoughts come to mind like:
“This person is an idiot. They don’t know how to drive. I bet they are a (insert a prejudiced judgement). I am going to be late. Blah, blah, bloody blah.”
Once you pass this person (and look in their window to ‘confirm’ your suspicions about what demographic they belonged to), you fume a little bit more, based on the thoughts that continue to pop into your mind. You might even take this ‘issue’ and the associated negative emotions all the way to work. Then you might even experience it for a little longer by moaning about it to anyone that will listen.
Is this just a little on the insane side?
Unfortunately we do this WAY too often. Myself included.
We just got high-jacked by our lower brain and lower mind.
But there is a way out.
And a way that stops wasting a ridiculous amount of life force on something insane like this.
What to do…to create more peace of mind
Firstly, you need to make a powerful choice that you want more peace and less drama.
Because this requires effort.
The first effort comes in the form of ‘self awareness’.
You need to get into the HABIT of catching yourself when you start to go on a RANT, and then with willpower (the second surge of effort) – interrupt the rant.
The rant does not serve you. It is a total waste of energy and life force. It causes negative emotions. It even negatively affects your health. The rant is meaningless. It does not make your life better.
When you catch yourself about to rant, or part way through it (or a lot of the way into it), choose to STOP.
(Return to sanity)
Let go of the need to rant. It does you no good and it is costing you peace of mind.
This is the higher mind, saying to the lower mind (aka: ego), it’s ok. Let it go. Breathe. Relax. Enjoy the sunshine and the breeze.
When we let go of the rant, and drop into feeling the sunshine, suddenly we are transported into the ever-present NOW.
When we choose to FEEL we exist only in the NOW.
Peace of mind is achieved when we consciously choose to let go of about 98.54% of our inner ranting (and unnecessary judgements), and we pay heightened attention to what we feel in the moment.
We relax into the present moment.
And we feel good! Ahhhhhhhh. SO good…peace at last…
This is just one technique or practice.
But it has the potential to save vast amounts of wasted energy, and create more peace and harmony in your mind, life and body.
I have been paying attention to myself and my rants and I realised they happen way too often. I have so many judgements. They inevitably stir up negative emotions like annoyance, frustration, and anger, which do me absolutely no good at all.
The ultimate aim is to not be bothered by pretty much everything that happens in life. Become the ever-calm sage.
But the initial aim is to experience being bothered in the moment something occurs, but not to carry that bother into the future by going on a RANT. The aim is to LET THE BOTHER GO AS SOON AS BLOODY POSSIBLE.
This does not mean we stop working to change things that are not right for us, or others.
It just means we save the energy from ranting, and use that energy to make positive change in our lives and the lives of others.
Sound like a plan?
Now I am off to ride my motorbike in Bali and do the work of not being bothered and ranting when someone doesn’t indicate, or cuts me off, or is on their phone as they wobble in front of me, or speeds past with no helmet on.
My work is to get better and better at staying calm when life (and the people in it) do not act the way I would prefer.
This is actually a spiritual path using our daily life as the catalyst for change.
Let me know if you have any specific questions or need a hand.
Have a super day.
Take care and much love.