Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday Mantra: ...'Cause I Don't Think That They'd Understand (pt. 2)

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: "Somebody once told me the definition of hell: On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become." - Anonymous
Lostfog Co.

It's funny how it feels like the universe listens to your thoughts sometimes.

The other day on a walk with The Fiance, he brought up the topic of thoughts. He wanted to know what I'd learned from my psychology days. Specifically, he wanted to know how I felt about the power of thoughts. As my mind scrolled through all of the founding fathers of psychology, I landed on someone unexpected. I landed on Jon Kabat-Zinn, my very favorite mindfulness expert.

I explained that Kabat-Zinn's outlook on thoughts - that we get to pick and choose what thoughts we pay attention to, what thoughts we make "real" - was the most forward thinking, insightfully powerful, and life changing thing I'd ever learned. That it quite literally changed how I think.

The Fiance gave me the funniest look and then proceeded to hit play on a podcast episode by Invisibilia: The Secret History of Thoughts.

The timing of this couldn't have been better. Not only was the entire episode about essentially what I had just said (without, sadly, the mention of Jon Kabat-Zinn), it also reflected a movement with psychologists and therapists using this approach with patients. In particular, patients who are in some ways similar to my mom. People with overwhelming thoughts.

I won't ruin the episode for you, as I do hope you listen to is since it is so very, very good, but I will say this: it gave me hope. While I don't think I could ever convince my mom to seek the kind of therapy they discussed (simply because she refuses any help at all) it gave me hope for everyone else. It gave me hope that one day mental illness as a whole, and those who suffer with thoughts like this, will no longer be ashamed or embarrassed to seek out help. Rather, that they will feel empowered.

Empowered to know that they hold the key within themselves. That we all do.

Sometimes we just can't find it. Sometimes it's too dark. But there are people in the world that can help us find the key, unlock the door, step through to a better place. There are good people in this world who want to, and are, helping. They're helping the rest of us good people who simply can't see our way out.

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