Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our Mind: Teacher, Creature, or Companion?

"It's mind over matter." "Do you mind?" "Make up your mind!" "Oh, never mind..." Just think about how frequently the "mind" enters our daily conversations. Our minds are an integral part of our three-part being: Mind, Body and Spirit. We often associate mind with our head, thought, and logic. But despite the form in which we imagine our minds to take, let's take a closer look at a few of the different roles our minds play. Do you mind...?

Our mind is an amazing and complex Teacher. It re-minds us when we’ve forgotten facts or figures and helps us through a challenging intellectual conundrum—whether it’s an academic test or the birthday of a family member. Our mind as a teacher causes us to think carefully when we need to make a decision, and uses our previous experiences as a references in order to make what we consider "sound" decisions. It keeps a record of everything we’ve ever thought, said, and done, giving us the gift of contrast (“been there; done that”). It sends us signals that something might be awry and we need to pay attention to it. It is the reflective and supportive adviser—helping us weigh the pros and cons from changing our internet service provider to changing our views about the importance of diet and exercise. Our mind as a teacher is with us every day, every hour, every minute, and doesn’t like to be shut off. But once in a while it will allow us to be out of it—maybe for a minute, an hour, or a day—and then when we reunite it feels like "plugging in" and booting-up to the world again. No bad; just predictable. 

Our mind is an amazing and complex Creature. It creeps around and waits for the opportunity to jump out and scare us, or sneak over and steal the cookie off our plate
when we’re not looking. Our mind as a creature walks around with a mirror and tries to make us look into it so it can tease and ridicule us about our appearance, our attitudes, or our behaviors. It is the constant critic carrying around a big fat history book of every mistake we’ve ever made, said, and done—and it takes our ideas, words, and actions, twists them, misinterprets them, and uses them against us like a court of law where we are guilty until proven innocent. It has a pocket voice recorder and plays back every negative word that every person has said to us that stick like those little thorn bristles we get on our socks when we run through a dry field (damn things are always hard to pull off and they poke you—ouch!) Our mind as a creature keeps us up at night, wakes us up with a headache in the morning, and won’t stop running. And we’re tired of chasing it. Sometimes we’d rather be without it. It controls our manners when we’ve been scolded and is told to "never mind” when something has been disregarded. It makes us feel crazy and out of control. It causes us to spiral downward. It can bring us down to circling the drain.

Our mind is an amazing and complex Companion. It is there when we need to remember where we parked the car in the parking lot or re-minds us who we really are when we forget. It’s there to provide a history of everything we’ve ever thought, said, and done, and re-minds us about our progress and how far we’ve come. Our mind as a companion plays back the recordings of anyone who’s ever thanked us, praised us, or shouted our name as we raced toward the finish line. It allows us to take a moment to pause and reflect upon a fond memory triggered by a beautiful song or the smell of fresh-baked cookies. It’s there to help us stay calm amidst a crisis or speak a kind word to a friend in need. It is our constant friend, confidant, and partner. And it always answers when we call. Our mind as a companion is there to motivate, encourage, and inspire us, and becomes the coach encouraging us to "hang in there" and just keep swimming. It reminds us that it’s okay to make mistakes, and it forgives us every time—no exception. It loves and accepts us as we are. It is our best friend and our family. It holds us when we are alone and reminds us that everything will be okay.

Question: Is your mind the Teacher, Creature, or Companion today? Depending on the situation it could be one, two, or all three... but the most important fact is that it’s your choice. We are not a product of our minds; our minds are a creation of us. And we have been given the power to choose how our minds work for and with us. When our minds are working for us in positive and supportive ways, we better connect with our bodies and spirits to bring more alignment and consistency to our lives—and that’s the key to finding more balance. Reconnect with yourself and reconnect with your power.

This week, become aware of your thoughts and remember you have the power of choice. Then choose wisely… for it is, truly, “all in your mind”.


The Ambassador of Goodwill

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