The mind is such a trickster – at least my mind is. Mostly my mind lives in it’s own world, with no interest or notion of the external reality or of who I really am. My mind is like an undisciplined, excited little boy who loves pranks 24/7. Today I laugh, because I see my mind differently than before. I see it more like a sweet and wild little nutcase.
This is great because most of my life I’ve been quite anxious about the way my mind operates. It has created so much fear for me to deal with. I haven’t been aware enough to see myself separate from it. I completely identified myself with my thoughts. When I was little my mind said that because my mom went through few big surgical operations, it was likely, that she would die. Every night through out my whole childhood, I went by her bed to check if she was still breathing. I was literally afraid all the time. Now my mom is 80 years old, practices yoga and dances salsa and reggaeton weekly. My fear was such a waste of time and energy.
I’ve worked as a freelancer since I was 15 years old. Almost all this time, I’ve had this stressful thought: will I get work and am I able to support myself financially. The thing is that I’ve always had both. If I went through a period without having work, I had enough money to live really comfortably. I’ve always had enough of everything. So the question remains ”why would that suddenly change?” If there has been something missing in my life, I have made an effort to fix the situation, and support and help has always arrived with perfect timing.
My mind learned to create certain behavioral systems and thought patterns very early on. Now it just continues to repeat them. It loves to go out of the present moment to day dream and to interpret what other people say and how they act . And instead of sharing out loud these self made interpretations to the person or persons involved, the mind develops stories of how things are and how things went. Then what happens is that you are in a relationship to your own stories and interpretations, not to these other people.
Oh how many times my mind has gone ahead of things in relationships.. Very quickly it starts to create and build good and bad scenarios about the imagined future together. It can do this before I have developed any real interest or feelings to the person involved or before any mutual interest for a relationship truly exists.
Nowadays me and my girlfriends laugh and make jokes about the fact, that as soon as we have met a guy, we start to imagine pushing baby carriages or walking down the aisle..
But when you examine this behavior on a deeper level and in detail, you notice that the one who initiates these fictional stories is actually our mind. The mind has an enormous need to attach and create separation with any means available. In the experience of separation (which is being identified to the mind and to the stories it creates) human being feels, that I am not enough and that what is, is not enough. I need you/it/that, to be satisfied and to have peace. This road is a road of endless suffering and will never bring satisfaction, even though you get what you want. The loop always starts from the beginning.
All my life I have experienced high stress levels and feelings of fear. So now my mind is used to painting a future landscape, where everything goes wrong. This pattern initiates familiar feelings in my system: fear, tension and stress. At the moment I have a dream job, an amazing contemporary dance production. This wild child of mine is of course a step ahead painting a picture of my fears: because I don’t know yet what my next job will be, that must mean it will not come. So soon I’ll be working as a failed actor in a supermarket . This wicked fantasy has followed me as long as I can remember.
I work as an actor and at work this lightbulb of mine often tells me that now you are acting poorly and I start feeling anxious and ashamed. It says that in this scene you acted really well and in this one really horribly. Then when I watch the scenes, there is nothing wrong, both are very well done. Thoughts just flow on an autopilot and create the same old familiar stress mode. Many times my head doesn’t have a clue about the reality, or of who I am and what I can accomplish. It just joyfully runs it’s own ways. I’m so relieved to be finally able to laugh to my own thoughts. It’s been almost impossible to enjoy the amazing experiences that this life has offered me, when I’ve been believing my monkey mind all these years. Thanks, but no thanks.
Little while back I told to one wise lady, how it horrifies me that my mind is still so negative, even though I really try to think good things and do positive affirmations. She listened calmly as I painted my horror scenarios. This is how our conversation went:
Ok Amira, when do you create the future?
Well in the present of course!
Ok, so did you already lose everything?
Do you still have work?
Do you have money ?
What about now?
And how is it now?
Do you have everything you need now?
Yes, everything is great right now!
Ok, so your mind has been screwing you over! Don’t believe it!
Before I would have responded by claiming that, yes this is true but I’m still scared about the future.. and so on. But now I just sat there quiet. Now I’ve chewed and thought about this for weeks and it feels really right.
” Your mind makes up stories about who you are, and about your safety and lovability. Not all of these stories are accurate. Sometimes our minds are biased by negative past experiences. What is your experience in the present moment? Is it something that is actually happening or something that might happen? Notice that they are not the same thing, even though your mind may treat them as the same.”
It’s so important, that you and I learn to understand our minds and question its thought patterns. It’s crucial to learn how to take distance to our minds, and to enhance the experience that, I am not my mind, but rather something else. To be an observer behind all actions, aware of the mind, the body and all the feelings and sensations.
It’s good to find ways to calm the mind. Couple dancing does it for me. While dancing my focus is completely drawn into the present moment, I can not be anywhere else.I am fully sensing the body connection between me and my dance partner. Also a simple way to chill out the monkey is to take stops during the day and breath deep while bringing the focus to the body and the breath. Then there is of course the most fundamental tool; hanging around in the actual reality. Staying in open and honest communication, that starts from being authentically present. I want to do more of this.
So, from now on I’ll just let the monkey mind bounce around and concentrate on the beautiful reality as much as possible. I’m sure the monkey will start to slowly calm down, when I don’t give it so much attention. Maybe it will get bored.
Then there is of course this important question: What is my attitude towards the present reality? How do I choose to see and react to what is? How do I look at myself and what I have? I can choose to appreciate and be grateful for it. To experience that what I have as a lot and that my glass is half full and I have space to receive even more. Or I can also choose that I am not enough, that others have it better and that my glass is half empty, never full. For a lot of people the reality I live in, is like winning the lottery and for someone a huge drop. It all comes down to your perspective. The other choice brings good vibes and the other one bad. I’ve got the ball.
Have a beautiful day ya’ll!
With ❤️ Amira