Do you worry about the future? Who doesn’t, right? Especially with all the chaos in the world. But worrying comes from ego, which is like a monkey jumping from one thought to another and one desire to another, leaving a trail of fear behind. Your monkey-mind goes back and forth between the past and the future, to prevent you from anchoring yourself in the present, because the present is your place of power. Ego doesn’t want to relinquish its control to color and direct your perception.
Now, your worries may relate to real, practical problems and you can’t simply ignore or pretend they’re not there. But you shouldn’t let them rob you of your energy or the possibility of new and better experiences you can create from here on out. To design a better future you must deal with any current issues in a conscious manner while taking spiritual responsibility to clarify the meaning and purpose of your challenges. Otherwise, they’ll simply repeat until you discern what they’re pointing at.
All thoughts, desires, and worries are fluctuations of energy in your mental field. This may not be obvious to you if, like most people, you’ve completely identified with your mind, which hinders the awareness of these fluctuations. But let me use a couple scenarios to make it easier to understand.
Imagine a small, natural lake surrounded by lush vegetation on a misty morning. The water is so pure and still you can see through it: pebbles in different shapes and shades of brown and gray line the bottom, and fish swim about swiftly yet without disturbing the stillness of the lake. The open sky and green surroundings are reflected on its surface as clearly as on a mirror; everything is so peaceful you can’t tell the water is quietly moving toward a stream. This is your mental field with no ego: it reflects the world without identifying with or being affected by it.
Now picture bugs landing on the lake to drink water, creating tiny ripples as they do; these are thoughts you don’t follow or pay too much attention to. Then add birds of all sizes swooping to drink or catch fish; these are desires that may come and go. The rain starts falling and soon turns into a storm, disturbing the serenity of the lake and creating a chaotic ripple effect that blurs the reflection of the environment; these are repetitive thoughts and desires that become your fears and worries.
How does this happen? Here’s another image for you. Envision yourself flowing down a river like a young child, freely enjoying the thrill of a new adventure, and trusting this river will take you where you need to go as you explore the world. Again, this is your mind without ego. Then you see something that piques your interest and decide to stop your flow to take a closer look.
You hold on to a branch sticking out of the river bank. The river continues rushing, it can’t stop, but your desire is strong; the water pulls you, but you hold on ever so tightly to that branch. And the tighter your hold—that is, the more you identify with your desire—the more afraid you are to let go. So now you’re stuck between the world you want to experience and explore and your original, innocent, pure state of being; this is how your ego-mind keeps you trapped.
The point I’m trying to make here is twofold:
- Only you have the power to decide in which direction your energy goes: which thoughts and desires you follow and how much time and energy you invest in them.
- The only way to stop worrying is to reclaim that power by purifying the ego-mind that disturbs your peace.
You need tools, because the ego is very tricky and controls your perception: it has access to all your mental files, both present and past, conscious and unconscious; it chooses when and how to create ripples or fixate on things, to remain in control of your mental and emotional states.
If I say, “Don’t think of the color blue,” guess what color is going to pop into your mind? Likewise, if I told you, “Stop worrying about this or that,” I can assure you that ‘this’ and ‘that’ will be the exact direction your thoughts and worries will go to. But—and this is really a big BUT—it doesn’t mean you need to keep investing your time and energy in them (see Do You Realize That Time + Energy = Your Life?).
Here are 3 essential tools that can help you with this, especially if you’re in the habit of worrying a lot. :-)
Set a Specific Time For Worrying
You can’t control life or simply suppress your thoughts, but you can manage how much energy and time they take. So set aside 15-20 minutes once a day (twice, if once is not enough, but no more than that!) to do nothing but worry about the future. You can write about your problems, express them out loud, create worst-case scenarios in your mind, or do whatever you’re used to doing when you worry. But once the 15-20 minutes are up you must stop worrying and focus on something else.
Whenever those worries come back into your head, remind yourself that you can’t fixate on them again until your next ‘worry time.’ You can imagine putting your worries in a ‘worry box,’ if it helps. This way you give yourself permission to postpone your worrying until the time you’ve chosen, which puts you back in control. Trust me, it works. This is the same strategy I intuitively used when I quit smoking (see Why Self-Care Is Essential For Self-Growth).
Take Control of Your Breathing
The breath controls the mind. Breathing consciously allows you to quiet it enough to calm down, think more clearly, find solutions, and surrender to the spiritual forces within you. Yes, breathing deeply and slowly purifies the ego-mind, creating an empty space through which more clarity, more openness, and more faith can emerge. Inhale deeply and make your exhalations longer and slower, to relax.
Observe your breathing going in and out; imagine it purifying and aligning your chakras as you breathe in, and then releasing any toxic energy as you breathe out. If thoughts of worry come to your mind, take them with you along with your breathing; imagine them getting cleansed as you breathe in and then release their energy as you slowly breathe out. You’re breathing in peace and breathing out your thoughts.
Surrender To Your Soul-Guided Journey
Because you can’t live without air, or rather the prana in the air, breathing in means letting life in; then breathing out in a relaxed manner is accepting life as it is. If you remind yourself that your journey is soul-guided and your soul is always leading you to experience what is best for your growth, even if it may seem unpleasant at the time, you accept life instead of fighting it with fear and worry or sabotaging it with self-defeating emotions.
“Let go and let God’ should be your adage, and meditation your daily medicine. You can also repeat the Sanskrit mantra Idam na mama, which means “This is not mine,” to surrender the ego-mind with all your thoughts, fears, worries, and difficulties to the Divine within, trusting that Infinite Consciousness will take care of everything—through and for you.
Rather than letting the mind drag you where it wants, with these simple tools you can start integrating different aspects of your soul and realigning the energy you normally use to worry, to create something new and better. Now, you can reduce the time and energy you spend worrying, but only when you get to the root of your unconscious tendencies will you discover real peace. So contact me today to understand where these come from and unravel the patterns that reinforce them, so you can purify your mind and create the life you want!
© 2017 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.