In the mini-course ‘Quiet the monkey mind’ that I ran this week, I’ve taught the basics of how to start training the fear-driven mind in default. Now it’s perfectly possible to train the mind, to have more inner peace and more focus. The trick is to remember to do it, because the mind in default is usually all over the place. So you need awareness to train awareness.
Nevertheless, it’s totally doable.
The real trouble starts when strong emotions get the better of us. Emotions can hold us hostage. We can’t think straight because our reason is temporarily out of order, unavailable (this is actually physically so, you’re not imagining it).
We do stupid things when we’re the prisoner of a strong emotion. Violent things sometimes. We say things we shouldn’t have said, run away where we should have staid, lash out where we should have comforted. We panic.
Of course, usually it’s possible to kiss and make up afterwards. Sometimes the damage is irreparable. And, we hurt ourselves.
I know what I’m talking about.
People know me as a calm and composed person. I usually am, now. But that wasn’t always the case. As an introvert, I always seemed calm and at ease. However, that was only what you saw on the outside. Introverts can get really caught up in their heads, and that was certainly the case for me. I was a worrier, an over-analyser AND I often had trouble relating to the world outside.
This on top of self-esteem issues, caused me to be rather insecure, and when triggered I could really get swept away by strong emotions. Low self-esteem and fear of criticism and rejection go hand in hand. Once I entered the grown-up, working life, of course this got me into trouble. I was trying to avoid certain situations, got criticized nevertheless (I mean: helló appraisals and review cycles!), had to work with much more extraverted, outspoken and confrontational people…
I was getting by – as most of us do. We simply work with what we have, right? But I had massive, debilitating migraines a few times a month. For which I had heavy painkillers that only took the edges off, no more.
The moment I decided that this couldn’t go on, however, was when I realized my insecurity and fear of rejection might be eroding the romantic relationship I was in. I was fortunate enough to realize that the scenes I caused were not about the situation at hand, but were the result of limiting beliefs I had been carrying around the best part of my life, and that, when triggered, caused out-of-proportion emotions to sweep over me and abduct sweet, wise, pleasant me.
I signed up for zen meditation. I had no idea if and how it would help me, but I had to give it a try because I was heading for trouble.
It turned out to be a game-changer. It taught me how to deal with my undermining thoughts, my mood swings, my fears and anxieties. As an unexpected bonus, I got cured of the migraines that I’d had since my early childhood.
What I thought would be just 10 classes to get the basics and I’d be good to go, has become a now more than 10-year-and-counting practice.
BUT I wouldn’t have had these results without a consistent practice, commitment, and a teacher to give me feedback, wise teachings & support, and to keep me accountable and get me back on track when I stumbled (which I did, often).
I STILL have a teacher.
This month, I’m starting my first ever online zen course. For those of you who are serious about dealing with the drama, about getting at the steering wheel rather than being at the mercy of thoughts running wild and emotions taking over.
‘Cause frankly: knowing about meditation isn’t going to do it for you. Having a few downloads on your computer is like having a treadmill in your attic: it won’t get you in shape unless you use it consistently, committedly.
So I’ll be there for you in 10 live classes in a small group, with guidance, support, feedback and accountability. This is a very special offer, only €147.00 (plus the downloads of the minicourse ‘Quiet the monkey mind’ as a bonus) – because it’s a pilot (price will go up to €247.00).