Ever wonder about that voice in your head?
The constant chatter of thoughts registering in your brain and piling up?
Have you taken a moment to listen to what all the talk is about?
Just sitting still for a few minutes will reveal some startling information . . .
First, you will notice that much of the “conversation” is about past events or future concerns.
You might even enjoy a good debate—should I or shouldn’t I . . .
Yesterday, if only I . . . or tomorrow I am going to . . .
Or, you may witness a great story being told; possibly one you have heard over and over before. Often we tell those stories to ourselves so often, that they become who we believe we are.
It doesn’t take too long as a spectator to realize most of what’s being said is of little to no value. After all, you can’t change events that have already happened. And who could predict the future without a crystal ball?
What if you could take a time out from all the talk? A moment to Pause. What would happen? How could you start to take control over your thoughts and begin “managing your mind”?
You would quickly learn you can’t control your mind—you can only control your thoughts. And by learning to control your thoughts, you can then begin to manage your mind. But, you need a technique and some practice.
Why is this important?
From birth, we are pre-conditioned genetically and influenced to think and behave certain ways. Our parents and early care-givers, with their pre-disposed thoughts and conditioning become our perceptions of the world we live in. Some of our perceptions may be accurate and others are not, but how are we to know?
There are many contemplative practices that provide a doorway to relief from the constant chatter in your mind, like gardening, singing, playing an instrument, storytelling and deep listening, prayer, dance, yoga or various types of meditation. Regretfully, not all work as well as others in training your brain. The main reason is that you are still “doing something” and to really understand your thoughts, you have to “do nothing.”
We believe a pause, or short period of meditation while focusing your mind on your breath is the best practice, and using this simple technique is one gateway to a healthier life. Your breath is always with you and provides a barometer to your state of mind. Generally, when your breath is steady and at ease, so is your mind. When the breath is erratic, short, or challenged, so are you!
How to bring yourself into the present moment:
Beginning with a few breaths, with your mind focused on your rib cage expanding and contracting, you can bring yourself into the present moment. Not ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. Just being: right here, right now.
After time, you’ll notice that in between the thoughts, there is a space or gap. Not a big space or wide gap at first look. The power of pausing and watching the breath creates an awareness of this space. And with practice, the gap gets wider.
When the mind is fixed on one thing, and in this case the breath, your one-pointed focus, brings you into the present moment. Being in the present moment allows you to fully experience life as it unfolds.
For more, see our Blog: Start small