Storms can blow up in your mind, but don’t worry, the weather always changes
Arhhh! That soulish nature in us can certainly be a pain. You know how you can get a thought under your skin so that it turns from being an innocent reflection to a destructive force that begins to color all your actions and level of confidence? I do. I’ve been there. So I am here today to remind us to beware of destructive mind storms. A mind storm starts from a negative state of mind, and when we nourish it will begin to manifest itself into reality. Once it settles into our consciousness it can blow up one hell of a mind storm. When that storm comes, don’t give it too much attention. Focus on what is at hand to do and don’t follow the negative spiral. Like I have said before “change one thing to a positive and everything else will follow“. The storm will blow away, just like the weather changes, it will change if you don’t give it fuel to keep burning.
The article below explains how mind hinderances lead to mind states lead to mind storms. Put into Sandy’s simple terms, I think the key here is to focus on the good – love, peace and patience – and leave the yucky thoughts alone, they will pass. Believe me, I understand that this is easier said than done, but we can do this!
We know these and often talk of them as neediness, anger, low self-esteem, low energy, fear, and demoralization. As normal occasionally encountered experiences, they can make life problematic, but these hindrances can intensify into something more lasting. If they do so they may change from being “Mind Hindrances” to “Mind States.”
A “Mind State” is a hindrance that is not transient. It comes to stay. A Mind State becomes a habitual outlook and response pattern. All life experiences are filtered through the Mind State. The Mind State of lust looks at everything through the lens of neediness and desire. Something is missing and life is not satisfactory. The angry Mind State is always on the verge of irritation and frustration and fills the air with tension. Habitual lethargy robs life of the energy required for day to day tasks and leaves none left over for new adventures. The Mind State of Doubt creates an insecure world while the fearful mind spreads anxiety into all areas of life.
Mind States are difficult to live with because they make life more fretful or tedious than needed. They become the lenses though which we view our life. A Mind State is hard to recognize and harder still to give up. It seems to be the reality.
The real danger of Mind States, however, is that they can suddenly swirl up into “Mind Storms.” A Mind Storm is a Mind State out of control. Mind Storms blow in due to some real or imagined occurrence and can wreak havoc while present. Comments are made and actions are taken that are later regretted. With a Mind Storm in control clear vision is lost and judgement is clouded. Just as the storms of weather come and go, so do the storms of the “Mind.” They blow in and they blow out again and then the damage must be surveyed.
Mind Storms always give warning signs. These “storms” initially show up in that little voice of conscience that talks to us. You might recognize the voice of conscience as that positive voice that says, “Gee, you look good.” And, “That was a terrific job.” Or, in its negative tones, when it says, “That was really stupid. How could you be so dumb?” In a Mind Storm the voice is usually negative, critical, or irrational in its comments. This little voice of self-talk can talk us into some bad spots. The challenge of Mind Storms is to learn to watch them come and go but not to react by feeding them more energy through negative thinking and impulsive deeds. We need to observe the little voice while not necessarily responding too seriously to it.
→ Remember the blog post I wrote on engaging the “noticer” when learning where to put the pain of our past? You may want to read that in relation to observing Mind Storms.
Knowing all about Mind Hindrances, Mind States, and Mind Storms and being aware of the importance of attitude on daily life is no guarantee of protection. Given the right conditions a Mind Storm thunders in and takes over before you know it. Once present it is difficult to recognize.
Mind States come and go. Sometimes a Mind State turns into a Storm. The challenge of mindfulness is to catch the storm early and stop it. If you can’t stop it then just let it blow itself out. Don’t get caught up in it. Don’t act it out.
When a Mind Storm blows in you may think it is about one thing when it usually is about many things. You might think that it is there because of bad decisions or bad luck, when it could be a chance to learn patience, or giving love. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from the situation because you overreact or make a hasty decision based on what you are feeling in that moment.
Mind Storms are hard to recognize when they are present. They seem to be the reality. In reality they are the illusion. So, watch the horizon of your mind. Look for the warning signs of a change in the weather. If storms do appear, just let them pass.
Remember the weather always changes.
Inspired by Mind Storms at Lessons4living.com