Busy is a State of Mind

I worked with a young college student this past summer. She is a great young woman, lots of talent and I am sure she will go far.

She is in a performing arts program at a university a few hours away and was spending the summer doing as many things in the Twin Cities as she could possibly fit in. Lots of lessons, including her Alexander Technique lessons with me, a job, rehearsals, and lots of time driving here and there…

One day she said to me, “I have so much going on this summer! I just can’t let my body know or I’m in trouble.”

Reading between the lines, what does her statement suggest?

Well, it assumes that body and mind can somehow be separated; that somehow something one of them knows can be kept secret from the other.

We don’t work that way.

Everything that you do, you do with your whole self.

Every thought has a physical (body) and emotional aspect.

Every physical act has a mental (mind) and emotional aspect.

Every emotion has a physical (body) and mental (mind) aspect.

An example of this unity of your mind/body/emotions is when you get angry. One of the reasons that you feel angry is that your body changes physically and that tells you that you are angry. It’s not just your emotions or your thoughts. You experience anger physically.

Instead of trying to keep her body from finding out what she is thinking, my student might be better off working on what she is thinking.

Her mindset, she can consciously choose to change. That choice is hers and hers alone. Nobody can take that choice away from her.

I read a story recently about Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh.

The reporter writing the story came to interview him at a very large event he was organizing. He found Thich Nhat Hanh sitting in the middle of a mass of activity going on. The reporter approached him and asked if he was busy.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s response was that there was an awful lot going on, but no, he was not busy.

Busy is a mindset.

You can choose to be busy – no matter how much or how little is going on.

You can also choose not to be busy – no matter how much or how little is going on.

Sometimes you don’t have a lot of control over how much stuff is going on around you.

But you do get to choose your mindset.

Nobody can take that choice away from you.

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