Do you know why you think the way you do? Are you able to determine differences between the way you think, process and assess situations versus how others do? Are those differences gender-related, age-related or are they related to socio-economic differences or any other label you can go down the list and find? Do you know what it is to be “out of your mind?” How much time do you think you are truly present or focused?
These questions are all related and concern our state of mind, or maybe better put, how we think, act/react and handle stress. Most people, these days, make up stories in their heads; they fabricate myths based on what is concerning to them, either consciously or subconsciously. For instance, take the example of the 46 year old male who is feeling pressure at work to bring more money into the company or they’ll have to let him go. He also is feeling pressure at home to make the family vacation he promised, happen soon. He is feeling victimized, vulnerable, frustrated and angry. He thinks his situation is unfair and his thoughts are beginning to run-off in different fantasies that depict freedom and his being on top of his game, both at work and home.
These distractions are there to protect us; namely the ego. They serve the purpose of building us up, giving us some fight or vigor. It is amazing to most people who begin meditating, just how often the mind takes a journey or runs off on one of these fantasies. The goal or purpose of meditation is to become present so that we can deal with life; the here and now, which is where life happens.
Many people are paralyzed or disconnected due to fears and disappointments. They are afraid of success, afraid of failure, afraid of so many things. Fear is stagnating…paralyzing. When we are afraid, we often don’t act, at least not with authority and self-assurance.
What makes us afraid? The News/Media seems charged with the business of making us afraid. The Govt makes us afraid…sometimes most of all of THEM; the Govt that is supposed to be serving us! Most of all, we must learn that fear is born and resides from inside us. WE are responsible for what we feel and so many simply do NOT step up and take responsibility for their feelings and actions.
This is all a reflection of our state of mind. “Being OUT of our mind,” as was asked in the beginning of this article, in meditation terms is simply not being present. Being away on one of these journeys or fantasies. We are in a World where dreaming is safer than reality, even though it further disconnects us from one another and any situation at hand, not to mention diffusing our ability to work on ourselves in any meaningful way.
Perspective is an important element to our state of mind. It varies from person to person and even suggests that we perceive of things differently; that our senses or filters allow for information to be collected and interpreted differently. How many times have you said: “How in the World can that person do what they’re doing?” or “There is NO way that they didn’t see that car coming!” or an endless list of other possible statements reflecting how someone and their perspective is different than our own.
Then there is the judgment that often follows. “What an idiot for thinking it went that way, when it OBVIOUSLY went THIS way!” People have become so judgmental that all you have to do is go out in public and truly listen and I can almost guarantee you that within no time, you will be subjected to gossip, judgment and negative behavior. It’s as if people are “out of their minds!”
It’s because most of us are. Meditation, acupuncture, the proper diet, massage, a spiritual practice, surrounding yourself with positive people, practicing being positive instead of allowing your thoughts/words to be negative and more, will help us understand and improve our state of mind.