When I was growing up I frequently heard the phrase “mind over matter”. It was one of my step-father’s favorite expressions. He was an athlete and coach who believed that you could walk off minor aches and pains – particularly if you set your mind to it. He tried to teach us that our thoughts could really make matters much worse if we chose to focus on the negative rather than the desire to pursue life with vigor.
I used to be offended by this sentiment – my injuries were real and they hurt! It was insensitive to say that if I just changed my mind that I would no longer experience the pain I was currently feeling. But, I now understand what he meant. I now understand that the power of my focus and perspective can greatly affect the way that I experience my reality.
Perhaps the key to true happiness is mind over matter. Most of us currently look upon our conditions and react to them. Our thoughts about what we are observing then affect the way that we feel. What if we could change that? What if we could practice mind over matter? What if we learned to control our focus and perspective regardless of the conditions?
If we could choose how we want to direct our thoughts (mind) without getting caught up in the conditions of our lives (matter), then we could develop unconditional living. In others words, we could feel how we want to feel without the material goods and circumstances that we believe we need to feel the way we want.
Instead of using your mind to feed what you don’t want by worrying and fretting, start using your mind to dream up everything you do want. Instead of spending your day thinking about things that make you feel crummy, start thinking about things that are really enjoyable.
You use your imagination all the time. Every time you start anticipating the outcome of a conversation your imagination is hard at work. Every time you worry about whether you will find a parking space when you get to your destination you are concocting a story. Every time you stress about your retirement savings account you are dreaming up possible scenarios for your future.
Why not take your over-active imagination and put it to good use? Start thinking about how wonderful your conversation will be and all of the delightful results that will come from making a connection. Focus on how many different parking spaces and possibilities are available to you when you get to your destination and how much fun it will be to find one with ease. Dream about all of the wonderful things that you will get to do with your retirement money and all of the possible adventures that you can go on.
When you start using your mind to create pleasing thoughts you will find that you start feeling the way that you want to feel. Your heart can’t tell the difference between thoughts that are a reaction to what is in front of you and thoughts that are a result of your active imagination. The feelings follow the way that you are thinking about life. Therefore, if you practice mind over matter you can cultivate unconditional happiness by choosing to activate your imagination in a way that is pleasing to you rather than in a way that makes you feel crummy.
The next time you catch yourself idly thinking remind yourself to practice a little mind over matter. Activate your imagination and dream about all of the things that you find particularly enjoyable – not to get anything out of it – just because it feels good. Consciously create the life you want every day by feeling good now. If you would like an excellent tool to help you do that, check out The Living Soulful Daily Journal.