(Helpful Audio Mantras at the bottom of this post)
The Buddhists sometimes call it “monkey mind”–I get that in an experiential way. Maybe you do too and perhaps that’s why you’re going to go ahead and read this post even though there is no monkey in the picture to the left!
There are times that I’ve felt sort of the way that he looks, have you? It happens to all of us occasionally–no matter how evolved we see ourselves. Usually its just when we think we’ve made it that another challenge arises, rare as those may be.
Each of us probably has a different factor or cause that we could attribute to these types of temporary mental anguishes.
Of course, sometimes temporary can mean years but if we’re fortunate it’s only a weekend, an afternoon, a few hours–or if we’re really lucky, only a few moments. Well, I really shouldn’t use the word lucky because it takes discipline to rule the mind. But don’t worry, a few humble suggestions on how to whip those darn monkeys into shape are forthcoming. Keep reading.
One great coping mechanism is time. Here’s what I mean. What helps me out a great deal is asking myself if whatever it is that I’m anxious, angry or depressed about (sometimes it’s all 3 at once) is going to matter by the very same time next week, next year or in 5 years. That question alone seems to relieve tension because in all honesty, the answer is no. And even if we could argue with that, we can’t argue with the fact that we can’t absolutely, without a doubt, know for sure that it’s going to matter later on! Thank goodness that the very nature of life itself is change! And by the way, if you’re like me and getting older, the forgetfulness that comes with aging can be a real blessing in these instances! Sometimes, I can barely remember what happened 10 minutes ago. Still, there are those times in which events that we deem to be really painful can hook us and hang out despite our age or initial efforts at reasoning. Sometimes we need to use more than one tool. I will be sharing my personal storehouse with you here.
You’re probably wondering what the deal is with me. Okay. I get this idea in my head, from time to time, that people are just not seeing the real me–that they’re getting me all wrong! I assume it triggers an old soul wound, deep down in the subconscious somewhere, stemming from some point in time in which I felt falsely accused. Whatever it was had to do with my integrity, ethics and good intentions! Actually, it’s more than being simply misunderstood–it’s more like the whole ‘accuser and the accused’ or ‘the victimizer and the victim’ scenario–that’s if I’m totally honest with myself. Who cares if others can’t see who I am, I say; I know who I am and that’s all that matters! But I say it with a bit of vengeance in my heart, trying as I do so, to balance out the hurt and disappointment that I’m feeling.
If I completely level with myself during liberating moments of clarity, it’s obvious that a whole drama is just playing itself out in my mind. To me this is the source of anxiety in the first place! Not to mention anger and depression. Think of your anxious moments, depressed moods or angry torrents for a second–isn’t it mostly just a theatrical play being carried out in the mind? We can actually go so far as creating a whole cast of characters with antagonistic intentions–who knows if any of it is actually true? Only in the mind it is because we make it so! I know, I know, don’t say it. It still hurts even if you are being as objective as you can be! (Been there, done that–still do it once in while, darn it!)
The anxiety or worry or anger may linger–but the realization that the turmoil is simply just inside of the mind is a huge step toward the management of it all, trust me on this one!
So how can we get out of our minds when these things crop up as they inevitably will? There are all kinds of ways, of course; and I’m sure you can think of a few fun (but unhealthy) ones right off the bat! But let’s not go there–we always pay dearly later on. The healthiest one that I can think of involves going outside; simply walking out the door and taking a stroll in nature. Oh, how simple it sounds, but how therapeutic it actually is! It’s amazing how something so easy can be so helpful–it’s even more amazing how we can stay stuck and immobilized by these emotions and not do it! My cat tells me, in her own special way, when its time for me to slide out of these 4 walls. She actually mimics my uncomfortable internal whirlwind with her distressful meows–she’s like an alarm clock for me in that way! Time to go outside, she says with her insistent vocalizations.
But there are times in which going for a walk doesn’t completely do it either. And at those times we can try to fight fire with fire–or mind with mind, hopefully while we’re still walking!
Meditation silly! you must be screaming by now. Just go and meditate! Love and light and all that–what’s wrong with you? Yeah, I know all about that; I’m talking about the precursors to meditation. Sometimes we need to take some first steps in order to bring the mental theatrics to a conclusion so that we can quiet down enough to begin a meditation. The following techniques are from my own personal storehouse. Here’s how I fight mind with mind when something (like I described above) is really bugging me. My inner dialogue goes something like this:
- No one can ever truly know you–that’s your job!
- Will it even matter tomorrow, next week, next year or 5 years from now?
- If you can do something about this, do it! Otherwise, it must be released NOW.
- Someday you will probably look back at this and laugh. (That’s another one of my fav’s!–maturity of chronological age helps with this one, because we can remember times in which we actually have!)
- You are independent of the good opinions of others–you’ve spent your lifetime developing self-honesty, apply it!
- This could really be a blessing in disguise; besides, doesn’t it leave you with something to learn? Remember, you are a student of life and life itself is the master teacher!
- (This next one you might think is silly, but it works for me.) Who REALLY loves ya’ baby? (And with that I think of Creator, Source, the Divine saying that phrase to me. It’s a bit difficult to explicate, so I’ll just leave it at that.)
- Mentally list all of your good qualities and attributes. (I deliberately call to mind times when I’ve been kind and generous to others. And if personal failings come to mind, I let it be okay and vow to do better. I firmly remind myself that tomorrow’s another day after all; and this moment, now, is the energy that’s going to set up my experience in the next moment and all future moments after that, including tomorrow. )
Sure, it takes mental discipline, but it’s worth it. The real golden key to liberation for me (and what makes me laugh) is the inner question about if I will even remember it 5 years–how important it will be to me then? That one really blows the socks off the cry baby in me!
But most of all, I remember who really loves me–that, in combination what I’ve listed above, will usually do the trick! If all else fails, I watch a good movie that is suited to obliterating my particular mood involving what’s bugging me.
Remember how they used to say count to 10? Not a very sophisticated technique. These days, at the rate that everything is accelerating, we could use a few more! So I’ve shared a few ideas to help master the mind–or at least slow it down long enough to be able to meditate. Maybe you’d like to try a few if you ever find yourself stepping off the path–or you get one of those nice little shoves, as I occasionally have.
I share my own experiences hoping they will help others. It’s part of my cosmic job description, or so I’d like to believe!
I really trust that we all came from (and are still connected to) a dimension where we are fully and completely loved and understood…
Who REALLY loves ya’ Baby?! You’re not alone!
Here are a few of my favorite U-tube chants in the order of preference. These ALWAYS shift me, without fail. Hope they’ll help you, too!
Gayatri Mantra: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty2XLidTzfc&feature=related
Ganesh Mantra – Obstacle Breaker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2baE50DgMLk&feature=related