Who controls your mind? Before you read on… Stop, think. What is your answer? Recently I attended a seminar by a world leader in self-development who thundered, ’You control your own mind. Go and live the life of your dreams’. Hundereds of thousands of people attend courses like his all over the world. “Take control of your mind” is a message that is repeated over and over and over again. Yet, we DO NOT fully control our own mind. To be told we can is wrong. Many people leave self development courses inspired, excited and motivated but then ultimately become disillusioned when it seems the message is for everyone but them. There are parts of ourselves that we can’t control at all. Try, by using your mind, to control your blood flow or any internal part of yourself. Go on, think positively. You can do it. Control your mind, control your blood flow. Sorry, that can’t be done. Nature handles that part of us. Other parts of us can be fully controlled for long periods of time. Try gently rubbing your hands together. Think clearly, keep touching. Yes, that is much easier. Some parts of us can be controlled for short periods of time. Blow out all your breath. Now hold your breath. Concentrate. Try harder. Ok, how about breathing in first. Take a deep breath in and hold. That should help you along a little more, until the inevitable. Gasp, gasp. Nature takes over. But what about your mind? Can you control it or not? Clearly, we can’t control all aspects of our body. In time, we even stop doing something as simple as gently rubbing our hands together. In simplistic terms our mind is no different to any other part of our body. So it is puzzling that many experts often incorrectly state that you can ‘control your own mind’. Try doing anything indefinitely. It can’t be done, no matter how you control your mind. There are limits. They exclaim, ‘You can be, do and have anything you want’ ….Or can you, if there are limits? Think of a child learning to swim. In water, a baby has an instinctual survival mechanism that copes better than a toddler. Not infallible, but definitely a little better. As the child gets older, he either splashes and gasps, or, learns to breathe in when his head is tilted to the side. He breathes out when his face is back in the water. To do this takes concentration and he learns in steps. He has to consciously bring the unconscious act of breathing into his consciousness. Step 1, stand in the shallow end, put your face in the water and blow bubbles. Over time, he adds kicks and swimming strokes and so the modulated breathing becomes easier. But if he gets his timing or thoughts wrong, he may cough and splutter when he takes in a mouthful of water. When the swimming technique is mastered, a swimmer can breath normally in or out of the water without conscious thought. The change between breathing pool side and after diving into the water is handled at an unconscious level. What was an unconscious act was brought into consciousness, mastered, and then returned to the unconscious. When we are young, we believe in all sorts of myths. Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Monsters, our parents always being right. Over time we get rid of these myths from our beliefs. Well, most of them. Some, like our parents being right, tend to hand around a little longer, and then other myths get added. Usually to our own detriment. Not many people believe empowering myths. They always seem to be disempowering and depressive. These myths are the foundation of what we build our lives on. After attending a motivational seminar, it doesn’t really matter what you try to do if you have faulty foundations. And believe it or not, nature does give you a purposeful flaw. There is no way anybody can avoid nature’s flaw. The difference is in how we handle it. Most people handle it by good luck, not good management. The average man and woman drifts through life living whatever life they find themselves in. There is nothing inherantly wrong with this. They work, struggle, make do, celebrate, commiserate. Often, they have unfulfilled dreams but when trapped in the daily grind they have no energy to create their goals. But that is where people with depression have an advantage. Depressed people are generally not much different to the average man and woman. Many depressed people can mask their unhappiness and live reasonably normal lives, which indicates that the depth to their depressed feelings is the only difference. People with deeper depression find it difficult to function on a daily basis. Again, they are not much different to the average person. It is simply a deeper feeling of depression. Depression is a feeling. Feelings influence your thoughts, your mind. So why do depressed people have an advantage? Often the absolute pain of depression drives a person to desperate extreme action. Some scream, “I’ve had enough” and fight and cause pain to others. Some scream, “I’ve had enough” and take their own life. These people, generally, want to change how they feel, but they refuse to see any need for them to change anything. They become master justifiers waiting for a magic wand to change everything. But others scream, “I’ve had enough” and use the pain as a ‘negative motivator’ to springboard out of depression and create their goal. In this last instance, inevitably, they have an open mind. The resignation of hitting rock bottom, where they will do and try anything is the type of open mind many seek through meditation. They are propelled to a level that that the average person is not. The next time someone approaches you in anger, note that your automatic reaction will not be a happy one. You will have some sort of defensive feeling, fight or flight. Conversely, note when someone approaches you in a friendly, happy manner. You are likely to smile back. Or at the very least you will not be so defensive as in the first example. You are not controlling your mind in either of these examples. However just like a swimmer’s breathing, you could, for example, train yourself to smile at everyone who smiles at you. What is an unconscious act can be brought into consciousness, mastered, and then returned to the unconscious. That is one of the keys to overcoming depression… Or any other unproductive symptom in your life. Unconscious acts and thoughts need to be brought into consciousness, dissected, practised, mastered and then returned to the subconscious. If you always fully controlled your own mind, when did you start? When you were old enough to drive? Maybe when you started school? How about when began to talk? Or maybe when you went to one of those get-rich-quick seminars. When did you first control your mind? You don’t have to have depression to learn the powerful system that nature has provided for us. Anybody can learn about nature’s intentional flaw. Yes, it causes depression, and can also eliminate depression. The same flaw that leads to depression also branches out and leads us to find love and relationships, and pain in relationships! The same flaw is what drives our need for fulfillment ….and our search to Discover Peace Of Mind.