A Quick Recipe for De-stressing
A reference [spiritual advisor and author] Eckhart Tolle makes of a Buddhist monk in his book The Power of Now has changed my life. Tolle quotes the monk as saying, “All I have learned in the twenty years that I have been a monk I can sum up in one sentence: All that arises passes away. This I know.” This monk is at peace with the ups and downs of life, not allowing the constant change to be the gateway of his mental torment like the way most of us over-think every minor or big life situation. Most of us s 90% of our lives in our heads. You know the feeling when the thoughts are just running a marathon and you are unable to stop the mental process, even to get a drink of water or to take a breath. We then turn to our habitual, typically unhealthy, ways to overcompensate for what we are putting our bodies through. For many of us, it is food, which is the most available drug on the planet. The more subtle ways are emotional disturbances, or how we react (sometimes with hyper-sensitivity) to people around us. It would seem that our mind, obviously a very powerful instrument, can be quite dangerous if left unchecked.
I have tried many things in my search for happiness, health and balance. Wine and chocolate were my favorite stage of the journey. In more recent years, I have begun to deeply dive into the spiritual and metaphysical world of non-traditional healers and teachers, such as Eckhart Tolle, Osho and others. One common message unites their books: find your inner beings. That inner being is a gentle place of love and guidance, which is present in each and every human, without exception. That means that I am a part of God’s gift to humanity and should be able to discover His [or Her?] gift from within.
We have all experienced the constant nagging of our egocentric mind that demands a million and one never-ending tasks, which are supposed to bring us closer to our final goal and, therefore, the “happy” place. As “good little children” we do what our minds tell us and then we get to whatever goal we wanted to get to: that job promotion or that perfect relationship, or that weight we always thought as the perfect weight to be, or of the house we’ve always dreamed. What do we find at the peak? More of the same. More of the same unsatisfied voice we heard when we were climbing. It begins to criticize our achievements. So whether we are low in the dumps of life, or up high at the peak of our dreams, we still suffer from the daily mental dialogue.
What is the solution? At one point I came across the idea in Osho’s The Book of Secrets that we don’t have to ignore our mind to get to the place of balance and inner peace. Instead he says we can use it to help destroy the old habitual patterns of the inner dialogue of a very negative nature.
Following the practice of the “Here and the Now,” I call for a change of who is in charge. Let us try to use the idea that we are creators of how we feel and use our mind to get to the inner joy, which is always there, no matter the situation. Just as it took a lot of practice and conditioning to become stressed out about life situations, it will take a little bit of practice to do the reverse.
Here is my version of the recipe for positivity using mental dialogue to finally get out of our heads.
Use your mind and ask the following questions:
- What feeling keeps coming up? What do I feel?
- Is it drama from a past experience or anxiety over future uncertainties?
- Where in my body do I feel it? Describe it to yourself
After taking a few deep breaths, which brings you into the moment, remind yourself:
- My life is Here and Now
- This feeling that occupies my mind is in relation to Past or Future
- This feeling is not me
- I accept this feeling without resistance and let it be
I accept the presence of this feeling without resistance and let it go from my sphere of being, and choose to change my current situation.
Try this recipe for a change, next time you hear yourself caught up in the mental dialogue of unhappiness about one thing or another (and see if by being in charge of your own mind) you could reach that place of balance a little bit easier.