everal weeks ago, we took a little walk up to these pools that turn a particular color from algae if the timing is right. The timing wasn’t right, but the picnic was terrific.
On the way, you pass under a waterfall. This time of year, it was more heavy rain than a waterfall. It was beautiful. The sun was coming up on the opposite side, making each drop shimmer. It was all in slow motion. Our mind is a lovely place. It is also a dangerous place. Be careful what we put in our minds and what we allow to stay in our minds. It is our garden. It will either grow something wonderful or something hurtful. Our thoughts are the seeds of our actions.
When you meditate, you practice the ability to recognize your thoughts. Said another way, it helps you realize the ideas in your mind are just thoughts, very much like standing behind a waterfall. The one thing you control in this world, maybe the only thing, is your thoughts.
This is not about meditation. This is about recognizing our thoughts for what they are. Is that true? Is that ego? Is that emotion? What wound from my past is creating this thought? What wound is causing this? Am I misusing my imagination?
This is about recognizing our thoughts for what they are.
The end of last year was a bit rough for me. I walled myself off from those close to me. I did not show up for my humans the way I should have. Maybe I didn’t get an F, but I certainly didn’t get an A. I abandoned self-care. I stopped doing the things that allowed me to slow down and manage my thoughts the way I should. To see them for what they were. To recognize what was in my control and what wasn’t. To let my imagination create monsters up ahead, that may or may come to be a part of my life. To act the way I should. To see the ‘next right thing.’ To not be present and appreciate all of the good. To want something different.
When the thoughts are raining down, step back behind the waterfall. Take the time to try and understand each one. Ego. Emotion. Imagination. Reality. Control. Fear. Desire. Uncertainty. Doubt. Judgment. Lies. Love.
With everything, I share because it’s part of my journey to be BTTY, not because I have this licked. We are all on this journey together. You aren’t alone. When it gets hard, talk it through. Maybe a journal, perhaps a friend, or maybe therapy. All of those are good. Don’t be too proud.
None of this is easy. It may take friends to support you. You have to support yourself too. Sleep. Diet. Movement. Outdoors. Those matter. You must do the work that allows you to show up ready to dance in that waterfall.
Let’s dance, friends. May you find peace, purpose, and joy.
I'll leave you with a few thoughts from others.
In calm, there is strength
-On the desk of Angela Merkel, author unknown
Good thoughts bear good fruit; bad thoughts bear bad fruit
-As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
A friend recently recommended this excellent piece written in 1903. The argument that we become what we think is incredibly well made. My marked-up notes are available here. Where has it been my whole life…
Something ironic about what is happening when you get above the waterfall. Here is what we saw that day.