"I take responsibility for the power of my mind today."
I read that statement during my wife's and my spiritual growth time this week. My first response was, "Uhuh. Tell me something new. This is pretty obvious."
And then during my meditation, I found my mind wandering.
All of a sudden I was fixating on the financial issues my wife and I were wrestling with. In a matter of seconds, I realized my blood pressure was rising. My patience level was dropping. I was getting angry. Then depressed. Then hopeless. Then angry. Sorry for myself. Like I was a victim to forces beyond my control. My situation felt so unfair. So I got angry ... again. All this in a matter of seconds.
Isn't it amazing how quickly our minds go to a negative place? And when that happens, just as quickly waves full of emotions of suffering crash over us pounding us into the beach. It takes just seconds. But the painful effects can stay with us the whole day.
How to Take Back Your Control
I like the statement's second word, "take." That's a powerful, proactive word. It even sounds and feels strong when you speak it out loud. Take!
Responsibility is something we have to take, grab a hold of, hang on to. No one else can take it for us.
The good thing was that because of this mantra reminder I was able to observe all this chaos happening in my mind. Notice it. Feel the feelings.
And then I was able to make a conscious decision to take responsibility. I gently brought my mind back to a more grounded and centered place. Rather than lashing out against all the forces outside me, I took responsibility and channeled my thoughts to a more contextual place. More peace. Hope.
Did my financial issues disappear? No. Did my worries? Somewhat. But what happened was that I brought my mind to a more balanced place that was centered in hope rather than fear. I could see my challenge in a bigger context--not just seeing the immediate problem but seeing the problem surrounded by proactive steps we were taking.
The result? Less stress, more peace.
Six Implications of Taking Responsibility For Your Mind
I realized that the morning's statement was essentially telling me:
- I am the primary steward of my mind.
- What I think, the meaning I attach to things, the feelings that emanate from the thoughts I choose to focus on, are up to me.
- I am not a victim of my brain.
- I am in charge of my mind's power--for good or for harm.
- Exhibiting healthy mental life is my sole responsibility.
- My stewardship of my thoughts creates either anxiety or peace, fear or love. My choice.
Why This Is Important: Your Thoughts Shape Your Reality
Why is this so important? Because of the power of our minds. Our thoughts often create our reality.
Here's a classic example for me. I write a lot of emails in my connecting with people for my work. My mind has an uncanny ability (tendency) to project motives onto people who don't answer me back in a timely fashion.
"I must have offended them in some way." "I'm not important to them." "They're really not interested in working with me." "They're too important to connect with me."
And the list can go on in my mind. The effect? I distance myself from them. The consequence/reality? I lose opportunity to connect with them and even be able to collaborate and partner in fun and stimulating ways. And I'm projecting my own fears and self limitations on them (even when it might not be true about them). So I start acting as though it were true. And now the waves are crashing me into the beach.
My thoughts have now created my self limiting reality.
Harnessing Your New Reality
I love the way Wayne Dyer puts this:
"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Here's the same idea from Scripture:
"As a person thinks in their heart, so are they." Proverbs 23:7
You and I are the primary stewards of the power of our minds. We can choose to take responsibility into our own hands. We can choose peace instead of anxiety, love instead of fear. What a better way to live--for ourselves and for everyone around us!
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