Have you ever felt a non stop chatter in your mind, like there are ten different people with different opinions, having an argumentative debate of their own accord. When you are just a bystander observing this form of chaos unleash into tiny fragments within your space, it can be quite exhausting, leaving you feeling a sense of inner chaos, uncertainty and helplessness. So what is the mind and how do we master it?
There are so many different definitions and even functions of our minds. It helps us to do so many things such as analysing, observing, coming to conclusions… however what our minds can’t or won’t do is be in silence. It views silence as uncomfortable for it is wired to think, to do and to work. Our minds don’t understand which situations to aid in and which situations to take a back seat. Sometimes we need our minds working for us, such as when we are taking an exam, or if we are lost and need to find the right direction. Then yes, our minds are able to think analytically, remember things of past that may be useful in the present and help us find a solution to our current predicament.
However what happens when the mind gets activated in trying to solve a situation where there is no solution but to just be present and let go. What then? The mind goes into a sort of spiral. Thinking of this and that and building up that mental chatter until you feel like you are about to burst open! It takes a lot of strength to be able to deal with an overactive mind. In these situations it is important to recognise and understand that the mind is not able to help in the matter and so you allow yourself the time to step away from the noise. Observe it as a third person and let it go. When you don’t feed your mind, it slows down. The energy that was built up gets released and you are able to once again remain in neutral tranquility. The balance is restored.
So how do we recognise when to allow our minds time to think and when to quiet the mind? As mentioned earlier the mind does best in problem solving, analysing and being logical. So if you are playing a word game, or writing an essay by all means put your mind to work! But! When you are posed with a situation such as making an important decision, or worrying about what someone else thinks of you… it is always best to just sit with yourself. More often than not, when you are able to quiet the mind, you will notice a subtler inner knowing that somehow guides you in the right direction. There is no doubt, no insecurity. You just know that this is the right way and you take it. But the key is to notice that the mind staying active will not solve anything. First step is to quiet the mind, and then let the rest of the beauty unfold.
So how do we quiet the mind? First, start by noticing your thoughts. What draws your minds attention? What triggers the mind into a spiral and what makes your mind thrive? Is it negative? positive? Does your mind ramble on about pointless things or does it try and coerce you into doing something you think you need to do only because others feel you need to do it?
Once you have notice how your mind operates, you can start to notice the part of you that is observing the inner chatter. Then you can start to practice being in a state where you observe the inner voice but realise that you are not that inner voice. That there is no profound truth in that inner voice. It is our belief in what the voice says that give it the power it needs to become true. So question it, notice the lack of truth behind it and let it go. If the inner voice says that the sun will set at 10am does it make it true? Absolutely not. So why do we believe the voice when it says you are not good enough or that you don’t look good today. Question it, don’t give in and allow yourself to expand beyond your mind! That is when your life truly begins. Don’t hold yourself prisoner to your minds focus, it will keep you small and lead you nowhere but within your comfort zone.
And so, the mind is a beautiful place to be. If only we learn to optimise it to the best of our ability. Use the mind for what it was made to do and allow it to quiet down when it cannot solve problems that have no solutions.