Somewhere along this path of self-exploration you’ve probably had a freak out moment about your own thoughts.
Yes, this sounds crazy but let me explain. The light is now fully shining on the cold hard facts that your mind is OUT OF CONTROL. A wild monkey as the Buddhists say. This is neither a good girl nor bad boy issue. It just is.
Example: Me frantically trying to figure out how to transport my cat across the country IF we ever decide to move. While the next moment replaying over and over in my mind Becky’s bitchy tone during lunch.
Um thanks brain, so not helpful. Let me go ahead and just jump off this hamster wheel real quick.
So in an attempt to hop into another storyline, we often start meditating. Ok cool! Meditation can be awesome once you’ve covered your bases Meditation~Proceed at your own risk. But what do you do with the other 15 hours of the day?
Now don’t roll your eyes! That is a valid question. And one that I’m SURE many people have asked. If I’m not going to worry about the future and/or obsess about the past, then…….what am I supposed to think about?
Ah yes, I can already hear my Yoga/Buddhist friends answering this question for me right now! “Oh Jessica, that’s the point, don’t think at all“! Oh, sweet friends, I hear you! But I’m not a Buddha yet so please answer again with a human answer. ☺️
Well here’s MY human answer to that question. One based on the reality that I am still on this journey and tailored toward my personality (goal-oriented):
I say to myself: “Jessica, you can think about your business goals (passion), visualize a beach/or a desire (something that makes me happy or relaxed), or repeat a positive mantra. But what you WON’T do is stay on this mental hamster wheel.”
Now, this isn’t to say that my well-meaning, albeit overzealous comrades are not right. They are 100% correct. The goal is to be fully engaged and present in the moment at all times. And this does require a quiet mind.
But on the way to this glorious target, let’s feel free to include some “tweaks” to help us along!
“Controlling” or managing your thoughts seems to be all the rage these days. And I totally buy into it too. Thoughts cause Feelings which cause Actions. That makes logical sense. Modern coaches were not the first to discover this however!
“Watch your thoughts; they become words
Watch your words; they become actions
Watch your actions; they become habit
Watch your habit; they become character
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny”
Unfortunately monitoring your thoughts can become a full-time obsessive job if you’re not careful. It lends itself to micromanagement and judgment of the mind.
Luckily for us, we are on a self LOVE and ACCEPTANCE journey. So let’s find ways to manage our monkey minds without becoming too harsh on an organ that has evolved to behave like a monkey! It’s not our fault. It’s perfectly normal and a universal experience.
If you’re goal oriented like me, you might find the statement I say to myself helpful (see above). Maybe you have other ways to stay positive and out of self-hatred and obsessing when you’re not meditating. Great!
So until we have reached enlightenment like the Buddha, there is no shame in finding other ways to gently guide our monkey mind to a fruit-bearing tree! A nutrient-rich tree that our mind can feed on the other 15 hours of the day.