I grabbed a coffee today and I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation of two young women behind me.
Without going into detail, their conversation was all about other people (presumably friends), what is wrong with them and why they are the way they are. I have been involved in conversations like these, and I’m sure you have too!
The pace of the conversation was rapid, and there was an anxious energy that I could feel in the tone and cadence of their speech. I could tell that they were enjoying the conversation, as the mind loves to have problems to talk about and stories to tell!
And as I sat there, I realised that it was all made up! They were swapping stories, comparing mental images about people who weren’t there. Two things struck me about this:
Firstly, the mind needs distractions. These two friends were together for a coffee on a Sunday morning, but their attention was completely elsewhere. Why? The mind finds sitting still in this moment intolerable.
Secondly, the mind loves problems! They were both energised by the gossip, or their minds were, and in that moment they were their minds. When we are lost in thought, we seek problems to think about as it gives the mind a future to work towards, which it loves!
As I sat there, I wondered if they noticed that this song by India Arie was playing. Probably not.
And I bet they didn’t notice the breath, the body or the space inside. When you’re lost in mind, you can’t see those things.
What does this have to do with you and me? We’re in that world too, at least some of the time. But lucky for us, we can see that mind is not who we are, it’s something that happens within us.
Knowing this, you can start to choose – will you live as a walking mind, a story on legs? Or will you devote your energy to waking up into this moment, into who you really are?
I think I know your answer.