With mastering your mind I don’t mean raising your IQ (although it may be an added bonus) or pouring in more academic knowledge and information. The process I am about to outline is in a more Buddhist sense as ‘pointers’, that allow for more awareness of where you are and what direction you wish to go.
When I refer to ‘mastering your mind’, I am talking about a process of cultivating an optimal state of mind. How to master your thoughts, emotions, and feelings that ultimately lead to your behaviors, habits, reactions, responses, and actions, which in turn create who you are in this life and what you do. Taking an honest look at your thoughts, emotions, feelings, and what you are doing, or not doing for that matter, is the first step in the process.
In order to live a more impactful and peaceful life it is important to take full responsibility for your state of mind so that you are in charge and can create the life you want.
With ‘mind’ I am referring to: your brain, heart, and gut, which are all interconnected. In fact, more information is passed on from the heart to the brain, than from the brain to the heart.
Among most children and a surprisingly, or rather ‘alarming’, large number of adults, there is the false belief that our emotions, feelings, and thoughts come as they please and that we have little say in the matter. It is assumed that other people, circumstances, and events are the main cause of our emotions and that we have very little control over our thoughts, emotions, and feelings.
We are ‘overcome’ by emotions and feelings, they just ‘happen’ to us. They seem to come out of nowhere, vary in intensity depending on ‘what or who caused them’, stay as long as they see fit, and leave when they want and on their own terms. Only to come back again to surprise us with an unexpected and often unwanted visit and we say; “I just Can’t help it!”.
The bad news is that for most people, this is not only their belief, it’s their reality. The good news is that nothing could be further from the truth and you can do something about it.
Our emotions and feelings don’t come falling out of the sky, they aren’t produced by other people, circumstances, or events. In other words; they don’t just appear out of nowhere.
We ‘produce’ our own thoughts, emotions, and feelings, no one else does. Most of us are doing this subconsciously, which is more related to emotions, and are thereby creating the illusion that we are not responsible for them. “I just can’t help myself”, “I get very emotional”, “I have no control over my emotions” “He/she always makes me so mad”, “This or that happened to me, that is why I am feeling like this”, “Did you see what he/she did!?”, “My feelings have been hurt”, and so on. Sound familiar?
I am by no means suggesting that any emotions or feelings are by definition negative and need to be avoided. On the contrary. All emotions and feelings are fine and should be experienced as much as we see fit or ‘feel’.
Having a wide range of emotions and feelings and experiencing them is an essential part of what makes us human.
In a child the ability to experience all emotions and feel safe to express them is essential for the healthy development of their brains and for them to fully mature.
What I am saying is that you own your own emotions and feelings. Not only are they yours, you and nobody else are responsible for them. You produce them. You choose which emotions and feelings to experience, for how long, and how intense. The only difference is whether you are bringing awareness to this process or not. Is it being done subconsciously or consciously?
If you are like most people, as mentioned above, you are choosing and producing them subconsciously, lacking any real awareness or understanding of just how. Therefore also not being aware of where they are coming from (“surprise!”), whic leads to feeling overwhelmed by them, and often not even fully understanding why we are feeling them or the message they are trying to tell us.
Wouldn’t it be much more empowering if you could take control over your state of mind, emotions, and feelings? Know that you are in charge? Live a life where nobody else has that power over them, over you? Because in fact, they don’t.
As stated earlier, you are responsible for them and in charge. Other people, circumstances, and events can surely act as a stimulus and trigger a reaction, yet knowing that you can master these reactions to work in your favor is very liberating and empowering.
The realization that it is possible to bring awareness to your thoughts that create your emotions and feelings (and especially to what degree), and therefore also your reactions, responses, and actions.
That you are ‘their’ boss, and they now no longer have to work for anyone else, is a very exciting and empowering realization. What a superpower to possess.
Allowing others to control your internal state, and your emotions is very disempowering and sets you up as a ‘victim of circumstances’.
The first step towards owning your own emotions and feelings is becoming aware of and fully understanding where they come from and what is causing them.
The short answer is; “You”.
Therefore, as mentioned already, the first step on the road to Self-Mastery, which I refer to as ‘The First Battle’ is conquering yourself, which involves your mind, your emotions, and your body.
As we become adults it is our responsibility to take full responsibility and charge of our internal state and how we express ourselves, irrespective of our past, present, current situation, or even our possible future.
“Rule your mind or it will rule your”
Despite reading the papers and watching how so many people ‘behave’, I still have to conclude that we are quite a unique species with incredible capabilities to use our imagination to create the life we desire through the power of imagination and choice.
Most of us are not solely driven or dependent on our instincts and genetic code. We can choose courage over fear, we can choose love over hate, we can choose compassion, and we can choose what direction to take in life. We don’t have to fly south for the winter if we choose not to. We can go in any direction we please.
That this ‘freedom of choice’ has often led to some very bad decision-making at certain points in our life, and the human race as a whole, is a subject for a different article.
Our internal state, our state of mind is not determined by what people say or don’t say. It is not because of circumstances or events. As mentioned earlier, these are all just stimuli. ‘Others’ can be very effective in pushing our buttons, however, you still are in charge of your internal state and your external reaction in the form of thoughts, emotions, feelings, behaviors, responses, and actions.
Take resentment as an example. Resentment is a very disempowering thought that creates disempowering emotions and feelings. You have in fact handed over your well-being to someone else. Because you resent them or something they did or didn’t do, ‘they’ now have an emotional hold over you and are making you feel lower vibrational emotions such as anger frustration, and hate.
By choice, you are allowing someone else to control your emotions and you put the blame on them.
The same goes for forgiveness. When you feel you can’t forgive someone for what they have done you continue to allow them to have power over you and hurt you. It’s like taking poison in the hope that the other person will suffer or die. You forgive someone else not for them, but for you. It sets you free from their emotional control over you so they no longer have power over you or can negatively affect you. You may of course decide to not forget what has happened and never see that person again, which is of course fine.
It is however your choice to let go of resentment and/or forgive so you can move on and live your life to the fullest no longer affected by someone else’s past actions.
Success to me (it can mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people), is to feel fulfilled, to enjoy life and what you are doing to the max, to work on and progress with a worthwhile endeavor, and to contribute, be of service, in some fashion. No matter what the definition of success is for you, one thing is for sure; to succeed in anything it is crucial that you can master your state of mind.
You are already creating your own emotions and feelings, the point is whether you are aware of this or not and are in control or not.
Are your emotions being created subconsciously or consciously?
There is nothing ‘fake’ or unnatural about creating them consciously. It is the only true way to get closer to your true nature and be in touch with who you are in mind, body, and soul.
It is tremendously empowering to no longer be controlled by other people’s energy or the circumstances and events that you stumble upon in the course of your life.
It is truly liberating to not only take responsibility but also to take charge of your state of mind.
“Watch your thoughts, they become words, watch your words, they become actions”