The Mind: Our Weakness and Our Strength
Ever wondered what the mind is and where it is located or where it resides? Is the mind in the brain or in the heart? Does it exist on its own with influence from the brain and or the heart? Does it even matter what it is and where it is located?
Well, it sure does matter what it is, maybe not so much where it is located. It matters because it influences who we are, how we respond to situations and how we interact with others. When we hear and or make statements like “someone has lost or is losing their mind,” or “the mind-body connection,” what does that even mean?
I always thought the mind was the brain until I read the book titled Conversations with GodbyNeale D. Walsch. This is a three-part book and may I say it is the MOST controversial book I have read thus far. It requires A LOT of critical thinking and a lot of agreeing to disagree. If you are up for a mental challenge, then check it out. There is also a movie about it which I haven’t watched yet so I cannot comment on how it is in relation to the book.
The mind is not the brain nor is it the heart. It is not something we can hold/touch/feel or see but we know it exists. In a nutshell, the mind is everything that is about an individual, it is the essence of being; thoughts, words, actions, experiences… all of that and more (Coined from reading the above-mentioned book).
Take Charge of your Mind: Your Sanity is your Wealth; book by Eurykah Ndumu and Illustrator Aberi Ngu Ndumu. This book is a collection of ways to maintain our sanity by nurturing our minds.
What we do or don’t do all begins and ends in the mind. Before we physically embark on something, it all began in the mind. By the time we physically end it, it had ended in the mind. Take for example, before we embark on a new project and bring it to life, it all began in the mind or brain/heart if you may. If it happens that we give-up somewhere along the road, it is most likely we gave-up in our mind prior to the physical manifestation. The battle is in the mind.
Taking charge of our mind in order to maintain our sanity requires us to have a sound mind. Stop and think for a moment, write down in your own words; what does it mean to “have a sound mind?”
Mentioned in the book are some threats to our sanity such as; unrealistic expectations of self and others, having parking lot friendships and following what is #trending.
Expecting from others what we can’t deliver is a recipe for disaster, likewise expecting others to deliver what they don’t have is also a recipe for disaster. “...friends are not a reserved parking spot… we sometimes choose to be friends according to our ‘needs radar’.” A similar phrase used during my high school days was “fair-weather friends.”
What is currently #trending?With the evolution of social media, sometimes we follow and get stuck on a facade, or trends and hashtags which are temporary and we treat certain aspects of life which are supposed to be lifelong as a trend or temporarily. The struggle to keep up with the Joneses; looking good on the outside yet battling on the inside…
Renewing our minds inwardly brings change outwardly(Pg 23). Another moment to stop and think! When are you at your most driven self? It may also be when you are most vulnerable and capable of losing your mind. For me, I am at my most driven self when I am listening, be it at work or out of work. It is also when I am most challenged and most vulnerable. Listening with intent to understand, not necessarily to respond or fix or suggest or advice. Listen for what is not said, observing the non-verbal’s because most often than not, what the messenger is intending to communicate isn’t always in words and sometimes words aren’t enough and or we can’t always find the “right words” to express something.
Having a sound mind or taking charge of our mind does not mean that life will be a smooth sail. Neither does it mean there won’t be moments of emotional or physical breakdown nor do we become superhuman or perfectionist. A sound mind enables us to recognize our strength and weakness and act accordingly in response to situations that arise which may be out of our control. It will enable us to acknowledge a storm without necessarily being consumed by it and to thrive in and or after challenging circumstances. It enables us to have a certain level of emotional control and journey towards our highest potential as individuals and a community/society at large.
See the book for ways to develop and maintain a sound mind. It is not a one size fits all. Find what works for you and run with it.