9 Ways To Tell Your Mind To Sit. Stay.

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We all have trouble. Even those who appear to have no trouble at all — trust me, they have trouble.  

Trouble is universal.  What makes the difference is what we do with it.  Do we make it worse, or smooth it out?  

Do we amplify it, or do we know how to turn it into a feather and call to the wind?

Worry falls into the category of trouble, and what we do with it makes a huge difference in how we move through our day. According to the Dalai Lama, there’s no situation that benefits from worrying. 

If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever. — Dalai Lama

Today, let’s think in dog-speak and calm our minds, shall we?


1.  Heel. 

Be less intellectual.   Today is a good day to put your negative imagination on vacation.  Being a brainiac can work against you.   If you think about your trouble, reason with it, or evaluate it,  you might as well tie boulders to your ankles and jump in a deep lake.   Jackson and Blue Flowers May 2011

Here’s the weirdest thing about trouble.  If you give it your attention, it grows.  If  you pay too much attention to your illness, for instance, it takes you by the nose and leads you like a puppet, and where it leads isn’t pretty.   Instead, put your focus elsewhere.  Go in step with easier thoughts.

When you catch yourself over-thinking, or imagining negatively, notice it.   “Huh.  I’m over-thinking.”  And then shift gears.  Do something (anything) that takes you in another direction.  Heel!  Make a phone call, look up something on Google that you’ve been curious about, read a book, pet your dog, write a thank you note, walk and take in natural beauty.

2.  Sit. 

Listen to your heart.  Quiet yourself enough to let your heart inform your brain.  Your heart is in charge, and your brain is the faithful servant.  Anyone who knows anything about change recommends meditation, which is a way to tell your brain to sit and stay.   Spend 15 minutes a day quieting your mind and being heart-centered.  It’s easier to listen to your heart when you’re better friends with it.

3.  Stay. 

Don’t get all up close and personal with trouble.   Step back and say, “Oh, look, there’s trouble” instead of  “I’m in trouble.”

This gives you some well-deserved breathing room, so that you don’t become the trouble. You’re observing the trouble, which is a powerful place to stand.  If someone else is having trouble, don’t jump in the barrel with them.  You can’t help them if you’re part of the problem.  Stay out, and call to them to join you where you are.   Lead them toward still water.

4.  Come this way! Good doggie!  

See yourself as whole, perfect and happy.  Sure, JacksonCutePompTail croppedyou’ve got an issue, but the real you is fine.  (You know this because you’re breathing.)  Don’t let temporary  circumstances sway you from your inner knowing that all is well, and whatever this is, this will pass.  Your mental state matters.   There is a bright light of love surrounding you 24-7. It’s easier to keep the faith if you let it in.  Sunshine for your soul is pouring into you and bathing beautiful you in light always and forever. 

5.  Sic ’em! 

Go after something you love.  If you’re happily occupied, your brain won’t be wandering into scary territory or getting you in trouble.  If you love music, do more of that.  It will uplift you. Play music on your sound system, pick up your guitar, go to the piano, or sing  — whatever works.   Music is healing and it will shoo away the scurry of the usual trouble suspects.  Singing prevents your brain from negative shenanigans.   You can Google “health benefits of music” and you’ll find plenty to read regarding all sorts of evidence for how music helps us.   

6.  Roll over. 

Take trouble less seriously.  This idea is counter-intuitive, but it will save you.   Taking trouble less seriously can be a tall order, but make light of the fact that you can’t walk well, have lost your balance, can’t see the road sign, or have pain.  Find a way to be silly about it.  Care less about the fact that what you can accomplish in a day has changed.  The package didn’t arrive? Your flight was cancelled? The less weight you give your problem, the lighter and more nimble you’ll be in getting to a new place.

Someone is angry with you?  Someone isn’t talking to you?  Problems at work?  Go easy.  Say a simple prayer, blessing you and the others, knowing that help is on the way.

7.  Play Dead. 

Don’t believe in your problem.   jacksonCouch1Don’t let the problem consume you or take center stage.   Just because someone asks how you are, you don’t have to tell them.   Just because you got a divorce, diagnosis, fell and scraped your knee, or flunked the test, you’re not required to announce it.  Speak less about your problems to others and more about where you’re going.   Instead, be quiet, go with the flow, notice what’s out-picturing and do your inner work.  See your problem as a way to focus on what’s working, and on your baby-step progress.   If you do, chances are greater that your problem will lose its grip, and graduate to temporary.  Things can change.  Even conditions that have a reputation for snuffing the life out of us can change on a dime.

8.  Go Fetch. 

Ask for help.   Maybe you have always been a person who didn’t need anything from others, at least in the basic ways.  You had endless energy, independence and strength.  But let’s say things change, and you’re still trying to be the person you used to be. It may be time to adjust!  Shift gears and get help, reach out.  If you don’t, you’ll sit at home by yourself and your brain will go after you.   Change things up and reach out for something, anything.  Ask more questions, be interested in others.   Get help with something physical that will make things easier.

My hubby Eric is having physical challenges right now.  Recently, he asked me to bring some of his music equipment upstairs to work on, because the stairs are too hard for him.   I’m happy to do that, and I’m happy he asked. 

A friend recovering from surgery got doctor’s orders to exercise.  She sent an email to a whole group of us, asking women to sign up to go for walks with her, knowing that if she had time scheduled with someone, her brain couldn’t talk her out of it.  That’s a smart move.

9.  Shake hands. 

View your problem as assistance you invited.  What if your problem is there to help you learn something you said you wanted to understand?  What if the only reason your issue is staring you in the face is to HELP you?  What if this trouble holds a golden nugget that helps your future?  What if this is is not a roadblock, it’s ONLY for your assistance?  What if this thing that looks like it’s designed to hold you back is actually the thing that will help you be who you want to be, get where you want to go, or understand and receive what you say you want? 

Makes you wanna say “Hmmmm….”

Good Doggie!  Want to go for a walk?





Dalai Lama, In Care of Relationships, Terri Crosby

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