Control your Life

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You have power over your mind–not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. Marcus Aurelius.

Control your life

 It is human nature to want to control your life. No one wants to live by the whims of others or to have to do things they don’t want to do. How do we do that? Marcus Aurelius says we can’t control outside events. But we can control our mind. The better we control our mind, the better we control our lives. 

Our mind/our brain

 To most of us, our mind and brain are the same. But if you are a neuroscientist, they are different. Nonscientists talk about the mind while the neuroscientists talk about the brain. This debate will not go away soon according to an article in Mindful, exploring both sides of the brain-mind debate. We expect neuroscientists study of the brain to lead to an understanding of the mind in the future, according to Sam Harris in a June 20 Podcast. But for now, we are going to focus on the everyday activity of controlling our mind so we can better understand and control our lives.

Closed Mind

If our parents or church has filled our mind with conclusions so that we never think about or question them, we never have to think or consider new ideas. We are on autopilot just following these conclusions and our mind is closed to contrary conclusions.

Open Mind

A questioning mind is a living mind, a free mind. We are free to conclude what we want. Control our lives ourselves or just follow along with others. An open mind is a searching mind that welcomes new ideas and thoughts, considers them, and decides which ones to believe.

How to keep your mind open and be in control of your life.

 1. Ask questions. If someone makes a statement, ask questions to get to the right or wrong of the statement. If you have had children, remember them following you around after you said something and having them ask you why repeatedly until you wanted to scream. If we are going to make up our own mind about something, we have to learn to be as persistent in asking questions as your children were. 

 2. Meditation is necessary for a freely controlled mind. Without a timeout and a release from constant churning, your mind will always be churning. Meditation allows you to take a break and allows your body and mind to relax.

 3. Get enough sleep. I. Remember as a teenager, all I wanted to do was read. I would go to bed and with a flashlight under the covers and continue to read far into the night. Unfortunately, I would get up the next day cranky. Unable to think clearly. So know that your body affects your mind. Give them both some rest.

 4. Focus on what is real and controllable. You have a great imagination. A friend says something innocent and we immediately start imagining the worst. Humans are notorious for this. At this stage in our evolution, we can’t read our friend’s mind- so either ask clarifying questions or quit worrying about it. Stop wasting your energy on something you can’t control.

 5. Train your mind like you train your muscles. Through meditation and mindfulness, you can train your mind to relax and focus. Order your mind so you can maintain tranquility.

The crowd mind is the lowest mind in existence. It is the minimum sensibility, minimum consciousness, minimum love, minimum life. Osho?

The great viruses of our time spread through minds, not through bodies. Naval Ravikant.

You don’t become awakened by adding more content to your mind. In fact, those that have awakened say that they actually know less. What comes with awakening is the ability to embrace “not knowing.” Eckhart Tolle.