WARNING! The untethered mind is not a safe place.
Letting the mind wander for too long can lead to:
- A feeling of being overwhelmed on what lies ahead
- Unnecessary anxiety around things that may or may not happen
- Fear of the future as you struggle to control the present
Perhaps you can relate….
You enter the shower in the morning and your mind begins to flip through the needs of the day. The mind stumbles upon a potential problem and begins to ruminate. Water cascades down your body pooling at the drain as quickly as your thoughts fill up your mind. You convince yourself of the stress and challenges that lie ahead and seem difficult to overcome. The body is clean, but the mind is more polluted than ever.
Overuse of a muscle creates weakness elsewhere. Just ask a baseball pitcher the problems they have had with their calves, back, hamstrings or other areas of the body outside of their throwing arm. Overthinking creates weakness of intellect. Yoga teaches us there is a difference between the mind (thoughts, judgments, desires) and the intellect (discernment between permanent and impermanent).
How do we prevent this weakness and create a powerful balance?
In his book, Praying Naked, Anthony De Mello describes the following advantages to meditation:
- Living in the present
- Allowing a direct experience of your Self
- Quieting down the interior dialog
- Alleviation of addictions
Instead of allowing the mind to wander in the shower, become a “three minute meditator” with the following script:
- Become aware of the quality of your breath – is it smooth or stuck?
- Shift your attention to the sounds: water pooling around the drain, moving down your back, bouncing off the curtain or door.
- Notice the sensation of the water – feel it hitting your head, neck, roll down your back, around your toes.
Simple steps repeated can create a habit that will bring you prosperity and free you from anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. Why shower to only clean the body, when you can also cleanse the mind?