When bringing up thoughts about past events, encounters or situations we are often absorbing the mind with restrictive thinking. When dwelling on past occurrences, the mind will inevitably dredge up thoughts that are rooted in comparisons. We will compare what did happen to what we wanted to happen. We will compare the situation we are in with the situation we want. We will compare who we are with whom we want to be. All of these comparisons restrict the mind from experiencing clarity, and pureness of the present moment. A mind cluttered with restrictive thoughts cannot do what it is designed to do - to be creative.
Creativity blossoms when the mind is allowed to experience the moment in its pristine state. Thoughts that are rooted in yesterdays’ experiences will sooner or later bog the mind down with sluggish, slow, low energy movement. This sluggishness causes the mind to struggle. Struggle induces resistance between opposing situations - the one we want and the one that we have experienced. Resistive thinking causes the mind to dwell on thoughts that are repeated and re-circulated. So once we dwell on a past circumstance, moving away from the thoughts that focus on it become ever so difficult. At this point our feelings are elevated to the point of critical mass. We become anxiety ridden and then torment ourselves with stressfulness. Often frustration and anger set in.
If you would like to reduce the anxiety and stress in your life and avoid getting caught up in a cycle of repetitive restrictive thoughts, then here are a few things you can do to get yourself moving along the right pathway. Keep your mind in the moment by practicing mindfulness. Do this by sitting quietly and observing the thoughts that come to your mind.
All thoughts have a source and are perpetuated with some sort of resolution in mind. As you observe, try to determine both the source of the thought and what would have to occur in your life for the thought to go away. Then mentally visualize yourself clipping off both ends of the thought pattern. Remove from the thought any resolution that you have in mind. Also, remove the source of the thought.
Once you remove both the source and the proposed destination of the thought then the mind will detect that there is no reason to keep the thought. It no longer has no root or destination. So, sit quietly and mentally picture yourself cutting off both ends of the thought process, and then allow the thought to vanish. As a new thought arises do the same. Sit quietly and repeat this practice for five to ten minutes. Observe how your mind becomes so overindulged with thoughts that are caught between the way things are and the way you want them to be.
When repeating this exercise for myself, I also note the meaninglessness of a learned thinking process that dwells on the past. I am able to observe that my mind when dwelling on the past really has minimal capability in reaching a proper outcome. It is just too bogged down and over-encumbered with dredging up feelings and emotions that cannot provide the proper traction to reaching a suitable outcome.
The mind is like a truck and thoughts are analogous to the tires that carry it. The past is like a thick clayish sludge in which the truck tires sit. When we dredge up yesterday’s circumstances and encounters the mind cannot move forward because the thoughts cannot gain traction in sludgy anxiety filled occurrences of yesterday.
Try practicing this mindfulness exercise for five to ten minutes a day and observe for yourself the strand of thoughts that move though your mind. And as you do so, contemplate the thoughts that really control your thinking.
Do you control your mind or does mind control you? Is your mind automatically pulled to a certain situation or are you in charge of where your mind goes and what it focuses on? Are you moving forward in a fulfilling and satisfying way or are you spinning your tires in yesterday’s issues? ~Don~