The road to mind is the rare journey into self and it’s a trip where we typically avoid the view.
Lately, I could describe my personal internal road travel as a bumpy ride through Newark, New Jersey. The miles of pot-holed internal dialogues imagined detours, and self-imposed dead ends are endless! Talk about a “toll road”? Ok! I’ll spare you from more cheesy road metaphors. Let’s get to the heart of the matter.
The Road To Mind
Have you ever noticed the thoughts that you tend to entertain the most? In other words, how do you talk to yourself? Does your internal voice constantly berate you as if a Marine drill sergeant lives in your head? Or, does Eeyore’s defeatest monologue drone on throughout your entire day? Have you ever taken the time to listen to how you speak to yourself and to others around you? The reason I ask these questions is I’m at the edge of a new way of being. I’m learning about mindfulness and so far, this has begun to teach me that any “drive”, even through Newark, can be beautiful.
For most of my life, for reasons I don’t care to yack on about, I have struggled to understand what it’s like to be naturally joyful. In fact, I believe I have mostly looked at life through the lens of low self-esteem. As a result of this erroneous self-perception, all kinds of negative things have popped up along my journey. Most notably, how much of a victim I have played as a way to hide out and not take full responsibility for my actions. (I’m being very compassionate with myself as this realization comes into full view). Anyway, the journey inward, to the “Western Half” is revealing. So much so, I’m excited as well as terrified to finally “take the wheel” in my messy life.
There are curious contemplative questions I ask myself around the term, “stopping myself”. Would I rather stop myself from the negative self-talk or literally stop myself from living a life of mindfulness and miss life’s gifts? Can I stop, slow down, consciously breathe and learn to meditate? Is it easier to adopt the western mindset of, “suck it up” and “grin and bare life”? Or, is it more valuable to fully understand that life is full of wonder as well as suffering? Can I not wonder about suffering and look at it with compassion? Can I ease my suffering by listening to my internal voice and have compassion?
“Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.”Thich Nhat Hanh
The Way Out Is In!
In my last blog post, I mentioned how I completely changed how I want to write. I still have a deep desire to get on the open roads of the west from a literal perspective. The current figurative voice is actually the road to get me towards the initial vision. It is, the road to mind! For me, there are now two journeys on this road trip called life: the journey inward and the actual real-time experiences of exploring the western half of the United States. I’m discovering that the most direct route to making the literal come to its full fruition, begins with road inward. I need to get out of my own way.
I’m honored that you’re reading this post and I hope you will follow me on this marvelous two-fold journey. It is my sincere desire to plant many seeds for positive growth not so much for readership but more for gaining witnesses to the power of self-inquiry. I promise I will share what it’s like to see the west through the eyes of a more grounded, self-compassionate, and self-actualized human being. I hope that we can explore and learn together as each lesson unfolds more and more amazing outcomes!