Keeping a Clear Mind During Diabetes Journey
All of us look after our bodies. We take our morning shower, wash our hands and brush our teeth every day. We wear clean clothes, we rest at night and we give the body shelter, avoiding inclement weather. If we have diabetes, extra special care must be taken with proper diet, exercise or medication. Without the necessary care for the body, we can't function or survive. If something goes wrong with it, we don't hesitate to find out what the problem is and fix it immediately.
Nothing compares to the amazing mind that we have. However, we tend to take it for granted which is different from how we treat our bodies. If we get sick, we quickly call the doctor. If the body gets hungry, we eat as soon as possible.
What about the mind? Cleaning it up and keeping it in good order can help us to have a more peaceful and satisfying life. It is important to discover how we lack peace and satisfaction in order to understand how to clean and care for the mind.
One of the major ways that we lack peace and satisfaction is by living in yesterday or tomorrow. All day long our minds are cluttered with the past and the future. If we are young, we think about the future, since there is more of it. If we are older we think more about the past because there is more of that. The reality is that yesterday is gone and can never return and tomorrow is not here and may never arrive. Five minutes from now may never come.
Living with the emphasis on the past and future is not actually living, but rather "dreaming." It is our habit. We can change this habit and experience the wonderful "Power of Now." Ekhart Tolle's bestseller, The Power of Now (New World Library, 2009) is about the peace and joy that come from changing our past-future orientation.
Cleaning up a home involves getting rid of unnecessary clutter. Cleaning up the mind is the same. Both cleaning a home and cleaning the mind leaves you with a wonderful feeling of spaciousness and ease. In my own, life, if my house is messy, I can't begin to do my work effectively since it seems to have a negative impact on my psyche. Cleaning up my house seems to precede personal productivity.
You can start your "mind cleaning" with noticing where your mind is now. Is your mind on eating, doing the dishes, talking with your friend, or driving the car? Chances are that you are not with the present moment. You can begin ridding yourself of mind clutter by bringing your attention back to your activity or whatever is going on now.
This type of cleaning needs to happen throughout your day. You are training yourself to direct the mind in the way you want to. With practice, the skill will take over and you will become the master of your own mind, rather than its slave. You can enhance the cleaning process by sitting still for a few minutes every day. You can focus on your breathing, continuing to turn away from thinking and coming back to the "now" of the breath.
This present moment kind of life involves releasing the attempt to control. Much of our thinking is an illusory attempt to control the past or future, which in reality is impossible to do.
Being here now and keeping the "mind-house" clean, is not an easy discipline but well worth the effort. Such effort will ultimately set you free to live in the clean, quiet spaciousness of your inner mansion.