Life can feel like it’s moving at a VERY fast pace. Sometimes this can be exciting and all-encompassing like you’re riding an energetic wave of creativity and excitement. At other times, it can feel overwhelming and frantic.
Which side of the coin are you currently on?
Do you feel stressed and burnt out trying to keep up? Or do you feel energized, fresh and ready to take on the day?
Hopefully, it is the latter of the two, but if you do feel overrun with heavy emotions, a fast racing mind and a life that feels overwhelming, hang fire as there are some fantastic tools and practices you can use to help you manage your life in a more productive and manageable way.
Finding the balance
In western society finding balance might be laughed at, as for many of us it feels like balance is the last thing on our mind.
The minute you find the job you always wanted your relationships plays up, or the minute the kids are back at school your boss begins to become more of a challenge. Whatever it is you’re dealing with, life can feel like it’s either making you or breaking you.
Some people in life face challenges in a negative way. They whine and complain constantly about how difficult their lives are.
I was guilty of this around six or seven years ago. I was never content and I was extremely burnt out and fed up. Not only did I drive myself mad, but it began to rub off on others. Luckily I found a path out and a skill set to move forward in life in a way I never knew was possible.
There are also people who have challenges, suffer the initial setback, but build a strong resilience and optimistic approach to overcoming life’s obstacles. They master the tools and skills that help them to take on challenges in a far more productive way.
How can we deal with the challenges we encounter in a far more productive way?
I always thought that you were either born with thick skin or you weren’t, but as I make my way through life I’ve realized that training your mind is simply a skill.
Like any skill we develop, it takes time, some dedication and a big enough reason to start training in the first place.
What if we viewed the mind like we do our health, the food we eat, brushing our teeth or taking a shower? I know if I didn’t shower for a week I would feel awful and the people around me would stay clear!
One of the most effective ways to looking after the health of our minds is through meditation.
Removing the stereotype
The word ‘meditation’ comes with quite a bit of baggage: monks in robes, candles, gongs, all that jazz.
It’s now time to remove the religious and spiritual connotations and see it as it truly is. It’s a phenomenal tool to help you look after the health of your mind.
Through scientific research we now know how much meditation has to offer and it’s becoming increasingly popular with large business such as Google, professional athletes, celebrities and health organizations.
Meditation is simply health for your mind! It’s that simple. If you go to the gym and do a workout you treat that as health for your body. We can view meditation in exactly the same way; a way to a healthier, happier mind.
Starting with an analogy – foundations in training the mind The TV and the table
Imagine you are sat at home in your front room watching the TV. In this metaphor, the TV represents your thoughts and feelings and the TV remote is the device you have to manage them.
The first point to make is you are viewing the TV (watching your mind). This is one of the fundamental foundations of meditation. It’s your ability to watch your mind without any judgment. So imagine you’re sitting watching the TV. Scenes of anger, worry, judgment, desire and others arise and you simply stay rooted on the sofa and watch. This is known as ‘awareness’ and is a phenomenal tool to have at your disposal.
Now you have a remote with you. We can use the remote to explain one of the roles meditation has to offer, although there is a caveat. On the remote you only have a volume switch – the channels can’t be changed. With time you can slowly but surely turn the volume down and sit comfortably with whatever arises in the mind.
On the other side of the room, there is a table. Once you can skilfully sit and view the mind without getting lost in its stories, you can then turn the mind’s volume down.
You can then move to the table. The table can be viewed as all the choices you have in your life. This can be your value systems, your vision, what you are grateful for and so on.
It can be viewed simply as your outlook on life. This can be simply explained as your ability to create the life you desire. With the TV being a little bit quieter, it’s a lot easier to set a vision and create the life you want.
If the TV is blaringly loud it’s very difficult to create a vision you desire.
We have all been there, absorbed in watching the TV at home. There are many times we can get lost in our thoughts and feelings. Whether you feel extremely angry or overwhelmed with worry, meditation provides you with a skill which enables you to become more aware of your mind and provides a way to manage it far more effectively.
Step into your greatness today!