I recently asked myself”How well do I look after my mind?” I look after my body – diet, exercise etc – and I look after my car – regular services, tyre checks and so on – but what about looking after my mind?
I look after my body and my car so that they work properly for me, so a mind that works properly, how does it behave?
One of the most valuable things I learnt from my spiritual studies is that my mind is actually my servant – or it’s supposed to be. Trouble is, it so often wants to do its own thing, and a servant that does its own thing is not good news.
A liberating thing I’ve learnt from my spiritual studies is that I can chose what kind of person I want to be, rather than being a ‘victim’ of social programming, past experiences etc. and I have decided that I want to be peaceful, loving and happy. After all, these are the true and original qualities of the soul.
So I concluded that if my mind, my servant, is working properly it will only entertain thoughts of peace, love and happiness. And if it doesn’t, if it isn’t working properly, it’s because I’m not looking after it.
Essentially, we think too much – we all do it. We think about things we don’t need to think about. We keep our minds too busy, and then wonder why we are tired. So in order to look after my mind one thing that I need to do is teach it to think less.
Nowadays, when I see my mind going into that kind of space I say to it “No, I don’t want to go there. Just stop it.” I talk to my mind firmly but lovingly, like a mother talking to a naughty child.
The other day I heard a friend getting on his high horse about vaccines, or Brexit, or something like that. I didn’t like to tell him that his opinion on the matter was irrelevant because it can’t and doesn’t change the situation. While the mind is caught up in pontificating over things I can’t do anything about, I can’t use it to create thoughts of peace, love and happiness.
So how do I help my mind to work properly? Firstly, I give it a break, giving it the experience of stillness by meditating regularly. Secondly, I give it clear directions about what I want it to do, proactively using it to create thoughts and feelings of peace, love and happiness. Thirdly, I don’t have opinions about things I can’t change or are none of my business.
And what I’ve found is that thinking less sets me free.!
Learn more about your mind through our positive thinking course