Learning how to manage my mind

How many of us work tirelessly to achieve the life our dreams? Work can mean goal planning, long hours, multi-tasking and even habit-tracking. It can include ruminating or strategizing. But are we overlooking the most important building block of creating the future we desire: the focus of our minds?

The epiphany hasn’t hit like a lightning bolt. Instead, it’s been slowly accumulating like a leaky faucet broken so long, water is finally puddling on the concrete below it and beginning to flood the garden around it. It is the garden of my life.

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Garden of life

I, probably like you, have devoted my sweat and energy tending to creating a beautiful garden of life. We have spent decades tending to it meticulously – planting beautiful or exotic varieties, pruning dying edges and continually growing its footprint. Our gardens are full of degrees and accomplishments, nice clothing and jewelry, social media likes and even children or partners. For passersby, our gardens are enviable, exquisite and seem whole.

We may feel satisfied and even proud of our garden. Yet, we also see the areas that need to be filled in or replaced. There are growth plans. There is more to do.

Meanwhile, the life-giving water needed for our gardens to grow is flooding it, inefficiently used and even wasted because of a leaky faucet. Isn’t the recipe to gardening a beautiful creation also rely in nourishing the plants with water and sunshine? Of these, it is only the watering over which we have control.

Yet, where is often our focus? The green branches sprouting from the soil. The variety of plants. Expanding the measured perimeter of the garden. The visible elements. The results. Less on the inputs.

Our fertile thoughts

This is similar to my life. I focus often on the growth plan for the garden of my life – moving pieces of career, family, friends, health and other components – while giving less attention to the leakage of the life-giving water of my garden. The puddles are full of my habitual thoughts circulating hundreds of times a day, the mindset I bring and the stories I tell myself. In this are the worries, the false beliefs, the self-criticism that I use to quench my garden. But can anything truly flourish as beautifully and strongly with the inputs are impure? Isn’t this just as important as the tending of life, if not more?

“Our thoughts are the vibrational soil from which our lives sprouts”

We often spend so much time and focus on our efforts but it actually our mindset – our thoughts – that contribute to our happiness.

This is the slow lesson of life that we often see clearly in mid-life: learning how to be happy despite our circumstances. With a positive mindset, we can handle anything. Our thoughts are what we worship in the temple of our minds, as I have written about here.

How to tend our minds

I brought this awareness to mindset coach, Gary De Rodriguez, who said, “How can you contemplate your woes, spend your waking hours worrying or criticizing yourself and expect a different future?” I realized that my planning, vision-boarding and dreaming are hampered by my thoughts and even my language. As both are seeds, seeding my future and sprouting in the garden of my life. I need to purify the water by fixing the leaky faucet of thought.

“What’s required is the constant installation of a new software, to override or reprogram the buggy one,” Gary added. He shared the following script for rewiring your mind:

When you see a pattern emerging or face difficulty, flip the script and insert aligned language and thought. For example:

I CAN….(move through this with peace).

I CHOOSE…(a positive resolution).

I HAVE…(the power to connect to my God and know this is just a phase).

I CREATE…(the life I want).

I AM…(a peaceful force for good).

You can also try replacing thoughts with the Cancel/Clear method I have written about in the past. To prevent unhelpful patterns to begin with, consider chanting (Japa) or repeating affirmations.

When you do this religiously, you create resonance and congruence with your thoughts and desired outcomes. This harmony will trickle into the outcomes of your life. It doesn’t mean you will end unhelpful thinking. I also am not suggesting that you stop dreaming or working towards your dreams. This technique and awareness will only create a more bountiful bloom in your life’s garden, with all elements working in synchronicity on the only thing we can ever control: the fruitful soil of our life.

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