Often the old tenacious side of me wanted to hang on for all the answers even though I knew it took me further from my place of inner peace. It is like a bit between our teeth that we get, and it can drive us further into our mental stuff. We seem to have a deep need to know the next steps or outcome of a moment of life itself. This can be so persistent that it ignites our anxiety and feeds into loops of rumination.
Why is it so hard for many of us to let go and be in the now? Part of it comes from the survival part of the brain that is thinking in advance and analyzing situations for perceived threat or opportunity. Our mind is consistently judging, and perceiving. It creates scenarios or possible scenarios as part of that analysis. This is based on all the information gathered from the moment of conception to present day. Being still and being present means completely letting go and allowing information to fall away. It is also resisting buying into the judgments and responses that our mind will want to feed us.
I was considering mental health or anxiety and stress to be like popping popcorn.
Consider our mind to be like a bag of unpopped kernels and the information coming into our mind the heat that pops it. If we give power to the information, then the ideas or stress start to fire off or become bigger in our mind. Our mind fills rapidly with complex multitudes of responses and coping. In those moments we are creating the heat that pops the popcorn. For those of you who love popcorn this analogy may not work. I guess from that perspective we can also see it as adding heat to passion and creativity and therefore filling our mind with delicious popcorn topped with lashings of creativity!
Going back to using this analogy for stress for a moment; that popcorn of response can literally fill the mind and body so it can feel impossible to move or think clearly.
So, let’s consider that mindfulness is a way of using the heat in a controlled way. If we take back control of how and when we ignite our responses, then we get to choose with more ease how full we are in our thoughts or output.
Being more present allows for a more balanced response and awareness keeping the so-called heat from our mind. We can consider possibilities from many perspectives with more ease when we are present. We can also find the beauty in so many places unseen before.
We can choose what toppings of life we add or omit. We can be handed a menu of life and from that menu create substitutions and choose to try a different menu.
We can feel that we are limited by our choices based on the menu we were given at birth or various points of our life. Some of us may face larger limitations to work around than others. These limitations can almost always create massive strengths or positive impact when we can come to a place of owning our power within our mind.
Coming from a place of owning our inner power can allow the spectacular à la carte or buffet of life to be all the more expansive and deliciously experienced.
Using the breath and mindfulness to keep the kernels of your mind settled and being aware when you have allowed stress to fire off filling your mind is a huge step forward in the path to peace.
If you do allow your mind to fill with popcorn of stress, then remember you can also then choose what toppings to add. We can all end up in a place of panic or stress and this is human. What we do when we get there is key. Sprinkling on guilt, shame, regret, or judgment is something on the menu you can choose to omit. Dusting yourself with love, compassion and care is an add on item that is always delicious and filling.
So, fill yourself from the buffet of life with nurturing and expansive choices and sprinkle love as your topping. Be the menu that you wish to be.
Andrea Lines is a mental health advocate and life coach with a passion for dynamically supporting change.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies