03 Sep A Search For The Truth
Mind, Body, and Spirit…how are these three things interconnected with each other? I have travelled to over 18 countries, read thousands of books, studied countless genres, obtained enough degrees to satisfy, at least, four very smart people, and racked up enough debt in students loans to pay for a nice house trying to figure out the answer to that question. And I can sum up all the knowledge that I have obtained on this topic in the words of Socrates, “The only true knowledge is knowing that you know nothing.”
Many years ago, I experienced a slight hiccup in my marriage. Okay, it was more than a hiccup. It was more like power, projectile vomiting that resulted in a divorce. To find the answer to, “Why me,” I moved halfway around the world. And for a mere $1000, I joined a meditation center that offered ALL the answers to my problems. Their answer, “Breath.” Now, I don’t want to discount this practice as it was exactly what I needed in my moment of crisis. And, they offered a lot of interesting insight about health and wellness that I can add to my repertoire. But breath, really? You’d think for a $1000 bucks would get you a little more than that. But, I guess the economy is effecting everyone on a global scale (pay a lot, get a little). The thing is, I have been “breathing” my whole life without much change in my evolution.
After this past experience, I finally came to realize something…there really isn’t any one answer. Everything plays an important role in our overall health. Not only should we be careful about what we put in our mouths to nourish our bodies, but we should be even more cautious about what we put in our minds. The common theme that runs through all the books I have read and all the studies I have practiced is that our thoughts create approximately 80 percent of what happens to our physical body and the life that we are living. Our thoughts can create dis-ease, poverty, unhappiness, and discontent in our realities just as easily as they can create health, peace, prosperity, and happiness.
The mind is where we need to start to clear the clutter to make way for better health and spiritual fulfillment. Of course, the question is, “How do we free our minds?” This is where is can get rather confusing because I don’t believe that there is any one TRUTH. Eckhart Tolle just sat on a park bench for two years and became enlightened. There are others like Deepak Chopra, Louise Haye, Almine, Sathya Sai Baba, Ernest Holmes, and Einstein who all would give you a different perspective on how to obtain inner silence. Yet, I think each of them would agree with the Third Noble Truth in Buddhism which states, “Suffering ceases when you free your mind from attachment to things and from the need to control them.” Turning off the monkey chatter in our heads is no easy task. But, it can be done.
Many people suggest that the easiest way to get a handle on the mind is through meditation. I tend to agree with this. Taking time each and every day to silence the mind and be still is a good start to getting a handle on your thoughts. For those of you who are bit more like me and create their “To Do” list while practicing meditation, I would suggest something a little more proactive. I like to call it “active awareness.” This takes a lot of work in the beginning and awareness (hence the name).
The first thing you have to do is to become aware of your negative thoughts toward yourself and others. If you find yourself drifting off to mentally or verbally abuse someone, simply think the word “stop” or “cancel” Say this until you actually stop the thought. It will take some time to actually master this task. However, after you learn to stop your thoughts, you can then start to reframe the scenario or thought into something positive. From that point, you can move in all different, positive directions because you have been training yourself to be aware and more in control of your mind.
So often, we get caught up in “my story.” I am sick. I am broke. I hate my job. My marriage isn’t working. I can’t seem to get a break. Why me? We perpetuate the cycle of negativity in our lives because that is all that we tend to focus on. And frankly, it is understandable as it has become an American epidemic. You can hardly go anywhere or talk to anyone without hearing about some crisis. I know for myself, I can’t call anyone in my family anymore without hearing that someone is sick, dead, or broke. Now, I have learned to simply change the subject. In the beginning, it shortened most of my conversations to about 3 minutes or less because I was so programmed to talk about negative things. But again, with practice, you can keep things light and positive for your own well-being as well as spread this weird anomaly called happiness to those around you.
You don’t need to start out with lofty goals to change. Begin with something small and stick with it until it becomes a habit. If nothing else, start out by simply being grateful for what you have. As you keep implementing these small changes into your reality, you’ll wake up one day only to realize that you have everything you need within you for maintaining your healthy mind, body, and spirit. And that is a TRUTH well worth looking for.