My mind is equal parts frustrating and fascinating. I’m experiencing it mostly in a direct split, lately.
It is frustrating when it doesn’t stop, leading me down corridors, onto vessels that carry me far away from here, and onto merry-go-rounds of self-doubt and of worry. It can be hard to kick. An analogy that helps me is this: imagine you’re at the top of a hill with perfect views all around; this is your life, the present moment. Now imagine your mind, when being crafty, is standing beside you with a pair of binoculars, saying “Look at this bit, don’t worry about everything else…” and points towards a burning building, a crisis. These are your problems–we all have them and can’t get away from them unfortunately–and, often, the best way to solve problems is by taking a step back, looking at the whole picture, and acting assuredly, knowing that there are other aspects to your life too. Your mind, however, will convince you that your view through the binoculars is the only view to have.
Meditation helps me with my crafty mind (shameless self-plug: https://themeditationdiary.com/). It helps me put those binoculars down and calms the feeling of unease in my stomach. It is easier said than done, of course, but acting from a place of stillness and peace is always better; it makes things clearer. And meditation can help put up an effortless barrier around you so that your mind cannot easily steer you away from being calm.
My mind is, as I say, also fascinating. In between the nonsensical continuous commentary and self-criticsim, it can also produce moments of far-out abstraction or inspiring creativity. Deja vu is something I experience regularly, on occasion for a disconcertingly long period of time, 30 seconds and over, and lately has also convinced me that I’ve already said what I’m about to say, like I’m having the memories before the thing has happened…
Interesting again, is when my mind randomly remembers dreams from over a decade ago, throwing a bizarre flashback synopsis into my daily goings on. Or when it produces a feeling that I can’t quite put my finger on, cannot describe in any sort of tangible way, but is as strong as happiness, anger and contentment.
The best of all, though, is when my sporadic mind produces a moment of sheer brilliance, of insight, or a poem, or an idea for a story, though often half-formed, out of nowhere, as if it has been there the whole time, waiting for me to uncover it.
There is a spectrum my mind lies upon. One end is the frustrating gloom of despair, where I am nothing and my talents are blocked from view. The other is pure clarity, in which I can create, be peaceful and relaxed and above all, enjoy life. It can be difficult at times to see the other end from either, positive in each instance that the up or down cannot be reached ever again. We are changeable, always, and mind is a big part of this. With the aid of meditation, learning to not let mind take over, to refuse the binoculars, is key. This is when true creativity can flourish and joy in your actions naturally occurs.