With an unquiet mind, neither exercise, nor diet, nor physick can be of much use.
Yesterday I suggested we would all be better off if we slowed down some and invested more time in enjoying our lives. What I find interesting as I think about why so many of us put off enjoying ourselves is how many of us are convinced we are too busy. Finally it dawned on me that as often as not it is our mind that is busy, cluttered with thoughts that keep us from doing what we might otherwise do if we were not so distracted.
People who have learned to mediate seem to have the ability to focus, prioritize and then get things done on a timely basis. I know the principles of meditation and have even had some success on occasion but more often than not a pesky thought would intrude and like the devil lead me astray. But at least I have learned that mind clutter can be debilitating.
So what is the solution? Mind clutter cleanup is one answer. Here are some tips on how to do that authored by coaching psychologist Avril Allen.
De-cluttering the mind tips:
• Decide to experiment with slowing your mind down however scary it feels. Give yourself a time limit for this. In this way you reassure a part of your mind that you will not become a vegetable and will resume everyday thinking at a certain time or day. You have to be strategic with the psyche and negotiate or the thinking brain will fear redundancy!
• Worry a lot — but again, within strict time limits. This is a cognitive psychology method which can work well. Decide to take time to do nothing but worry — this can be 5-15 minutes a day, but I suggest you take no longer than 20 minutes for this. Then stop! Tell yourself that you have done all the worrying you are going to do for today. In this way you are taming your mind, much as you would a wayward pet causing havoc in your home. Your brain is a wonderful tool but like technology, it is there to serve you, not to rule you, and is much too powerful to leave un-tamed.
• Find a picture, a metaphor which appeals to you for letting your thoughts go by. Images of thoughts as leaves in the wind or on a river; clouds changing as they pass by in the sky representing the essence of the deeper, more essential mind work for me because I relate to wild life and nature so strongly, but you may imagine traffic passing by as you stand on a bridge over a motorway or whatever works for you.
• Then smell the roses. Watch the real leaves and clouds moving on the breeze…focus on the sensations in your body you normally do not take time to notice — variations from place to place of warmth and coolness; heaviness or lightness; tensions — but be gently aware of them and do not struggle with them, just keep your awareness moving through your sensations. Pulses and rhythms, the dance of the blood in your veins. There will be areas in the body that feel good, we often do not notice them. In other words, experience Now.
To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
After the church service, a little boy told the pastor, “When I grow up, I’m going to give you some money.”
“Well, thank you,” the pastor replied, “but why?”
“Because my daddy says you’re one of the poorest preachers we’ve ever had.”
Family planning: The art of spacing your children the proper distance apart to keep you on the edge of financial disaster
The woman was always frequenting small antique shops, but regardless of what she saw there, she always complained about something. The quality was poor, the prices too high, or the selection was limited. The shop owners took it in stride, but one day, while ranting and raving, she yelled at the clerk, “Why is it I never manage to get what I ask for in your shop?”
The clerk simply smiled and replied, “Possibly, ma’am, because we’re too polite.”
“Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot about puppies.”
While teaching children about world religions, a teacher asked her students to bring a symbol of their family’s faith to class. The next day, she asked each student to come forward and share the symbol with the class.
The 1st child said, “I’m Muslim, and this is my prayer rug.”
The 2nd child said, “I’m Jewish, and this is my family’s menorah.”
The 3rd child said, “I’m Roman Catholic, and this is my Mom’s rosary.”
The 4th child said, “I’m Greek Orthodox, and this is an icon of my patron saint.”
The 5th child said, “I’m Southern Baptist, and this is my casserole dish.”
I know so little that it astonishes me how many people know even less.
My daughter-in-law, pregnant with her second child, was certain she wanted an epidural for pain management during childbirth. Her doctor asked her at which stage of labor she wanted the epidural administered.
Her response: “Just meet me in the parking lot!”
Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.
My phone bill was past due and I needed to change my service, so I had to visit the local office. The line wasn’t clearly formed, and there was an old man with a cane nearby me. It was unclear as to who was next. When we got to the front of the line, the man gestured to me and said, “After you.”
I smiled at him and said, “No, please, after you. I have all day.”
The he said, “No. You go ahead. My doctor says I have at least six months.”
Your only obligation in this or any other lifetime is to be true to yourself.
He told me: As a high school football coach, I’m aware that student athletes tend to focus too much on sports. Bob, a fellow coach, was talking about one such player, who called him at home one night. When his wife informed the kid that Bob wasn’t home, he became frantic and said he had to speak to the coach right away.
“Just calm down, and I’ll have him call you as soon as he gets home,” the coach’s wife told him. “What’s your number?”
The flustered kid replied, “Three.”
Pour some water into a tub and stir it up. Now try as hard as you can to calm the water with your hands; you will succeed in agitating it further. Let it stand undisturbed a while, and it will calm down by itself. The human brain works much the same way.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile
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