Being Marge: How to Guard Your Mindset

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to Guard Your Mindset

In her smash #1 New York Times Bestseller (and now smash movie starring Julia Roberts), Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert travels the world to find her life purpose and peace of mind. One of my favorite passages from the book occurs as she recounts her experiences in a meditation ashram in India, where she has finally learned to quiet her mind. She writes, "I repeat this vow about 700 times a day: I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore."

Elizabeth pictures the harbor of her mind as an open bay, which she must protect in order to keep strong. In her mind, she creates strict maritime laws as to who may enter her harbor (her mind) and takes responsibility herself for upholding her new protective laws. I believe we all have a lot to learn from the image of the harbor and its governing laws, as far as guarding our own mindsets with all our personal power. Let's take a look.

Elizabeth's first mindset law: "You may not come here anymore with your hard and abusive thoughts, with your plague ships of thoughts, with your slave ships of thoughts, with your warships of thoughts- all these will be turned away." How often are you at war with yourself in your own mind? Are you ever hard on yourself? What about harboring reoccurring thoughts that weaken your mindset and destroy your healthy thinking.

Elizabeth's second mindset law
: "Likewise, any pamphleteers, mutineers and violent assassins, desperate prostitutes, pimps, and seditious stowaways - you may not come here anymore either." Do you let others think for you? Do you screen the "stuff" that affects your thinking each day? Do you allow yourself (your mind) to be bombarded by the negative media, those less consciously aware than you, or information that is simply irrelevant to your life purpose.

Elizabeth's third mindset law
: "Cannibalistic thoughts, for obvious reasons, will no longer be received." Ah, yes, it's so easy to doubt ourselves and lose confidence in our ability to hold our thoughts firm on what we want.

Elizabeth's fourth mindset law: "Even missionaries will be screened carefully, for sincerity". Especially be watchful for those who say they have your best interest at heart, when in fact, they have hidden or even not so hidden agendas.

She concludes: "This is a peaceful harbor, the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquility. If you can abide by these new laws, my dear thoughts, then you are welcome in my mind - otherwise, I shall turn you all back toward the sea from whence you came."

Elizabeth Gilbert leaves no doubt that she, and she alone, is in charge of the thoughts that enter and stay moored in the harbor of her mind. Let's all take a clue from this wise woman who traveled the world to learn how to take charge of her mind. (Note: If you read the book, you'll find that as a result of quieting her mind, she is able to connect to her heart and soul to a depth she had never previously experienced.)

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