Our thoughts become the dangling carrot that we’re always chasing for happiness. We have to catch the carrot to be happy and content.
On the rare occasion we reach the carrot, and then we find that the carrot isn’t satisfying. Then a new, juicer carrot appears, and we begin to chase this one down. Then we do reach this carrot and we find the same result of the previous carrot. We are stuck in a loop, and we become obsessed with our thoughts and life isn’t satisfying.
I stopped chasing carrots by doing less. Doing less for me was finding my meditation and mindfulness practice. My initial practice was five minutes. For five minutes a day I did less chasing of thoughts, and this little activity started to quiet the mind.
“Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
~ John Wooden
As a sit here reflecting on the book launch of “I Don’t Dwell,” I’m in awe. When I think of my recovery, a deep sense of gratitude fills my body and tears begin to well up. I think of Lou Gehrig who had ALS, when he said “I feel like I’m the luckiest man alive”.
How did I survive that car accident at 6 years old?
How did I survive being suicidal with bipolar?
How did I survive with being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis?
I survived because I had no choice. I like to think that I was in control of my life, but looking back I can see that I had very little control. I was placed on this Earth for reasons unknown to me, only known by God. As Einstein once said “God doesn’t throw dice”. There are no mistakes and no luck; there is a divine plan unknown to us.
The only thing I know for certain is that I can control how I react and respond to my thoughts. That sounds so simple, but it wasn’t easy. It took time to see that I had thoughts, but they were not my thoughts. Through my five minute daily practice I was starting to get separation from my thoughts. It took a lot of vigilance to stick with the practice. My thoughts were in my face, yelling and screaming at me that I wasn’t good enough or wasting my time. These thoughts were impossible to ignore at times, but the more I ignored the mind the quieter the mind became.