Friday, December 28, 2007

Daily Om: Mind Over Matter

Today's Daily Om. My comments below.

Culling Out The Weeds
Mind Over Matter

The power of the mind is a curious thing, because it is so powerful yet so difficult to control sometimes. We find ourselves thinking a certain way, knowing that this thought may be creating trouble for us yet we find it difficult to stop. For example, many people have the experience of getting sick at the same time every year or every time they go on a plane. They may even be aware that their beliefs impact their experiences, so continue to think they will get sick and then they do.

Sometimes we need to get sick in order to process something or move something through our bodies. But often we get sick, or feel exhausted, because we don’t make the effort to galvanize the power of our minds in the service of our physical health, which is one of its most important functions. We really can use it to communicate to our bodies, yet we often regard the two as separate entities that have little to do with one another.

Knowing this, we have the power to create physical health and mental health, simply by paying attention to the tapes running in our minds. Once we hear ourselves, we have the option to let that tape keep running or to make a new recording. We harness the power of the mind in our defense when we choose supportive, healing words that foster good health and high spirits. All we need to do is remember to tend the field of our mind with the attentive and loving hand of a master gardener tending her flower beds, culling out the weeds so that the blossoms may come to fruition.

This sounds like some New Age mumbo-jumbo, but I think it really does work. I almost never get sick, and even when I do it is short-lived. I credit this in part to my exercise and supplements, but I also credit part of it to my beliefs that I do not get sick and am not susceptible to getting sick. For the body, this may be magical thinking, but it seems to work for me and for others I know who hold similar beliefs.

For the psyche, however, I think this is very true. Our feelings are tied in large part to our beliefs. One of the enormous benefits of working with mindfulness is that we come to see our thought patterns, both positive and negative. When we can identify the negative patterns, we then have the power to change them.

From my point of view, a lot of the "negative tapes" that run in our heads are actually the voices of various subpersonalities that have developed to "protect" us from things that might harm us, including feelings. Working with subs, in conjunction with mindfulness, is a great way to reprogram those tapes.

Like all things, it takes time and patience, and a great deal of gentleness with our own patterns of behavior and thinking.

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