An overactive mind seems to be the norm in our over-the-top busy lives. Your mind may be cluttered with distracting thoughts, to-do lists, plans for the future or ruminations about the past. Or maybe it’s brimming with fear, worry, doubt, anger, jealousy or desire having been triggered by a comment, occurrence or your own imagination during the day.
Is a busy mind a happy mind? Probably not. In fact, the root of all our dissatisfaction and suffering lies in holding onto whatever arises in the mind. Observe for yourself and see what you find out.
My mind has been very tense for the better part of my life - wound up by fear and a sense of inadequacy. At last, it’s beginning to loosen up! I’m more capable at taking life in stride and living with greater ease.
What’s changed for me?
- I have fewer expectations.
- I understand that impermanence is the norm and am less likely to let it shake me up.
- I have an increased awareness of my deceptive internal beliefs, emotional patterns and what evokes the stress response in my life.
- I’m less driven and thus more willing to pause, take care, and trust.
- I have more clarity about my life purpose so I’m more able to focus on priorities instead of the small stuff.
- I’m willing to do less and trade sanity for well-being.
But, the biggest change underlying all this is a more spacious mind. Of course, I’m still a work in progress and there’s plenty of room for added space, but what a relief not to be tied up in a ball of constant strain.
What Is A Spacious Mind?
A spacious mind is the opposite of a stressed mind. It is open, flexible, and loving. This open mind graciously accommodates any thought or emotion that appears without following, amplifying or multiplying it.
These are some of the qualities of a spacious mind:
- Free of concepts
- Love and compassion
- Alert yet relaxed
How to Develop a Spacious Mind
1. First, you have to realize that a spacious mind is possible. Most people are blended with their thoughts and emotions and think that’s all there is. You are not your thoughts and emotions. You are not your brain.
2. You need to know there’s something much bigger than these seemingly endless thoughts and emotions that are really only like trains passing by or pausing in a station for a few minutes. What do you find when the thoughts and emotions stop for a moment? There’s a gap. In that gap, you will find an unchanging pure awareness that’s with you all the time. You’ll find your true essence - open, spacious, and free.
3. Stop following the thoughts, emotions, and perceptions that pop up in your mind. Instead, allow your mind to rest in present moment awareness. When you find yourself distracted - and you will indeed get pulled away many times - just bring your mind back to the present moment. That’s the essence of basic meditation and the heart of mindfulness.
4. Recognize the insubstantial nature of the material world. Everything that seems concrete right now will someday disappear: your body, your possessions, your work, and your worldly accomplishments. It’s actually all moving and changing in this very moment. It just seems more solid than it really is. Align with your true being rather than the temporary appearances.
It takes time to stop identifying with your thoughts and emotions, a habit we’ve had for eons at least. But, if you truly want a spacious mind, it can be yours. In fact, it's already there. You just need to tap into it. Keep practicing and gradually day-by-day the thoughts and emotions will start to lose their power and you’ll find more peace and ease.
Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious! Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free resources in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always. With love, Sandra