Recently I spent a week on a beautiful yoga retreat in magnificent Ubud in Bali. As well as all the natural wonders and beautiful people that surrounded me, I got the opportunity to be alone a lot more than in my everyday life. It probably was one of the ‘quietest’ periods of my life. I consciously forced myself to slow down – both physically and mentally.Practising what I preach I promised myself to enjoy every moment of my blissful holiday and let go of all the worries, concerns and thoughts.
And how have I underestimated my mind, my over-active mind that just wouldn’t ever shut up! .. Half the time I caught myself making plans for when I get back, thinking of what am I going to have for lunch or how I have been able to meditate for half an hour without being distracted (ha ha)!
This is what happens when your mind is restless. And whilst having such powerful minds is the best gift we could have asked for, we often don’t use it effectively and let the mind use us. Imagine that you have a TV that is constantly on and you can never turn it off. This is what the minds of modern people are mostly like. I often find myself feeling like a squirrel in a wheel – rushing somewhere to get something done, make a decision, take action- all in a rush not even enjoying the process – just anxious to get to the end result.
And here I was, focussing on my breathing and trying not to think about what I am going to do next. I have never actually been able to achieve that, but the more I practised the more I could slow down and sometimes pause.. and when I did, I noticed that the world around me stopped spinning so fast and it was easier to notice myself, and differentiate between what is mine and what is important and what is not.
After I got back I started thinking about how many of us avoid being alone at all cost, always trying to find something to do and someone to be with. I don’t know for sure, but my take on it is that we don’t want to notice our own feelings and desires, as the moment I stop and pay attention to that TV that’s been on I will start listening to the program that is on.. Maybe we are just afraid we won’t like the channel, and won’t find the remote to change it. And that’s why we keep being busy, keep doing and keep spinning that wheel.. when all we need is to want to pause and allow ourselves to be alone and just simply watch what happens on that Mind TV channel of yours…