Don’t let the tall weeds cast a shadow on the beautiful flowers in your garden.Steve Maraboli
Take some time to think about your body and what a truly wonderful miracle it is. It’s like a giant bag that holds and protects everything essential to your survival. Your stomach, lungs, heart, and brain are just some of its important tenants. In short, your body serves as the boundary between you and the outside world.
Without these barriers, your internal organs would be covered with dirt and bombarded by UV rays. They’d probably be lacerated by all the things that you bump into on a daily basis. Be grateful that they’re protected since they were definitely not designed to survive in the harsh environments outside our bodies. Your body does such a fantastic job of keeping the bad things out. It also does an equally impressive job of keeping the nutritional things in. Blood staying in your body is a good thing™.
But the real wizardry of this apparatus is its ability to let only the good things in and push strictly the bad things out. Your nose, for example, lets you inhale air while your nasal hair and mucosa prevent particles from getting into your lungs. On the inside, your kidneys differentiate the wheat from the chaff in your bloodstream and route all the waste to your bladder where you eventually urinate it out.
Unfortunately, we don’t have such an involuntary system to regulate things that affect our psyche. We have to consciously perform this task since our minds tend to let everything in – for better or for worse. The most miserable part about this reality is that by default, the negative emotions are more powerful than the positive ones and therefore tend to dominate our lives.
What can we do about this? Again, we can consult the wisdom of Patanjali’s yoga sutras. The first niyama, saucha, is one of the most important virtues in Indian philosophy and is about achieving purity of body and mind. Only after purity is achieved can ecstatic love be discovered.
If we wanted to mimic the restorative intelligence of our bodies in our minds, then there are two critical pathways we must build and fortify. First, we need a process to let the pure in and keep the tainted out. And, we also need a mechanism to excrete the thoughts that are nasty and retain those that are pleasant.
Mindfulness and meditation have been helpful for me in realizing these two goals. Both of these practices improve my attention so that I can focus on the pleasure of the present moment and firmly plant positivity in my mind so that the negative weeds cannot and will not take root.
What systems do you plan on putting in place?