I spent the whole morning trying to think about what to write in my blog today. Usually the ideas come flowing but today I kept going back and forth on a couple of practical topics that I knew were important to my audience, but somehow I kept getting stuck. I knew I was trying too hard and that’s when I decided to stop.
Usually when you feel stuck, you tend to start thinking, thinking harder and harder which leads to overthinking and before you know it, you are enveloped in a swirling vortex of hard thoughts turning into harsh voices and negative feelings, spinning round and round, so fast that you are unable to get out. You lose the battle and are left feeling alone, exhausted and defeated.
At that point in time, you may start to believe that you are your thoughts, you are your feelings. After all it is all happening inside you, it is your own voice. But that however is not true. Your mind can be your best friend but also your worst enemy.
Think about it. Have you ever reacted in a particular way and then regretted your words or behaviour? Have you got really angry at someone and start yelling at them and just seconds later you chide yourself “What is wrong with me? Why did I just do that?” Trouble is when you are lost in thought, it is very easy to get wrapped up in the mental stories that you tell yourself or what others tell you. If your friends keep saying “You’re lazy, you’re lazy!” everytime you miss showing up at the gym, you start believing in those words, which then start playing on your mind and you actually become lazy, refusing to do other things on purpose stating “It’s ok, I’m just lazy.” Casual comments turn into thoughts turn into beliefs and turn into a habit. It’s time to step out of this vicious circle.
The truth is you are not your thoughts. Step out of your head and become an observer instead. This is a very important step if you want to be in command of your own mind. Easier said than done as our mind constantly sabotages us with lies that it wants us to hear. Here are some of the common lies –
-You have to work really hard if you want that promotion.
-You have to take control of this situation if you ever want to get your work done!
-You have to be perfect in every aspect of life, there is absolulely no room for imperfection if you really want to be successful.
-Its ok to be sad. Sadness is a noble virtue that shows exceptional depth.
-Life is full of dangers and you always have to look out for them.
Thoughts and feelings are nothing but fleeting clouds passing by. Sometimes they are light and fluffy, sometimes dark and omnious, they come in all shapes and sizes, colours and shades. So if we are not these thoughts, not these clouds then what are we? We are the sky. The unchaging, expanse of clear, calm blue sky.
It is very important to step out of ourselves and observe our thoughts and feelings. That is what being mindful is all about. Being aware of the present moment. Being with our senses. Sense of touch, smell, hearing, taste – whether it is taking a deep breath or giving a meaningful hug or holding a cup of hot coffee, being with your senses is where you will find your peace, joy, freedom and oneness with yourself.
Remember the more you become aware of your thoughts, the less power they have over you. Its good to have habits and routines as they give us a flow in our day, make it easier to do things, live our lives without thinking too much, but if it goes on for too long, we tend to go on autopilot and sometimes that can end in a deadly crash. Take covid for example. It came out of the blue and life as knew it came to standstill. Suddenly our routine that we took for granted was snatched away from us, leaving us feeling disgruntled and angry and upset. Yes Covid was cruel, but Covid was also inevitable. What we did not realise was that it was time for a RESET. After the initial setback and fall, we dusted ourselves and got up to see what next? Many of us took up an activity, that hobby that we always wanted to do but never had the time for thanks to our daily robotic life. Cooking, painting, yoga, dancing, we ‘zoom-ed’ on! Even after the world went back to normal, some of us continued what we started as the hobby which became a job, a career, something that we would have never thought about had it not been a forced reset.
It’s true, happiness is within us. It’s upto us what we want to feel, what we want to experience in each and every moment of our lives. And I choose to be in command of my own life. If thoughts come, I will simply let them go. For I am not my thoughts. I am not my feelings.