Are you conscious of your busy mind? Do you occasionally find yourself angry or depressed, just by the random thought generation at work in your head, even when nothing has happened in the present to trigger this response?
In my post “The Top Ten Tips for Living a Happy Life”, one of the key concepts was “Your thoughts create your reality”. This topic including others related to this critical idea that we are not our mind/ego. We have the ability to create our own reality. You will find variations of this theme common among many of the thought leaders, spiritual and self-help teachers today.
In my own life, I regularly revisit these concepts, especially when I find my mind sabotaging all the work I’ve done to stay positive and loving and present. In the following chart, I’ve summarized three ‘states of being’ with examples of what kinds of thoughts and feelings characterize each state. Where do you spend most of your time? If the answer is the ‘basement’ then I encourage you to do the work you need to do to come upstairs!
If you are often frustrated, feeling resentment, blaming others for your situation, asking questions like “Why me?” and “What if?”, dwelling on the past and obsessing over thoughts like “If only I’d done this”, and are generally unhappy with the “way it is”, then I would call that living in the basement. Other symptoms might be that you are overly judgmental of others, depressed, and feeling stuck.
Ascending to higher levels will not only result in your feeling more joy in your life but you will be more able to contribute to others and enjoy meaningful relationships. This involves living in the present, accepting that the universe is unfolding as it should and being grateful for your life.
I’ve put together this chart to remind myself of this. This can also serve as a quick check to see where you’re at and ‘get off it’ if you catch yourself lingering in the ‘basement’.