Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Running, Spiritual Teachings, Spirituality, Thought | Posted on 08-26-2015
Tags: 3 Principles, Transformation, Wellbeing
[Jill’s Note: If you prefer to listen rather than read, please scroll to the bottom of this post for the audio version.]
I’ve been using the phrase “Uncovering Our Innate Mental Health and Wellbeing” a lot lately. I’m leading a local MeetUp Group using that name as well as a Facebook Group. The idea is to build a local community who are interested in uncovering their innate mental health. So far we’ve had a couple of in-person discussions, and have another one scheduled for September.
While we already have over 80 members, it occurred to me that some may not quite understand what “uncovering our innate mental health” means. I’m pretty sure those words wouldn’t have meant much to me a couple of years ago. The premise is that everyone–you, me, your neighbor, your spouse, your kids, murderers, cops, starving children in Africa–everyone, was born with a healthy mind. It’s our natural state. (That’s what the innate part means.) Nobody is born angry, depressed or anxious. In other words, we are all born happy.
The problem is that this natural mental state–and its sidekick happiness–gets “covered up” as we go through our lives. What people say and do to us each day of our lives, seems to have the ability to make us feel “unwell.” (Think Rob Thomas: “I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell”!) In the past, I wrote about this as “being slimed” which said that we start out fresh and clean, but every icky thing that seems to happen to us covers us with a layer of slime. By the time we’re adults, we’re walking around with a bunch of thick gooey gunk that covers up that part of us that is healthy, well and perfect underneath.
As I was running in the woods the other day I thought of another analogy:
I was looking for a specific tree that someone had posted a picture of in a local Facebook group, but I had to be careful not to trip on the roots that stick out all over the trail. As I glanced around, I saw lots of trees that looked similar to the one in the photo, i.e., very old trees that had tons of roots crawling and sprawling all over the place. It was then I realized that all of the roots I was avoiding were uncovered extensions of the trees to the side of the trail.
While noticing more and more of the tree-root connections, I saw how some trees had roots that were completely buried, some were partially uncovered, and others–such as the one in the photo–had a whole bunch uncovered.
The tree roots are like our innate mental health.
As trees grow, their roots are usually covered up and buried deep down in the earth, similar to what happens to our natural state of wellbeing. It’s always there underneath–just like the roots of trees–but we often don’t see it. And just like how some trees’ roots may start to get uncovered over time, that can happen with human beings as well. When we start to realize that the crap that happened to us in the past is no longer real, but just thoughts we’re holding onto, some of our innate mental health is uncovered and shows through. Depending on our path in life, some of us may never uncover our innate wellbeing because we don’t realize it’s there and are stuck in blame mode. Thankfully, most of us catch glimpses of ours now and then, usually during our happier times. But any of us who truly want to feel better, can uncover a good portion of our innate health. And just like the trees don’t need to do anything for their roots to be uncovered, neither do we!
Here’s the secret:
As soon as we start to Know for sure that we are not our thoughts–our wellbeing automatically starts shining through.
Sounds crazy, I know. But it’s the truest thing I’ll ever tell you. All kinds of hurt and anger and fear and guilt and blame can and will disappear when we uncover the innate mental health inside of us that has been there all along. It never left us–it was simply covered up. And even if you personally don’t see it or feel it now, if you can believe that it’s there–just covered up temporarily like tree roots–changes will start occurring in your life. Little by little whatever is covering it up will start to erode and you’ll find that you automatically feel better more of the time.
Are you ready to believe right now in this moment that you have innate mental health?
P.S. Please comment below with any questions about this, or feel free to contact me directly.
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