One of the most profound statements I’ve heard recently, that really stuck with me is this:
The story you tell yourself should be the same as the story you are telling others.
But, if we are being truly honest with ourselves, how do we get to that stage?
I truly believe that to find ultimate health and happiness you need a purpose in life, not one you’ve fallen into by default or given to you by someone else (like your parents), but one which you are easily self-motivated for, which lights your fire and really doesn’t feel like hard work so that at the end of each day you can feel fulfilled.
To find balance here for me it is a matter of working through the activities from what I call my previous and 'unenlightened' life, and gradually replacing them with the activities and an environment for my new more mindful life, whilst considering the circumstances of my husband and our children’s lives.
I seem to want to do everything now, and know everything now, I get impatient and frustrated at times. So I have had to learn to slow down and focus on one thing at a time in order to make changes that are more realistic and sustainable. I know that the pressure I put on myself to ensure I get as close to perfection as possible can cause me considerable stress and so works against me at times, so I have to work hard to find and recognise the balance here.
Once I found better balance (though it is always temporary) I also found something I didn't expect: a purpose. I’m not sure I feel comfortable addressing this as the connection to my 'soul' just yet, so I'll stick to thinking about it as my life’s purpose, the place where my passion comes from and the ‘life force’ that gives me positive energy to live a meaningful life. I love Joseph Campbell’s phrase ‘follow your bliss’ which I seemed to stumble across at the perfect time in my life for me to fully understand it’s meaning. I had not long had my second child, discovered the world of natural health and healing, changed my diet and environment, and started thinking more clearly to begin to see the pieces of my life puzzle coming together.
This is when I recognised the link mind as the connection between the body and the 'soul'. I have witnessed so many situations where thought/thinking can be your worst enemy or your greatest healer that making this leap was relatively easy.
The best way I can explain it is that your mind is able to interpret the feelings and emotions coming from your soul, and has the power to engage your body to react, or not. I think one of the problems we have today is that our minds are constantly bombarded with external influences from society and the modern environment (including peer pressure, materialism, laws and regulations, chemicals, electromagnetic waves, nutrition-less food, terrorism, pollution etc) that a lot of the time we can’t even get close to sensing the direction in which our souls are trying to guide us.
When I was starting to build my Boost & Balance business but wasn't sure which direction to take with it, I received some excellent advice from natural health advocate, which was to practice more frequent meditation. This makes perfect sense when you understand that meditation is a way for us to quieten the mind sufficiently that we can access the soul and regain our sense of control and direction.
Where to start?
One of the first things to do to boost our chances of success is to prime our environment. Tim Ferris (author of Tools of Titans) says:
I value self-discipline, but creating systems that make it next to impossible to misbehave is more reliable than self-control.
If we understand ourselves a bit better we can adapt an environment to prevent failure, including removing some of the stimuli that keep us wired. For example, switching off the Notifications on your phone can be life changing and bring you a better sense of control.
Then I suggest we prioritise giving our minds a rest. We are so overstimulated in this modern environment that our brains quickly tire and struggle to focus on what is really important. Using techniques like:
- meditation (this can be as simple as a walk in the forest),
- sounds and frequencies (for example, binaural beats or Wholetones)
- apps like Headspace or Calm,
- and even cold temperatures (see the Wim Hof Method),
we can reduce the bombardment of information on our senses and learn to focus our attention better. This allows for clearer connection between the mind and body.
Never forget that the mind is a powerful tool, it can be our worst enemy or our greatest healer, there is no denying the power of placebo, but the brain is also like a muscle and needs to be trained. We wouldn't attempt a marathon without doing some training runs first, so we shouldn't expect to be able to simply change the way we think without some preparation. There has been some great work done on optimal ways to train your brain, but ultimately we need to find the ways that work for us. Contact me if you'd like to learn more and work with me.
Super Resources for Boosting Mind Power
These are some of the most thought provoking people and resources I've come across. I have many more in my 'toolkit' and would love to share them with you. Contact me to book an appointment to boost you to the next level!
He will also introduce you to Stoicism which Ryan Holiday writes about on the Daily Stoic (see next link).
- Ryan Holiday: What is Stoicism? (9 exercises to get you started)
- Dr Libby: The pace of modern life versus our cavewoman biochemistry (TEDx Talk) and Rushing Women's Syndrome (Soul Sessions)
- The book Mindlift by Kasper van der Meulen: one of the most practical books I've read for tips on how to harness the power of the modern mind.