Monday, November 2, 2015

Not working for the mind

I am currently reading "Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight" by Peter Walsh.  I usually skim these self help books quickly, mine whatever useful there is and move on but I am actually finding quite a bit to this book.  The premise is that how we feel is reflected through everyday decisions and if we are depressed or anxious these can manifest in decisions that contribute to our weight and clutter.  I also like that he is explicitly taking on the Cartesian duality "work with your mind not for it."  I have always very much worked for my mind.  If it is a decision about a healthy choice for my body and keeping doing something I am doing, I will keep doing it, even when I know I will be harming myself.  I found the idea of working with your mind and not the body working with the mind as a kind of junior partner pretty powerful. 

I was also taken with this quote "you are seldom going to be completely at ease.  Frequently, you'll get tired, frustrated, worried, sad, bored or unfocused to some degree."  I often tell myself that I will wait until things are better to make a change.  And while there is "better" and "better" even in better there will be times of worse, so waiting always for better isn't really a plan for success.  Quite a lot to think of in here and his messages of mindfulness practice fit well with the other book I am reading on the subject.  Perhaps there is a lesson in there for me?

In the mindfulness book he uses a very useful analogy about sorrow.  Beyond acknowledgement, the author speaks of diluting the sorrow, to make sure and bring other emotions into your mental space.  To have the sorrow there and part of the moment, but recognize that there also a lot of other things in the moment that you can experience.  I tried to use this last night, to put the sadness out there, not burying it or eating it, seeing it and then bringing in the other emotions of the day.  It just made a lot of sense for me. 

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