You Are Not Your Mind—Why That’s Great News!

you are not your mind

“You’re not the mind. You have a mind.”

If you were to ask me the single most important thing I’ve learned in all my years of spiritual exploration and self-discovery, I’d answer without hesitation.

It’s the moment I realised ‘you are not your mind’—that the thoughts in your head are something you are aware of and therefore can’t be who you are.

I believe this discovery is the pivotal moment in everyone’s spiritual journey. It’s a total game changer.

I’ll explain why.

Before realising this, I had believed there was something ‘wrong’ with my mind and that this was the cause of my unhappiness—the mind should be peaceful and calm, otherwise there’s something wrong.

This is what most people think.

Because I believed the mind was who I was, then logically, when I experienced anxious, judgemental or unworthy thoughts, I thought there was something wrong with me and that I needed to be fixed. 

So, for 20 years, I went to workshops, read self-help books, became a Reiki master, sat in Indian ashrams, did past-life therapy, inner-child work… and much more— all in the hope that one day I would successfully upgrade all of my troublesome thoughts and emotions into positive ones… and find peace and happiness as a result. That’s what I believed then.

If you’ve been down this path, you’ll know it’s a long and arduous one. It takes years of commitment… and even then, success is far from guaranteed. 

One of the biggest obstacles to finding peace of mind is highlighted in this quote from the Indian teacher Nisargadatta:

“There’s no such thing as peace of mind. Mind means disturbance; restlessness itself is mind.”— Nisargadatta Maharaj

Restlessness is the nature of the mind. It’s not the mind’s nature to be peaceful.

We think it’s bad or wrong to have negative thoughts but, in fact, it’s perfectly natural.

A lot of people who come to me for coaching have been trying for 10, 20 even 30 years to fix their minds (and therefore themselves… or so they believe). I call this approach ” trying to iron the ocean”.

And, in most cases, nobody has ever suggested to them that there’s another way—a way that’s far simpler, far quicker and far more effective.

That it’s possible to experience peace immediately… even with a busy, restless, messed up mind!

This can be quite a discovery! It certainly blew my mind (pun intended) when I discovered it.


 

Grab your free copy of my book “Kick the Thinking Habit by clicking on the image below:

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Seeing You Are Not Your Mind Is a Total Game Changer

Here’s another quote from Nisargadatta:

“If you know you are not the mind, then what difference does it make if it’s busy or quiet?”

When you realise you are not your mind, you no longer need to fix it to experience peace. .. any more than you need to fix your car or your toaster to find peace. 

This is huge!

You can knock years off your journey through this simple realisation alone.

So, how to apply this in practice.

Through minding your own business!

Through letting the mind do its thing without getting so involved.

There’s a great analogy of the angry bull.

Imagine you’re confined in a small enclosure with an agitated, snorting bull—a bit like being trapped in the confines of your own head with a troubled mind.

The worst thing you can do is to try to restrain it. Trying to tie it up will make the bull more agitated, more angry, more dangerous.

And the best thing to do?

Set it free. Give it a huge field to roam around in and, meeting with no resistance, it will quickly calm down, all by itself.

Here’s the truth:

“You don’t suffer because the mind is sad, anxious or confused. You suffer because you believe it shouldn’t be. Because you’re trying to make it something that it’s not.”

And because you believe it’s who you are.

 


Need some help to make peace with your busy mind? Why not book a FREE one hour chat with me…  no strings attached! Just click below to select a time that suits you.

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Looking for peace of mind through trying to iron all your non-peaceful thoughts is Mission Impossible. It’s going to take years and years, and even then, any peace you gain will be temporary, like a passing cloud.

A far more effective solution is to see that:

It’s not the thoughts themselves that are the real issue… it’s the way you relate to them.

The key to finding ongoing peace is to make peace WITH the restless nature of the mind—which is much easier when you realise the mind is not who you are.

Here are a few practical steps for making peace with the mind:

  • fully expect the mind to be restless, agitated, messed up, anxious, confused. Don’t be surprised. It’s not who YOU are.
  • don’t judge negative thoughts, feelings or emotions as ‘bad’ or ‘wrong.’ It’s just the mind being its restless self. And it’s not who you are.
  • don’t judge, resist, reject or fight against the anxiety, the guilt, the shame. Let them be there. You are not your mind. Like the angry bull, resistance makes them stronger. Wanting to fix them empowers them. 
  • recognise  that the passing thoughts, feelings and emotions don’t say anything about who YOU are. They are like passing clouds—some pleasant, some unpleasant—you are the sky, not the mind.
  • Making peace WITH the mind is the way to go.

Here’s a video I just uploaded that you might found interesting: https://youtu.be/m5HE6b_1Hl8

To repeat again what Nisargadatta said :

“If you know you are not the mind, then what difference does it make if it’s busy or quiet?”

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