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Slowing Down the Mind

In a documentary last night, I heard about an online gamer who died of a heart attack after playing for 50 hours straight, with no breaks for food, water, etc.

This little blog this morning is not about gaming, or value judgments, or addiction. What struck me about the above fact is that our minds have the ability to tune in to something so much that it can exclude dire signals the body is putting out, to the point of fatality. How amazing.

What if on some level we are all living a little (or a lot) out of touch with our own selves. Ignoring the little warning signals until they become big warning signals. A little cramp and ache turns into IBS. A little calf tightness turns into a tear. Poor eating habits turns into diabetes. Many symptoms in the body start small and quiet. When ignored, the body turns up the volume. A little like a 6-year-old trying to get attention – at first it is a little tug of mommy’s skirts, after a few minutes, it can turn into loud hollering and objects getting thrown.

Taking even a little time every day to slow the mind down to the speed of the body is like mommy taking a minute to stop what she is doing and look at her 6-year-old with full attention. Remarkably, the child often quiets down right away when she gets what she needs. The same is usually true of the body if we take the time now. Stop everything the mind is busy with, take some time to check in to your breathing. Notice for any signs of discomfort, relax any tension in the body. Some things will disappear right away. Other things will need to be noted as things to look out for (such as reactions to foods). Still other things may need some intervention. Checking in is always the first step. No one else can help you if you do not know there is something wrong. And amazingly, the mind is able to ignore that something is wrong unless we take charge of it occasionally: stop it from it’s daily obsessions and tasks to take a moment to notice our living, breathing bodies, our miraculous self-healing vehicles… Sometimes as we slow down and stop, what we discover is that there is nothing wrong, quite the opposite, that there is an abundance of joy to be savored. It is possible to discover that joy and love are our very foundation, that absolutely everything else is in fact secondary. That’s the big news, yet it is as old as time… Wonderful to experience, no matter how cynically the mind reacts to the concept!

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