The 100 Day Warrior’s central theme is transformation. We want to create a different relationship with both body and mind. Both relationships are related, the relationship with our body is informed by what our mind tells us about our body.
It is quite easy to imagine that 2 women with completely similar bodies can have a completely different experience of how they feel. A million different factors can influence how we feel about ourselves, among them culture, upbringing, parents, school, education, friends, social class. Probably most important is how much of self-worth we were able to develop during our lives. The woman who has learned to love and appreciate her body will be feeling different about herself then the woman who is very critical.
How we think about ourselves is key. With the practice of meditation you can train yourself to observe the thinking mind without judgment or interfering. Basically what you will start noticing is that thoughts are some kind of noise. You don’t have to pay attention to it and it is not necessary to respond. You can let the noise be. After some time it becomes really clear that your thoughts have a huge impact on your life, and quite often not in a constructive but in a very limiting way.
In the spiritual tradition of the Toltecs one of the main teachings is to not take anything personally. When you take things personally, then you feel offended, and your reaction is to defend your beliefs and create conflicts. You make something big out of something so little, because you have the need to be right and make everybody else wrong. You also try hard to be right by giving them your own opinions. In the same way, however you act and speak is just a projection of your own personal dream, a reflection of your personal thoughts and beliefs. What you say, what you do, and the opinions you have are according to what you have become to believe by your conditioning and is what you keep repeating to yourself.
Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally. You have the right to believe or not believe these voices and the right not to take what they say personally. We have a choice whether or not to believe the voices we hear within our own minds, just as we have a choice of what to believe and agree with what we hear around us.
The mind can also talk and listen to itself. The mind is divided as your body is divided. Part of the mind is speaking, and the other part is listening. It is a big problem when a thousand parts of your mind are all speaking at the same time.
The practice of meditation makes you aware of this. Actually I wanted to use the words ‘painfully aware’ because it can be quite shocking to find out how selfish, distrusting and negative your thoughts actually are. But sooner or later you will also find the vast space underneath the thoughts, which will give you an experience of spaciousness, love and peace. The more we ground ourselves in this inner peace, the less we are impressed by our thoughts. When we feel no need anymore to take our thoughts personally we feel no need to act accordingly. The way we act, speak and relate to ourselves and others will be informed by this inner peace. We will still be same person but nurtured by a different source.
The phenomenon in the accompanying picture is called ‘The tunnel of love’. The leafy green train tunnel of Kleven (Ukraine) is a beautiful example of what happens when nature is allowed to grow freely around manmade infrastructure. The tunnel was made over many years as the passing train molded the trees’ lines. In some way we could use it as a metaphor for our journey beyond thinking. We might arrive at a beautiful and very natural place.
This is episode 5 in a series of 100 blog posts that will be published daily during the 100 Day Warrior. All posts are written by Atalwin Pilon, founder of Basic Goodness and creator of the 100 Day Warrior, a unique program around physical strength, inner wisdom and meaning. For requests for motivational speaking, in-company workshops, online coaching and mindfulness training click here. If you would like to join our international community of brave and inspiring human beings or just follow this blog and receive updates, please click here of sign up on the right side of the page. Atalwin specializes in coaching smart and creative people, both groups and individuals. If you are interested in a free coaching session click here.