Being in your head is not all bad, as long as you are in working mind and not in thinking mind.
Being in working mind is what the Buddhists refer to as ‘right effort’. It is relaxed, focussed action in the moment. Now is working mind. It is your place of rest, your natural state, pure being.
Your mind is not meant to take you into the past or future or elsewhere in the present unasked. There it becomes thinking mind with its story. The resultant desire and fear are entirely due to wrong use of the mind.
I’ve realized that I never need to let thinking mind in. It literally never applies. Mind is purely there to work out the nuts and bolts of Self’s creations. It should be the tool to act on them in the moment. There it becomes working mind, the correct use of mind. It gives form to the creative impulse by gathering, storing and analyzing information. Working mind is a harnessed mind used at the point of power.
Although it seems contradictory, planning ahead also takes place in working mind. When I plan, it is during time set aside for that purpose and done in the Now. Daydreaming while trying to focus on what is in front of you, isn’t planning. Your mind is an instrument. Learn to use it properly.
The goal is the process
Working mind is absorbed in the task at hand. It is fully, yet effortlessly focussed. It treats every task as if it were the most important thing in the world. If you’re completely absorbed in the moment in whatever you’re doing, the task will speak to you of improvements of its own accord, you don’t need to plan it all out.
In working mind, the goal is the process. When I give more attention to the doing than to the result, my doing is more effective, fulfilling, and joyful. If I am in it only with my thinking mind, rushing through it to tick it off my list, then it can’t speak to me. Then I feel fear and start worrying. This sets off a spurt of unnecessary thinking mind activity.
If my working mind is properly available to me because I am completely in the moment, I do things right first time round. I don’t need to pander to my thinking mind afterwards: ‘Did I forget anything? Did I lock the door?’
Take it one moment at a time
I can handle anything if I take it one task at a time. I zero in on what is in front of me exclusively, knowing that all else will get the same undivided attention in priority order. When I feel overwhelmed by all thats need doing, I first set the intent for it all to be completed in good time and then I consciously slow down my mind. That way I find I can literally stretch time and then much gets achieved with little effort.
When there are issues to resolve, I try to detach from them so that the mental-emotional fixation lessens. If it can wait a while, I return to the task at hand. Then I tackle the issue at an appropriate time, with the same full attention.
In working mind, you can keep your eye on the ball. I tended to drop the ball. I struggled to see my commitments through to the end. When challenges came, I didn’t stay in the moment: I got to a point where I felt inferior and discouraged and then I didn’t even try anymore. With practice I realized that If I allow thinking mind to take over, I become fearful of the next moment and rightly so: I am not prepared for it because I have been elsewhere in my mind playing out all possible permutations of negative outcomes.
In thinking mind, you miss out on the moment because thinking mind is by nature not in the moment. It is removed from the immediate experience and stops you from flowing with events. Staying in working mind brings the satisfaction of a job 100% well done from start to finish.
When I first managed to stay with myself for a whole working week, it felt amazing. That poise and elegance, no matter what, which I so admire in women of class is only attainable if I stay in real time. If I don’t drop the ball.
Lastly, in a conversation while in working mind, communication flows better. You tend to talk when the moment to speak comes. You’re more likely to hear the other out; you don’t plan a response while they’re speaking. You listen to understand and not to reply.
Want to switch gears into working mind? Contact me here.