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Are we at the effect of our thoughts and feelings or are we the master of them?

Are we at the effect of our thoughts and feelings or are we the master of them?

Sometimes I notice I am doing something unintentional as a reaction to feelings I am having. Then start to wonder why in the world I am doing what I’m doing. Like fretting about how I am going to feel when around a certain person or situation that annoys me. Or how I begin to feel after a particularly concerning news report on TV.  Feelings left unchecked can wreak havoc for hours of our day, ruining the present moment, if we don’t know how to get our mind back onto purpose quickly. Sometimes it requires a quick distraction first. Like changing the channel to something lighter on TV to relieve the escalation of feelings I was experiencing a few minutes before. Then turn it off to focus on an activity that is more aligned with my purpose for the day or evening. 

Are we at the effect of the world?

The question is this. Are we at the effect of our thoughts and feelings or are we the master of them? This requires training the mind every day so we know without a doubt that we can change its channels of thought and feeling. Some of us are naturally better at this than others because of our brain chemistry, but all of us can improve our own mindfulness with practice. 

Amp it up or tone it down. 

Some of us need to rev our thoughts and feeling UP a notch to get into purposeful action. Others, like me, are naturally amped up in this area and need practices that calm us down when it’s time to rest. But ALL of us need to learn how to change what’s going on in our brain. Mindfulness practices can be found all over the place now. My favorite ways to calm my mind are meditation and hypnosis apps on my phone. Core Barre and yoga classes. A nice cup of Sleepytime tea before bed. A hot bath with sea salt. A massage. A walk down to Front Street to watch the birds. Or over on the beach in the winter. Or even cleaning, simplifying or organizing something. Anything that gets my body moving during the day, will help me ease into the calm I need to settle down to a good night of sleep in the evening. 

Being purposeful is a practice. 

A skill that comes from daily commitment. It takes effort to learn how to balance our natural tendencies. Even the smallest actions matter. Otherwise, we can spend hours reacting to the world instead of attending to what we most want, or who we most want to be. Being purposeful is a mindset supported by purposeful actions every day. What we do today gets us either one step closer or one step further away from actualizing our greatest intentions and contributions. Our choice. Right now.