In a recent conversation with our creativity class, Eric Maisel talked about the mind and its relationship to our creative process. I found his ideas also really applicable to the other parts of my life: my spiritual practices, my emotional health, and my relationship with food. Here are some of his ideas (or my interpretation of them).
- Recognize that you are the only one who can get a grip on your mind. No one else is in there with you.
- You do not have to accept a thought as true. And even if it is true, it may not be helpful.
- Learn to listen (and hear) what you say to yourself. This takes courage.
- Distinguish between thoughts that serve you (support what you truly want) and thoughts that don’t serve you.
- Get in the habit of self-questioning. Is this thought helpful?
- Substitute helpful thoughts in language that is supportive of your desires.
- Decide what you want to be saying to yourself and say it.
While I have no trouble with items 1 and 2, I am finding #3 very hard: really hearing what I’m saying to myself. I’m so used to going on impulse (eat that, eat more of that, do that), that it is hard for me to figure out what I’m saying. It requires a kind of slowing down and quieting myself that isn’t easy. But I’m giving it a try.