When you woke up this morning, did you jump out of bed eager and grateful to experience another day of life? Or did you wake up with a sense of dread when you realised that it is still was not the weekend yet?
This feeling, by the way, is more commonplace than you first might think. The vast majority of us find it hard to be present in our everyday life. We tend to live in the past in regret, sorrow or reliving the joy we once had. When not ruminating on the past, we are all too frequently focused on the joy, that we think is somehow magically coming in our future. Some of us call this the hope that things will get better in the future. Yet, the only place we can enact change to get the future we want is right here, in the present moment.
When we live this way day after day, life can seem like ground-hog day, over and over again, and we miss all the magic and opportunities that come into our lives that could change everything in an instant. We can spiral into negative thinking, sadness and eventually back ourselves into a corner where our mental health is completely compromised.
What if I told you that the outer world you are experiencing is merely a reflection of the inner world you are avoiding?
This is a big question to ponder don't you think? Particularly, when in an ironic twist of fate, avoidance of pondering is actually what you are doing when you choose not to be present.
So why do we stare blankly into the external world, wishing and hoping, instead of doing? Why are we so scared to stop, be still and look within?
Firstly, we need to understand what we are experiencing externally. In the external world, we can see, touch and hear it through our basic senses. We have been taught through conditioning to believe predominantly only what we see. This is because, for the most part, we experience the external world through our eyes. Yet science has clearly shown us that what you see is not the same as what anyone else sees. Our interpretation of the world around us is our very own, built over our entire lifetime of social and cultural conditioning.
If your interpretation of the external world is different to everyone else's. Then what is reality, and what have you made up that others cannot see? Why do we do this?
Mindfulness can help to answer all these questions and bring some clarity to help you understand how the external world is merely a reflection of the internal world you are avoiding. You see, your subconscious and the conscious mind is at work constantly, whether you are awake or asleep. If your subconscious mind is trying to alert you to something you need to see, you can project it into your external world in an attempt to make you see what you are avoiding in the inside world. This is a pretty cool thing to consider.
Let me give you an example of how this works. Consider a time in your life when you experienced something negative as a child. You might have had a disappointment in life that you have buried because it was too painful to deal with at the time. You project negativity into the world, and more negativity keeps coming to you in response. It further exacerbates the feeling of negativity and so the spiral continues, sometimes for years and years. Could this quite possibly just be a projected reminder to deal with the thing you buried in the first place?
What if you go back and reflect on what created the negativity in the first place? Then deal with it rationally because you are older and wiser now, and what created the feeling simply is irrelevant now.
What might you feel like now? Would the way you see the outside world be different in some way?
Has the external landscape changed? More importantly, have you changed? I'm not a betting woman at all. However, I would bet you have changed on the inside, and that is why you are now seeing the external world differently.
Next time your view of the external world is not pleasing to your eye. Turn your view inward, and there might just be a road sign leading you right to where the trouble all began. Learn to do this often, and you are on your way to re-creating the external world to appear just as your heart desires. How magnificent would that be?
All the answers to your external dissatisfaction, are within you. You simply need to choose to change the lens and focal point of your attention inward. This simple understanding has completely changed my life and can change yours too. All you need to do is start.
Do you want to know more about how mindfulness can help you to understand that the outside world is merely a reflection of the work you are avoiding on the inside?
Subscribe to my new Youtube channel, 'the art of mindful disruption' today.