How Do We Quiet a Noisy Mind?
"It feels completely out of my control", she said.⠀ ⠀ A recent client was frustrated because her mind was noisy. And she was doubly frustrated that despite trying every self-help strategy she knew to get out of her head, the noise persisted. With resignation, she told me, "I don't know what to do. It feels completely out of my control to quiet my mind."⠀ ⠀ My answer surprised her:⠀ ⠀ "There's a good reason it feels that way! Because it IS completely out of your control."⠀ ⠀ Now, that might sound depressing or at least, crazy! After all, we're taught that:
1) Yes, we can quiet our mind, and
2) It's our job to make it happen⠀
I mean, that's what I taught in my work for over a decade, and it seems to be a common theme in almost every self-help book and article I've read:
Tame the monkey mind.
Silence your inner chatter.
Cultivate a peaceful mind.
But be honest with yourself for a minute: how has that worked out for you? Sure, you might feel temporary relief sometimes. But has it ever worked long term? If mental strategies and techniques worked, don't you think they would have worked by now? ⠀ ⠀ See, I'm not so sure we have the control we think we do. 🤷♂️⠀ ⠀ But wait, I've got awesome news! We don't really need control.
"Wait, what??!! What crazy talk is this?", you might be asking.
Well, our mind is a self-correcting system. It's designed for clarity and stillness. Peace of mind is the "factory", default setting. And the mind is built to get back to default on its own if we let it. ⠀ ⠀ No "us" effort required 🙌🎉⠀ ⠀ Our mind is a lot like a snow globe; when we try to "make" our mind get quiet, we just shake up the snow more and it's even harder to see what's in there. But the second we set the globe down, it begins to settle by itself. Because no matter how much or long we shake it, it's built to start settling as soon as we leave it alone.
And so is our mind. We just don't realize this because we've been so busy thinking we had to make it happen that it never occurred to us it might be simpler than that. ⠀ But left to its own devices, our mind always will naturally return “home” to peace and clarity. And new, fresh thought will always be available without us needing to create it. Every time. ⠀ So, if you're feeling frustrated that despite all your efforts, you can't seem to find clarity, I invite you to reflect on this: Is the noise itself actually the problem? Or are you feeling stuck in your head because you're trying so hard to get out of it? 🤔⠀ ⠀ And here's an experiment, if you're up for it: What would happen if instead of making it your job to "fix" the noise or find better thoughts, let your mind do the heavy lifting for you? Try and see what happens. It might feel scary at first, but it's worth sticking it out.
Why? Because less time trying to manage the noise in your head means more time living and being fully in life. And life, my friends, is where all the glorious magic happens. 💫
So, how do you quiet a noisy mind?
My teacher, Michael Neill, says, "There's nothing you can do that will quiet the mind faster than doing nothing to quiet the mind."⠀ ⠀ What if it's really that simple? ❤️❤️
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