Most of us have examined our minds and found a rough and ragged chatter that seems endless. That crazy committee in our head is getting together for our benefit, but in the end it brings us more suffering than clarity. The mind is an incredible tool. You can balance a checkbook, figure out distance on a map, or pull apart today’s most abstract political issue. Yet this tool has taken over as master of the house, trying to make decisions better left to intuition or the heart. This craziness in our heads is the cause of much suffering.
The mind is much like a computer: It can take in data, crunch numbers, and weigh the pros and cons. The mind is great for the checkbook, but not so great for making decisions about life, love, and relationships. A checkbook is black or white, whereas most things heart-related are somewhere in the gray. Most things in life are in this gray area. Yet the committee in your head, like a computer, views gray area like an unsolvable puzzle it keeps trying to solve.
So let’s throw out this unwanted master of the house and use the mind as a tool. You will find this a most difficult task. Our fear is behind the wheel, driving this crazy committee, and that makes it a tough nut to crack. We are afraid of the things that have not yet happened but that might bring us pain, suffering, or some other discomfort. Here lies a sad irony. We want to be happy and at peace with ourselves, yet the very nature of fear makes us anxious in the present and not at peace. Nevertheless, the committee continues to fill our head with thoughts. Beyond being mindful, you may find these practices worth the effort:
Be willing to not know.
After your mind has weighed the pros and cons of a situation for a short period of time, let the committee take a lunch break. Most clarity and creativity come from empty space. All great masterpieces are born of a blank canvas.
It usually takes time for the next indicated step or appropriate choice to be made. Slowing down is a good way to ensure that important details are not skipped.
Ask and listen.
Most of us are good at asking questions like, “What’s the best thing to do?” But are we willing to listen for the answer? Listening to God, your inner self, or the advice of a good friend requires some skill. Focus on listening and you may find the answer waiting for you.
Article By: Sevin Philips, MFT