I was reading Joseph Bailey’s excellent book ‘Fear Proof Your Life’ the other day and came across the familiar phrase ‘peace of mind.’ As I read it, the words suddenly had new meaning for me. We generally think of ‘peace of mind’ as the absence of stress or worry, and I think you would agree that most of us strive for that. If we are using the word ‘mind’ to describe our brains – or our personal laptops as I have come to think of them – then the definition fits and the peace we feel comes from an absence of concern. But that’s not how I interpreted ‘peace of mind’ when I read it the other day. I thought of Mind (or energy, or spirit, or whatever else you want to call it), as the intelligence behind all life, and it changed the meaning of this phrase for me. Let me illustrate.
If we live our lives believing we run the show, from all the thinking that passes through and/or is stored in our personal minds (our biological minds), then the only peace we can hope to find is either the absence of all thought at times convenient to us, or the absence of thoughts of worry, concern, anxiety, fear etc. But, as we all know, we have no control over the thoughts that pop into our head, or where or when. We often get side-swiped by a whole bunch of unhelpful thinking at the most inconvenient times. If that happens to me and I forget that ‘my’ thinking doesn’t have to have much to do with me if I pay it little to no attention (because, we are not our thoughts and they have no real life of their own without our attention), that’s when I might act on that thinking and you might get a piece of ‘my mind.’ You will literally experience a piece of the rubbish thinking that I am caught up in at that moment.
But, if we live our lives knowing that there is an intelligence beyond our limited thinking, and that we are permanently plugged into it, because we are ‘it,’ then we don’t have to solve everything from what we already ‘know.’ We can experience new, fresh thinking when our busy minds quieten, because that is part of our perfectly designed psychological system. Fresh, new, inspired thinking comes from somewhere other than our personal laptops. We all ‘feel’ that to be true. We use words to describe it such as inspiration, epiphany and insight. So where does it come from? I don’t really know how to answer that in words. I do know that it doesn’t come from ‘out there.’ It comes from you; the innate wisdom you (and all of us) are made of, because we are all part of the intelligence behind life – whatever that is. It’s what shows up, or is what’s left, when our personal thinking quietens down. And because the design is perfect, we don’t even have to work on quietening our minds. Understanding that we are ok, even when we don’t feel ok, makes all the difference.
So ‘peace of Mind,’ to me, is the peace and freedom that comes from knowing that whatever thought storm I happen to be caught up in, that is only me experiencing the thinking I am paying attention to in any moment (the perfection of the design means that my consciousness has to bring it to life for me, whatever it is), and that I am not those thoughts. I am not any of my personal thinking. That is just the perfect gifts of thought and consciousness working together so that I can experience being alive. What has my back, always, is MIND; the very thing we are all made of – pure, formless energy/spirit…whatever! It doesn’t matter what we call it. Increasingly, peace for me now is knowing I can (and will) experience my thinking (thoughts of happiness, sadness, grief, fear, irritation, dissatisfaction, joy, etc) and will ALWAYS be ok regardless, because I am not them, I am MIND.
Photo by Francesco Gallarotti on Unsplash