Mindless Worry, Mindful Relief
By John J. Murphy, guest contributor
A slow computer. A traffic accident. A disrespectful boss. An annoying neighbor. A stack of bills to pay. COVID-19. There are so many situations that can trigger anger, worry, and doubt. How is one supposed to remain calm and at peace during these turbulent moments?
Here is something to consider. The fact that you are upset is telling you that you are not present. Your conscious mind is somewhere else – either in the past, which you can do nothing about, or in the future, where you are projecting a negative image based on assumptions. Meanwhile, your subconscious mind, your “habitual” mind, is running your life. You are on autopilot. You are not awake and living in the present moment. You are letting your conscious mind wander and drift into the past and the future. You are not aware of your breathing and your heart coherence - your “vibe.” And your heart coherence is signaling for more of the same, whatever that is. We reap what we sow – energetically. What goes around comes around. If you are feeling upset, it is because you are asking for it. Misery loves company.
The ego-mind, or thought system, which is fear-based and dualistic in nature, wants you to think it is the slow computer or disrespectful boss that is upsetting you. Fault is “out there” somewhere. It cannot be within me. The ego sees everything and everyone as separate, with a win-lose, us-them, right-wrong, dualistic perspective. With this habitual mindset, you will often feel upset by the challenges of the world, and something or someone externally is to blame. This is a victim consciousness. You are disempowering yourself by playing the victim. To the awakened mind, it is never the external circumstances that are upsetting you. It is your thinking about those external circumstances that is upsetting you.
Mindful leadership challenges the ego thought system. It gives you an alternative way to think.
This begins with minding the mind and catching yourself when you are not present. The only time that ever matters is the eternal now. The past is over. You cannot change it. Feeling shame and guilt, or holding grudges and regret, begs for more. And using your mind to project negative images onto the future, like doubt, is a sure recipe for failure. Think about how skilled athletes handle this. Whether it is hitting a golf ball, shooting a free throw, or throwing a pass, it does no good to dwell on a mistake made ten minutes ago. You need to let the past go. And if you approach the situation with fear, anxiety, and doubt about what might happen in the future, you are asking for trouble. You need to stay focused and be present.
One of the surest ways to do this is with relaxed, deep breathing. With each breath – inhaling to a count of four or five seconds and exhaling to a count of four or five seconds – you will begin to raise your heart coherence, calling for better outcomes. It is also helpful to find something to be grateful for in whatever circumstance you are in. The energetic frequency of appreciation vibrates at an extremely high level. Maybe the fact that you are breathing is a good place to start. Here is another tip. Recognize that there is a reason for whatever is happening, and that reason is positive. Look for it. Maybe the person or situation you face is teaching you something important – like mindfulness and patience. Stop and ask yourself:
What is this blessing in disguise? What can I learn from this?
When we learn to be present and let go of negative thoughts and feelings, we begin to see the world differently. We see more harmony, balance, and grace as if everything is in perfect union and sync. We view the world with more compassion, empathy, and understanding. We see with a greater sense of hope. We expect something good will come from this temporary moment. We have nothing to worry about. We can relax. We can be patient.
Looking at the world in an optimistic way, with positive expectations and a sense of eagerness and enthusiasm, brings more peace and flow into our lives. We reap better outcomes because we are sowing different seeds - energetically. We find ourselves in better relationships. We experience more joy. Our lifestyle improves. We feel like we are in the “zone.”
I like to refer to this mindful practice as four steps to inner peace – Let Be, Let Go, Let See, and Let Flow. Here is a quick summary of these four steps:
- Let Be: Be present. Be here in the eternal now. Breathe deeply. Relax. Mind the mind.
- Let Go: Drop the negativity and emotional baggage. Let go of resistance, fear, and doubt. Let go of blame and condemnation. Let go of the ego perspective.
- Let See: Witness a shift in perception. See the bright side. See with forgiveness, compassion, and grace. See the silver-linings. Recognize and appreciate the reason.
- Let Flow: Feel good now. Open your mind and your heart and align with the positive current of life. Embrace yourself as worthy and deserving of the best. Tap into the extraordinary power that gives you life and focus it on finding solutions, not problems. They are one and the same.
These four steps, when mindfully practiced, help us through the most challenging times. Clearly, there is a lot of uncertainty in the world. The ego will tell us to worry. There is a lot to point fingers at. There is a lot to be upset about. This is mindlessness, not mindfulness. Worry and doubt are ego perspectives. Recognize this the next time you feel this way. Recognize that these feelings are cast by your false self. Your true Self (capital S) knows better. Your true Self sees beyond this fear-based, dualistic thought system, and your true Self expects positive outcomes. You know you are aligned with your true Self whenever you feel inspired, fearless, and free. You feel eager and enthusiastic. You feel grateful – even for your problems because you know they are blessings in disguise.
John Murphy is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, business consultant, and coach and has been for over 30 years. He has traveled as many as 51 weeks out of 52, teaching in dozens of countries around the world, with languages and cultures he knew little about.
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