The Power of Silence – When the Mind Clears, Wisdom Appears

I’m in week 1 of my Transformative / Profound Well-being Coaching training and our homework for this week is:

  • Getting curious and noticing how I feel/act when my mind if full vs how I feel when my mind is clear.
  • Getting curious and noticing what’s the difference when I’m on my game / in the flow vs ‘off my game / out of flow’

 

Before I even started my reflections on those questions, I ‘coincidentally’ stumbled upon an interesting Zen story which I’d love to share with you:

A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor’s cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. “It’s full! No more will go in!” the professor blurted. “This is you,” the master replied, “How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”

In the last three weeks my mind has been very full. Just back from a holiday in Wales, me and my family somehow entered a whirl wind storm of happenings, events and things to do. There was so much going on and it all felt urgent. My head felt like the overflowing cup of the professor. My head was spinning.

It’s a horrible feeling when I am in this state of mind! My brain feels tight and constricted, I feel and act agitated and short tempered. It feels like I’m stuck in a big grey thunderstorm cloud. It’s like I’m wearing the wrong glasses and I see everything blurry. I can’t see clearly. Over all I feel I’m in a low mood and I seem to be in a non-stop rush.

 

I wonder how I got stuck her and whether my thinking Mind has got an emergency Exit!

You may recognize yourself being in this state of mind when reading this. I’m pretty sure actually that with the lives we live in this modern fast paced 20thCentury, 95% of humanity finds itself in this State of Mind. This includes our children!

 

Our thinking is not our life!

The shocking fact is that when we don’t recognize this state of mind we think it is our life! We live in our thoughts!

But there’s good news. What is going on in our heads, it is NOT our life! It’s just thinking going on. However, with our thinking we create our experience of life. With our thinking we create our feelings. Thought and feeling are one. Always! No exception. This is 100% true for everybody! This experience becomes our so called ‘reality’. We think this reality is our real life. It’s not! It’s just a ‘story’ or drama created from Thought.

For those of you who are familiar with The Three Principles by Sydney Banks will already have grown a certain level of understanding of this fundamental principle of life. If you have never heard of The Three Principles, please visit the post in which I explain what they are. They will blow your mind and change your life!

 

But first back to my Full Mind State:

I know of myself I get into this state when I just have too many things to do in a short space of time. I was burnt out once or twice in my life and I recognize the signs of overwhelm. Over the years, I learned to not plan too much in one day. I make sure I don’t have too much on my plate. I like and need breathing space. Space to digest and process life, space for getting inspired, space to just be and enjoy.

Now ‘normally’ I’m quite skilled at organizing my life in a way that I don’t get too reved up and busy like I was in the last three weeks. This time I somehow didn’t read the signs in time and here I am…

 

My mind looks and feels like this:

And this is where I want to be:

one road

When the mind clears, wisdom appears…

Why you may wonder? I often ask this question to the children I teach yoga and mindfulness. Isn’t it a bit boring to have not so much on your mind? And don’t we definitely feel more important when we’re all busy with lots going on in our lives and heads if we’re honest?

There’s several reasons why we would want a calm mind versus a cluttered and full mind with lots of thinking going on.

Speaking for myself, but I know this is true for the rest of humanity too, I am a much nicer person when I am in a calm state of mind and secondly, things just seem to go more in flow, as if life unfolds easily all by itself, without me having to figure it all out and without me having to work and strive so hard. How is that possible?

 

 

Now here’s the thing, and this is so important to understand. Imagine we all have an in built intelligent GPS navigation system inside ourselves. Like the Satnav in our cars. Just like the Satnav this ‘system’ is telling us when to turn left, when to go the right, where to expect obstacles on the road and where to slow down when there are speed camera’s. This system is called our Wisdom or our Intuition.

Now imagine you are in the car and you have the radio on high volume and you have several passengers traveling with you and they are chatting loudly on the back seat. Would you be able to hear the Satnav? It would be very hard indeed and chances you get lost are big because of not having heard clearly what the Satnav was trying to tell you.

This same principle we can apply where it comes to having a clear mind and our wisdom guiding us through our lives. Our own wisdom is unique to us. Only your wisdom knows what’s right for us. No one and nothing else outside ourselves can beat this! However, it is rooted into something much larger than ourselves.

 

Wisdom is waiting to break through any moment

Wisdom is sourced from a space called Universal Mind or some people call it The Universe, or The Great Spirit, The Source, God, it doesn’t matter what name we give it, they all refer to the same Principle: it’s the intelligence behind ALL life that is powering everything in our world. It is the force that makes your hair and nails grow and makes an acorn grow into an Oak.

Deeper feelings of love, peace and joy share this spacious home with wisdom. It speaks through us when we fall into the grace of Silence. Silence allows new and fresh thinking to pass through our minds. When our minds are open and empty, there’s room for what we call inspiration! To inspire, to breathe in new ideas and new thinking.

It is inspiration that leads to ‘wisdom inspired action’. How can we recognize action inspired by wisdom? It is a doing which seems effortless. We are ‘in the flow’. Our own often small-minded personal thinking gets out of the way and gives way to something we couldn’t have imagined before. Life itself has taken over. The quality of this process is more one of an ‘allowing’, rather than a ‘doing’.

As soon as our thinking settles, as soon as we have a little less going on in our minds, we start to reconnect to that what is larger than ourselves. We start to reconnect to who we truly are beneath all the noise of our thinking.

 

 

2 Easy steps to find back our calm state of mind

Although ‘in theory’ a calm state of mind is ever only one thought away (really, I know right!), sometimes it can seem like we are really stuck in our minds and we can’t seem to find the way out. When we are in overwhelm it can be very hard to find the way out. What can we do?

 

1 Thinking Recognition

The first step back to a calm mind is to recognise that there is a lot of thinking going on in our head. Shifting our attention to the observation THAT we are thinking as opposed to the content of our thinking. This seems like a minor shift but it has huge consequences.

OK. Let’s do it: I am recognizing there’s tons of thinking going on in my head and I am convinced I have every excuse for it!

I look at what’s happening in my life right now and realise there’s a lot on my plate:

I’m running my own business (Young Yogis Academy) which involves teaching classes, one-to-one sessions and facilitating teacher trainings, I’m coordinating home schooling for my 12 year old daughter which all has been very messy and challenging in the first weeks of starting up again, I’ve signed up for this amazing Transformative Coaching training and I’m also involved in a marketing training.

I’m supporting my husband who’s the Manager of the Community House where we live (sharing a house with 20 other tenants comes with lots of ‘stories’ to digest), who is also looking after his brother with special needs, and who’s also a tv director and musician.

As everyone having a family, big or small, knows; it is not only about your own agenda. In other words, I’m busy with family life in general, and then not to forget the day-to-day stuff like running errands, cooking healthy meals and keeping the house in a decent state.

Oh, and did I mention we are in the process of finding a new place to live because our Landlord is selling. And it might mean moving from the UK back to my home country The Netherlands for several reasons which I won’t go into but you can imagine this is also on my mind.

Summing this up, I know this is too much to hold in my mind really and I realize that over the last three weeks I definitely lost my mojo, my flow. Little things started to go wrong and break down under my hands. Things that I have to sort out immediately. At least it feels that way. There’s this sense of urgency with everything when I’m in a Full Mind State and it feels there’s just not enough time in one day…

We all recognize ourselves in finding excuses for why are minds are so chocca full and how we can’t help this. It is our life circumstances, events and happenings that cause our minds to be cluttered and filled up.

Stop!

So stop here for a moment and take three deep breaths. Just do it! And start recognizing THAT you are caught in the act of thinking and stop focusing on the content of this thinking for just a little while.

As soon as I have recognized I am thinking I am ready for the second step:

 

2 Slow Down!

After recognizing and identifying the state we’re in we have the choice to get off the thought train and slow down!

Do something that has NOTHING to do with all the content of your thinking, the things you are so busy with. Go for a walk in nature, jump on your yoga mat, do exercise, clean your house or sit still (if you can!) and just breathe. What ever you choose to do, do it slow and with all of your attention!

 

Its exactly what I did myself yesterday. The sun was out here so after breakfast in the garden I decided to go for a walk indeed. I needed to slow down for sure…things were spinning out of control and I felt too caught up in it all. We are so blessed to have the forest on our doorstep. I often go for this same walk, nearly every day (to keep me sane), but I have been walking with my husband a lot recently and we end up chatting and ‘talking things through’ and figuring things out.

This morning, walking on my own I realized I just need Silence. I realized that all the talking about what is happening in our lives is of course necessary till a certain degree, but too much talking fires up my mind and keeps it busy and full. It can’t settle into a calmer state.

So this morning I walked in silence, taking in the beauty and all the surrounding sounds. Along the way I did some simple exercises, some deeper breathing while resting under a tree and I felt that the simple act of walking just reorganizes all of my bodily energy systems, including my mind.

I can’t describe the feeling. You know the Snow Globe thing we used to shake as children? My thoughts were like the snow whirling around in every direction. When we stop shaking, the snow slowly settles down. Aaaaaah!

 

This is exactly what happened in my mind on my walk. Just noticing the green of the trees (how my brain loves the green!), the twittering of the birds, the babbling of the stream helped me become still and finally I felt all my whirling thoughts starting to settle gradually, a little more with every step and every breathe. just like the snow in a snow globe settles when the shaking stops and the globe is clear.

By the time I was on my way back home, my mind had cleared. Feelings of joy and gratitude gently bubbled up. The joy of just being able to move my body freely, and the gratitude for so much beauty around me. I felt lighter.

A calm state of mind helps problems dissolve

You know what the funny and fascinating thing is that happens as a result of slowing down to the speed of now? With the piles of thinking I had on all sorts of stuff, I had created all sorts of problems.

Being in a calmer and clearer state of mind helped me See that there were no problems at all really, I just made them up.

By being in a calm and clear state of mind our problems are not resolved, they are dissolved.

I thank and bow to nature and silence for this powerful gift of helping us fall back into ease and grace and into a peaceful state of mind. I love the way nature and silence is reflecting back who we truly are, innately healthy and at ease and peace. Always.

By recognizing thinking happening inside our heads and slowing down we fall into remembering who we truly are underneath all the noise of our busy mind, all the stories and drama’s we create because of the biggest misunderstanding in life, which is to believe our thoughts and feelings are separated. They are not.

Thought = feeling

Thought equals our feeling. Our experience of life, always (without exception) comes from the inside out. Understanding this will cause an ‘inside-out revolution’ in our lives.

Automatically and naturally, without us having to figure it all out, things fall into place. The profound understanding of this principle is enough. Wisdom has an answer to everything and is waiting to break through your mind any moment.

I’ve realized I made myself to believe I have to ‘keep up’ (what ever that means?) with everything and everyone which made me feel stressed. Hereby, I’ve just dropped the thought! Boof!

If you feel inspired to find out more about how this works and deepen your understanding on the Three Principles, I would recommend watching this video by Dicken Bettinger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td05FQbASPE and many more on http://www.threeprinciplesmovies.com.

Today, for the first time this month, I finally feel some space inside. Nothing has changed outside myself, there’s all these things to do still. I just feel more calm about it. I can honestly say, my sense of urgency has dissolved or I left it somewhere in the forest during my walk.

I have several (kids yoga) classes to teach this afternoon and I know they will be so much better coming from this space and calm state of mind.

If you have any questions or would like to share something or if you need a hand in any way, do let me know in the comment space below.

 

Wishing you a beautiful day and remember to go slow!

 

Love & Blessings,

 

Luna Joy

Soul Coach | Founder of Young Yogis® Academy| Creator of Yogadance® Kids Method | (Kids) Yoga Instructor | Biodanza/Vitaldanza Facilitator | Waldorf Primary School Teacher | Teacher Trainer | Well-being Educator | Cat and Ice cream lover | Dutch | Traveling House sitter| Wife and Mother

www.lunajoycoaching.com

 

16 Comments

  1. Matts Mom

    Wonderful post. And you are right, when I am in a calm state of mind, I can do much better at solving any problems I am having at the time. My problem is, when my head is full of thinking…too much thinking, I have a hard time getting rid of those thoughts. They just keep swirling and swirling. For me I have to move my energy on to something else to distract the thoughts.

    Reply
    1. Luna Joy

      I hear you Matts Mom! Try recognising thinking as thinking as opposed to giving attention to the content of your thought. It can create a shift. And yes, doing something that has NOTHING to do with what your mind is busy with certainly helps to thoughts to settle. And simply understanding how your thoughts create your feeling will help you see your thoughts as just thoughts, nothing else. They are not the ultimate truth! We can start taking them less seriously, especially when we are in a low mood! Thank you for your feedback and hope to see you again!

      Reply
  2. Kara

    Luna,
    What a beautiful post! Your mind and mine look very similar…although mine has a lot of backups and traffic jams as I am a mother of an infant and my synapses don’t seem to work as well as they use to! I think your point of taking time and slowing down is key. Many times I just need to stop and take a deep breath to ground myself before moving on with my day. I think this method of slowing down helps my infant as well. If we go for a walk together or take a moment to play instead of having to go all the time she seems happier as well!
    Blessings,
    KARA

    Reply
    1. Luna Joy

      I get what you’re saying about the synapses Kara, lol! I’ve been there. It is so wonderful you recognise the moment when to stop and take a deep breath. Such a small and simple act simply puts us back in the right mind frame, hence feeling more grounded and calmer. And surely your little one will pick up on your state of mind! They are so intuitive and feel more of how you are then they hear what you say. They help us remember how to be. Be human beings rather than human doings! So great to hear from you, thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  3. thomas

    Sydney,
    Great post on learning to clear your mind! I especially liked the concept of how our thinking is not our life. If we can learn to control and empty our thoughts rather than let our thoughts control us, it would help us 100%
    I’m terrible at this! I need to try a few of your techniques 🙂

    Thanks for this post!

    Reply
    1. Luna Joy

      Thank you for your feedback Thomas. Maybe it helps knowing that in essence we can’t really control our thinking, well maybe till a certain degree, but it is very exhausting trying to control our thoughts. Instead, we can simply become aware that and what we are thinking, then choosing whether we latch on to that thinking or whether we recognise it as just thinking and allow it to pass through. All you have to ‘do’ is understand that thinking is ever changing. New and fresh thinking will always pass through the mind when we allow all thoughts and feelings to happen without any repressing and escaping. Simply observe, recognise and slow down, the rest will happen naturally. It is profound, I can promise you! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  4. Rob

    I have to say that this is very enlightening. I find myself with a zillion thoughts going through my head all at once more times than I can count. It drives me crazy. It’s information overload and sometimes when I am trying to find an answer I have to stop and slow down. Walk away. Forget it.
    But then eventually I come back after silence and no interruptions and my mind was clear to re-evaluate the situation. You have some awesome suggestions and I’m going to follow them! Thanks for a great article 🙂

    Reply
    1. Luna Joy

      That’s such a great thing to do Rob. Walking away and forgetting it, the best! The reset happens naturally when we allow ourselves to take our mind of things were we feel stuck. Its not rocket science but so profound. Something bigger than ourselves will take over when we find some silence and common sense or wisdom can break through! Tadaa! Thank you for your feedback and for visiting. Hope to see you again!

      Reply
  5. Irma

    Great post! I am right in the middle of a huge decluttering of my home, and next month I am planning a “no spend” month, just to get my priorities straight.

    Journaling, EFT and meditation have helped me tremendously to clear the junk out and tap into my intuition and my life is so much calmer now, and wisdom does appear.

    Thank you for this article.

    Reply
    1. Luna Joy

      That sounds great Irma. Decluttering our home is such a cleansing process, it definitely not only clears our living space but also our mind! I’m so glad you have some great tools to always help you clear your mind and be connected with your intuition. Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again.

      Reply
  6. Philip

    Hi Luna,

    I can relate to a lot of what you have wrote above. It is true. One can not speak clearly and expect to be heard in a crowded room full of screaming people – that is like the mind that is riddled with competing thoughts and all of them very scary and incoherent!

    Better to tell every one to shut and be quiet yourself!! Now, in this better state you can let whatever thought come to you without your judgement laid on it and also you will find that you do not lay across the face of your perception thoughts that are simply no true.

    In this way you will lose all kinds of fears and worries and achieve clearer thinking. Whenever you react to something unfavorably inside yourself it is only because you have judged ‘something’ or someone as a certain way that is not to ‘YOUR’ liking. Just don’t judge, clear your mind, and breath in life that is not poisoned by illusory thoughts.

    OK – I am waffling, I just love articles like this one.

    Thanks Luna.

    Reply
    1. Luna Joy

      I love your metaphor and couldn’t have said it better myself! I can tell you’ve had some valuable insights on how our mind works! Fantastic, thanks for sharing Philip!

      Reply
  7. Philip

    Hi Luna,

    Silence really is Golden. I spent 3 days once not speaking a word when I use to live on my boat. 3 days, that was the recommended time to still my mind, and it won’t. Its weird to not to speak but I felt great for this kind of verbal fasting.

    Meditation is also a valuable tool and has been so for thousands of years for a reason. After some time of doing this practice, when you feel that golden soft white light enter the top of your head, and gently flood your body to the tips of your toes in waves for it to softly came up through your body, and fall off of your upwards light droplets of light, you will understand the importance of the power of silence. So, when the mind clears, we do have a shot of ‘some’ level of wisdom.

    Loved this article and I very much appreciate your work here Luna.

    Reply
    1. Luna Joy

      Thank you Philip! I love your expression ‘verbal fasting’! So great you got to experience 3 days of silence on your boat. If there are a lot of undigested feelings, they will a come up in Silence so it can actually look like the mind gets more busy to start with. People who have done the 10 day Vipassana, 10 days of Silence (this one is on my bucket list), can testify the mind won’t still at times where there’s lots of ‘stuff’ coming to the surface. It’s only when that what arises is being met and felt with presence and love, all will settle, also in the mind. I love the white light meditation, very thought cleansing! Thank you for reminding me of that one, I haven’t done it in a while. Thank you Philip and hope to see you again!

      Reply
  8. Andrew

    Hi Luna. Many thanks for sharing your personal story. I am sure there are so many people that can relate this to their own stories. The mind is a wonderful tool that we possess. Unfortunately, most people are possessed by the rampant unconscious thoughts that run wild and out of control like a demented monkey at times and believe, as you say, that this is who they are. But we are not our thoughts and we are not our feelings. These are things we can observe and then learn to use to our advantage. When we become the master of our thoughts we become emotionally intelligent, and this makes us powerful creators of the content of our life.
    I love how you describe the benefits you receive from being close to nature. One of my favorite authors, Michael J Roads, recently posted: ‘To bow before a humble tree takes but a moment of your time, while that which you may receive fills all the spaces of eternity.’
    Your post is inspiring. I look forward to reading more.

    Reply
  9. Luna Joy

    Thank you Andrew, so wonderful to ‘see’ you again. I so hear you when you say that the mind is a wonderful tool. The power of Thought is a real gift, our thoughts coming into form as an expression of Life itself, emerging from the vast Space that is so much larger than ourselves. And thoughts are just thoughts until our Consciousness brings them to life and become a reality in our lives. We don’t need to be in control of this process, we don’t need to change our thinking into something else than the way they show up. All we need to understand is the transient nature of thought and the fact that a thought is just a thought. When we don’t ‘unpack’ an unpleasant thought, it will just pass by, like a taxi driving by without you getting into it. We didn’t have to change that thought into something more positive. We just allowed it to pass through. Including the feeling it came with. It is such a relieve that we don’t have to waste so much energy on changing our thoughts. Apart from the fact that it is hardly possible (unless you put all your energy in it), it also is not necessary. We can observe, feel everything that passes by without holding on to it. As soon as we do this, New and Fresh thinking will eventually pass through. Healing will take place naturally. The mind has an inbuilt self correcting mechanism that we can totally trust. In the gaps of our thoughts we drop into pure Awareness and are in direct connection with Wisdom. How intelligent and beyond words really. Our true nature, being the ever present and constant Awareness or Consciousness to which everything, all our thoughts and feelings appear like the images of a movie appearing on the film screen. I keep being amazed and in wonder about the simplicity and profoundness of those principles, the fundamental building blocks, the invisible and formless forces at play behind our experience of life. So great to meet you on this magical journey.

    Reply

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