The Restless Mind

Self-esteem-shutterstockI’ve recently finished reading a Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. The book is based upon the Course in Miracles programme and gives insights as to why and how we must calm our minds. It’s really got me thinking about how restless our minds are and the impact that has on our everyday activities.

Many of us feel as though life is spinning out of control, that we don’t have enough time to achieve the things we need to. The excessive demands of an executive’s life means a relentless pursuit of clearing the chaos; a resilience to keep moving even when our energy is sapped and a deep anxiety that we will never get everything done, or even worse, a feeling that we are not truly making any difference on this planet.

Through my reading of many self development books, I’ve come to realise that that, broadly speaking, there are two parts to our mind. One part of our mind is labelled our ego and the other part of our mind is our true self. Our true self is like a dear friend. It’s there to guide, support, encourage and help us to grow. It’s the part of us that wants us to nourish our gifts and our talents.

Our ego, on the other hand, is the part of us that keeps us separate. Separate from our true selves, separate from others. It’s the part of us that drives us to be competitive; to judge other people; to be successful in the eyes of others; to experience anger and fear. The ego is the part of us that drives our restless minds. It’s the inner voice that tells you: “You should do this” or “You wouldn’t be able to do that” or “I don’t trust them”. It’s a constant nag and drain on our energy. On and on it goes, causing us to doubt ourselves and our abilities.

When the mind feels restless, it can’t stop. We turn to candy crush; x factor; alcohol. Anything to dull the incessant talking and undermining of our potential. We start to believe that we don’t have what it takes; we lack the confidence to really shine and step into our greatness.

Of course, the answer is to listen to our true self. But it’s not as easy as that. Rather like learning to ride a bike – we can’t get on it the first time and head off into the sunset. Or losing weight in the New Year. Instead we have to take small steps. We have to find time to stop.

Here’s a great question Brian Tracy asks in his book: No Excuses

“What would it take for you to be truly happy?”

Now that is a big question. It’s a question that needs thought. It’s a question that most people would dismiss as not having the time to think it through or seeing it as a meaningless. Both of those reactions are the ego part of our mind, keeping us separate.

But, by allowing and giving ourselves permission to explore a different side of us, we start to tap into a new belief system and a more empowering way of thinking. The more we can tap into this, the lighter we feel.

There are so many ways we can calm our restless minds. And it is so critical that we do. Finding the space and the quiet to journal, to reflect, to breathe, to catch up on life are key to finding long lasting happiness. Asking ourselves the powerful questions about what is important to us, what is it that truly drives us and where are our gifts best placed.

For the sake of our happiness and those that are important to us, we really must invest in the time, the strategies and the support to calm our restless mind.

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