Alright so this post has nothing to do with my trip and not my official first post but just thought I would post this up here off my other site.
Ok so a rants coming and if you want nothing to do with this thats cool. Here’s two books that I think everyone needs to take a look at. The first one is A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. It can be a little wild but nothing helped me understand how the ego works more than that book. The more I read it, the more I realized all the things I didn’t like about myself, all my negative habits that I had and why people do the things they do intentionally or unintentionally. The ego can absolutely ruin your life and take over if you let it. This is where the practice of mindfulness comes into play and the importance behind it. It took me a little while to actually be able to understand it because half the time I would just listen to these people and sit there saying what are they even talking about. But Mindfulness In Plain English is straight to the point and doesn’t have any of the crazy talk attached to it. I turned to all of this because I honestly wasn’t happy. I hated who I was becoming. All these terrible habits that I had and all the shit I was putting up with that I didn’t even like but yet here I was trying to maintain some sort of social life that I wasn’t even crazy about. How I could sit there and be cool with someone and then talk behind their back the minute they left or how I would say I’m wishing my friends success, meanwhile I was resenting anytime they good for themselves. I wasn’t doing anything terrible but I knew that I didn’t like the direction that I was heading in. Here I was thinking I had control over my mind/thoughts until I tried to meditate and couldn’t even keep my mind from wandering long enough to focus on my breath for 5 minutes when it actually came down to it. I mean how could you not want to do anything to help yourself once you learn you don’t have the control over your mind like you thought you did and that essentially it actually controls you? Its not like you can run away from that. Or like, how the first few times I tried to meditate I had to stop because I freaked out realizing I couldn’t handle certain things. I wasn’t able to deal with them properly because I had just been sweeping them under the rug for so long that when it was time to come face to face it was all too much for me. Or how I use to drive from point A to point B and not remember a single thing or how I even got there. And when you really think about it, thats some scary shit. Its like your body just goes into this auto-pilot mode without you even aware. It’s like the lights are on but nobodies home and that was what worried me the most. I was doing/saying things that I didn’t even mean solely because of the fact that I wasn’t mindful enough of my own thoughts. I’m not sitting here trying to talk about how I can read some books, this is just coming from someone who thinks the practice of mindfulness can genuinely help no matter what you have going on and just how important this really is. I can’t stress this enough. I never expected life to actually be this hard and I’m sure a lot of people can relate, but if there’s anything that helped me manage this crazy ride, its mindfulness. I use to try so hard to change my negative habits/ thoughts and it just wouldn’t happen. I never realized though, how much of a role the ego actually played in day to day life because I just never knew anything about all of this. Just the simplicity of being aware of the fact that you are aware of your thoughts gets the ball rolling in the right direction. I can confidently sit here and write that there is not a single person who doesn’t want to just be happy…so why is the simple idea of being happy or content so hard then? Because of the ego and your state of mind. The mind will sit there and eat you alive if you’re not aware of the true importance it plays in your life. I’m not trying to say you have to start preaching good vibes, throwing out namastes’ or be the next Buddha to practice mindfulness. You can still be you to practice this and I don’t think a lot of people realize that. The more you learn though about how the mind works and the more awareness you start to develop, you slowly start to wake up. Learn how the break down these walls and illusions that you have about yourself now while it’s not that hard to rewire you negative mental habits vs when you’re 50 and you’re set in your ways realizing this way of life isn’t working for you. There comes a time though, when you get to a point where you can sit back and watch your emotions and thoughts come up without attaching to them or acting on them instantly without even having a say in the matter. You learn to watch at how not to give into the ego to feed it, and theres a freedom that comes to you when you start to realize you are not your thoughts. All of this was probably some of the hardest shit I ever had to do. To be able to sit there and put my pride aside, be honest with myself and just say “man this is where I’m fucking up and these are areas where I’m being a piece of shit” broke me down a bit. No one wants to admit that to themselves but I’m beyond grateful for learning all of this. I’m nowhere near a saint, still a big pain in the ass and have my own shit to deal with, but everyday I’m working to better myself so I don’t waste this life. A wise crazy old Russian man once told me “You want to open up. And who wants it will always get it because most people want to stay closed up if you really think about it”. So with all this being said, mindfulness can go a long way if you let it. And if anyones looking for an out to being depressed, having anxiety, always being angry/stressed, anything else you can think of, I promise you this is a step in the right direction if you give it a honest chance. Non-attachment to ideas and thoughts, non-resistance to what is, non-judgement and the understanding of impermanence are the keys to a healthy mind. Ever since I was a little I’ve always enjoyed helping people out and that is my main reason for writing this, trying to give back what I can. I’ve been there and know what it’s like to feel low and stress over the wrong things in life. Whether you know it or not, compassion is the true center of everyone’s basic human nature. My stress and worries are not your stress and worries so I can only speak for myself through all of this. Take this for what it is and I truly hope this makes it’s way to anybody that needs it.
“Thoughts are not the problem, The problem is that we identify with the thoughts. That’s the problem. And that we get swept away by our thinking.” – Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo