Perhaps the reason many of us take the time and effort to change our bodies in an effort to improve our health is because we can visualize the benefits. How might that compare to the time and effort we put forth in changing our minds to improve our “inside” health? My guess is that far fewer of us have much sweat equity in this area. Why? Because visualizing a harmonious and meaningful life is a bit more difficult. Even if we can paint the picture in our mind’s eye, it’s not as if we can run out and buy a membership to a place where we can put our mind on a treadmill or have it lift a few weights. (Now there’s an image for you.)
We need only turn on the TV for a fraction of a second to hear about the social and cultural meltdown happening in our midst, aggravated through fear and grounded in insecurity. Talk about a lethal combination. It’s no wonder we’re not out there swinging for the fences with our lives. It’s as if the weight of the bat is too great for us to even step up to the plate and try.
Rather than listening to the pabulum we’re constantly being fed (guilty as charged), it’s time to till our minds so that we can get the most out of them. Cultivate things like loving kindness and happiness and rid ourselves of mental toxins like anger and jealousy.
How do you cultivate “the good stuff” when the weather doesn’t seem to be cooperating? By realizing that the crop you’re growing inside your mind is not based on outer circumstances; begin thinking about things like happiness and loving kindness as ways of being. The more experience you have with them as ways of being, the more you reinforce them and block-out unconstructive thinking. And, you’ll take the fuel away from the fire that’s had your mental toxins ablaze.
In a “hurry up, I want it now” kind of world in which we live (drive-through dry cleaners are a personal favorite), you have to realize that a genuine, inner change comes over time. And before you know it, you’ll not only be swinging for the fences; you’ll be landing in the open field on the other side of it where you’ll find a bumper crop of meaning and harmony just ripe for the picking.