Let’s sum up so far. On day one you discovered that the only thing standing between you and the enjoyment-of-life is fear. On day two, you named Fear as an enemy that must be denied and defeated. On day three, you realized all that fear you’ve been feeding yourself results in a scary interpretation of your everyday life. On day four, you learned how detrimental the idea of random-chance is to your well-being. On day five, you learned to fight fear with fear by scaring yourself into better behavior. And on day six, you stopped thinking of yourself as afraid — you have preferences instead.
What we are developing here is a stable platform of beliefs amidst a turbulent ocean of thoughts. Fear may be a feeling but its foundation is rooted in untamed thoughts. Scary thoughts are just the meaningless musings of your mind — the problem starts when you invite those unpleasant thoughts in to stay awhile.
Your responsibility is like that of a gardener. What kind of seeds will do well in your soil? In other words, what interests you — what delights you? Plant those seeds. Uh-oh, with exposed soil comes weeds. Better plant those seeds fast. Get something in the ground already!! Just select something you like and focus on it. You can switch things up later if the results are unsatisfactory.
Okay, your sprouts are still small, so weeds remain an issue. Weeds are the thoughts that don’t belong in your garden, they’re nuisance plants that take resources from the plants you prefer. Pluck them, dismantle them, then tend to the sprouts and thoughts you care about. Why would you ever water weeds and let them grow in your garden? Keep those unpleasant thoughts outta there!
Within a well-pruned mind, fear cannot run rampant. And here’s a little exercise you can do to make the pruning process easier. Start by breathing — which hopefully you’re doing already… in… out…. Keep breathing… in… out…. Now, as you exhale, mentally say the word “om” (I usually pronounce it like “home” but without the “h”). Why silently say a word? Just to help you maintain focus — because eventually you’ll notice that you’re not saying the word anymore. When that happens, simply start saying it again.
It’s a little game you’re playing: Maintain the Om. One part of your mind will want to wander everywhere else but Om. But another part of your mind is trying to keep Om at the forefront. Eventually you’ll get better. And if you do this for twenty minutes everyday, you’ll get some good practice ignoring your thoughts and focusing your mind.