I wake up and find my backyard landscaping is absolutely ruined. It’s in fact so bad that there is no fixing it – I wouldn’t even know where to start!
I feel horrible now. Why did I do this? How can I fix it? Who’s going to help me? What do I need to do? How long will it take? How much will it cost? What will my children and my neighbours say? And the very worst thing is, that lawn mower is still running and for the life of me, I can’t seem to shut it down or control it.
Substitute the lawn mower with your mind.
We have a powerful machine at our disposal, it’s capable of anything we ask of it. It’s programmable. But, instead of using it to do what we want we leave it to do its own thing without any direction, without any programming, without any conscious control. The end result is that instead of focusing on what we want to accomplish today our mind keeps going of on detours that cause worry and anxiety.
When people ask me “Zehra, how do I stop worrying?”, my answer is always the same, “stop thinking about things you do not control”. Then the next question I get asked is “but how can I do that?” and the answer is “it’s a decision and an instruction you give your mind”.
If you tell yourself “today I want to end the day feeling happy and satisfied” then in the middle of the day someone says something that throws you off into the bushes, your mind will say “Zehra, you wanted to end this day feeling happy and satisfied, but when you think about this thing that you are thinking about that you have no control over, you are neither happy nor satisfied – do you want to keep going or do you want to think about something else?” This gives you the opportunity to say “yes, I want to end my day feeling happy and satisfied, okay, I guess that means I should stop thinking this thought that throws me in the bushes and think about something else – what can I think about that is nothing to do with this?” and your mind will say “yes, I can help you with that, I can help you find something that will divert your attention – look at that tree and that bird in the sky”.
Just like we set goals for what we want to accomplish we can also set goals for how we want to feel. This establishes priorities for our mind and it will only take that action which is within the parameters of how we wish to feel. If an action is outside the parameters we have set, it will ask for an override, and we have the option to give it the over ride or not. In the example above, wanting to end the day feeling happy and satisfied is the emotional goal. Now if a thought comes which doesn’t feel happy or satisfying the mind will ask for an override. Make sense?
There is a lot of hype about reprogramming the subconscious mind, but I believe, that we need to first program the conscious mind and then the subconscious mind, for the one is the door keeper to the second.