I had the pleasure of presenting at a private school recently to a hundred children ranging from 4-10 years old.
The subject I was asked to speak around was mental health and well-being. It was a thrill having such an open minded group of little humans to work with and I would like to share one of the things that we discussed.
On the big screen I showed them a photo of myself as a baby holding my favourite teddy bear. I asked them “did you have a favourite teddy or a comfort blanket?” “Yes!” they shouted. I explained to them that this was my favourite teddy and when I had it with me I was happy. If I couldn’t find it, or we were going out and I wasn’t allowed to take it with me I would freak out and get very upset.
The question I asked was “could the teddy bear make me happy or unhappy?”
“Yes” a voice said. “Could it”? I enquired. After a few minutes of reflection a few hands went up “no” they said.
This was something that I struggled with on my journey learning about how the mind worked. I just couldn’t get it….Of course situations, circumstances or people, made me happy or not happy, relaxed or stressed etc. At some point I realised that…
Nobody or nothing has the power to make me feel a certain way
Let me ask you?
Has it ever seemed that your mood is down due to it being a Monday? ☹️
Have you ever been excited about going on holiday? 😊
That your commute is driving you crazy? 😡
This isn’t to say that I don’t get in ☹️ 😊 😡 moods, of course I do but freedom truly exists when we see that any mood we have is thought created in the moment and is temporary. As convincing as it looks, the outside world doesn’t have the power to make me feel a certain way. Until I realised that, I was always trying to control the outside world so that I felt good/happy/successful etc. Trying to fix the outside world so everything is just how i want it is an endless journey into disappointment and suffering.
We are only ever feeling thought in the moment.
As I finished this segment with the children I asked them to reflect on what else they believed could make them feel a certain way?
An iPhone? I will be happy when I get that.
An exam? The exam next week is making me anxious.
A friendship? He makes me so angry.
A football result? Losing today has made me upset.
We are innocently giving our power to something external
What in your world seems to have a hold on you and dictates how you feel?
All I would ask you to do is to look again. Can a Monday really crawl inside you and make you feel a certain way? Or is your thinking around Monday?