“You are not your mind…”
Are you aware of your own thoughts? You know that little voice inside of your head, what is that? Who is that!?
One of our human strengths is our self-awareness. That we know of our own existence. Our own thoughts.
You can have a thought, then analyse or think about that thought…deep! And very powerful if used wisely.
“You are not your mind” is a quote from a book by Eckhart Tolle called “The Power of Now“.
He believes that if you think you are your mind, you have allowed it to take control of the real you.
Your mind, he believes, is just a tool. A body part like your arms and eyes. That it’s a complex computer which should be used to solve problems, not run your life.
Believe it or not…
You don’t have to believe in what he says. But having that level of self-awareness to understand that sometimes your mind can run away with itself is powerful.
Ever laid in bed at night thinking the most strange thoughts, playing through scenarios that never happen and just make you stressed?
Imagine if you were able to control your mind and thought process. If you had learned to quieten it so you were able to get to sleep. It’s what people who practice meditation have been doing for centuries. Ever see a stressed Buddhist monk..?
A Practical Approach…
Habits can be good and bad. Maybe we have a habit to overeat when stressed. If you become aware of that behaviour, would you be able to adjust it? To make conscious choices without running on auto-pilot?
To take control of your mind and not allow your mind to control you?
Imagine if you were able to identify the start of unhelpful habits before they became full blown habits because you were so self-aware.
Full blow habits are hard to break, new habits which have not fully formed are easier to adjust.
A real life example
I remember when I started going to work on the tube. I’d come out of Chancery Lane station in the morning and smell the roasted coffee beans and freshly baked croissants. I’d pop over to Sainbury’s and buy 2 of croissants…They were on offer so it was justified, I was saving money!
Before I got to the office one had gone. 10 minutes later another one…Mindless eating.
I became aware of what I was doing immediately, and stopped it from becoming a habit by not doing it day after day. But imagine if I’d done that every day for a few years. Imagine how hard would it have been to stop?
How did I stop?
I made sure I had some fruit (fresh, real sugar instead of processed rubbish) so I could get a healthy fix.
Question what you are doing like this:
Is this behaviour or action helping or hindering my progress? Am I developing habits that are not helping me, such as a croissant in the morning with a coffee from Starbucks.
How did it start? How can I get myself out of the routine? Avoidance of the situation in the beginning does help until you have it under control.
Notice the feelings you have when you get into the situation. What is that uncontrollable urge to consume that lovely thing…!?
SOLUTION: If it’s too hard to resist, remove the temptation. Example, buy a really good coffee machine or coffee that you love and make it yourself at work or home. Avoid that time in the shop where you might buy the croissant until you can control the urges.
There are a whole host of reasons why, but finding out which it is will help you to stay on track when the going gets tough.
List down 5 unhelpful habits you currently have
Write down 5 helpful habits you have
Recognise when your mind is controlling you