I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago, then side-stepped it and wrote instead about an exhilarating trip to the TT that coincided with an unprecedented spike in revenue.
That post sort of gave the gist of where I was heading with this ‘mind’ section of the site but I wanted to write more of a proper introduction to kick things off.
I’ve always had a passing fascination with power of the mind stuff. As a kid I found stories of survival against all odds, ‘mind-over-matter’, triumph through sheer will-power, hypnosis, the superhuman skills of the Shaolin monks, stories of special forces training and mental resilience super-interesting… Actually, having said that, those sound like things a lot of kids are probably interested in.
Anyway… I also quietly thought I was noticing that there seemed to be patterns to how people behaved or the things they said and expected and the way things turned out.
I didn’t really delve into anything much for a good few years. My default mode was pretty solid – even through some difficult times. I just kept looking forward, feeling fortunate and cracking on.
I kept reading bits and bobs and dabbled with a couple of meditation classes but didn’t persevere, even though (in hindsight) it felt like I kept getting nudged in that direction.
Weirdly, it was having kids combined with a couple of other things that dispensed with the nudges and really knocked us sideways.
Iz was now 2, hadn’t slept for more than a couple of hours straight since she was born and suffered with night terrors. Not just terrifying for her, I hasten to add! She would stand there screaming us awake in the middle of the night, eyes wide open, lights on, yelling “I just want Mummy!!” while Nina was right in front of her, trying to comfort her and coax her back to reality. We half expected her head to spin round. 😬
We weren’t sleeping, Nina was pregnant with T and some big plans had gone belly up. We were tired, stressed and all over the place, and, we weren’t getting along with each other very well either.
A couple of weeks on holiday in Spain seemed like it might do us all a world of good. When I saw ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne on the shelves in WH Smith at the airport, I remembered a friend’s recommendation and bunged it straight in the basket.
As soon as I started reading, it was like a lightbulb had gone on. Ping! So much seemed to instantly make sense. It seemed to fit in with things that had happened in the past and things that we’d even observed and talked about. Nina started reading it too and immediately felt the same. Maybe there was nothing to it all but we were in! We had 2 weeks, no commitments and nothing to lose. It already felt like it had made a difference so we were giving it a go.
If you’re not already familiar, The Secret is a movie and a book about the ‘Law of Attraction’. The idea is that the Universe is all fundamentally made of vibrating energy and that the frequency you emit with your thoughts and emotions attract corresponding results into your life. Whatever you focus your energy and attention on comes back to you. It pulls in and overlaps themes from philosophy, theology and quantum physics (to some scientists’ delight and others’ disgust).
Those two weeks proved to be a real eye-opener (actually, better make that, ‘eye-closer’…). We both started meditating properly and it took a few days to begin to simply settle my mind. I couldn’t believe the amount of activity and mental chatter in there. There were so many shifting trains of thought, running commentaries and things popping in and out all the time. I couldn’t believe how this was all going on in my head without me really being aware of it!
By the end of the holiday, it was under control. I could quickly slow it down until all sensory input and thought subsided and it felt magnificent! We could also then start visualising and clearly picturing the outcomes we did want to see. This was definitely something I wanted more of.
We went home completely revitalised and I couldn’t believe the impact it had had so quickly. In two weeks, it had transformed our relationship. If it worked for us, it might work for our difficult neighbour:
We’d bought a garden plot of land next to this guy a few years earlier and built our house on it. It already had outline planning permission so someone was going to build there but he wasn’t happy about it and made life difficult at every turn. I could understand why he felt like that and I’d bent over backwards to be accommodating, hoping that he’d come round, but it hadn’t made any difference. In the process I’d built up a lot of resentment and repressed anger.
With a new outlook and realising that these thoughts and feelings were only harming me, I resolved to wipe the slate clean in my mind and start thinking more positive thoughts about him and the situation… Our relationship transformed!.. And quickly!.. It was like he felt what I was now feeling and fell into sync. He even started making an effort to come and chat to Iz over the fence… Bizarre!.. But awesome!
I dived whole heartedly down a rabbit hole of input and information, reading and watching everything I could get my hands on that was in any way related. I kept up the meditating and realised there were deeper levels to it. Visualisations were becoming so real that it was almost a shock to come out of them and back into reality.
I’m not one for blind faith or for following anything or anyone just because other people do and I like a bit of evidence. Solid scientific evidence, ideally, combined with some first hand experience. I like to test and I like to experiment.
This is what I do know though: The meditating, visualising and other techniques definitely make me feel better, more relaxed and happier. Going back to them has got me out of a few dips and so many things appear to have come to fruition by maintaining a particular mindset. I’ve had some pretty profound and weird experiences as well which I’ll talk about in future posts.
There’s lots of evidence that the health benefits of mindfulness go way beyond mental health and wellbeing and the limits of what might be possible and scientifically provable relating to the power and nature of mind seem to be expanding all the time.
Personally, I’ve still got a few sticking points, some patterns I keep repeating which are stubborn as heck but which I intend to overcome one way or another.
I’m pretty sure that some unhelpful subconscious expectations are the culprits and whilst I reckon I know what I need to do, it ain’t that easy, and when I slip up, the seed of doubt returns and the cycle continues.
Because of that, I think that this has been one of the hardest posts I’ve written in a while and it has taken ages (although you probably wouldn’t know to read it 😂). That tinge of doubt makes me feel like I can’t commit to putting this post out there but d’you know what?.. This stuff has worked for so many other things and when it works for the rest and I write about it at the same time, that’ll be even better.
In for a penny, in for a pound! I’m gonna get this sucker!.. Or maybe I should say, I’m going to accept things as they are, be excited for what’s coming, let it go and allow this sucker to happen… 🧘♂️😉😂
This mind section is a chance to delve into all of this stuff. It’s a chance to look into the resources, techniques and ideas that are out there, sharing stories, experiences, experiments and successes on the way. It gives me a great excuse to spend more time working on it and more time experimenting with it.
I also hope that by sharing and writing about it all, it might be useful to others. I’ve no idea what other people think or do, or what works for you but these things have worked for me and when you find something that works, you want to share it.
Phew! Glad to finally get that one wrapped up and now I can move on to the next thing: “Ohhhhhhhmmmmmmm!” 😉