Do you ever feel anxious or scattered or in some way disconnected from yourself? Do you have a tendency to over-think things and find yourself caught up in knots, unsure what to do next?
It happens to me from time to time. It’s like my tempo gets messed up, musically speaking – I’m playing at 62 beats a minute while the world plays at 58.
My mind races and is even more full of thoughts than normal. Which seems impossible until it happens. But there they are zinging about.
You’d think with all the busy thoughts I’d get stuff done, but I don’t.
Like a kid in an ice-cream store my racing mind struggles to stay focused on any one thing – “I’ll have the chocolate walnut, no wait, the raspberry swirl.” “Wait a minute, what about a donut?”
It becomes difficult to see the bigger picture and I start to worry about the silliest of things. Any writing I do is listless and boring with none of the stuff that bubbles up and makes me smile. And because I don’t feel connected to myself I’m not fully present with other people.
It’s not like I don’t know why I feel like this. I do. I’ve been over-using my mind and under-listening to my heart.
I’ve been thinking my way through life, being guided solely by my mind, rather than living my way through – paying attention to inclinations and ideas that seem to bubble up out of nowhere. Including those telling me to stop and take a rest.
As a result my mind has got noisier and bossier while the wiser calmer bit of me has become quieter. Like the adult letting the child spin out of control.
The problem now is . . .
Trying to stop a barrage of thoughts is like asking a seagull to wave down a passing freighter.
There is, thankfully, a simple but powerful technique that eases me into feeling balanced again. I wanted to share it in case you have any of the difficulty I do.
It goes like this.
Stop. And make the decision that the next time you move, it’ll be because you get a feeling to and not because your mind tells you to.
Watch your thoughts come and go if you want to, but you don’t even have to do that. The big trick is the decision not to do what they say.
(When your mind tells you to do things it usually sounds like, “You should do [this] because [it’ll make your life better in some way].”)
Every time you get a thought or idea to do something, ask yourself, – “Would I actually feel like doing that if there were no consequences?”
For me there’s usually a long line of … Nope. Nope. Nope.
[If you’re doing this at work and have a to-do list the size of Texas, instead ask yourself, “What am I drawn to do?” Or, “What feels like the thing to do next?” And then later in the day or week when you have a few minutes to yourself, come back to the exercise.]
While this technique sounds simple, and it really is, the snag is waiting out your mind. Kind of like the staring game kids play, where the first one to blink looses.
Remember, you’re the boss, not your mind. See if you can withstand the barrage of complaints, criticisms and ‘helpful suggestions.’
It might take 30 seconds or it might take 30 minutes (or longer) but eventually you’ll get an inclination to move – an idea that hasn’t come from your logical thinking side.
Chances are it’ll be for something small.
For example, it might occur to me the only thing I actually feel like doing is walking over to the other side of the room and picking up my clothes. To which my mind says, “Really, is that all?”
And I’m like, yep. That’s all I got. So, I go over and pick up the clothes.
After I’ve picked up the clothes I’ll check in to see if I feel like doing anything else. Often I go back to sitting. Other times I might naturally start to move to some other also seemingly insignificant thing. Like taking a shower. Or making another cup of tea. Or putting a load of washing in.
The trick is to ignore your mind long enough for your heart get a word in.
And sure enough, I start to feel more connected and less scattered. Slowed down. An easiness returns and once again I’m plugged into the rhythm of the day. I’m rolling again.
This practice – of being guided by your gut, rather than your mind – is equally powerful whether you have all afternoon to play with the idea, or if you only have a few minutes and need to “regroup.”
Just adapt it to suit your situation.
The 3 benefits to doing this:
- You feel more grounded and calm
- The more you do this the easier it is to distinguish between a thought and your intuition as you go about your day to day life
- It can be a wonderful spark for creativity and inspiration.
It occurred to me while writing this that maybe I’m the only one who feels this way. How good would that be!? But I suspect my mind acts pretty much the same as everyone else, so I’m probably not.
I’d love to hear your thoughts too. Do you ever feel like this? What do you find helpful?? (I’ll be keeping an eye on the comments section below if you’d like to share your thoughts.)
With lots of love
PS: I had one of these times this past weekend. Here’s what ended up happening. The only thing I actually felt like doing, was walking to the store to buy a pack of potato chips, (a large bag), then I went home and spent a sunny afternoon watching a rom com with the curtains pulled. The walk to the store, being that I live down at Venice Beach, involved walking past many holiday revelers and standing in a long and boisterous queue, trying not to scowl. Ha ha! But it helped. And I started to feel more connected again.
Excellent insight and advice…as always! Thank you!
Hey Lisa, love all your posts as always. It’s funny because just about everything you post has to do with exactly what I am struggling with at the time. I of course swear it’s just meAnt for me but from the looks of it seems like all our minds are alike. Here’s a little secret I’ll admit “I still walk away thinking I was destined for this message sent to me.” Lol. Go figure. So your tip totally helped but I need your advice on a situation. I’ve been trying to let go of a past relationship we haven’t been official for over a year but I always end up answering his calls or some how end up their. Not sure if it’s my mind or heart trying to get out. Tiny Buddhas when a relationship isn’t right totally falls under it all. Just can’t help but not know which is coming at me sometimes mind or heart. I guess I want to feel reassured or have my thoughts reassured not sure which one it is lol see what I meAn. I know a lot of hold backs is fear just not sure if the fear is a guide or a trap. Sorry if that was too much for this kind of post just need your insight. Thanxx much live to you all. <3
Well, your heart is a deep knowing – for instance, if you know, deep down that this isn’t the relationship for you, this is probably your heart. You mind on the other hand, well! Your mind sounds more like, “but I wonder if …” “if I did this then such and such might happen …” Your mind tries to reason things out.
Breaking up is often not easy. And, for what it’s worth, I find that it does take a while to disconnect. So it’s not unusual to still feel conflicted after a year. In my experience, anyway.
Lots of love! XX
Just went to download your e-book 7 secrets and it says I’m already registered and gave me no other options. (Talk about stress me out). Anyway, 44 rounds of chemo makes you forgetful. Can you send me a way to get it? or subscribe to newsletter. I need all the help I can get.
Hi Annie, I’ll email it to you:)
(And you’re right, once you’ve signed up you can’t resign without first unsubscribing)
Thank you Lisa :)) I needed that reassurance
Don’t let fear stop you from following your heart. Have faith that, as long as you are true to yourself, everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.
So true:) Thanks Jennifer.
Thank you for these words, I really needed to hear them right now!
“Do you ever feel like this?” All. The. Time. 🙂
I’ve always been good at listening to my heart on the “big” life stuff, but it’s the day-to-day intuition I often forget to pay attention to. You’re right: it’s as simple as doing exactly what you want to be doing at any moment rather than doing what you think you should be doing. It’s a lesson I’m still learning, but putting my heart first sure does make me more relaxed and content. Thanks for the reminder!
I laughed at your “All. The. Time.” I know what you mean! I’m still learning too. I was talking with my sister the other day and she said, “Lisa, you should really take your own advice.” Ha ha. And while I do a lot of the time, I forget too a lot. Hence getting into crazy over thinking pickles like in this article!
Thanks for saying hi!
You are definitely not the only one who feels this way!!!
I feel the exact same. Like exactly.
LOVE your writing. You are really helping people, myself included.
Thank for doing what you do, and with such humor, honest and grace.
Sounds like there are a few of us out there!
I wonder if the modern hyper-connected world we live in makes it more challenging for those of us with this kind of propensity? I don’t know about you, but being online seems to make it worse for me. And one of the reason’s I still have a “non-smart” phone. Ha ha. I love being connected but need to manage how I do it.
(My phone is so “not-smart” on random days the ringer doesn’t work, and it asks me about 5 times a day if I’d like to change time zone. Cute.)
Really appreciate your saying hi and for your kind words!
Thanks Lisa, nice to know we are not alone.And love the cartoons.Needed this today.
Definitely not alone! Thanks Rich. And pleased to hear you dig the cartoons:)
Hi Lisa – fab article and spot-on, as always. You’re not alone feeling like this (sorry!) 🙂 I find I let my mind take over and push me around when there is stuff going on in my heart (mind?) that I’m a bit scared of and don’t want to face – I think I’m probably not alone in that either. Sitting and doing nothing can feel intimidating sometimes – keeping busy keeps the demons at bay 🙂
Lots of love
(PS still using the Life Cards and still loving them)
Yes – definitely not alone in avoiding that feeling.
It does feel a little intimidating to “do nothing” at first, but it becomes addictive. Now I feel jiggedy when I don’t have at least a little bit of time doing it. I really love reading in bed before going to sleep, but unless I’ve had at least a few minutes of calm in my day, just lying there with the light on staring into space feels better. So often my husband comes in and says “what are you doing?” and I’m like, “nothing.” And I really am doing nothing. Ha ha.
And cool to hear you’re enjoying the cards. Have a wonderful rest of your day!
Thank goodness it’s not… just me. Whew! that’s a relief. Kinda makes you crazy to think it’s only you. Great insight to ponder. I love your layed back but kick ass style to life it’s most uplifting, youthful, comical (in a not sarcastic way) and inspiring; mindful, heart centered, compassionate and loving. Thanks so much for sharing yourself with us like minded ones. Take care.
Thank You Lisa, you always speak a truth to Me!
My pleasure! Thank you too for saying hi:)
Oh Bonita – thank YOU for your generous words! It’s so wonderful for me to connect with other people, like yourself. And to hear I am not the only one! Peaceful easy feelings to you:)
Perfect timing with your e-mail, on my way to work I was feeling overwhelmed by my mind. I was aware and trying to calm myself by telling myself to stop thinking and trying to focus on the present moment …..well it kind of worked lol but I got to work and opened your e-mail and noticed why my calming efforts didn’t fully work , I was missing a key element which is listening to my heart! Great exercise !!! Thanks Lisa!!!
Oh cool. My pleasure. Nice bit of universe synchronicity there. Have a lovely day!
This is so me too… Most of the time I just think ‘I’ll never get anything done’ if I try slowing down my mind. And I just can’t afford that, so yes I’m a slave of my mind most of the time 🙁
It does feel like that doesn’t it. I’ve been observing my husband recently – a Taurus – and seeing how efficient his actions are, and how he more naturally takes time out. I am starting to think my drive for efficiency isn’t the most efficient way! Thanks for saying hi:)
My mind feels like that often, but if I ask myself what do I really want to do, it will never be all work I have to do for school, so won’t I end up procrastinating and getting more frazzled? If there were no consequences I would read and go for long walks, but my mind is filled with everything I have to do but put off..
Good question. And maybe I could word that section better.
It’s not so much about asking yourself, in an intellectual way, but more about tapping into the rhythm of your day. In my experience when you do this things get done just as quickly – often more quickly, and in a more calm way. A little pause to see which task bubbles up as the thing to do first.
When you have some time out, it’s slightly different. It’s so rare that most us actually stop, “without doing.” Usually we pick up a book or turn on the television. Without any space in between. In my experience there is enormous power in just stopping first and then seeing where you end up. Often my relaxation type activities are being led my my mind as well and this helps stop that.
Hope that clarifies things.
Thanks so much for your comment:)
Yes, that makes sense to me, like the crazy overthinking freezes me so I dont want to do anything and the pause allows it all to settle and then the important things to do will be presented to my brain in a more orderly fashion ; )
Thanks, enjoy your writing : )
My pleasure:) It really does seem to work a treat.
I feel that was TODAY. I am categorically opposed to professional busy-ness, but at the moment the To-Do list is long, the motivation is short and my mind has been running in circles all day. I’m going to lie down on my bed with my dogs and a book. And my heart.
Nice! So jealous of the lying down with dogs part. I am a little dog starved at the moment. You might want to try it without the book too, sometime. Thanks for saying hi. Really appreciate it:) L
Thank you Lisa, this helps me a lot and came in the exactly right time. I grew up with well trained for ‘if you are not doing something all the time, you are wasting your time’. And currently it’s guilt that comes when I am not doing ‘work’ that makes me an income, or ‘work’ that is productive in the eyes of the world. I often lived solely in my head, and forgot how to feel from the neck down. Time to practice hearing my heart more. I have read quite a number of self-help books and yours seems to make the most sense as it is written so simply and so clearly.
My pleasure:) We really are trained so much to listen to our mind above everything else. And the guilt you feel is something I find challenging as well. It’s remarkable just how much guidance and wisdom we have within us, waiting to be heard. Ha, still I forget to listen too!! Thanks for your note and best wishes to you. L
Wow, thanks Lisa. I have recently realised that so much of my happiness and raw joy of living has been compromised as a result of trying to protect myself with mindsets and thought patterns that are learned through bad experiences. My essence is all heart and no head and life has almost turned it upside down! Your writing is a huge inspiration and direction giver as it is easy to take advice from someone who clearly grapples with the same challenges as I do. Thank you for sharing and encouraging, it has helped so much more than you will ever know…and as I believe you have the same heart as I do, I know that for you it is the greatest reward and makes it all so worthwhile. Keep up your amazing and authentic and simple work – its what makes it so incredible!
Thanks Tracy for your kind note and for sharing how it is for you. I laughed at your comment about my knowing what it’s like. Ha ha. Yep, sure do. Wish I was writing from a theoretical stand point sometimes, but, er, no, I get it. Isn’t life wonderful though – figuring out our own little bunch of insecurities and in doing so accessing some previously untapped aspect of self love. Best wishes to you and your turned upside down life! I am excited as to what you will find:) Lisa.
As always, a really insightful read. I’ll be honest. I NEVER EVER EVER thought that not doing what my mind says is also an option. It was like I just HAD to listen to it and act upon what it says. The exercise you recommended really blew my mind away. I was thinking about this idea while having lunch, and honestly, I felt a bit uneasy and scared. It was like ‘WHAT??? NOT listen to my mind? But, I’ve so much to do! What if I keep sitting there and I don’t feel like doing ANYTHING??? Will I waste my time? Maybe I should try it some other time…. NO… Ill do it today only’ This was more than enough evidence that I needed to let my heary have its say.
I can already think about just how much I can apply it in my day-to-day life and how much I’ll benefit from it!
Thanks a lot Lisa 🙂
Peace and blessings <3
I love your comment that you’ve NEVER EVER EVER thought about not listening to your mind and now you’re thinking what might happen if you do. How fantastic! I was just like you a few years back. I had no concept I could just ignore the thoughts in my head! It’s been a wonderful journey to discover what can happen when you do.
I’d love to hear how it goes – if you decide to give this little exercise a try!! Another exercise is to just sit, for 5 or 10 minutes. I usually make myself a cup of tea (being of English origins) and while I’m drinking it, just stare into space. This time, don’t try and distinguish between a thought of feeling – just sit. And, when that doesn’t seem so scary . . . try it for an hour!
People think that not doing anything is boring, but if you try it, you’ll see it’s anything but! The opposite of a waste of time!
Thanks again for saying hi! Lovely to hear from you. And best wishes!!
Thanks Lisa 🙂 I’ll definitely do the 2nd exercise too.
This morning, I sat down with the intent to try the exercise and honestly, I was uncomfortable. Like really, The thing is I just get lost in my thoughts and I was like ‘If I start to think, wouldn’t the point of the whole exercise be lost?’ I want to ask you- WHY does stillness and silence feel so uncomfortable? And how can I ease more and more into it? Even in my meditation practice, I have some really intense moments and I feel I can move beyond my thoughts now but I just stay there (metaphorically). It’s a just such a jumble of thoughts in my brain! It always wasn’t like this but a major change last year kicked my mind into near frenzy and it’s been like that since. What do you recommend I do?
I am sorry if the comment got a little longer… :\ But seriously, I want to hear your take on this. And, please do tell me how you got started on this journey and how cope with the ‘voice in the head’. It’s soooooo good at shaming me into things. It’s vacation time for me and I thought I’d take a break from studying and watch a movie today. But then, my mind started off about the crisis I would be in if I don’t study for a day. Duh!! Even as am writing this, am realizing that’s it’s no do-or-die kinda situation and my life’s not gonna end.
Thanks again. This got incredibly long and I hope it doesn’t irk you in any way. I can see you’ve got a good number of comments to reply to. But….. I LOVE reading what you have to share 🙂 Tempting!
Have a light-full day ahead! <3
Thanks so much for your second comment – I LOVED hearing your questions and other thoughts on this! I’ve started to think about how to answer them more fully – as an article or something else.
Your question – “‘If I start to think, wouldn’t the point of the whole exercise be lost?’”
Answer, surprisingly, no. One of the things I like about “being silent” or “doing nothing” – where you just sit and don’t try to concentrate on anything, like you do in formal meditation, is that it doesn’t feel like such a battle; always trying to bring your thoughts back to your breath. Meditation is helpful too, of course. But sometimes my mind is so jumbly this is a nicer way to do it. And it is a form of mediation.
You don’t need to try and change your thoughts, just notice them. Know that whatever comes up isn’t bad or good. Try using words like pleasant or unpleasant, to maintain a level of detachment. But, if you spend the whole time lost in your thoughts and haven’t “noticed” anything, don’t worry about that either. I think of my chattery mind like a child – if I let it run around enough, it’ll eventually want to take a nap! Even if on the surface all you feel is the raciness – there will be a gentle shift happening.
The uncomfortable feelings is the mind getting noisy. And maybe throwing a tantrum. Kind of like a spoiled child whose had it’s own way it’s whole life is suddenly being ignored!
A good way to start doing this is when there are natural spaces in your day, say when you’re sitting on the bus or waiting for someone, instead of filling that space with “doing” – like, reading a book – just sit there. Let your mind blow off some steam.
Hmm. I hope I’m being clear. Really is time to explain this more fully, and I can’t wait!
Best wishes with playing with these ideas. Have a fantastic week! love L.
Your article really put a smile on my face this AM. Thanks!
I’ve been taught similar techniques in a spiritual program that seems more abstract to me. Your ideas here are very practical and easy to follow.
Oh great – I’m pleased to hear my simple approach hit the mark! Works best for me too, keeping it simple:) Thanks for saying hi!
It’s as if sitting doing nothing is a form of meditation, allowing our heart to have a say, if we listen. And the sitting doing nothing needs to be without any expectations other than asking the question…..what feels right to do next? I love that concept. Hard for me to do since doing nothing feels slothful, which I was raised to believe is wrong. But I’m working on it! Thank you!
Yes! Exactly:) And if nothing comes up as ‘feeling’ right, then just keep sitting – it will eventually! Sitting “doing nothing” is definitely a form of meditation. If you do it for a while it starts to become more obvious. I have the same old messages lurking around and am working on mine too! Thanks for saying hi! Have a great week:)
Always love your writing AND your guidance is invaluable. Thanks. I truly believe your guidance in this is helpful YET what happens is the chattering mind is talking to dang loud I cannot even think past the chatter. I end up letting it have it’s own way … and then suddenly, as I lie awake at 3am (yes, it usually happens then), I remind myself to do what you suggest. Or as a friend of mine guides his clients … take your inner chatterer (which is the age of a child) by the hand and sit it down to watch cartoons. Once it’s engaged with cartoons, then walk off. Amazingly this works wonders!
Thanks again Lisa.
HI Joan! Lovely to hear from you. I never thought of setting my mind down to watch cartoons! Will give that a try!! Have a wonderful week:))
Hi Lisa, Feel that way??? Almost always 🙁 my brain is driving me wacky. But when I remember to listen to my heart (not enough) I feel better. You should email more so I remember!!! Yeah, that’s the ticket! You remind me everyday not to think so much and listen to my heart and I’ll be fine. you wont though! Argh, guess I have to do it myself. Thanks for the help though!
Hey Jessie/Daydream Believer! I love seeing that. Your online name, I mean. What a wonderful name.
And it is cool isn’t it – listening to your heart. When we remember. I’m the same, probably we all are. Still, am pleased to know it’s there when I remember. Thanks for stopping in and saying hi! And have a fabulous week!! With love, L.
I’ve tried so hard to do the things you suggest in your articles but I’m still really struggling and it makes me really sad 🙁 xx
Hi Nicole – Thanks for your note. What is making you sad?? What is it you want to happen that’s not? Lisa
Great, great article!
It is universal, no doubt, the mind over heart/soul .. mine is ultra-crazy.. and instead of resulting in getting loads done, it means I flick from one to another with loads of unfinished things : (
I agree fully, simply stilling yourself, focus on breath or the birds, or anything but the mind, helps enormously.
I am intrigued about your ‘silent year’ Have you wrote about it here?
Thanks for saying hi here:)
I so know what you mean about the mind flicking all around – and having loads of unfinished things. Ha! Some days I win, others, not so much!!
Re the year of silence – I’m writing about it at the moment in a sort of fictionalized memoir thingy I’m working on, but I don’t think I’ve written in too much depth on it in any of my articles so far. It is on my radar to write a bit more about it though.
Thanks for your interest!! And best wishes to you too!
Best of luck with your writing, I’ll be interested in reading that when its ready. The most I’ve accomplished are ten day silent buddhist retreats, so kudos sista 🙂
10 Day is no mean feat too. The first days were the hardest I found, it gets easier the longer you do it!
I spend a lot of time in my head and having been feeling very disconnected from myself. Its gotten so bad, that I think its impacted my self-esteem. I spend so much time connected to what my brain says…fears and negativity and ego, that I struggle to hear my heart. I am going to try this technique. Sometimes its enough to tell myself my brain isnt the only one in control! Thanks again!
Good idea, it really is great. Sounds like you’re on the right track to gaining some distance from it.
Take care, and best wishes!
So true and good to know its not just me who feels this way…. It’s sometimes a struggle but unless you try you’ll never move forward….. Thanks 🙂
You’re welcome☺Yes – definitely not just you, or me, for that matter – there are loads of us! Lisa X
My mind is racing all the time and is much worse when I’m tired, that’s the time when I seem to give in. Some days it seems i’m bombarded with so many thoughts I end up stressed with a thick head and not getting anything done !! : ( I do love the way you express your thoughts and love the diagrams….they make me smile. On reading your replies it seems as though we are all suffering with a bossy mind and a supressed heart so I will be trying the exercise and look forward to the next topic.
Keep up the good work much appreciated!!!! : ) xx
Hi Janet – I know what you mean about it being worse when you’re tired! Thanks for your note – pleased to hear you enjoyed the post and are going to try it yourself:) Best wishes. Lisa XX
So helpfull article, thanks! It does help me, but.. if lots of fear (no matter how ridiculous) is included, I don’t know how to deal with it. Sometimes I think about my fear as the most important thing and forget about other stuff, so much more important ,you know? Any advice or exercise to overcome it?
I very appreciate what you do!! 🙂
Thanks for your note. I haven’t written an article about fear specifically. But briefly to answer your question, the more you can see your thoughts as just thoughts, the easier it is to not be so afraid. This article here might help some. How to Feel Good By Thinking of Your Mind As A Banana
Thanks for stopping by:) And best wishes. It can be really challenging some times. Hang in there!
🙂 yeah, that’s what I’ve been telling myself, so simply and true.
P.S. Just about downloading your book 7 secrets.. I entered my email but haven’t obtain any with the book. Could you send it to me please? Thank you in advance!
Thanks Elis, will be in touch re the book!
Holla Sista! Oh yah! My mind is a gold medal sprinter and when it is on one of these rants I often stop only to find 10 things started around the house and none finished and the place looking like a whirlwind just came through! For 2014 I desire to feel more and think less —and while I have been writing about this, I have yet to think about how to accomplish it! LOL Your suggestions resonate with me and I will give them a try! I am lucky to be off work so I can pay better attention. Once I return to work –I hope to have a good handle on it! Thanks so much for all you share with us! I’d love it you had time, for you to take a look at my journey through recovery from a mental implosion! LOL
Hi Kristen, Thanks for posting a link to your site – I love reading what other people are up to and this was no exception! I also enjoyed your “Just Do It Post.” And resonate with many parts of it – particularly working way past the point of exhaustion. Wasn’t pretty for me either at the time. But as I’m sure you’re finding out, useful for learning a new better way. Best wishes for the year and enjoy your upcoming holiday. And thanks so much for stopping by. Lisa. XX
PS: And if you do try this little exercise, I’d love to hear how it goes.
Have I mentioned recently that I love you? Cos I so do. Thanks for being 🙂
Ha ha! Hey Julie:) Nice to see you. And thanks!
I have felt like this in fact I’ve felt like this all the time! This was insightful beautiful a new perspective to do. I like it. Thank you for all that you share really does help.
My pleasure Ingrid!
Loved this post! Well I love all your posts… but I have been feeling like that all last week into the beginning of this week… too much thinking causes me stress and anxiety, which is never a good thing… Thanks Lisa for the awesome insight!
You’re welcome Candice!
I just love your blog and tiny buddha articles, it really speaks to me as im struggling with a wackier mind than normal, racing brain – m.e. so really need to shhh it and listen to my body/heart (yes body Imhere now and im listening to you while we both watch the mind…err something like that. It helps.
P.s. loved the Janet frame reference the other day, Pocket Mirror and memorising poems is my fun activity for now.
Cool to hear you’re a poetry-person too. It’s one of my favorite mediums – am convinced it would be everyone’s if they only knew! Ha. I haven’t read Pocket Mirror. I think the only Janet Frame I’ve read is her second autobiography, which I reckon is the best autobiography I’ve ever read! So beautiful and charming. Anyway, sorry for taking so long to respond – have been on a whirlwind trip around Australia and got behind on my corresponding.
Thanks again for your note, and the best of wishes to you:)
Sounds good, but I’ve had this article saved to read from the day you published it until this morning. Even now I’ve had to read 3 times as my mind kept racing away to other things. I’ve signed up to many thing to help me on my spiritual path but now I get an email in my inbox every 10 mins offering new ways to become a balanced, mindful, abundant spiritual being……of course I never get a chance to read them properly but probably spend two hours a day scanning them to see which ones I should save to never read later.
I never really get much chance to do what my heart tells me because life often takes over. I will give you an example of the last couple of days.
Yesterday morning I wanted to be creative and write some content for my website (link attached) but I have been having some technical issues which prevents me backing up my site so I spent the whole day begging the techies I know to please respond to my emails and calls ( this has actually been going on for weeks now). The point being that I can’t do what my heart wants to do because I have to rely on others for that to happen.
So I thought today I would just write some content in Notes ready to be published as soon as my technical problems have been solved. I already knew I had to delay this as on Wednesday I took a call from a friend in need of a favour. The favour would only have taken me this morning so I would be free to write some content in the afternoon. But last night my wife told me that we have to do another favour for our son and unless we do it she won’t help me with the favour for our friend….which I need her for as we only have one car….and both favours involve driving to another town. So it looks like another week has passed and my site is at the same place it was three months ago. I can’t do what my heart wants to do because there are to many outside influences…….sorry for the ramble.
Hi Roy, I would really question whether you actually do have to rely on others to follow your heart; it sounds like it’s your own mind that’s keeping you distracted. For instance, have you considered using the two hours a day your spend on email for creative writing time? Thanks for your note. And best wishes!!
Thanks for all you do, your posts are so true and uncomplicated. I appreciate your humor so much. You know, I used to be a real worrier, and one day many years ago, I was worrying away my day when I noticed my daughter’s hamster running around like a little maniac, doing a bizillion laps a minute on his little exercise wheel…it occured to me how tiring it was just to watch him…and then…poof lightbulb moment! My brain was doing the same exercise!! It’s exhausting to watch those little criiters go round and round faster and faster. I thought hey my thinking all these stupid thoughts and worrying are no different than this crazy little hamster..so from that moment on, whenever my mind gets going too fast, I envision that silly little hamster on a wheel up there, yup “hamster brain” rattling around and around…exhausting critter…they really are nocturnal creatures for sure because man could he run when the lights go out!…lol So from that moment on I recognized that sqeaky little critter up in my mind going round and round and I just simply put him in the spare room down the hall, close the door and let him go to it! I head to my nice quiet peaceful kitchen make a nice cup of tea and tune his squeaky little wheel out! Metaphorically speaking of course ha ha..Have a wonderful rest of your day! XX
Hi Ava! I’ve just noticed your comment! How did I miss this? Hmm. I was away at the time maybe that was it! Anyway, thanks for stopping by and saying hi. Love the hamster insight! Lisa XX
I love these nifty articles thank you! Short and so very sweet. You write from the heart Lisa & its clear how many people your work is resonating with. Of course You are not alone. I am enjoying re-training my reptilian brain (as Tom Kaypacha may say)! so much of what we become is how we have learned to ‘be’ .. It takes courage to unlearn & re-member who we truly are. Yep – mind whizzing & whirring affects us all. I was desperate for an early night & yet here I am .. Mind still perky! But very glad to read your words 🙂 Gail
Thanks Gail! Funny old brain sometimes isn’t it:)
Thanks for writing!
thanks for the article Lisa as always. You really help other to help themselves put their wandering minds at ease. My mind races more days than others and I want to shut it up. It has a mind of it’s own 🙂 and it always seems to try to make me feel as though I am lazy. That part makes me feel guilty so my mind then starts to think of other things to make me feel better and on it goes like a vicious cycle. I am getting better since I have started reading your articles – I would say at least 70% better 🙂
Thanks, Julie. And cool to hear your mind is a little more at ease. Or, to be more accurate, that YOU are more at ease, even if your mind isn’t. Funny how that works, isn’t it.
I have a “to-do” list that just will not quit! I am never “caught up” and my mind will not let me forget it! And the mind judges the heart’s inclinations as a waste of time. In response to your question: you are not the only one and for me it will be a lifelong battle. Thx for the post.
Hi Ginger, Thanks for your note:)
Your comment reminds me of something I heard yesterday. I was listening to a lecture on time management and the speakers both shared that they write “to do” lists—one guy wrote them weekly, the other did quarterly ones—and they both only ever got a third of the things done on them. They decided that they were more like prioritization lists, and that they did the most important third. Anyway, was a nice way to look at to do lists. Maybe you could tell your mind next time it’s riding you!
I am from India. My aim is to become a chartered accountant or you may call it Certified Public Accountant. I read your 7 secrets your mind doesn’t want you to know and I also stared at the wall. It helped but only for a few moments. You know I like to study but whenever I raise my head from the book I get a number of thoughts which I cannot keep track of and it is not very helpful as it interrupts with my studies. I try to say to myself that let those thoughts come but I have many important things to do as you said but still this is not very helpful. I know nothing matters as you wrote in your book. But you know I was never like this. But one day someone told me that you get like about a thousand thoughts per day and when I focused on my thoughts I got so engrossed with it that now whenever I study I am just afraid that will thoughts come and disturb me. Would you teach me the spiral of change? I didn’t get it right. I don’t know how to feel from heart.
You are doing really wonderful things for the people.This article of yours is
a fact /case sheet type. The bane of this age is speed ,needless choices/
destructive degrading diversions which has its spell on the mind too.
The only way seems to be Stay calm /practice patience/tolerance not against any outsider but with our own racy minds .Only God is the refuge by surrender.
Thanks for taking the time to say hi and visit my blog:) There certainly is a lot of change and speediness, and many other good things too!
I look forward to your blog, What a relief to hear from someone else who has not gotten it all figured out, who is not perfect. Thank you so much for sharing honestly, authentically. in this sea of blogs of perfections, of sales pitches selling the latest happy/success pill. Life is Life. I love how you talk back to your mind, the example where you felt like picking up clothes, and another voice inside you said, you’re kidding, that is all you want to do? and you responded, yep, that is it. I have similar task master, thanks for helping me see this more clearly.
Great to hear from you, Ruby. And yes, I have so not got it all figured out. I’m a little weary of people who think they have, honestly. Thanks so much for saying hi 🙂
hi lisa,due to some bad experince from my past i think i can,t spend a happy married life so i am refusing all purposal and at same time i know that i can,t spend my whole life without a partner and a family please help me how to stop my fair
Thanks for your note. While it’s impossible for me to tell you what to do, one thing to keep in mind is that it sounds like you’re having a lot of thoughts right now. And from a worried, over-thinky place it’s hard to feel clearly what to do. As humans we like to have everything figured out, and when we don’t, we worry. But what we forget is that, if we step back from our thoughts and, see that they’re just thoughts – many of which are based on faulty assumptions and rules, we get a new idea that shows the way forward. It might not happen immediately, but as humans we all have a lot of wisdom that guides us, it’s just sometimes hard to hear beneath the wall of mind chatter.
It also sounds like you’ve made some big assumptions. How do you know you won’t be able to have a happy married life? Can you read into the future? How do you know you won’t be able to have a partner who is kind and understanding?
Have you thought of talking to someone? This can be a powerful way of resolving issues and in this instance feels more appropriate than my trying to answer in a few paragraphs.
If you’d like the name of a therapist, email me privately. Although the first one I’d recommend would be Dr Amy Johnson. http://www.dramyjohnson.com.
thanks alot lisa for recommonding dr amy johnson, i have send an email to you please reply me
Thank you so much for this article. You said things so clearly–I totally see myself in your words. I have JUST read it, though, so I am going to practice it today. I didn’t realize that I am not my mind, or that I am more than just my mind. My mind has complete and utter control over my entire existence. I am writing your suggestions down in my planner so I can be reminded of them. And I am overwhelmed daily (I am a high school teacher, and we have our daughter and her family–with two toddlers and a newborn–staying with us for a while) and this practice of stopping will so help.
BTW, I’m assuming that the TO DO LIST is part of the way my mind is controlling everything…meaning, while I am sitting still or doing other things, the TDL items are looming over me or shouting in my mental ear. While such a list is needed, how I address it or how much power I give it is up to me, correct?
Thanks so much, and blessings for you in the new year!
In answer to your question, yes, it is up to you how much power you give it.
– You could write “chill out time” on your to do list. Sneaky, eh.
– It’s easy to think we have to do more than we actually NEED to do. Do you really need to do everything on your list?
– Often when you stop and take time out you end up FEELING like doing things, so we actually get more done.
Like you, I spent most of my life thinking I had to do everything my mind said. It was very strange to think I didn’t have to. Since these ideas are new, my advice would be to let them roll around. Play with them. Don’t make it another chore, or thing to do. I wish our book was out already, I think you’d find it helpful as it talks about this kind of thing it talks about 7 ways our mind tricks us out of feeling peaceful and helps to see how we aren’t our thoughts (That sounds like a sales pitch, ha, sorry). Anyway, have fun with it. And thanks for saying hi.