You are not your mind. Or you sir, are out of yours.

After reading a fair bit on the negative route to happiness, I started delving into Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now. I’ve been far more open to the idea of mindfulness over the past months and after seeing it discussed on the news this morning, I thought I’d talk about it here…

The frog is getting Zen.

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Actually, the frog is feeling very much at peace with everything since it was decided that the road of the frog is much better than that of the princess. (See Why being a Frog is Better than Being a Princess). But this book is taking it a step further.

Don’t let your mind possess you. It cannot allow you to exist in the here and now

At first, this sounds like the rankings of a crazy person who should be medicated, rather than published. Except, he’s quite happy.

The time for thinking is over. The mind has evolved so far that thinking is destructive. It is time to evolve to a higher state of consciousness.

Again, clearly mental.

Except… Except, the ability to take a step back from all the noise in your head and perceive them in an objective manner is ultimately helpful. Am I actually angry with that person for driving like a complete tool, were they really trying to put my life in danger, or is that my perception of the situation? Stand back. Am I angry because I’m actually not in control? Do I need to be annoyed? The tool is now half way down the road and actually, right now I am in no danger. They were just being a tool and it wasn’t aimed at me per say. I can continue with my day. Holding onto any anger will only make my own day unhappier.

This idea of watching our thoughts until they are rationalized or just go away completely allowing us to just be aware of everything around us is an exceptionally good way to reduce general stress and anxiety. Since starting this on a daily basis, I have certainly been immensely less stressed and am gliding through what could be quite a stressful upheaval with a real sense of peace.

I’m nowhere near totally stress free, but the frog is no longer a princess sitting in a pond.

Despite the initial raised eyebrows, I shall continue with this book with as open a mind as I can muster.

Ribbit.

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Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

I have a confession to make. I didn’t make it to Easter.

Baking soda, I have cheated on you. It isn’t you. No, actually it IS you. You’re messy, and smell weird and I can’t take you out anywhere. I shampooed my hair, and it was good. It lathered, and I did it again. I feel a bit bad for not lasting the whole 40 days.

I just needed to feel presentable. And to top it off I put tips on my nails too. So I now have gel tips with sparkly blue varnish and a bath full of bubbles.

Is it helping me think clearer? Well, no. Not really. But the simple act of painting my nails did give me something to focus on other than the incessant to do list that keeps being shouted from all directions from in and outside my head. I didn’t help myself yesterday by digging my heels in and refusing to answer the emails about small things. They could wait for Monday morning – no one is going to die if I don’t answer the email now. Ah, but it did mean that the first four hours of Monday morning I needed to grow an extra pair of arms so that I could teach and respond to everyone that was asking for ‘just five minutes’.

But I did it, and I finished the day with most of my to do list complete. Now, what I need is the mental chatter to quit thinking of extra things for me to do. Stop singing weird 90s songs at me. Stop giving me a running monologue of what I’m doing. I don’t need a theme tune. And if I did, I don’t want it to be something recognizable from Adventure Time! I also don’t need to be reminded of tomorrow’s to do list at 3am. Let it go brain, there’s nothing I can, or will do at 3am about the papers that need marking. 3am marking will do no good for me or the students. That road leads to bad things, and lots of coffee.

Being mindful is harder than it looks. Especially when your brain is on overdrive and a seemingly silent room is full of voices yelling about stuff you should be doing instead of resting.