I hope everyone is having a mindful week and enjoying being present in every day activities! This week, I want to share an excerpt I read the other day in Robin Sharma´s The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. It has actually come up in conversation multiple times over the past few days and I keep thinking about it (which is pretty funny after you know what the quote is). In the book one of the characters, Julian, refers to a lesson that he learned when spending time with wise Sage´s in the Himalayas:
On an average day the average person runs about sixty thousand thoughts through his mind. What really amazed me, though, was that ninety-five percent of those thoughts were the same as the ones you thought the day before!
So, this really amazed me as well. The thoughts that come through our minds shape our perception which in turn shapes how we view and interact with the world around us. I can think of a few not-so-nice thought patterns that come into my head about 95% of the time. Negative thoughts and worries can swirl around about my personal finances, if I will be a successful yoga teacher, if I am a good enough friend, daughter, sister, or girlfriend, if I have gained weight, if my arms look fat, when I will have time to do my taxes, it goes on and on. Right? Well, it doesn't have to. Thinking thoughts can be as tangible as walking, for example, and we can decide which thoughts we allow to enter the mind and which we do not. The mind is like any other muscle in the body and must be exercised and strengthened. Just as we must have strong legs in order to walk, we must also have strong minds in order to control the stream of thoughts coming in and out each day. In order to strengthen the mind, we must build a daily meditation practice and develop the habit of being mindful.
The mind is an excellent servant but a terrible master. If trained and used well, the mind can propel us into the lives that we want to live. If we let the mind run rampant with negative thoughts than it controls us in a way that turns our view of the world into something less than pleasant. Meditation trains us to be the guard of our own thoughts - permitting only the positive ones to enter the mind.
In addition to the daily meditation that we are all sticking to every morning, this week let´s add one more layer of mindfulness that we can use through out the day. In order to change these negative thought patterns we first must be aware of them! So, in the next 7 days do just that. Be aware. When that anxiety about tomorrow´s presentation at work starts to sprout in the mind take a step back to acknowledge the thought. No need to berate ourselves for thinking a certain thought or build onto that anxiety by worrying about your negative thought - just acknowledge it and move on.
If you are interesting in reading more, you can find Robin Sharma´s book here.
I would also recommend listening to Gretchen Rubin´s podcasts and reading her book The Happiness Project (though I don´t directly quote from it in this post, I have found it to be an interesting and helpful read) You can find her book here.
Happy meditating my friends!!
Thinking such positive thoughts about the beautiful weather we are enjoying in Stockholm today:)