Vraja Bihari Das

What’d happen if the teenager puffs his bubble beyond a certain size? It would explode and fall on his face. He’d then clumsily pick up each strand of the stuck gum. If we don’t check the mind’s fizz, that’s often cut off from reality, it would likewise get stuck on our consciousness- and it’s not as easy to disentangle the scattered filaments from our psyche.

Recently a leading publisher rejected my book proposal on a day that also saw me achieve many of my self-growth goals. I exercised, read scriptures, gave two talks, wrote an hour, improved relationships with friends, learned poems, and much more. Still, the mind moaned: ‘Oh, I am unworthy. This publisher is selfish and business minded. They are opportunistic…’

The pessimistic self-talk often goes unnoticed by our higher awareness; we don’t realize its sinister presence in our inner world. It’s time we wake up to the mind’s deathly gallows- it’s deadly, the threat is real, and before you realize, you’ll plunge into quicksand.

The ‘basket’ of happy activities

Therefore it’s critical for our well-being that we carry a ‘basket’ of happy activities in our mind.

Spend some solitary moments and write down what defines you- who are you. Then you could list things that help you live an authentic life. These ‘things to do’ are the items of your basket.

When you are bored or feeling low, look at your basket and pick any one of the things, and make yourself cheerful. The secret of saving yourself from repeated let downs by the mind is to have a lot of meaningful things to do. The choice gives you variety as well and helps circumvent mind’s repeated tantrums.

For those lost in anxious thoughts, contentment lies covered like fire in dry grass. An active life is a spark that could set your joy ablaze. It’s not enough to analyze the mind in the head; it’s time we got our body- hands and legs moving, to stay happy. And when you are not thinking but instead doing things- especially the ones that you love to do- you enter what the psychologists call the ‘flow’ – a state of absorption where you transcend the sense of space and time.

To be continued…


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