• Aliki Reddy

The Power of Your Free Mind

No one ever told me I had a free mind. All I saw when I looked around was people freaking out over what their mind was telling them, completely trapped in believing their thoughts.



How to get the most out of these Wisdom Quotes:


  1. Put aside everything you think you already know.

  2. Open your mind and heart to receive something new.

  3. Take your time going through each point.

  4. Return to any points that particularly touch you.

  5. In the coming days, listen carefully to the wisdom within you.


* All quotes are by Mara Gleason Olsen, from the video: Superpower of the Mind



1. You're More Powerful Than You Can Imagine

"I’ve always wanted to speak to a group of high school students because, when I learned what I’m going to share with you guys today about the mind, the first thought I had was, “Damn it, Why didn’t somebody teach me this in high school?”

I really felt like there was a lot of ways in which I used my own thinking against me when I was younger, very innocently, without knowing it. What I’m going to talk to you about today is, when I discovered how the mind truly works, I felt like I had uncovered a superpower. And I really do mean that.

I believe that an understanding of the mind would solve all of the world’s problems and what I’ve discovered is that, actually, every single one of you sitting in this room already has the greatest superpower. I know that may sound cheesy but I’m going to break it down for you.

Every single human is born with the most powerful superpower you could ever imagine, and that superpower makes you a force for peace. Right now. So, nothing in the world outside of you has to change, nothing in your community has to change, nothing about you or your race or your gender or your sexual preference or where you grew up or what kind of grades you make, none of that has to change.

You, right here, as you are today, the superpower that you have makes you the single most powerful force for peace in the world.

Your superpower is that your mind is completely your own. And it’s free.

Here’s why that’s a superpower: because no one outside of you can tell you what to think or feel. No one can do that. The TV can’t tell you, magazine ads can’t tell you, your parents can’t tell you, your teachers can’t tell you.

It’s just a truth, it’s a fact of life, it’s how the human mind works, is that you, all of you, cannot crawl inside my mind and make me start thinking something. And you can’t make me start feeling something. That can only happen inside of me because my mind is mine and no one else’s. It’s free. It doesn’t belong to anybody else.

And the power of that means that, when you realize you’re a free thinker, there’s so much suffering that looks more optional and less required."

COACHING NOTES:

It all begins with an understanding of the mind. This is the difference between suffering and taking things in your stride, between feeling helpless and being empowered, and between mental illness and mental health.

You may feel like you are powerless and a victim of life's circumstances, but the truth is, no one can make you feel the way you do - except you. As you begin to see this, you enter into the reality, enjoyment, and incredible power of a free-thinking mind.


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2. Let's Keep Having a Good Time

"I was laying in the park with a guy friend of mine, and we were laying there in our bathing suits, and these two people walked by. This really skinny, darkly dressed, serious-looking kid walked by and he looked at me and he goes, “Gross, cellulite.” And I had this moment of, “Ow, that’s not nice! That’s mean."

And about a split second later I realized, I have an option right now: I can keep enjoying my sunshine and the park, feeling the sun on my face, having a nice day, or I can get really depressed right now because that guy said something not nice about me and my body.

I could go off on a whole story and I could create a whole perception of myself as someone who’s gross and fat and has cellulite, and therefore I should lose weight, I’m never going to live up to the feminine ideal, blah, blah, blah...

You see how I could go that way and there’s a whole journey in that direction, or not. And, in that moment I realized, I want to keep having a nice day. That sounds way more fun.

I literally had a split second where I had a little thought storm in my head of, “Oh, that’s messed up! He said that to me and I feel bad.” And then I realized, “Nah, I don’t want to, 'cause I don’t have to. I don’t have to! I don’t have to believe what you say."

My guy friend sitting next to me was, like, “Oh, hell no, that was wrong! I want to chase that kid down and tell that scrawny little crap what he’s made of…” and I was like, “No, sit down, don’t go and do that. We were having a really good time. Let’s keep having a good time.”

He looked at me, like, “You’re just going to let him say that to you?” I was, like, “Why do I care? It’s his thinking that he has to live with, not me. He has to walk around in whatever that kind of thinking about humanity feels like, not me. Because my superpower is my mind is mine. Nobody else’s."

COACHING NOTES:

How many times have you felt that your day was ruined because someone dished out an insult, or something happened that you didn't like?

Without an understanding of how the mind works, you can't help but react and end up in a downward spiral of low-mood thinking, which affects everything and everyone around you.

But it doesn't have to be that way. You get to choose if you want to go down that spiral, or not. You get to choose whether you want to carry on having a nice day. You don't need to give that power away to anyone anymore.


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3. It's All in Your Head


"I got very lucky that, when I stumbled across this understanding of the mind, I knew right away, this is what I want to do with my life, I want to share this with people.

So, I found myself at 23, 24, 25 years old, sitting in rooms of people who were three times my age, with degrees that were way fancier than my degrees. They were men, they seemed powerful and I remember, for the first year or so doing this work, I had a lot of thinking about being young and being a girl.

And I thought, in my own mind, that meant I had to work harder. I thought, I made up, in my own head, that because I was a woman and because I was young, I had to work harder than other people in order to gain respect.

I had a conversation with one of my colleagues and he said, "You know, Mara, that’s only real if you’re thinking about it. And if you’re thinking about it, it gets really, really real and it’s like a really big deal," and you notice that's true. That’s how the mind works.

Have you ever noticed that a thought can’t bother you if you don’t keep thinking about it? Have you ever noticed that? Thought, by itself, wants to go away. It shows up, and then it runs away, it shows up, and then it runs away. But, if you grab it and start focusingng on it, it gets really real, it gets really big.

Old men can’t make me feel bad for being a young woman. It doesn’t work that way. Only I can do that, in my head. But when you’re doing it in your head, it’s so real to you, you think it’s coming from outside of you.

It’s coming from me! It’s not coming from them. Why? Because they cannot crawl inside my head and do my thinking to me. Only I can do that.

So, when I realized that, I had this amazing experience the next day, of walking into a room where I was the only woman and I was the youngest by at least 20 years but I didn’t have any thinking about that. And do you know what? I felt respect, I felt qualified, I felt confident.

Nobody out here was doing anything different to me. I had changed inside here so I felt different to me. And that was huge for me. My career took off because I did not see any limitations outside of myself.

I just realized,I had a whole bunch of thinking in here that was limiting me and when that went away I felt like I had superpowers. I felt like I could fly. And I seriously had the feeling, damn, this is all just in my head. I think I can go anywhere and do anything, this is awesome! And so I started to and that’s how my career grew into now running an international non-profit and traveling all over the world.

I feel like I’m really living my dreams, but I not living my dreams because of anything other than the realization of this superpower. And what I want you to realize is, it’s not me, I’m not special. You have this exact same superpower because your mind works the same exact way.

Your mind is yours. Your mind is free. Nobody outside you can tell you to think something about yourself. Nobody outside of you can make you feel bad. Only your own mind can do that to you."

COACHING NOTES:

No one ever told me I had a free mind. All I saw when I looked around was people freaking out over what their mind was telling them, completely trapped in believing their thoughts.

But now we know better. We live in an age where we are more in touch with our inner wisdom than ever before. And more open to the possibility of everything we ever thought was true dissolving in the light of awareness.

You can believe your limited mind with its limiting thoughts and live a small and suffering life. Or not.


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4. It's Just a Crappy Thinking Day


"Now, the truth is I’m a human so, some days I’m insecure, some days I’m in a crappy mood, some days I don’t feel like I’m good enough, and some days I’m just angry and annoyed with people. I have those days because I’m a human being.

But, since discovering my own superpower, what’s different for me is, I realized, that’s just me having a crappy thinking day. That’s nothing in the world out there that means I should be insecure. There’s nothing in the world out there that’s actually annoying. It’s just, I’m having one of those days when I’m doing that to myself in my own head.

Here’s the thing, if you understand the way the mind works, you realize you’re okay no matter what because no one outside of you can crawl inside of your mind and take over, they cannot hijack you. So, you’re okay no matter what because feelings can’t come from the outside world, they can only come from you.

And then you’re also okay no matter what because your own feelings just come from thoughts in the moment.

I want you to experiment with this - notice that every thought you’ve ever had eventually passes. Right? How many times have you heard people say, I’ll sleep on it? Because people know that, naturally, the mind wants to move on, it wants to recalibrate, it wants to basically forget what it’s thinking.

You can know that you’re okay, no matter what, even if you’re in the crappiest thinking. One day you feel so small, you’re so upset about the world, you can know that all feelings come from thoughts and all thoughts pass. It’s a very simple thing to know. But it’s very helpful to be reminded of."

COACHING NOTES:


Notice how your mind works. Notice how thoughts always come and go. Notice how you have the power to make them bigger or smaller, depending on how much attention you give them.

Notice that all your feelings come from your thoughts: sad thoughts = sad feelings; happy thoughts = happy feelings. Experiment and see if that's true. Then notice that you're only ever one thought away from a different feeling. That doesn't mean you need to force a positive feeling. Just notice that "all feelings come from thoughts and all thoughts pass."

Notice that everything you thought was wrong with you was actually just crappy thinking that you took to be true. Consider how much of what you think about other people is actually true, and how much of it is just more crappy thinking.


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5. Temporary, Fleeting Energy That Can't Hurt You


"And the other thing is, not only do thoughts pass if you leave them alone, but I really want you to step back and get reflective for a minute here and ask yourself, "What is a thought made of?"

The truth is, it’s not a thing. I can’t take the thinking in my head right now and put it out on this table and show it to you. You can’t weigh your thinking because it has no weight. Thoughts don’t have weight. Thoughts don’t have mass or matter because they’re not in the world of substance or form.

They’re temporary, fleeting energy that only exists while we’re having them.

And, yes, they’re connected to our sensory system so the thoughts can feel very, very powerful. If you’ve ever been really mad before, you know what I’m talking about.

No one can beat themselves up with a thought. It seems like you can, it feels like you can, but it’s a trick of the mind, and that’s why I call this a superpower. Because if you get hip to the trick of thought, which feels so real, it feels so heavy, it feels so important while you’re having it, but the truth is, what’s it made of?

It will leave you and it can’t hurt you.

The good news is, is all you need to know is that people outside of you don’t determine your thinking, and even if you are creating a whole bunch of thinking you don’t like, leave it alone and it will pass because it can’t hurt you.

Bad feelings suck while we have them but they can’t actually hurt you.

That was a huge relief to me because, when I was younger (that’s why I say I wish I’d learned this as a teenager) I used to think my bad feelings were a really big deal and it meant there was something super wrong with me and I was really messed up.

And now I know, no, that’s just the way the mind works. Sometimes you have helpful thinking, sometimes you have unhelpful thinking, but if you leave it alone, it will pass and it cannot hurt you."

COACHING NOTES:


We live in a world where most of us think our feelings are a really big deal. This isn't to say that feelings don't matter or that we are to ignore them. But what's needed here is a healthy and wise perspective.

Feelings are created by thoughts, which are nothing but temporary, fleeting energy that constantly comes and goes. Did you ever stop to consider that? And just how seriously do you think we should take these thoughts of ours?


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6. Becoming Part of the Solution

"I want to talk a little bit about how understanding that your mind is your own and that it’s ultimately free is what allows you to be a force for peace in the world.

How this understanding, how your freedom of mind helps your community is because, when you realize that your mind is your own, you can’t blame anybody else. And when you can’t blame anybody else, you can't be angry at the world.

Knowing freedom of mind helps us to stop being angry at other people and behaving out of that anger.

So violence stops making sense when you don’t have a bunch of people who are angry at each other anymore. Think about it, the only way you can get angry at someone is if you think they made you feel bad. Correct?

And if you don’t think other people can make you feel bad, you’re not going to act on your anger, you’re going to see it as temporary thought. It’s going to come and it’s going to go.

I could live in a world where I see a bunch of people who are angry at each other and divided, or not. I could see a world where people are innocently doing the best they can with the thinking that they have, that they don’t realize is coming from them and not the outside world.

So, you start to see that, if you can be a model for people seeing the power of their own minds, seeing the freedom of their own minds, you’re going to exist in your community in a way in which you just breed peace. Because you aren’t accidentally a part of the problem, you become a part of the solution.

In order to boldly embrace your superpower and your freedom of mind, you have to be a rebel. You have to be a rebel because this is not the story that’s being told in the world right now. The opposite story is being told:

You need this in order to feel good. Buy this stupid product in order to feel better about yourself. Oh, I’m pissed because the world is this and republicans this and democrats that. Everything in the media is about dividing us and making us fearful and making us think we’re against each other. It’s not true. It’s a lie.

But you’re going to have to boldly stand up and say, you know what, screw that! I’m going to go against the grain. I’m not going to go with the mainstream. I’m not buying it.

Why? Because I know that my mind is free. And I know that if everybody knew that, we’d live in a peaceful world.

So, go be a rebel, and be a beacon of peace in your community."

COACHING NOTES:


We have all accidentally and innocently been part of the problem.

But now we can be part of the solution.

Know that your mind is free.

And see the power of a free mind in the world.


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