I start my book off by asking a question, the answer of course is you, but what was that question. The question is, ‘Who is responsible for your life and what happens during it?’
But I hear you say so many things get in the way circumstances, events, other people, governments, but in truth what prevents most things happening in your life are your emotions.
So, lets go back and take a look at what these emotions are and why are they there? I'd suggest these emotions that range from fear through to love are just tools of evolution.
We feel life through our emotions, and they allow us to experience in this reality. However, they are not always the best guide to a good life. But unfortunately, emotions, whether gentle or dramatic, govern our behaviour almost all the time.
As far as we know, humans, with cognitive thinking, are the only example of an animal on Earth that can behave separately from their feelings, but most of the time we don’t.
In fact, purposeful decisions that follow logic don’t happen as often as you think. We can choose to act independently of our emotions, we can even break or make habits and we can make life-influencing decisions that do not necessarily feel right, but we know, intellectually, to be correct.
Originally emotions were a way to ensure that we avoid that which we should be scared of, danger for example, and pursue those things that we derive pleasure from.
Fear will automatically arise when you see a snake in the grass just on your path and we all have an innate wish for acceptance and love.
These emotions have served us well over the period of human evolution but now we have found that these emotions can get in our way, we can build up fear of things and situations that have hurt us in the past and that stops us progressing in the future.
Now days we constantly battle between our primal instincts and our conscience.
Now day we also want acceptance and love with other sentient beings so we can’t be governed by our feelings alone anymore.
So, we need to learn to step back and think about how we should respond. Time is our friend; we can even conceive its presence. We can project backwards (memory) and we can project forward (Imagination). Using this context is our superpower. It brought rise to our self-awareness.
To be accepted in our tribe or community we have to put others first. This is where we can experience life to the full, with other people. The whole purpose of life is to experience.
This awareness of self is a gift we have received from the universe, God if you like, and it is one that should be honoured and respected. Mindfulness is the act of paying attention to the here and now, your awareness of the present with the least as possible projection into memory or imagination. This process of paying attention or being acutely conscious is where real enlightenment and life's success can be found.
Even meditation is simply a training ground for mindfulness and being self-aware.
Whether you are about to sit an exam or give speech in public or any act that goes against your natural inclination, mindfulness is your key, using the beta brain waves, the activity that operates most when you are acutely aware.
We speak of health and exercise as if they were two different things of course they aren’t. If you constantly exercise you will be helping to maintain good health. If we mix analogies a personal trainer a day will keep the doctor away. Strangely I've rarely heard this being applied to mental health and mental fitness. This book explores the possibility of a mental or as I've called it emotional fitness where mindfulness, the act of paying attention or disciplining your thoughts, and cognitive behaviour play a part in maintaining a healthy and fit mind.
If you are emotionally fit you are better placed when trauma arrives, which inevitably it will, just as in the physical sense it doesn't necessarily lessen the pain but you are better equipped to cope.
To give all this context let us consider the possibility that you are nothing more than a programme running within nature. If your hands were made of the hardest steel, they would be worn away by the age of 7, however they regenerate constantly to the extent where every cell is replaced annually, and this is now being found to be true of the brain as well. So, if you are not the physical stuff that you were born with what are you?
You are a programme gathering information and experiences as a consciousness in the world today, you are gathering friends you are gathering experiences you are gathering relationships and even your body is just made up of the food you have gathered.
Our whole life is built around the gathering of things and information, what you gather and how you organise it it's completely up to you.
Fear vs Love
When I say organising this information and things you have gathered, I'm also referring to how your consciousness reacts to good and bad circumstances that arise throughout your life. You have basic emotions that will be driving you to react in a primal way and you have more refined emotions that use projection both into the past and into the future that will drive you to react in a different way. Those primal reactions are and will always be based on fear and as I have said before they have served us well, however now we live in large societies where we have to exceed to the will of others to be included. Our conscious emotions are required here, and they are based on love.
This ongoing battle between fear and love through our emotions and our conscious thinking is the battle that the human race is fighting today. Being aware of this is the first part of the fight itself, with this knowledge we can eventually bring peace on earth and love for everyone.
These decisions that we make throughout life are made from a place deep within you. Not your body, not your brain or even your mind but from your soul. This is the real decision-maker, the real you. The observer. Not your chatter box mind or your self-interested ego. Look past these and your emotions and ask yourself who is listening to it?
The real you.