In this day & age, so often we hear about “slowing the mind”. This is a completely valid idea considering how many things are happening at once in our day to day lives between traffic lights, news feeds, catching up with friends, trying to make it to the gym, getting to work on time, calling our mother, or replying to that text we forgot about. On top of this, we then are up against the little voice inside that sometimes doesn’t have the nicest things to say.
So, how do find stillness and peace of mind in the midst of all of this energy?
One of the mind’s primary functions is to think. Just like your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, your skin to protect your internal organs, your minds priority is to create thoughts, there is no way around that.
The content of the thoughts that are actually produced by your mind however are the things that you DO have the power to not only develop a mindful control of, but also the energetic and emotional reaction that you have to those thoughts.
I attended a class at the famous Maha Yoga studio a few months back with Tom Morely, and at the end of class he mentioned, “Thoughts are like a waterfall, and sitting in the consciousness of your mind is like sitting behind the waterfall in a safe little cave watching the water flow right down into a big pool. You can reach out, get wet, and showered by any thoughts you choose to grab and allow them to affect you, or you can just sit back and allow them to flow right past you without assigning any meaning. You have that choice."
You know when yoga teachers say the perfect thing at the perfect time? Yeah…that just happened. This metaphor really allowed me to understand that I really did not have to be IN the water, and that it was beautiful just simply being the observer of the beautiful waterfall that dissolved into the abyss. The idea of this opened so many doors of freedom and empowerment in a way that I brought into my practice everyday, and most importantly- nonreaction to the thought processes that were otherwise taking me out of my power.
You don’t have to shut off your mind; you just have to be able to perceive your thoughts in a way that doesn’t affect your well being, or invoke an emotional reaction. Rise Above<3
We are so consumed with the thoughts that happen in our head, and most of the time they aren’t even the reality of what’s actually going on.
Here are a few awesome tips & tools that I use to still my mind, even when I feel like it's difficult:
1. Focus on breathing- whether in a yoga class, or in my car, or when I'm trying to remain focused on just completing a goal. Directing your mind to your breath brings everything inward.
2. Be Present- Put away that phone!Dear LAWD! When you find yourself 30 minutes in to a mindless, useless, unproductive scroll. Just set your phone down, take a walk, and notice everything around you in this moment.
3. Get Grateful- Gratitude is such an awesome tool that will help you focus inward. It takes the focus off of the material things around you.