It might be tough, but at least it’s not boring.
That’s what I have to say to myself when I realise how strange the mind is. You have to live with the strangeness and embrace it. There’s no other option. And, sure, that can challenge you, but it’s entertaining.
Some days you’re brilliant – others you put the laundry in the dishwasher.
All I know is that everything is easier when you listen to your inner voice. No matter how deranged it might sound.
I spent the last week or so with the same song stuck in my head. I’d fall asleep to it and wake up to it. It wouldn’t stop.
Now, this isn’t unusual. I fixate on things all the time. I’ve had songs looping around the ol’ grey matter for longer than that.
But this was different.
I grew sick of it pretty quickly. That’s when songs usually move on for me. Not this time, though. It lingered like a tedious relative.
There’s a joke that goes: I don’t suffer from insanity, I enjoy it. That’s normally me. But I was suffering thanks to this song.
Until I asked myself a question.
What is my unconscious telling me here?
Nothing happens in your mind without a reason. There’s always a message. And the message was something I needed to hear.
The last time I heard that song was when hanging out with some musicians. We were mucking about with our ukuleles (yeah, I uke – what of it?) just having fun.
I hadn’t done that in a while. It felt great to get back into music. I promised myself I’d make it part of my life again.
And then what happened?
Well, I didn’t.
I broke my promise to myself.
Your unconscious doesn’t speak to you with words. In this case, it chose music. And it wouldn’t shut up.
Rightly so, since I wasn’t living up to my bargain.
And as soon as I made concrete plans to have more fun, the music vanished.
Not surprising since I didn’t need it anymore.
The not-so-controversial moral is to trust your instincts and listen to your intuition.
That’s solid advice.
But can you see the difference between helpful impulses and unhelpful ones? Do you listen to the voice that says to follow your dreams, or the one that says eat cake and cry in darkness?
Not all instincts are equal.
This is where mind training comes in handy. When you focus your attention on your thoughts, you attune to what’s useful and what’s not.
Meditation is great for relaxing. When you go beyond that, it becomes so much more.
Learn to listen by grabbing this book and feasting your eyes on it: