Tag Archives: mind

weeds in the mind …

Why is it that the plants we want to keep in a garden are the hardest to grow?   The weeds hang tenaciously to the ground while the plants, the ones that will produce flowers of beauty, are so fragile and easy to pull from the ground.   Weeds don’t need to be planted, they don’t need water, they don’t need fertilizer, they survive the harshest conditions, and the promptly come back if they are pulled.  I guess that is why they are called weeds.   Webster defines a weed as: “a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially: one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.”

What we want to keep, and what we want to grow take the most care.   The plants that provide the most beauty and enrich our own world take time and care, watering, fertilizer, the right temperatures and the right amount of sunlight.

The best gardens have caretakers, someone who will keep the soil watered and filled with the right nutrients, someone who will keep the weeds at bay and someone who will prune and develop the garden so that the best will appear one day.

Our minds are like gardens; weeds grow in them and reduce the beauty.   Our minds need caretakers as well as our flower gardens.   Our minds need the weeds pulled, those thoughts that just appear and steal happiness and joy.

The weeds in our minds don’t need to be cultivated; they just grow, and they grow quickly.   It takes constant work to remove the weeds in our minds.   The weeds like worry, insecurity, hopelessness, doubt, fear, and any other thought that removes from you your potential, your power, your happiness, your freedom or your dreams.

A gardener has to learn how to identify the weeds and remove them before they spread and damage the plants that have beauty.    Some weeds produce thorns and penetrating barbs, and like our minds the weeds there will produce defenses so that they won’t be touched and removed.   Our delicate egos resist having the weeds in our minds pulled.   Pull them anyway.

The gardener will work vigilantly in the garden to provide the best environment, the best fertilizer and the right amount of water so that the plants will grow and produce fruit.    You must do the same with those things in your mind, your dreams, your desires, your passions, and your destiny need feed with the right nutrients and your mind needs to be cared for.

Without spending time cultivating and nurturing good thoughts and good habits for the mind the weeds will grow and replace the positive, powerful and encouraging ideas, dreams and habits.   Pull out the parasitic weeds in your mind, the weeds that rob each day of its potential and let flowers of gratefulness replace the weeds, let the flowers of potential replace the weeds, let the flowers of peace replace the weeds, let the flowers of beauty replace the weeds, and let the flowers of dreams grow and flourish in your mind.Flowers

Visualize a garden, a garden filled with color, the reds, blues, yellows, oranges, violets and pinks  and let the images of those flowers be vivid in your mind.    Visualize each plant.   Each plant represents a thought, a dream a passion that is yet to be lived, let those thoughts live in their full beauty.

What thoughts are growing in your garden of your mind?

Pull the weeds; pull those thoughts out of your mind that are holding you back?   Plant thoughts of happiness, success, and joy and keep those in your mind.

goal again

Why does self-help fail so often?   Many people have tried the self-help route.  Perhaps they picked up a couple of books guaranteed to change their lives in four easy steps.   They try the steps and for a while, a short while things seem to improve and as things improve the energy to keep doing what is working fades and before long you are right back to where you started.  Self-help lacks permanence.  You will see it in the diets people go on – they hit their goal and then revert back to their old selves. 

The brain rules and until the brain is reprogrammed it will continue to resist change.   Temptation will grow stronger and stronger until in a flash of “only once” thinking all the discipline will dance down the street.

There a ways others can reprogram your brain.  One way is someone will tell you, you’re not capable of doing something.  That generally collapses dreams into a pile of rubble.  No amount of encouraging will reverse that one voice that said, “You are never going to be good doing that.”, and of course there doesn’t need to be any truth in the statement.    For some reason our ego believes the negative message and resists the positive message.

Now, imagine what it would be like to be fully able to live the life you are capable of. 

Try not to imagine a pink elephant.  Now try to get that image out of your mind.  What is happening?  A “not” thought sticks.  

Do we become the words or stories we tell ourselves?

Reflections – look back to look forward

From Meditations by Marcus Aurelius who lived between 121 and 161 AD.

“Men seek seclusion in the wilderness, by the seashore, or in the mountains – a dream you have cherished only to fondly yourself. Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul; above all, he who possesses resources in himself, which he need only contemplate in secure immediate ease of mind – the ease that is but another word for a well-ordered spirit. Avail yourself often, then, of this retirement, and so continually renew yourself. Make your rules of life brief, yet so as to embrace the fundamentals, recurrence to them will then suffice to remove all vexation, and send you back without fretting to the duties to which you must return.”

Reflections. When was the last time you took time out of your busy life to reflect on what is important to you? Are you living your values? Are you living comfortably within yourself? Are you living a life that is congruent with your beliefs? Are you living an authentic life?

If you can answer yes to those questions you may be able to answer the question, “Are you happy?” in the affirmative. If not, what areas of your life suggest discontent? List those things that you would like to bring forward and tame.

Which item on the list deserves the most attention?

The most important decision you can make is a decision to focus on your attitude. You make all kinds of choices each and every day but the one that makes the most difference is your attitude on how you choose to face the day. You can face it with joy or not. What remarkable things happen every day that you ignore or take for granted?

Did you eat today?

Did you have shelter and a roof over our heads?

What things did you not take notice of that you can appreciate? Are there relationships that we value that you can appreciate?

Grab a pen and a piece of paper and complete this exercise.

Take a moment to reflect on the day. Meditate on the things that went well. What were those things?

Take a moment to reflect on the week. Meditate on the things that went well. What were those things?

Take a moment to reflect on the month. Meditate on the things that went well. What were those things?

Take a moment to reflect on the year. Meditate on the things that went well. What were those things?

Take a moment to reflect on the past five years. Mediate on the things that went well. What were those things?

Look over your list. Are there any patterns that emerge? What are they? What would you like ensure stays on your list? Reflect on those items.

Don’t go there alone.

“My mind is like a bad neighborhood, I try not to go there alone.” Ann Lamont

Our minds can keep us from doing the right things for ourselves. The use of self-talk to hold us back and keep us where we are today is a formidable challenge to overcome.

The quote by Ann Lamont is an indicator that we can’t go it alone in many cases. In some cases we need a guide or a coach to help us keep our minds from going down the path of negative self-talk.

A coach can act as an encourager and help bring back a conversation so that it focuses on what can be rather than what was and what didn’t work in the past. It is essential to focus on where we want to be rather than where we have been.

Fall forward. Sure there are going to be times where we can get bruised and feel uncomfortable but it is in those moments that we can grow. Growing to a better self is the kind of growth that brings about joy and happiness.

Is your mind like the bad neighborhood? Do you have someone to help you through that place that you don’t want to be alone in?