One of my favorite sayings is: “The only way to be sane, is to be OUT of your mind.” Yes, I know, that is street definition for crazy, but truly, crazy is being lost IN your mind. Over 90% of human thought is useless, and, at times, dangerous. Don’t take my word for it, examine the value of your own thought process. Is it productive? Does it provide useful solutions, or is it more the case it that resembles a rodent running as fast as it can in a circular cage going nowhere?
The world is heating up, and everything is moving faster, both externally and internally. Multitasking our attention away from the moment in worry, fear and recrimination is becoming more dangerous. Thought stimulates emotion and emotion drives behavior. Our automatic tendency to be upset with our past and fearful about our future is producing intensified negative emotions, creating increasingly dysfunctional behaviors. Finding and residing within inner stillness is essential to maintain sanity.
The key technique is, of course, to keep ALL our attention present-moment focused. The mind multitasks. That is its nature. Our challenge is to multitask our awareness into The Now and give up thinking about the past and the future, aspects of time that only exist in our minds. They have no physical reality.
This is easily done using the senses. Open your peripheral vision as much as possible. This may seem strange at first, but the mind will adapt fairly quickly. Feel your feet on the ground as you move about. Be aware of the sounds in your environment. Feel the air on your skin. Smell the air. Move your body with focused intention, even in the simplest moves, like picking up a glass of liquid. Give it your full attention. Take each step with conscious awareness. Be aware of everything you say.
Thought is our biggest obstacle. When we are fully Present, thought diminishes, becomes less relevant. Make your thoughts white noise, background. Delegate a portion of your Consciousness to watch your mind, creating a Witness Self. Its job is to keep the mind on task in-the-moment. Give up your favorite mental addictions, like analysis, predicting the so-called future, or simply playing the what-if game.
Planning is essential, but give up indulging in fantasy about the plan. We all know plans rarely proceed as planned. Fantasizing creates expectations which are likely to be unfulfilled, causing unnecessary suffering. Acknowledge clearly that Life is, and always will be, uncertain.
Trust that the only way to prepare to deal with Life’s mystery, is to be there for it as it unfolds in The Now.