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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!