"Your mind is the knower of all. Now you must know your own mind."
The philosopher Spinoza once described man as a "social animal". Indeed, in our modern world, connected almost every waking moment to the internet and social networks, we could say that his observation, made in the 17th century, is truer than ever before. The trouble is that now that we are so connected 24/7, when do we ever have time to connect with ourselves?
Do you really know your own mind? The phrase "Know thyself" has come down to us from the Ancient Greek, where it was the inscription at the Temple of the Oracle at Delphi. It was an injunction not to pay attention to the opinions of the multitudes and get "puffed up with pride".
In other words, WE know what we are really like deep down, no matter what facade we show to the rest of the world. By taking the time to get to know oneself, it is possible to accumulate wisdom, and with it, success and a more positive mindset - one that sees abundance and contentment, rather than a constant discontent and desire for more.
Can you really say that you know yourself, and your own mind? Or do you have an uneasy sense of something gnawing inside you, a better-self trying to get out?
Do you wake every morning eager to get on with your day because you know that whatever actions you take will bring you closer and closer to your goals? Or do you feel like a hamster in a wheel, going around and around but never getting anywhere?
It is possible to change your state of mind, once you learn to look within to focus on it. Once you focus on it, you can change it. Change your mind; change your world. There are a number of ways to focus.
Our mind is constantly sorting, sifting, looking for meaning, and making judgments and evaluations in the blink of an eye. We have all done this, ever since we have been old enough to think. Meditation helps you be alone with your own thoughts so you can observe them without engaging with them. There is no positive or negative, just thoughts rising and falling like wave in the ocean or clouds passing across the sky.
A big wave is not going to destroy the ocean. One dark cloud does not have to ruin an otherwise sunny day.
Reframing is another way to change your mind to change your world. The most familiar example is the glass being half empty versus seeing it as half full. Another good example would be the way many people get stuck in the past and don’t live in the present. They might take comments about their weight or appearance so seriously they develop an eating disorder. Or they might just say that what they look like doesn’t matter as much as who they are on the inside - a good person.
Mindfulness is another useful skill for focusing on your mind and reframing your thoughts. Many of us are guilty of living in the past, dwelling on negative events and remarks. Or we live in the future, worrying about what it will be like.
Mindfulness is about living in the present, moment by moment, as it unfolds. It can include paying attention to your own mind, and also any task you might be performing, such as walking, washing the dishes and so on.
Change your mind, and you can soon attract the kind of life that you desire.