Wash Your Mind!
Sometimes we simply cannot get out of our own way and see things as they really are. Just as they are in and of themselves, without an overlay of concepts about what we think know about it based on past experience or future worries.
How many times do you have expectations of what will happen in a conversation with a family member? You just know what they are going to say already--and you shut out what they are expressing in the moment. You're visiting with a friend today, but you're worried about the meeting next week--and you miss the joy of that connection. You attribute intentions to people that are pure fantasy on your part--and you suffer pain.
All hindrances that keep you from being present.
Wash them away!!!
The Desert Fathers and Mothers in the Christian tradition embraced a spirit of letting go of all that is unnecessary in ourselves, things that keep us back from seeing clearly. They used some form of the following questions which I find very useful.
1) What am I filled with now? If we are to be free spiritually and psychologically, we have to acknowledge that we are not. That we are burdened by what? Grudges, obsessions, habits of mind, pride, or fears keep us from being free from lenses that distort reality.
Let’s take a moment to sit with that…being brutally honest with ourselves now…what am I filled with?
2) What prevents me from letting go? Realizing that we are not free is humbling and so very helpful but…What keeps me attached? Why don’t I want to let go? Anger, hurt, fear lack of trust?
3) How do I empty myself?
4) What will give me new life? What do I do once the room is washed clean?
Finding a deeper sense of freedom, interconnection, and wholeheartedness seems to be something that many of us are so very hungry for these days. These questions seem to offer a way to clean up the mind, and the benefits are infinite, as John O'Donohue writes.
“The world is not simply there. Everything and everyone we see, we view through the lenses of our thoughts. Your mind is where your thoughts arise and form. It is not simply with your eyes but with your mind that you see the world. So much depends on your mind: How you see yourself, who you think you are, how you see others, what you think the meaning of life is, how you see death, belief, God, darkness and beauty, is all determined by the style of mind you have.
Your mind is your greatest treasure. We become so taken up with the world, with having and doing more and more that we come to ignore who we are and forget what we see the world with. The most powerful way to change your life is to change your mind.
When you beautify your mind, you beautify your world. You learn to see differently. In what seemed like dead situations, secret possibilities and invitations begin to open before you. In old suffering that held you long paralysed, you find new keys. When your mind awakens, your life comes alive and the creative adventure of your soul takes off. Passion and compassion become your new companions."