In an effort to offer an example of the way our old patterns of thinking can undermine our best interest and take us down an entirely unproductive road, I thought it would be beneficial, with my client’s permission, to share her written reflections to me. We have been working together through written communication over several years. Her sincere articulation below shows us how all of us can become caught up in the “heavy traffic” of our thoughts.
“Yes, I am working on establishing that aloneness with self in a positive way, which also at the same time helps to figure out where I am oriented with others. Otherwise it’s just a big soup of I don’t know where I end and the rest of the world begins, which is of course the ultimate reality, the “one” or “all,” but in terms of the world, anything tangible, or let’s say first to 6th chakra, that is not a way to live all the time. I want to experience the universe and transcend but I also know that I have a unique identity and path in this body. Sometimes I have unsettling thoughts about what that might be, if I have aspects to my path that are unchangeable, that I don’t necessarily want, but I also know that my mind has many voices or conflicting ideas that are not true and are just from paranoia, or illusion, or whatever else. There is a restless feeling and I am doing my best to remedy it by going inside my inner soul self to find and maintain my center, so I can better make the steps I must make…”
The jumble of words, and its stream of consciousness style, with missing punctuation, without clarity of thought and without attention to grammars may have the effect of being caught in an episode of loud, honking, bumper to bumper NYC rush hour traffic –complete with sirens. She shows us just how OVERACTIVE our mind can be.
The following was my response to her heavy-thought-traffic moment. Much like a traffic cop, I found myself asking, how could I help her to navigate a better route so that she can arrive at her destination effectively and safely?
“You are feeling your state of being at each moment. Yes, when a person is sensitive, that person picks up all sorts of cosmic noises… just like a radio that picked up different waves. Distinguishing what to take and what to ignore, just to create the right environment for your carnal existence at this here and now moment, is an art. You would think of what’s most important to do at each moment of your life to nurture your being in the world. Yes, resting can be most productive when you feel the need to refresh yourself in the midst of the heavy thought-traffic you got caught in when you wrote this communication to me. Just a short silence, or should I say switching a gear of your thinking mind, and you may be able to see the route that you didn’t see before. Once you unstick your thoughts, you will drive your mind more smoothly again.
While reflecting on your situation, another metaphor came to my mind. It is like the gardening of your thoughts and feelings as well. What do you want go keep and what do you want to let go? What kind of garden would you like to be in? I am glad to see that you are beginning to notice what to weed out and what to nurture and grow as you reflect on the past moment. Pruning your thoughts with discernment will become a healthy practice. We have only 24 hours a day. How to pick and choose what to keep so as to create a beautiful inner garden of our thoughts and feelings is an art to master.”
My point in sharing this exchange is to illustrate that we are living in the world of our thoughts, so we all have to learn to be our own “thought police”, controllers and navigators of our thinking. At the same time, we will also cultivate ourselves to become expert gardeners of our thoughts in the garden of our mind as well, and in these ways to maintain our healthy state of being in the world.