Today did not start well. I woke up and remembered I was stressed out. I couldn’t find my passport and 2 months of packing, cleaning, making arrangements has started to pay it’s price. The day got worse. I intervened with my neighbours dog mauling a pademelon that died a painful death in the back of my car. Not a good start. However, a part of me was still determined that I wasn’t going to let this get the better of me.
I got to work, head spinning a little. In urgent need of a sit down and hot beverage. The boss arrives at my desk with a heap of left of field tasks requiring attention before I go on leave in two days – boo. Still determined not to have a nervous break down, I take some quiet work to the cafe to ease the pressure off a notch or two. This helps but my glands are sore and my brain hurts a bit.
How does this day get better? Helping others whose needs are greater. There’s always a few and they are usually not far away. Again, there is a magic in discovering that, while obsessing over one’s own difficulty, if you can just redirect your attention and presence to another and be there for them, then things begin to shift. I listened to my friend who described her situation with her husband and their break-up – it is tough for her. Then I was off to do my volunteer bereavement support group co-facilitator role in the afternoon. Hearing people struggle with their loss is very levelling and it’s a privilege to be able to hold a safe space for them to express their pain in all it’s various forms. To help someone see that the thoughts they have chastised themselves for are completely normal and part of the course is so powerful. You can literally see the weight being lifted.
As my mood transformed and I stopped ruminating on all the ‘problems’ I was facing, not only did the environment of my mind begin to transform but so did my circumstances and my outer environment. I stopped to smell the roses (literally, there is a beautiful rose garden in Hobart!) and the colours were vivid, the trees were green, I saw the most fantastic sunset painting the west face of the mist-shrouded mountain in pink while the rest of the sky was grey and moody – a bit like the light of joy piercing the darkness of my mind. I got home and my husband called – some welcome support. Then, the biggest relief of the day – I found my passport! I pledge, from this day forth, to set aside a special place for my important documents – one that I won’t forget!
The interesting pattern that I am beginning to see is how our outer circumstances are shaped by our mental states. This is not the first time that my circumstances have completely shifted after working with my mind and generating a positive mental state or attitude. In fact, I would go (tentatively) as far to say that things work out in my life and a lot of things I want come my way when I can let go of my bad moods, transform my attitude and be more present and responsive to others. It is almost like magic. I’m not sure that I can give you a logical explanation of how this works but challenge you to try it for yourself. I would LOVE to hear your results. I suspect the magic recipe involves a good dash of giving things space, a conscious choice to let go of whatever the thought is that is repeating itself ad nauseam in your mind (asking for help internally can be helpful at this point), something more positive to place your mind on (such as deeply listening to another person) and not expecting results – in fact, if you can forget your mind altogether, all the better!
How wonderful it would be if we could learn to control how our life unfolds by letting go of control and allowing. No more striving. No more struggle. Just peace, harmony and joy. May well all enjoy this. May we all master our own minds.