It appears we need to have a little talk.
We’ve been through a lot together, you and me. And I want you to know I’ve always loved our partnership. I’ve appreciated your careful consideration when making decisions, your ability to find solutions to complex problems, and the ongoing, witty internal banter that’s given me the distractions I sometimes need.
In fact, I’ve often found our banter to be quite clever, and have loved making myself chuckle over this somewhat wild existence we call life.
As you know, I’ve been working on a few things that involve you.
I’m trying to decrease the anxiety that comes from holding on to past memories that have no place, and future incidents that might not ever happen.
I’m trying to increase life’s fulfillment by embracing each moment as it happens, and by not judging people or events that have nothing to do with me.
This means, of course, that I’ve been trying to get you to take down the constant chatter – the seeming millions of thoughts I have in a day about everything, the string of analyses that accompany me through life.
I won’t lie. It’s been hard because all of these thoughts have kept me entertained and distracted from the things I haven’t wanted to deal with.
In fact, if I’m being really truthful, I haven’t been absolutely sure I wanted to go through with this for this exact reason. Plus, I’ve been nervous that I would stop gaining knowledge, would lose my momentum for professional growth, would miss our clever quips.
And so I’ve given you mixed messages…but no more. Let me be clear about what I need from you.
I need you to eliminate the unnecessary thoughts so that I don’t think my way through life, but experience it.
More specifically, I need you to:
- Help me observe whether or not the thoughts that come are relevant…and when they’re not, visualize them falling away
- Remind me to focus on my five senses and my breathing when I feel compelled to think so that I can experience things in the moment…and in a whole new way
- Help me remember to live life without interpreting or comparing every experience to others (gosh, we’ve always loved comparing, haven’t we?)
- Cut out the snap assumptions about people so that I can truly be with them, listening to their words fully instead of forming my own next sentence
And me? I will remind myself every morning that this is what I want to do…that it will make life richer, happier and more successful. That way, when those inevitable strings of thoughts come, I’ll remember to let them pass on by.
To be honest, as I’ve worked on this so far I’ve found that most of our millions of thoughts are actually pretty irrelevant. They’re not making me smarter, and they’re not even all that clever. They’re just an ongoing distraction that keeps me from focusing on what’s important and fully enjoying things.
And so this little goal of ours makes a whole lot of sense.
It is a goal of ours, right? If you’re not completely bought in, allow me to convince you now.
When we achieve this together…
- We will see beauty where we hadn’t before…because it’s already there, waiting for us to see it
- We will get to know each unique person at a whole different level…because they’re already there, waiting for us to know them
- We will pick up new levels of information, taste new layers in food, chuckle at – yes – the clever parts of life we hadn’t noticed before…because it’s all there, waiting for us to experience it
Just think of it! Exciting, yes?
So let’s give it a serious go and see what happens, shall we? I promise I will still use you for all of those thoughts that truly do matter.
Thank you, Mind. We’re in this together…and I’m excited to see what happens next!
With respect and gratitude,
14 thoughts on “An Open Letter to my Mind”
I found this introspective piece very interesting and insightful. I can relate to sentiments shared and feel it is important to appreciate the precious present. On a daily basis we process so much information and our thinking leads to our actions so we have to be aware of where our mind goes. I agree we are all in this together and have something to contribute to this journey called life as we play, learn, lead and grow. Thank you for sharing your mind matters. 🙂
Thanks very much Susan…I’m so pleased you enjoyed it! I also completely agree that all of that daily processing, which inevitably leads to each action, can be the thing that gets things done, or perhaps the thing that gets in our way.
I’ve been subscribing to your blog for a while but this is the first time I’ve actually read it. How ironic since I’ve recently been trying to follow this same path of appreciating life in the moment (not exactly a novel goal, I realize). We all definitely have to be reminded often, so thanks for the reminder.
Well welcome, Robin! And as obvious as having the goal of appreciating life in the moment might seem, I think there are a whole lot of us who struggle with it regularly…thanks so much for your comment!
I know someone who spent over $16,000 on a shrink and still hasn’t achieved this clarity. Congratulations!
Ha…love this! Nice to think taking a few moments to think through my needs won’t just help me find greater fulfillment, but might save me thousands as well! Thanks Trisha… 🙂
Deirdre, your thoughts and philosophy are so very timely. Sometimes I feel my mind is on the fast track and I can’t stop it. I am trying to let go of thoughts that are very exhausting, unnecessary and may never happen. So thank you for the wonderful reminder. I will talk to my mind – let’s hope it listens!
Thanks so much, Patty…and you’re not the only one who has a mind that might not listen right away. I think we all find our little brains to be more than a bit stubborn sometimes!
Thanks for the reminder.
Yours is the only such blog that I read and I’m pretty faithful because there is always something good to be reminded of.
Wow Veronica – what an amazing compliment! Thanks for your kind words…I’m so pleased you enjoy the posts 🙂
Insightful, as always. This was a much needed reminder, and clever 🙂 Thank you for sharing so openly. I am pleased to say that your blog makes a difference in the way I operate professionally and personally. Thanks for being you, for being spectacular, and for persisting. I feel honored to have experienced your mentorship, directly and remotely, through the years. Be well…
Wow Tracie – I can’t thank YOU enough for your very special comments. I’m so happy – really, truly happy – to hear that the blog makes a difference for you. And you, my friend, are equally as spectacular!
This was a big one Deidre…
I was the person in CA, two years ago, at Professional Fundraiser Seminar sponsored by CA Lutheran…I mentioned Enneagram to you. This is something you might want to look into. Not the simple test on the Web. If interested let me know and i will make a few suggestions by the best people who have studied for 20+ years and have exc. books.
What I received form this may be a little different. I see my brain different from my mind. I know, but that’s me. My mind is my whole being….heart (brain cells there-honest) and a energy flow within me…chi or ?…the brain has my EGO, which some people say we don’t need one. I disagree (major disagreement). We need it, just like you mentioned above.
I do affirmations, and release forms now to a friend each morning…kinda a positive prayer…that helps my unconscious…that is what we are dealing with much of the time.
In fact we live by it …almost until we become more conscious…
I use: STOP, step back & Breathe and let go. I have found the over action brain, ego
stops when I show that I control IT, IT does not control me.
Also, you might find a montra of sorts…Serenity prayer…to put in place of what you have enjoyed so much before.
Anyway, that’s it for me.
Gloria, Santa Barbara
Thanks for your sincere honesty and sharing it with all of us. This real integrity!
Being vulnerable to who we are…
Thanks so much for your thoughtful post, Gloria…nice to hear from you again! I think you make some good points, and I always have more to learn on this. I actually have a mantra that I use for both meditation and when my mind starts to spin, and I’ve found it to be extremely helpful. Mine is not in English, which helps me more, as it becomes more of a soothing way to direct my thoughts (I call it my “thought lightening rod”) than adding more words. Thank you again for your comments. I will continue to think through your ideas!