The conundrum comes from the insight that what we think about is less important than the fact that we think. You have to roll that thought around your head a couple of times before it makes any sense. It’s less about the intellectual exploration of which thought is causing what emotion and more of a realization that thoughts are always floating by and you can choose to bring your attention to which ones you fancy.
There is a difference between the outside-in thinking (reaction to outside circumstances) and inside-out thinking (realization of thoughts). This means that your emotions come from your thinking (and nothing else). Understanding this in itself is a major step. It isn’t the event (good or bad) that’s causing you to feel a certain type of way, it’s your thinking about the event.
“Everything you ever experienced is through the lens of now.” – Eckhart Tolle
Mindfulness and inside-out thinking teach us that consciousness is a river of never-ending thoughts and that we have to recognize that thoughts are just thoughts and keep watching them float until a good one comes along. The realization that consciousness is an endless stream of thoughts flowing by, you enjoy massively enhanced odds of picking one.
The past and present can be comprehended only in the moment of thought. They don’t exist anywhere else. So to suffer from the past you have to remember the past now and create bad feelings in the present. Yes, it’s easier said than done. But once we realize that we are the creator of our thoughts a personal revolution is about to begin.
“Your greatest frustration isn’t that you don’t know what to do – it’s knowing exactly what to do and still not doing it.” – Richard Wilkins
If I wait for someone else to be inspired, I might die waiting, so I might as well focus on the only person I could do anything about – myself! So the revolution began, in my head. The only way I knew of instilling the principles in other people was to instill them in me first.
“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” – Gautama Buddha
It may sound naive and simplistic, but sometimes happiness is just one thought away. So what are you thinking?