When I was young my swimming coach would talk a lot about the power of the mind over the body.
And I knew the power it had.
Those 5am starts, training twice a day, what seemed like constant shaking from hunger …
I could listen to the whiney voice in my head,
I could slump and feel exhausted and resentful that my friends were out socialising,
Or I could put it aside and go a little bit further,
Many times a lot further.
And all with a better mood, making the hard work suddenly much more enjoyable.
It’s an incredible skill to have in any sphere of life -
I’m talking about exercise here,
But how about raising a Mini-me?
As amazing as they are, it isn’t a walk in the park.
(I have so much respect for single parents …)
Whoever you are, this skill - and it is a skill - is for you.
For you athletes, for you parents, for you working a tough job or setting up a new business, for you who are studying …
For you who are exhausted, for you who are facing health/money/relationship issues,
For you whose head just seems like the enemy some days …
For you who are ALL of those things.
The ability to gently and persistently put your mind to one side can literally save your life.
Inevitably, even if your life is amazing,
There’ll come a time when your mind squeaks.
It can be a roar of squeak, or just a "squeakette".
(You might know both very well)
Regardless of the quality of the squeak -
You can listen to it and do what it says - quit, give up, hide away …
Or you can be curious as to what is on the other side of that squeak.
“If I ignore it, what will happen?”
“Just because a voice says I’m exhausted, does that mean I can't gone on a touch longer?”
“Just because a voice says I’m useless, do I have to listen?”
“Just because a voice says “PANIC!”, can I choose not to?”
"Just because a voice says "I wonder what's in the fridge?", do I need to look?"
Put the thought down,
Don’t let it define you,
Instead - get super present and see what happens from that.
Because when you really get good at this -
You find everything is manageable away from the squeak in the present moment.
“I can’t go on”
“I can’t possibly do this”
Becomes a case of “well, perhaps I could … oh, and actually, I am”
And that’s a life saver.
There’s times when you HAVE to go on.
There’s times when you can’t have a strop, throw your toys down and sulk.
There’s times when you just have to forget what you’d rather be doing, and get going.
But if you do it full on, it becomes you.
You find you have greater abilities and reserves than you ever knew.
All … and this is a big part of it for me -
All with a lightness of being that wasn’t there before when you were listening to those thoughts.
You can come out the other side and find what appeared to be a wall,
Was just a curtain.
What your head says is not reality but simply an option.
Your thoughts don’t need to have the power to define you, and what you do.
You get to choose.
Top tip -
Don’t wait. Don’t delay,
Practice now while the going is good so you can sail through those SQUEAK-y times.
A mighty fine practice for that - simple, effortless, enjoyable - is Ascension.
If you’re liking my approach to stress and meditation and all this stuff?
Here’s a free guide to being less SQUEAKY, more mindful and more alive.
You'll love it: