Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well and off to a great start in this New Year.
This week we consider:
Why Mind It?
No matter what we encounter in life, we have the power to “Mind It”…or not. How many times have you heard a variation of “There’s nothing you can’t do if you set your mind to it”? Have you experienced success because you believed a certain situation will be successful? Quoting Earl Nightingale, “your world is a living expression of how you are using and have used your mind.”
We have the ability to Mine Gold from just about every life experience- if we put our mind to it. But to Mine the Gold, it helps to have the awareness that it’s possible. In recent months, I have written on Response-Ability; the ability to respond. This will be an ongoing theme for the Why Team.
Because 100% of our entire life experience comes down to how we respond to life, and that response, via our mind, is within our developed control. How we train our minds to think determines greatly how we respond to what comes our way. It helps significantly to consistently remind ourselves of what is within our control and what is not; how we think is arguably our greatest most powerful resource.
This awareness fuels the importance of having daily disciplines of thought to prepare us for any onslaught - as well as for any opportunities that come our way. Of course, our habits of thought developed from childhood and many years of unconscious living can hijack any given moment, but to awake quickly and notice, is a lifetime practice that better serves us and everyone around us.
In this New Year, consider more your daily mental disciplines that are improving your mental ability to respond to life; be Mind-full to what you Mind! Such as creating if you haven’t already and adding daily to your gratitude list, reading your morning devotionals; those readings that through your devotion, serve your mind and spirit. My current two favorites are The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo.
Deep breathing, great sleep, regular water, diet, and exercise are, of course, necessary fuel for a healthy body and mind, but what actual thoughts are you thinking? How are you feeding your mind? Is your mind consuming high-quality fuel that awakens you to possibilities and a life abundant, or is it preoccupied with what can go wrong? Are your mind’s thoughts lifting or limiting? Explore why the limiting thoughts; question them.
My first book is titled Don’t Believe Everything You Think. That was my experience when I myself, with assistance, began to wake up about 15 years ago. It’s incredibly healthy to learn that we are not our thoughts. We may certainly behave in a manner related to them, but to change that behavior, it’s powerful to note how the mind habitually thinks - without any conscious prompting from us at all. Consider seeing thoughts as simply clouds in the sky that have come to pass. To think we are the clouds rather than the sky is to limit how high we can fly. It’s not “I am sad,” or “I am angry.” We can only be what is always present. Sadness and anger always come to pass; we are not these emotions; we experience these emotions. The next time you have a heated discussion with someone, consider saying, “I am not angry, I am experiencing anger.” While that often gets a laugh from my audiences, it’s an incredibly empowering awareness. If we think we can lose who we are to an emotion provoked by life, we can develop an anxiety toward life; actually, afraid that anxiety itself will steal our joy and celebration for what life can be and bring. Clear skies, cloudy skies, sunshine, rain, all serve to grow the very food on which we live; why not consider the clear and the cloudy thoughts that come to pass as well. How may all of it provide sustenance?
There is a very old saying, just five words, that has been a touchstone for me. Maybe it will serve you in this new year:
“We Suffer For Our Attachments”
If you are suffering, and here I mean emotionally rather than physically, consider to what you might be attached, what you mind out of what your mind creates. Abe Lincoln said you get rid of your enemies by making them your friends. Consider becoming more friendly to all your thoughts, exploring their origins, and knowing your mind thinks it is serving you, protecting you. Just ask, is it true?
Let go of attachments to how you think you must think to be okay. Whatever the feeling or emotion, have more courage than ever to mind them - notice them - learn from them and refocus on what you can control to mine more gold out of your a
wesome life. And consider a professional to help you mind it all the more. It’s hard to see the picture when you’re in the frame.
In this New Year, consider minding your mind all the more; focusing more on what you can control and thus becoming more able to respond as a result.
Make it a great week!