“Stop the world, I want to get off!” Most of us probably feel like that from time to time. The world does indeed seem mad, so it’s perfectly understandable to want to escape. But what we see isn’t so much “out there”. It’s what the mind makes of all the information we take in. The pictures we have are inside, the result of a meandering mind that conjures up all sorts of images and conclusions. In the process, it takes our vitality with it. So perhaps it’s not the world that needs to stop – we do.
Stop thinking – or stop over-thinking?
Stop thinking? It’s not a bad idea but the mind is in an almost perpetual state of motion. It is not used to being in a state of “not doing”. It will engage itself in almost anything, so long as it doesn’t have to stop and become aware of itself. Perhaps we are afraid of stopping because if there is nothing to think about and nothing to focus on, what is left? Most of us have a fear of the unknown and of having nothing to cling onto, so we busy ourselves in the practice of chronic avoidance. That needs to change.
Don’t keep spinning the wheel because it’s not going anywhere
The mind is like a wheel that is always spinning. If we want the mind to slow down, we have to stop feeding it rubbish. When the mind is whirling from one thing to another, it seems impossible to do anything about it. But we can learn to pause – and we must if we want to reconnect with our true state of being. Stopping is more than a matter of preserving health. A pause gives us time to breathe and to appreciate everything we have. When we appreciate and feel grateful for life, we value and respect ourselves and others. The world then seems a better place, and maybe we don’t need to jump off after all.
An adapted extract from The Art of Not Doing: How to Achieve Inner Peace and a Clear Mind
Our evening workshop Letting Go is on Monday 11th March 2019. Enrolment closes very soon. More information.