“Hold wonderful pictures in your mind’s eye” – Robin Sharma.
Caring for our mental health has never been more vital. In fact, mindfulness is becoming trendy- it’s everywhere. People are meditating all the time – at home, in the garden, on buses, trains, in lectures, in the library – it appears to me that no time nor place is unfit for a little introspection.
But in all seriousness, mindfulness is a way we can survive in this new world of social separation. So here’s a couple of reasons why you should get out your yoga mats and sit with yourself, alone, for a few minutes per day:
This slight glitch in human functioning has led to the great, widespread impoverished thinking in our new world. Look around you. We sit inside boxes, separated from the natural world we were born into.
We wear clothes and shoes on our feet, which further shield us from our environment -the Earth, our home.
Many people still think that they need to live by these “rules” embedded into our minds by society. These rules advocate mindless consumption of clothes, food, alcohol, and cigarettes. Where have these social norms led us? To forests cleared faster than they can ever be restored, to mountains of rubbish in our oceans, rivers, and freshwater streams.
Even more worrisome, is that an uncanny proportion of humans still act as though “global warming” were a myth; a deity we can either choose to or choose not to believe in.
We have polluted our minds just as we have contaminated our seas and our atmosphere. Of 60,000 thoughts per day, a large proportion of these can be unproductive and damaging, particularly when faced with dire circumstances. With around 57,000 being the same as yesterday’s, it’s almost too easy for our attention to cascade downhill. What may begin as a bad Monday may shortly develop into a Friday of wallowing in a deep pool of grief and self-pity.
We are captives of our minds, and if we don’t stimulate them, they act as a broken record replaying the same loops. These cycles can undoubtedly lead us to some dangerous places.
Imagine if everybody took 10 minutes per day to reflect upon their actions.
We may notice that what makes us feel good is often fresh food, fresh air and fresh sunshine. Additionally, perhaps indulging in unnecessary gossip or binge-watching that new show on Netflix didn’t feel quite so fulfilling.
Our thoughts either limit us, or we can harness them in a way to set us free.
Meditation is a way to train our minds to focus on being present and reflect upon our feelings. Our moods do not need to govern our actions. We can recount upsetting events and feel uncomfortable feelings from a safe distance through meditation. Instead of being inside the emotions, watch them come and watch them go like clouds passing through your mind. Sometimes it will be stormy, and sometimes sunny. But the sky is always there.
Your mind is your garden. Good thoughts supported by good people spread water and sunshine over your plants.
Gatekeep your garden from negative thoughts. Have the courage to delete the negativity in your life. Surround yourself with humans who will lift you up, make you think, help you learn and grow into the best version of you.
Do you want your garden to be full of weeds, or do you want it to blossom with flowers?