I recently met a friend for coffee. I hadn’t seen her in a while. As she rushed in, thirty minutes late, I sat quietly, observing how speedy her mind was. She was so stressed and unrelaxed; her mind was racing. She sat looking around, eyes everywhere… I sat there in silence, watching her with love. My mind was quiet, and I was feeling peaceful…. At some point, my friend’s mind started to settle and she became a little more present and still.
“How was your day, Jane?” I said.
“Busy, I haven’t stopped. When last I looked at my watch it was 11am and now it’s 5pm. I don’t know what I was doing and how seven hours went by, and I don’t even know what I did today.”
It was quiet and I was listening – present with her and listening as if I listen to a washing machine first starting its cycle….
“You know, I feel like crying. I just want to sit here and cry…”
She sat quietly and started reflecting….
“You know, I forgot to pray this morning. I woke up late, I was in such a hurry, I told myself I will pray later, but later never came. I got so caught up in what I was doing; I left no space for my guide inside – my wisdom to remind me of who I am….”
“I didn’t see my kids before they went to bed last night, I got back too late.“
“I didn’t see my kids this morning. Well, I saw them, but I didn’t see them. I was so distracted, I didn’t even notice they were leaving.”
“And I still have a few hours of work to do, I could just cry…”
“I know what I want to do… I want to go home. I have a half hour before my next meeting. I just want to go home and sit on the sofa and let my kids be all over me.”
Her feeling meter was rising; her eyes were calmer and more settled; she was feeling more relaxed; she caught her breath for the first time since she’d sat down…. She was slowing down and listening within, listening for her wisdom…
I observed, as her mind started to quiet down a little, she reflected on her day and she was listening…… not to the strong dictatorship of her thinking, the loud noises in her head that don’t allow for space, for reflection, for consideration, thoughtfulness or balance. She was starting to listen within, to listen more deeply, to what was in her heart, to what mattered to her, to what brought her the deeper feelings of joy and satisfaction.
She stepped off the runaway train that she’d been on all day and started to slow down a little; it took her a few minutes to find her bearings but as her mind slowed down a little and she gave herself some time to just sit quietly and catch her breath, her head started to clear and she started to see from within. Wisdom and common sense started to rise to the surface.
“I need more balance in my life. I need to do more of the things that matter to me. My daughter is seven and I don’t know where the past four years went. I feel like I haven’t even been there to see her grow up. I’m missing these precious and special moments… I worry that the next time I remember to stop it wouldn’t be seven hours later but seven years later.”
“I want to be more In life, more present and in the moment. I don’t enjoy my days and my life when I live this way. We seem to be chasing happiness but it seems that happiness is right in front of us the moment we sit down and slow down and take a break from all the chasing…”
I watched this friend as her mind quieted down and her wisdom started to shine through, so gently, so gracefully… And I knew that she was going to be just fine. She was going to find her way. Because Mind, Greater Mind is at play in our lives and when we allow it space to work its magic, what magic it works.
Our mind is like a washing machine that starts on its own. When we are ready also, the perfect system and cycle of cleaning begins. As long as we don’t get in the way, everything gets washed without our even needing to switch it on. But there is a manual override. If we keep pushing the manual override button, the cycle will never begin. So too our mind… we are aware that we are going too fast – that’s Mind’s first gift; we make the decision it needs to clean itself and we aren’t going to push the override button. As we take a minute to slow down, we gently walk off the runaway train… now, wisdom and Greater Mind take over and the cycle begins. Our mind starts to reflect on a whole load of images of the past day, the past hour or the past year as we sit there and just let it do its thing. And this reflection is gentle, not harsh. It’s heart-warming, not stressful. Perspective relaxes us and our feeling level starts to change… our mind quiets down, our feeling meter rises. Now, new and fresh insights (sights from within) come through, partnering with the deeper feeling, a feeling of knowing, a feeling of understanding, a feeling of love, joy, contentment and peace….
Just like we could put our clothes in a washing machine when we notice they’re dirty and the machine cleans them perfectly – in a way that we could never do ourselves, so too with our mind. When we start to wake up to our busy minds, our low quality of feeling – if we don’t like it – we could take a minute and decide it’s time to get present again and in life again and as we remember our natural cycle begins and we find ourselves in life again….
We could live life on a runaway train, and we all do sometimes, or we could take a beautiful train ride. Both are available to us – both offer very different experiences and the implications of both are huge.
Choose the feeling of life not just simply living. Because the feeling of life…..is life itself!
Check out our Listening Seminar, which will help you to master the art of listening. Learn how to listen beyond the words, listen within, listen for wisdom and listen to the feeling. Featuring leading Three Principles practitioners, Dr Mark Howard and Chip Chipman