I remember the first time I heard Rob Nairn exclaim that the mind is a liar- that the mind is always telling us untruths. Whether it is telling us that we are not good enough, or that we are unlovable or that we will fail, we can rest assured that these messages are simply mind propaganda wrapped up as protective shields, but in all reality are driven by fear. And fear stops us in our tracks. In fact, fear can sabotage all our hopes and dreams.
My mind has been telling me lies. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it does so… all the time.
Some days it tells me that people are looking at the grey hairs sprouting up on my head and that everyone who sees me will know that I’m not in my early 20s! (Which is another lie it loves to tell ha!) Other days it tells me that I am not as good or experienced or worthy as those who I share space with.
And then other days, it tells me that I am a rock star and anything that I say or do will be met with wonder and awe and adoration. Let me tell you- it sure is disappointing when this fails to happen!
Lately, it’s been telling me that I am all alone.
Now, I know this is a lie when I bring my rational mind to the story and its details. However, this story is juicy and it grabs hold.
The story that I am a Canadian living away from her country and family. The story that asks- if I get sick, who is my adult next of kin? The story that even if I were to return to Canada, I wouldn’t belong. The story that I don’t even belong in Ireland. The story that I don’t belong.
However, the reality is that I do belong. I belong to my three children. I belong to the Beloveds in my life. My dear friends, my colleagues, the communities that I inhabit.
This story is driven by my fear. The fear that I will be and that I am alone. Isolated. And when this fear sinks in, I stop. I stop making plans, I stop reaching out, I stop talking about it. I stop dreaming. Then, I feel even more alone.
It’s beyond crazy! But it happens to most of us. Our stories may be different, but we can all fall prey to fear and these negative thoughts patterns: these lies that our minds tell us.
So this is where my mindfulness practice comes in. What my mindfulness practice has done for me is allow me to see these lies. It has created the conditions to ‘know what is happening while it is happening’. Once, I see what is happening- the mind telling me stories- the lies lose their power. I am able to step back from the story and recognize it for what it is: untrue.
And, once I recognize this untruth, I can choose to actually look around and feel gratitude for the family I do have over here on this side of the pond- my kids, my Beloveds, my dear friends and colleagues, my communities.
My mindfulness practice really helps me turn towards my fear and see it for what it is. Stories. Elaborate tales told to me by mind. And once I see them for what they are, I am free to move forward with a new way to be. I am free to dream.
So, this week’s challenge is to see if you can notice the stories that the mind tells you. Are they familiar? Are they helpful? How does it feel to be lost in one? What does it feel like when you notice and step back?
And if you would like to know more about mindfulness and move towards ‘knowing what is happening, while it is happening, without preference’, why not join me on one of the Level 1 courses that I will be teaching on? I’ll be teaching in Samye Ling this March and Ireland in June. (Click here for more details)
Or, join our membership and join me for the weekly sits! I’d love to see you. (Click here for more details)
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