Managing Your Mind
By Natasha Sherman
First, I’d like to invite you to consider that there is no right way to do your life. There is what you choose, moment by moment. And it either works for you or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, you can hang on, you can judge yourself, you can make yourself and life wrong, or you can make new choices.
Many of us operate as if there is some ultimate epiphany/answer that we are waiting to have revealed, and if it is revealed all of life will fall into place. It’s like the parable (paraphrased) about the man in a flood waiting to be rescued by God. A raft comes by and offers to rescue him and he declines, declaring that God will come to rescue him. A boat comes by and the same thing happens. Then a helicopter comes and again he declines. He drowns and finds himself at the “pearly gates” and he’s upset. He tells God that he is very upset because he had trusted Him to save him. God said, “I sent you a raft, I sent you a boat, I even sent you a helicopter, and you refused. What else could I do?” Every day in our lives there are rafts, boats, helicopters – resources, opportunities, people, and experiences to reach for. If we keep waiting for some perfect choice to reveal itself, we can “lose our lives”.
Second, you do not need to be fixed. You are not broken. You may, however, want to grow and expand if how you feel about yourself and your life isn’t a match for what you’d like. If you are willing to give up the belief that you and your life need to be fixed, it gives you a lot more freedom to actually design and create your life in a way that is meaningful to you. You become the artist of your life.
Our opinions and beliefs and perceptions are not fixed truths. You probably do not currently have the same opinions as you did when you were 14 years old. What happened? You shifted. If your life isn’t working out for you, it’s time to pay attention to what you think and believe.
It all starts in the mind. And, your mind will mug you if you allow it. Start to notice what your mind is saying. Start to notice how you report on your life to yourself and to others. If what is consistently popping into your mind and out of your mouth is a complaint, or blame or self denigration, or resignation or hopelessness, the world you see and the results you produce will reflect those thoughts.
When you walk out your door in the morning, what is out there is all the “data” – the flood, the boat, the raft, the helicopter, the people who offer to help – and your beliefs. It’s all there at the same time. “The good, the bad, and the ugly.” One of the easiest places to start to manage the mind is to continually notice the data you choose to focus on and then to make adjustments.
When you go to a dinner buffet, your eyes will be drawn to those things you like. You would probably not choose foods that make you feel ill or that you find unpleasant. The buffet of life is the same. Start to keenly observe what you choose and remember that there are other options for you to choose from. It’s up to you.
Natasha Sherman is a Life Success Coach and Separation/Life Transitions Coach who works with individuals and conducts group workshops. She hosts her own TV show, “Natasha”, on Princeton Community Television. Archived shows can be viewed at www.vimeo.com/channels/natasha, and also stream at www.princetontv.org Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 pmET.
“Live by Design/Not by Default™”