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I dug my teeth into my frozen lips as the winter air attacked me with gusto; my veins bulged out in protest. I hunched and huffed, hugging myself in a bid to thwart the desperate cold but it was to no avail.
I was returning from a conference where a renowned expert, whose soft-spoken voice intoned deeply into my bored mind talked about the benefits of controlling our thoughts in order to be more productive. Granted that I did gained some insight into how to train and control my thoughts, nevertheless, I wasn’t sure that my thoughts could control me and not the other way round. Uncannily, my winter-ravaged brain had stylishly blotted the speaker’s name from my mind. I didn’t think controlling my thoughts could be hard, so I decided to put it to the test.
Strangely, I found my thoughts running haywire from the mundane to the downright funny, then to the sober and finally back to the speaker.
I got zero point.
My environment, things I see and feel could control my thoughts. It was winter, and I would be a fool to think that it was summer. So what happens to us naturally has great impact on our thought processes. Despite that, we could still control our thoughts through discipline although that’s open to debate.
The chilly January air continued its assault on my hapless face as I trudged home and the words of the speaker returned subtly. The man was right and I determined to have firm control on what goes through my mind.
When I got home, I switched the heater on, dove under the duvet and brought out my worn out diary, which reminded me of Yiyun Li’s ‘A Sheltered Woman.’ My tired eyes scanned through my schedule for Friday and as my eyes rested on the date, I was shocked, my amazement wasn’t feigned, it was genuine. Today is the 15th, the year is flying faster than my 5-year-old son’s kite.
The year had strolled in like an old lover, sniffing around with familiarity, extending his love, yet restraining back. Days had flown into two weeks and before we know it, shops would be brimming with Valentines cards. It’s unbelievable.
I had twenty minutes of solitude before jumping back into the fray, a tired sigh escaped my lips, then my thoughts strayed to the news of Alan Rickman’s passing and my heart sank. He was a beloved actor, I loved his role as the ‘Sheriff Of Nottingham in Robin Hood. I closed my eyes, my aim was absolute peace, no thoughts but it was a futile effort.
My mind drifted again, back to the speaker who believed that tiredness, anxieties, worry, fear all stem from our minds, eating deep into our days as we lose track of our jobs, he believes it affects our productivity and in a way, our lives.
However, how do we control our thoughts?
I have few theories on that but would love to read what you think.
This is my first post of the year. I don’t have a new year resolution. However, I’m determined to do things better than I did last year, which is recognising the things I could change while taking positive actions and ignoring things that could eat into my time. Like Reinhold Niebuhr would say, ”God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I hope you’ll all have a fabulous weekend!
Much love, always!
This is a well-written post. The cold is biting hard! I had complained about a snowless Christmas, I wished it was this cold in December and milder now.
I like the fact that you’re not making any elaborate new year resolutions, what you’ve chosen is commendable. Too many unfulfilled resolutions could lead to frustration.
I love what I’ve read here and would surely be back for more.
Thank you for your kind comment. Resolutions are great but if not adhered to, it could lead to frustration as you rightly pointed out.
Well, we’re used to the cold, soon, I’m certain we’ll be blessed with milder weather.
It was a surprise seeing you here, I hope you would find time to visit again. Thanks!😀
It would be a pleasure to visit again. Visiting your website was a wonderful experience! Keep up the good work Seyi.
Thank you John, appreciate it. Do have a wonderful week!
Resolutions are easy to break but a more relaxed look at tackling life and what we can do better is always the preferable way to go.
It is bizarre how many people in iconic roles are dying at the moment, it is sad but reminds one that life must be lived in the now because the future is unpredictable.
Controlling thoughts is difficult, especially as they like to go all subconscious for us. I think some time for you helps. it allows you to collect thoughts, prioritise, dismiss what’s not needed and also gives you time to rest as well.
Resolutions are the easiest things to break. I’ve decided to just improve on whatever project I’m doing, not overwork myself and enjoy life.
Bowie and Alan’s deaths were so sad, both guys were super talented but that’s the deal we all entered, and like you wrote, it’s better to enjoy our lives when we can.
Thanks for your visit my friend, enjoy your weekend!
It is a great write up as always Seyi.
Haven’t seen you in a while. Hope you are doing well.
Have a fantastic weekend.
Thanks Mojisola. I have my hands in a lot of pies. 🙂
I appreciate your visit, do enjoy your weekend my friend. 🙂
I see. All the very best at the pies. You too Seyi. God bless
You created a beautiful visual as always. I remember that mind control concept theory when I was younger. I tried it out with pain. But I was a teenager and the mind adapted to such things. Today I work on the way I feel and think of things. Maintaining a positive attitude and view. On the most part it works. I refuse to let stress and sadness take up space in my thoughts for very long. It doesn’t help long for pain. Pain usually breaks free and attacks.
Thanks for your kind comment Kim. That’s the spirit, working in the positive always.
I agree with you, it does work. We can work ourselves up if we wanted to and in the same vein, we can let go of our stress and problems if we so desire.
Thanks for stopping by Kim, I appreciate it!
This morning when I looked at my calendar, I was stunned to see we are half way through January. How do we slow things down?
The great thing about our mind is we have complete control over what we allow to take up housekeeping and what we kick out as trash.
Great post, Seyi! Happy New Year!
That’s what happened to me today, time flies by quickly, to think that few days ago we were unwrapping Christmas gifts.
I was coerced to go to the conference by colleagues from work, it was interesting but midway, my mind was thinking about what I’ll be making for dinner. 🙂
Happy new year to you Jill! Glad you could stop by, have a great weekend!
Have you ever read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert? This post reminds me of her experience when she first tried meditation and how hard it was for her to focus her thoughts. After a little while, she was able to master the art of meditation and calm those thoughts; and if a random thought came to mind while meditating, she was able to just let it float on by like a feather in the wind. I believe meditation is one of the best methods to controlling one’s thoughts or at the very least, being highly aware of them. That’s my two cents. Hope you have a great weekend as well! 🙂
No I haven’t, I’ll check it out soon. I meditate daily when I read the Bible. I allow the words I read seep through my spirit and then I pray, with the help of the Holy Spirit, it works wonders.
The conference I went to was instigated by my office, I think they wanted us to work when we’re supposed to work thereby increasing productivity. I remember telling one of my managers that the conference was a subtle way of controlling our minds. He laughed it off.
Meditation is good, not only controlling one’s mind but it’s also great for banishing life’s perpetual anxieties.
I appreciate your visit, thank you so much my friend!
Yeah mind control happens all the time. More than we realize. I think that’s why it’s hard to control one’s mind cause there is so much outside stimuli that influence our thoughts in so many ways. However, I do believe it is possible to control one’s mind but it’ll be a journey for sure.
You’re right Tunisia, it’s evident everywhere, advertisements control our minds to buy goods, all sorts of mind control abounds in our society.
Thanks for your comment! 🙂
Our winter is quite harsh as well.. days are short and disappears into nothingness… I wonder if we could mindcontrol them..
You’ve painted our story exactly, the cold is merciless.
It would have been so great if we could mind-control the weather! 🙂
Interesting post. My mind never sits still. I meditate when I pray each morning, focusing on my words and affirmations. Still, my mind can wander. I remember reading once that we can try to observe our thoughts as if we are a third party. I had a hard time doing that when I tried it.
Good thing your head didn’t bob from a nap while at that lecture. Ha. Even though it was boring, it sounds like something stuck with you.
Always good to read you, Seyi.
Having an active, clear mind is good. It’s just the way God made us, our minds can wander, but we can still control it. Although sometimes, it could be aptly described as a herculean task.
Yeah, I hate lectures, it was mandatory I would have escaped. You were right though, I still learnt something from the experience but would I go for such conferences again? I doubt it.
Appreciate your visit and comment dear Lori.
how do we control our thoughts?
Meditate, meditate, meditate
btw, Great photos!
You’re right my friend. Meditation is good for the soul. Thanks for stopping by!
Much love. 🙂 🙂
Seyi, your winter thoughts are my own. I dislike the cold which nearly freezes my will to move. I yearn for the beach, too. 🙂
All we can hope for is tomorrow. Your prayer is slways on my mind. My Mom had it on a ceramic tile above her sink.
Today will bring a moment and another chance for special times tomorrow. It will go as fast as a blink of an eye, Seyi. Hugs, Robin
You right Robin. In a way I don’t care too much for the cold if it only breezes in and out but it doesn’t. When it stays forever, that’s when the bolts and joints in my body starts screaming.
Hopefully very soon, I hope the weather would change and that beach would be a reality.
I’m grateful for your visit, do enjoy the rest of this week!
Love and blessings to you. 🙂
Love and blessings sent back to you, Seyi. I could understand your mind drifting. I really have to sip coffee or chew gum to make myself pay attention to speakers. Even the best ones, I wish I could put on pause. I like when I used to go to teachers’ conferences since they included hands on activities! 🙂
Thanks Robin, glad I’m not the only one on that train of boredom. 🙂 I’ll still go to conferences, I’ll only choose the ones I won’t be snoring. 🙂
Excellent blog! I liked it as much as I hate winter. Since I have moved, I haven’t seen a single snow flake. Cold but no snow. That is wonderful. Hugs, Barbara
Thanks my friend. I love snow but like all things in life, I want it in moderation.
Appreciate your visit my friend!
Blessings to you. 🙂
Oh I wish I could be there, in that last photo with you my dear friend, feeling the warm sun on our bones, our faces turned upward to the golden sky, our hearts filled with joy and hope and all that is good 🙂 The freeze arrives in winter’s bitter winds and attacks our productivity and I felt that I was walking with you in that cold wind biting at your body and mind as you pondered the speaker’s talk. Controlling our thoughts is a constant battle, as you know from my last post (and thank you again so much for your wonderfully encouraging and loving message), my negative thoughts were getting the better of me, but I’m slowly getting back on track again as I hope you are too my dear friend. So sad about Alan Rickman on the heels of David Bowie and a very strange start to the year so far. I think of the scripture urging us to bring all our thoughts to God, to let HIs spirit flow through our imaginings. It is a daily battle though and not easy in this constantly switched on world in which we live. Ahh…I would love to sit and talk with you all day, over a cup of tea. The prayer at the end is beautiful, one I’ve turned to many times in my life. Thank you for sharing it, a more perfect message to give us for the new year I can’t imagine. One I shall turn back to many times. I hope you have a wonderful, restful upcoming weekend dear Seyi, and that next week brings you uncluttered and distraction-free productivity, with good thoughts, surrounded by the warmth and blessings of your dear family and friends. I will see you again soon! With lots of love from me to you ❤ 🙂 ❤
Hey Sherri, I don’t know how in heaven’s name I missed your wonderful comment. It’s either WP’s fault or I need to heed my optician’s advise for a reading glass. I’m really sorry for just replying now. I believed my eyes can still see through a dark storm hence my reluctance in getting one.
I stared at the last picture in awe, it’s such a fantastic picture! It’s unbelievable that Terry Wogan also passed, I hope this year would not be filled with such news. I’m glad you’re now in a better place, and like you said, I pray that the Holy Spirit would fill our hearts with wonderful thoughts that would shield us from the whispering of the enemy.
I hope your week has been great so far, I would be at yours either today or tomorrow. I wish you the peace only God can give, and lots of love.
I appreciate your visit my friend. Blessings and love to you Sherri!
🙂 🙂 🙂
Seyi, I also appreciate the Serenity Prayer as it helps me remember to let go of the stuff I can’t do anything about.
Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy
Glad you do Wendy. It’s a wise thing to do. May God bless and keep you and your loved ones. Appreciate your visit!
Blessings to you. 🙂
I had many thoughts as I read this post. The first one was when you talked about the cold weather.
I had flashbacks of when I too would hurry home and jumped in bed with my electric heating blanket. The cold and I were never friends. My skinny bones would be weary all winter. It was the greatest blessings for me when we moved to the warm climate of Florida. A big change for a New Yorker.
The year does seem to being flying by. I have seen Valentine gifts advertised already. I try not to think about the commercialism of it. My feeling is that one should show how much you care about a loved one everyday. I randomly hug my husband throughout the day for 5 minutes everyday. Why wait for a holiday?!
Resolutions to follow throughout the year create unnecessary pressure for me. I have to admit … reluctantly … I am a perfectionist. If I didn’t keep a resolution, I’m sure, I’d be riddled with guilt and anxiety. Instead, I choose a word to think about thoughout the year. This year it is ‘Dream’. I want to dream about the many facets of life. I may just hear an angel sending me a message that might be helpful in my life.
Of course, meditation, prayer and quietness help me control how I think. When the mind is quiet we can hear the messages we need in order to guide us through our life.
Your final words by Reinhold Niebuhr sent shivers through me. I am in the process of writing about my daughters recovery to sobriety. We talked about it during the holidays. I’m trying to give her the respect she should have in my story. I’m happy for her and very proud. I hope when I post it you’ll let me know your feelings on it.
Thank you for your wonderful post that inspired dailog.
Thank you my friend for your thoughtful post. My dad lived in Florida for the better part of his life, he couldn’t stand the cold too. I remembered when he visited a relative in Canada intending to spend three weeks, he spent three days and never came back. I love a cool, breezy weather but whenever it’s hitting the low degrees, my bones rattles like a rattlesnake.
We’re now in February, soon, spring would come knocking, at least that would be a welcome relief. I look forward to your post about your daughter, I would be visiting your blog soon. I am so grateful you are able to visit my blog and leave such an awesome comment. My warm regards to your husband, daughter and the rest of your wonderful family.
Love and blessings to you. 🙂 🙂
Done my friend! 🙂 🙂
Liebe Seyisan das Wetter spielt verrückt das ist schon Klimawandel hab einen schönes Wochenende mit vielen lieben Grüßen Klaus in Freundschaft Klaus
Liebe Seyisan hab einen super Dienstag mit vielen lieben Grüßen Klaus in Freundschaft
Danke für Ihren Kommentar und besuchen Sie mein Freund. Achten Sie auf sich und genießen Sie den Rest dieser Woche!
Vielen Dank Klaus , genießen Sie den Rest Ihrer Woche .
Blessings . 🙂
I think we need a balance… we need to control our thoughts, but I actually want to be controlled by my own thoughts too… how else can you be creative?
I like your take on this my friend, when our thoughts control us, we’ll be creative. Well written! Glad to see you here, appreciate it. 🙂