Mindfulness is a powerful tool for personal growth. Recently one of my friends began an email by saying, “I am in a bit of a rut right now” and concluded it by remarking, “I really feel the need to have something to look forward to”. The reason for this was the fact that being highly talented and hardworking she did not find the present job to be challenging nor did it give her opportunities to make use of her abilities to the maximum. At the same time her current situation prevented her from quitting and taking up a new job. This situation was going to continue indefinitely. The fact that there was nothing that she could look forward to was taking a toll on her emotionally.
How can mindfulness help?
First and foremost it ought to be seen that none of the thoughts that appear on the screen of our mind is either good or bad. In this case the thought was that there was nothing meaningful or rewarding to look forward. Mindfulness means to be aware that such a thought is appearing on the mind-screen in the present moment. The normal tendency of the ego-mind is to identify personally with the thought which is appearing. That there is a poor little “me” who is suffering this. It is this personal identification that creates the suffering. The moment this happens we have lost our control to the ego mind and fall into the rut.
Starving the ego-mind
Being mindful prevents us from making this kind of an identification or attachment to the thought. Rather than becoming the character who is suffering, we are able to become a spectator to the issue. Instead of being embroiled in the drama we are witness of the thought. This detachment prevents us from supplying energy that the idea needs for its survival. The thought feeds and keeps itself alive on the energy that it receives by our identification with it. Once this supply is switched off it simply falls away. The energy that was being spent on propping up this drama is now available to be used creatively.
Growth and transformation
The result of our identification with the thought is that the mind remains agitated. Unlike the still water which can reflect the moon clearly, the ripples break up the reflection into a thousand bits preventing clarity. Mindfulness helps to prevent the ripples so that the mind can reflect reality clearly. The energy is now available to bring forth creative solutions and personal growth. Innate wisdom will arise and guide you. Suddenly you find that the wall on which you have been banging your head is no longer there. Your higher self will guide you to come out of the rut. Old negative patterns that had become deeply etched in the mind will be erased and pathways for life enriching growth and transformation will open up.