Even-Mindedness: Part 2 – The Power of Understanding
Even-mindedness defined: A state of mind in which one is calm, unruffled, present, engaged, and able to think clearly with perspective and intelligence.
Sounds good, right? Do you want a bit more even-mindedness in your life? Good news! Even-mindedness is actually our natural state, and simply understanding how the mind works will help land you there more often.
Remember: we live in a mind-generated reality every moment. The creative power of thought shapes our understanding and experience of life, a process that happens invisibly behind the scenes. Unless we realize and remember this, we just go with whatever mind-generated scenario happens to be top of mind at the moment. We then react to this self-created mini-movie with whatever feeling we deem appropriate: stress, fear, joy, happiness, lightness, seriousness, etc.
As an example, I was on vacation with my family at a beach recently, and I just loved being in the warm sun, warm ocean, and walking on the long, smooth beach. Most of us couldn’t wait to get back to the beach on the second day, but my son was not so keen. Concerned about his sunburnt feet, he didn’t know if he wanted to be in the sun at all. His sweetheart, on the other hand, who also had multiple sunburns, didn’t mind and just thought she would cover up as needed. My son was creating a movie of discomfort and pain and his sweetheart was creating a movie of enjoyment and tolerance. It’s amazing what we do with our minds!
It’s also amazing how much it helps to know that your feelings and experiences are thought created. When you see your experiences as coming from within, you also see that you don’t have to react to them. In the absence of reactions, we are naturally and effortlessly even-minded. When we are not mentally reacting, the invisible wisdom and intelligence within us is designed and oriented to bring us to a state of calm, unruffled presence no matter what is happening around us.
There is a kind of wisdom we sometimes attribute to people of older ages. These folks seem to be unruffled at all kinds of things that disturb or bother others – like weather, politics, illnesses, financial difficulties, personally challenging relationships, and more. You might say they are philosophical about life.
Yet, if you examine how these people think, you see that, at some point in their lives, they realized that these ups and downs are part of life, and we can either react to them or not. Somehow, they realized that reacting to those situations in their lives is optional! Just because they have reacted hundreds or thousands of times to certain things, they just don’t need to anymore.
Or somehow, they found themselves being calm and neutral, or even positive and insightful, in situations they previously thought troubling, and then realized this is a much more enjoyable and productive way to live. This is not exclusive to older age. In fact, if we look, we can find even-minded people of all ages everywhere. The more clearly you see how the mind works, the sooner you can join the crowd of those who seem wiser than their years.
There is a quiet joy and happiness that comes from within when we are even-minded. And, regardless of age, we can land there at any moment. It’s already baked-in, and it happens naturally when we let our minds settle in their natural, even-minded state.
There is something else that is helpful to realize: the subtle joy and ease that comes with being even-minded, in the end, is more fulfilling than all the excitement, acquisitions and accomplishments that we are taught to go after. There is nothing as satisfying and true peace of mind.
Most are not looking for joy and happiness from within. Our culture is always trying to sell us on more stimulation or material things. We get busy minded pursuing more than we need, and then think that it would be boring or flat to be even-minded, leaving space for ourselves and our inner life. However, there is a deep sense of peace, contentment and love of life available if we really take the time to live a life from the inside out without a mind constantly racing from one thing to another.
And, our minds would then be clearer, our efforts more efficient, and our results much more productive!!
Want more even-mindedness? Next month, in Even-mindedness Part 3: The Power of Wisdom, we take a deeper look at the living wisdom within us that is the real source of contentment and satisfaction in life.