Most of us have never paid attention to our minds. We hear our minds tell us things all the time. Mostly things we can’t, shouldn’t, or aren’t good enough to do. Then the thoughts our minds generate manifest physical sensations. Usually those sensations are related to the feeling of fear. Our human ability to think gives us a unique talent to not only anticipate risk and threat, but to also imagine it and plan for it, which is what puts us at the top of the food chain. That is why you see this image of a spider and the hair on the back of your neck stands up.
That kind of fear makes sense.
But somewhere along the way our minds got a little hyper vigilant and started making us afraid of things that don’t exist. Have you ever felt that pit in your stomach when you want to ask your boss for a day off? Or what about the burning, tingling sensation in your face when you look at your bank account and it’s almost empty? Nothing is going to jump out of a bush and eat your face off or anything, but still, you are terrified.
That kind of fear does not make sense.
It makes no sense, yet your heart is racing, your palms are sweating, your armpits are sweating, your ears are on fire. You are in fight or flight mode. Only, there is nothing to flee from.
Your mind is sending signals to your body, telling it to produce a reaction of fear. Your body responds with those signals which loop back to your mind, validating the fear. You stand, frozen, in a mode of panic, as a victim to nothing actually, but a really messed up corporate structure going on inside of you.
This is different than a typical corporate structure though, because it turns out, YOU are the owner of this business, and YOU have all the say in what the chain of command will look like.
Eckhart Tolle brings this to perspective in his book, The Power of Now, with a strategy he outlines. This is how it goes:
How?! Thoughts are like rapid fire.
Just close your eyes and try to catch what your next thought will be. Just try to think, “What will my next thought be?” Focus on waiting for your next thought to come so you can catch it. It’s like sitting in a tree stand during deer season.
It’s HARD!! You have to really get past all of the noise in your head and intentionally create a thought or you will never catch the next thought you have. They just dash around like lightening bugs.
This is a profound type of realization and a seriously powerful way to pray.
The book explains that two things happen when you reach this realization. First, you discover that if you can watch your mind then naturally you must be something separate from it. Second, if you are something separate from your mind, then it, your thoughts, can’t possibly control you.
The point is, unless a real physical threat exists, all that other junk you are afraid of isn’t real. Your mind is creating a very real reaction to something that doesn’t exist.
You have three options when you are faced with a fear like this:
- You can listen to your mind, which we just discovered has no idea what it’s doing and is totally living in an imaginary world,
- You can listen to your body, which is essentially a blob of meat telling your mind things that it already told your body;
- Or you can listen to your faith and trust that you have been given exactly what you need and are perfectly, comfortably, safe.