The mind is a funny place -- mine is also a place a friend of mine used to tell me was a very dangerous neighbourhood for me to get lost in alone! He thought he was being cute and clever. I think he was being a jerk. But then, as my middle sister always tells me -- you've got one busy mind!
It's true. My mind is very busy. This morning is a perfect example. I awoke and knew exactly what I was going to write about. I made coffee, read the newspaper, my emails, logged onto a site where I am a contributor to respond to posts on my last article, and in the midst of all that thinking and doing, totally forgot about what it was I was going to write about.
Except -- in writing about my busy mind, it all came back to me!
I wanted to write about thinking.
Aristotle wrote, We are what we repeatedly do. In my book (that's the proverbial book of rules and habits that make up the reference points for my daily living) thinking is a form of doing. I do it every day, pretty well every moment of every day. Thoughts ride into my mind, I think about them, measure them, judge, define, rationalize, sort, log them. I am always doing something with my thinking even when I'm avoiding what I'm thinking about.
What I think about what I'm thinking can become a habit. It becomes my style of self-reference, my habitual thinking about myself that then becomes, in most instances, my limiters.
Take for instance this whole issue around losing weight -- I'm down the first ten. I've embarked on this ten -- but still my mind says -- so, it's taken you kind of a long time to lose the ten hasn't it? How committed are you to doing what you say you want? How real are you getting with living the life of your dreams? And underneath those thoughts is the voice of self-condemnation. You can't lose weight. You're a fat girl. Nobody likes you. You're a loser. You're stupid to think you can lose weight. yada. yada. yada.
That kind of thinking is what has undermined my weight loss in the first place (not to mention my self-expression and my ability to be all I'm meant to be). My habit is to beat myself up over not doing things 'right.' Yet, I lost ten pounds and I've kept the ten off for two months -- that's pretty good in my book! But it's not what I tend to focus on. My habitual thinking says I need to constantly do better, be better, be more (while believing I am 'less than' and that I never measure up) limits my expression of the limitless possibilities of my life when I am being exactly who I am in this moment.
And, because I think I need to know 'how' to do better, be better, get better, I focus my thinking on what I need to do to be better, rather than simply being in this moment all I'm meant to be.
Rather convoluted isn't it?
That's where my busy mind becomes a dangerous neighbourhood. My thinking about what I'm thinking about limits the actions I take to simply 'be mindful'.
Being mindful of my thoughts means I don't measure, judge or criticize and condemn them and myself. Being mindful means I notice the thoughts drifting through without corralling them into my way of thinking. I let them drift on by as I consciously guide my actions by focusing on my higher intentions.
To change my experience, I must change my inner dialogue. To change my inner dialogue, I must be aware of -- what I'm saying to myself that limits me. Awareness doesn't mean I judge, measure, or condemn myself for thinking what I do. Awareness means staying focused on expressing my higher intentions through releasing the thoughts that limit me into thoughts that expand my possibilities with the cheerful expectation that I am a reflection of the magnificence of all that is beautiful, awesome, divine in the universe. I am all I ever need to be. I have all I ever need to live this beautiful life with grace, ease and joy. I have all I need to express myself magnificently through every moment of the day.
The question is: Where does your thinking trick you into believing your life is limited by your experience? Where does your thinking hold you back from expressing your most magnificent self?