That other driver shouldn’t have cut you off! Your teenager should have cut the lawn or you should have made the cut for the soccer team when you were fifteen.
Your mind doesn’t care what day it is or even what year it is. It dredges stuff up from the past or worries about the future. It has little respect for your emotions and will often provide just the wrong thought at just the wrong time.
It will demand that eclair right after you started dieting or day dream about someone other than your spouse distracting you from the fact that today is your anniversary.
Your mind often doesn’t seem to be yours. It seems to have its own plan for you which may have little to do with what is really best for you.
Your mind has so many ways of harassing you and it never, ever plays fair.
You can live peacefully with your mind but it isn’t easy. I have one little trick that will make it much, much easier.
Your mind is a great asset. Its flexibility is incredible, so is its creativity, quickness and power.
But when your mind gets up to mischief it can embarrass you, say things you don’t really mean, get angry even upset and in so many ways mess up your life.
Your Mind Matters
In the past thirty years I have worked with thousands of people and they all had minds. Some of the people I worked with seem to have several minds while others were out of their minds and yet others were quite normal.
I have found that how we relate to our minds is the deciding factor which determines the quality of life of you and me and everyone else.
Having your mind in perspective makes every aspect of life easier and more fun. It sets you free to play and relieves you from the suffering, unhappiness and depression that often result from a mind gone wild.
I am going to share with you the one most important, vital thing you need in order to return to reality from the mind’s magical journeys into the facts and fictions and illusions it spins out to assist you in navigating your world daily.
A Tiny Perspective First
Before I can tell you how to balance out your mind and have a much easier, lighter, more successful and peaceful life you need a little perspective.
I have some bad and some good news for you. Actually the same news may be both bad and good for you. The news is simple, direct and I invite you to ponder it for a bit before you read on.
The News: You Are Not Your Mind
Your mind is a small part of you, and it is a part that tends to imagine it is in control. It is more than willing to pretend to be all of you. Remember I have worked with thousands of people, almost all of them came to me putting way too much importance on their own thoughts and the thoughts of others. This overemphasis on thoughts results in putting way too much pressure on your mind and way too little emphasis on your other resources.
I have worked with really smart people, average people and really dumb people. I have worked with rich people, poor people and financially in-between people.
The most important change I have seen people make is a slight shift in perspective which allows them to discover that they are not their minds.
They know that they are not their computers or their cars or their kitchens but they, no matter how savvy they are tend to forget that they are not their minds.
Your mind doesn’t want you to know that you are not your mind.
It will do anything, including creating problems that keep you so busy you wouldn’t believe it, to keep you from discovering that you are not your mind.
So, lets take simpler route, lets avoid the problems and the resistance of the mind. Lets take the road less travelled and find an easy way to make this shift.
The surest way to discover that you are not your mind is to shift your attention from your thoughts to your body. To your arm, or your leg or your belly or your cheeks or your knees. And the most certain way to get your attention on your body is dance, dance and dance some more.
Don’t waltz or watuzy, though those dances are fine. Just move your body around, move it in unpatterned ways and notice how it moves. Move it often. If you work at a desk job you can move it right as you are sitting there. If you are walking to lunch then dance to lunch. If you are a bit angry with your spouse dance a little before you scream.
Dancing moves your attention to your body.
You think all day long, you dance very little, unless you are a dance instructor. Did you know that the suicide rate of dance instructors is the lowest of any occupation? I just made that up but it might be.
I do know that when you are dancing your thoughts aren’t so serious. When you are dancing you are less apt to worry or get angry or try to get even. When you are dancing you are even more likely to dance some more.
In my thirty years working with clients I have never, ever had anyone come to me and say “Please help me I am dancing too much.”
I have had people ask me how they could make more money, how they could improve their relationship or their communication with their kids. I have had people who want to be more successful or happier or who want to be thinner or smarter or way richer.
But not once have I had anyone want to stop dancing or dance less.
In fact, I have watched the lives of many people get better as they dance more often.
You don’t have to dance for an hour or even for five minutes. You can dance for a few seconds here a few minutes there. You can dance if you are in the bathroom or in the kitchen or in the board room. You can dance if you are happy, if you are sad, if you are mad or if you are just plain bored. You can dance if you are apathetic, pathetic, scared, worried or depressed.
Dancing, as I have said, shifts your attention to your body and that makes all the difference.
Mike was a head hunter and a more driven man I have never met. He was a no-nonsense guy who needed a bit of nonsense badly. I couldn’t suggest that he dance, he was too stiff for such an assignment. Instead I asked him about his work – His favorite subject.
But I didn’t ask him the sorts of thing he expected. I asked what it was like when he arrived at work. He drove to work and parked each day in the same parking space (of course).
He then walked into the building, took the elevator to the fifth floor, got off and walked to his office.
I suggested that he back into his parking space, instead of pulling forward into it. He looked at me oddly. He was smart enough to know that he was in trouble. I then suggested that he not walk directly to the building door but that he meander a little on the way there – That he weave in and out of cars, noticing the cars as he went and, “dancing” his way to the front door.
By dancing I meant anything but a direct route. A couple of days after Mike returned home, I received a call from his wife. “What did you do to him?” she asked with genuine curiosity.
Mike, being the diligent, driven guy he was, applied the exercise all over the place and was a lighter, more fun and even jubilant person. His wife was blown away by her new
man. After thirty-three years of marriage, she got a new, light and lively relationship. They both (of course) lived happily ever after.
Yes, Mike is a real person. Yes, he really did this, and yes, it changed his life. I have been leading courses for almost thirty years and have more stories about what works and what doesn’t work than could fit in a dozen books.
I have a lot of such fairy tales. And I could share more of them with you, but I would rather than reading about the experiences of others I would like you to start dancing. Do so a little bit at a time. Do so anytime and anywhere.
Shift your attention from your mind to your body, balancing out your life and relieving your mind of the terrible stress it is under.
Your body has a different sort of reality to it than your mind has. Your body has a physical presence that your mind doesn’t.
If you dance, even just a little bit, your attention will move to your body and you will be reminded that your mind is only a little part of you.
While your mind seeks to take what it considers to be the direct route, your body doesn’t have to. Dancing from here to there reminds you that it is the journey, not the here or there that is important.
Photo by African Fi