How to practice patience when facing negative emotions?

I like to define patience as peace + science, or in other words, the science of peace.

Patience is the ability to overcome challenges without reacting with anger. You can show patience with a good attitude in front of life difficulties. Being patient is also the comprehension of life facts without forcing anything or anyone, without getting attached to anything or anyone, without any effort.

If the patience is part of our natural state, why do we “lose” it?

Patience is lost as we allow what does not correspond to our real nature. The enemies of patience are negative emotions such as ANGER AND HATE, which bring suffering. These negative emotions are created in the mind because the mind is like a sponge; it absorbs both the positive and the negative, unfortunately, it is proven that the mind absorbs more quickly the negative than the positive.

In the world we live in, we receive daily hate messages such as wars, abandonment, and injustice. In social networks and television, they show us a reality full of falsehood and materialism called “mass consumption“. All of this is absorbed and accumulated by mind daily. It is as if the mind were a glass of water and each negative thought is a drop of ink that falls into the water and becomes cloudy and dark.

When we faced difficult situations, the mind is cloudy and dark and, instead of responding assertively, it reacts with anger and hatred.

If something happens that I do not want, I get angry …

When someone says or does something that I do not like, I get angry …

When situations do not go as I expected, I get angry …

If we analyze this pattern, there is always “something” or “someone” that “steals” our peace or patience. If we let everything that happens around affect us, we end up suffering. And this is because we are so dissatisfied with life that we always want something more and we do not even know what that something is.

As the Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo says: “People find it difficult to be happy because they think happiness is to be happy with everyone and everything, be happy and nothing more, laugh at everything. But if we could realize that happiness is to be serene. And that serenity is obtained when one is on the path he chose. Not exactly because he does well, that would be very easy. But we expect so much from the happiness that we have made it impossible.”

In order to end the suffering caused by anger and hatred, we need to change our DESIRES. Desires are another cause of suffering, and uncontrollable desires can lead to death. People hurt themselves, self-flagellate, suffer from depression, anxiety and end up losing patience altogether.

We all face obstacles; if they have a solution, there is no reason to be angry, and if they do not have it, how does it benefit us to get angry?

But here is something important, NOT all suffering is bad, the small daily sufferings that affect us physically and emotionally, such as pain and illness, also prepare us to endure great adversities. If we become familiar with the challenges every day, we become stronger, and it becomes easier and easier to solve them.

How to cultivate patience?

One of the most effective ways to cultivate patience is to have TRUST, trusting that everything we need comes to us at the time and in the right way, without any effort. This we can call waiting, “wait patiently.” If we return to the example of the glass with water, if we let the ink settle in the bottom of the glass, we can see clearly and choose to respond assertively to the challenges, instead of getting angry.

Confidence allows us to understand that everything arrives at the perfect moment and time. For some strange reason, humans have developed the need to control everything, including others. This creates great disappointments of how life is according to what we expect from it. Through the practice of trust, we let everything flow without the need to control; flow with life is much more relaxed and effective than go against the flow!

One of the best ways to cultivate that natural state of patience is by means of meditation. Meditation is an exercise for the mind, which is, as I mentioned earlier, the source of negative emotions and uncontrollable desires. Meditation allows us to:

-Learn how to deal with our thoughts and emotions

-Connect with our natural state of inner peace

-Clean the impurities of the mind

-Control the desires

-Accept the nature of the world that is UNCONTROLLABLE

3 affirmations to cultivate patience

After recognizing the origin of the loss of patience and understanding that we can control our desires to stop suffering, we can pause and transform our life experience into a conscious experience of peace and serenity. Positive affirmations are the opposite of the negative thought patterns that we normally use and are the starting point for personal development.

For this reason, I want to share the following affirmations to cultivate patience in all areas of life:

  • Practice acceptance

Today I accept the people, situations, and circumstances as they occur. I know that this moment is as it should be because the whole universe is as it should be. I will not fight against the whole universe by fighting against this moment. I accept things as they are and not as I want them to be.

  • Take responsibility

Today I take responsibility for my situation and for all the events that I see as challenges. I avoid blaming others or myself. I recognize that every challenge is a disguised opportunity, which allows me to take this moment and transform it for my growth and expansion.

  • Remain defenseless

Today, I renounce my point of view, and I have no need to persuade others to accept my opinions. I remain open to all points of view and I am not rigidly attached to any of them. I choose to be kind before being right.

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How is an Ego mind a handicap to self-development?

The inner self is part of what we really are, and ego comes in when we fail to see ourselves as whole, fulfilled entity with no separateness. Our cultures, our upbringing, our inherent problems in life make us realize that we do not possess that wholeness, and we tend to maximize the urge to own, control and keep to ourselves what we think is lacking in us. Ego has been equated to selfishness and unwillingness to live a communal life style.

We are because others are

We all have this tendency to give priority to what is ours, who we are and what we own. Many times as humans, we have that inner consciousness of self that we want to protect, portray, impose or demonstrate. This inclination to separate oneself from the other part of the universe may at times be so strong that what comes first is always his/hers. This is normal and everyone has that aspect of life but it may be seen as harmful to self and others when it exceeds normal limit whereby we lose the awareness of the idea that we are because others are. This sentiment referred as ego is when we put in our mind that we are clipped and stuck in a cage that does not even exist.

Again, it is that state of mind that puts a line between self and others, mine and others. This sense of self which is natural and common in everyone of us, can be healthy and at times unhealthy, and hence a handicap to relating well with others.

False self does not lead to progress

Nothing is so bad than to have an ego mind, because as many say, we are born with an infant’s egocentric predisposition to experience the world completely in relation to our personal needs and desires. It becomes an issue when the ego in us grows to limit possibility to open up and share our life experiences with others. Brahmanada, an Indian poet suggested that, to be freed from an ego mind, one must be detached from petty desires, to become free from the bondage of ego, to love our neighbors as ourselves, to serve selflessly, and to act without attachment to the fruits of our actions.

Everyone wants life to be better and change, we work to transform our lives and we approach others to learn from them and on daily basis we are thriving to maximize what can increase our joy and happiness even if at times we have to sacrifice our happiness to gain more. An ego mind will remain stuck and will fight any change as coming out from the comfort zone remains quite impossible. They fight any process of transformation and prefer to remain in a false self where all is centered on and around them. Letting go to embrace new realities becomes hard and hence, progress remains impossible or difficult.

How can one fight against an ego mind?  

After having known how ego mind can create harm not only to oneself but also others, we may need to thrive to get out of this. As with ego, we are obstinate about what we know and we hold on that knowledge as the truth. Hence, there is a need to learn to quiet the mind, be still of heart, and focus our attention inwards opening ourselves to this new experience of greater awareness. In the silence of deep introspection, when the mind becomes quiet, it is possible to enter a point of deep awareness and consciousness. Meditation that helped many will be the real tool, an easy means to heal our ego mind.

A wise man told me, meditation is a space for inner knowing, and I think, the more the mind gets freed from unworthy worry, desires, fears of unknown danger, the wider the space that grows within us that can accommodate new knowledge dimension where the ‘Other’ finds a place and we end up cultivating love and compassion as we become aware of the world around us, the world we integrally take part in. Since breaking long-fed habits may take more efforts and time, some simple tools such as pausing altruistic acts like giving out stuff and donating items, offering our time and means to others gradually free us from our ego as we come to know that “I am because they are”.

 

The Art of Improvisation

Have you ever planned something so well only for the plan to be upset in the last minute as a result making you feel confused? Many of us would love things in life to always go as planned. We work so hard in calculating every step on the way with the hope that everything will go as perfectly as we wished it to be. Sadly, that’s not always the reality. Sometimes things go wrong but we still have to get the intended result. Hence, this becomes the million dollar question: how do you make it happen in the midst of a sudden change? This is where the art of improvisation sets in. In order to improvise and fix the situation, you need the following:

1. Keep your composure within
Sometimes when we talk about keeping composure, people think it means you should be slow when in reality you need to be fast in order to fix the situation. Keeping composure here means that your mind should not be in a haste or panic even if your body needs to move faster. Good athletes for instance run fast but their mind is still centered, and that is why they can resist for a longer time. Keeping calm within will give you the right wisdom you need at that point in time.

2. Use your intuition or discernment
Listening to yourself is one of the greatest skills you need in order to manage an unpredictable situation. Sometimes you can’t get the maths right by logical reasoning but that inner voice tells you, it is possible. The way to practice building your intuitive strength is to have a daily routine of reflection. It does not need to be long, 10-15 minutes is okay for a start.

3. Observe and Empathise
We are often in a haste to make decisions without observing what might be the current state of affairs. Situations are best judged by what is observed in the present moment and not much reliance on what seems similar to apply previous knowledge. When we observe keenly, we need to also empathise. It’s not always about doing what we want to do but also putting ourselves in the position of the other party to see if we would like what we intend to do.

4. Read, play and live!
It is often said the more you read, the more you know which is quite true. However, reading alone is not enough. It has to go with having a life of experiences. This may be travelling, playing games, hanging out with friends or volunteering at a community center. All these little but different experiences is what forms together the wisdom you need to improvise when the need arises. So, get out there and live your life!

5. Be flexible
A lot of people fail when their plans change because their mind is so limited to what they had previously conceived. Life is impermanent and so we have to be flexible at all times for the unforeseen. Do not be afraid to try something new. There’s nothing wrong in trying if the previous is already obsolete.

I’ve been travelling as a project manager for the last four years dealing with circumstances and people from different cultural backgrounds. This has taught me how to think out of the box as things do not always go as planned. However, improvisation does not only have to be in a negative situation. You could also improvise to take advantage of an opportunity that was not in your initial plan. I remember arriving at a conference last year in Pointe Noire, Congo without my bags and resource materials because the airline delayed them. Instead of panicking or cancelling my presentation, I chose to forget about my initial plan and spoke from my heart based on how I read the audience. They could feel my truth, and I could feel their concentration. Till today, this happens to be one of my most impactful events out of more than a hundred gatherings where I’ve been a speaker.

What is Your Motive for Giving?

I read somewhere that ‘it is easier for smaller communities to live in peace and harmony than bigger communities.’ I cannot attest to the truism of this, but I know from personal experience that the less we have, the happier we become. It is normal to find people in my community giving to the poor and the needy. But is the motive of giving important?

What’s bad in the motive?

Growing up I knew it was nice to offer clothes and other items that I didn’t like or use anymore to the needy. I used to give to free up the space, to get new or trending items and replace the ones I had given out. Well, you may say: but what’s bad in that? Nothing actually, except for the motive. Motives help us analyse and evaluate the reason behind everything we do, why we do the things we do, and how they shape our actions. It took me a desire for inner peace and happiness to finally understand through the practice of mindfulness and meditation that the motives behind giving or sharing anything with anyone is what counts more than the mere act of giving. All motives stem from the mind ― good or bad ― as a result of what we feed our minds with daily and often unconsciously given that our lives are likened to our minds and often a reflection of each other. If we have thoughts of peace, simplicity, prosperity, harmony and love, it will be reflected in our lives by inner peace, less attachments, happiness, ability to manage stress and unconditional love for all living beings.

More space, easier to focus

Our ability to live happier lives doesn’t depend on how much we have or possess but on how well trained and cultured our minds are. You will agree that it is a way easier to manage a group of 10 people than a group of 100 people. Imagine then, if you are able to reduce all the thoughts in your mind and learn to focus on just one at a time, won’t that be awesome? That’s what I learned through the practice of mindfulness that changed my perspective about giving. My motive for giving had always been to create space to buy more but after training my mind to focus on one thought at a time I am now able to analyze my motives from different vantage points, clearly and more accurately. The more space we create in our lives and our thoughts, the easier it becomes to focus on the things that really matter to us with more clarity, focus and understanding.

Whoever wrote these words ‘it is easier for smaller communities to live in peace and harmony than bigger communities’ in my opinion translates to: it is easier to find focus, balance, harmony and peace by reducing the chaos in our minds and our lives.

You are just a click away from a life changing experience, learn more on how to simplify your life and find inner peace by visiting us  today.

Is Self-Blame Safe to our Mind?

Have you ever felt ashamed of something you’ve done to the point of blaming yourself and feeling so much guilt that you tend to hate yourself? Has it ever happened to you to feel so bad on your past events that you have done, which might have brought you pain or failure and caused harm to others? Haven’t you felt remorse for wrong things done to you or to others? All of this is normal, and everyone of us does mistakes. Read this to see how self-blame or a high sense of culpability mostly referred as guilt can affect our inner peace and overall well-being if we fail to forgive ourselves and let go what we cannot change.

Authors of undesired situations?

It happens that we find ourselves in undesired situations where we live moments of pains and wounds or failure. Our inability to connect the occurrence of these events as mere natural phenomenon where life is to be up and down brings us to find faults in our own lives and judge ourselves to be authors of these events. We tend to take our misfortune as our making, as our fault, and we tag ourselves as originators of the problem. In the course of this self-blaming, we carry this sort of culpability and refuse to forgive ourselves. The danger of this deadly feeling is that others may not know what is wrong with us but can be victims of our attitudes because in most cases, we embark on societal withdrawal and self-exclusion as we judge ourselves as unworthy persons.

Putting ourselves aside

As stated above, when we categorize ourselves and tag ourselves as originators of our misfortune, pain or suffering, there is a certain behaviour that we develop and that can affect our mind: societal exclusion where we withdraw from public and put ourselves aside. It is a failure to undertake another action as we see ourselves as non-capable or afraid to fall into similar situation.

Culpability and guilt may not be bad in themselves if we decide to accept the world as it is, carry on with life and transcend our past to do better. The danger is that we carry these sentiments over years, and we live in our own world outside of which, any other thing looks bad. We build a strong shell around us and isolate ourselves as we may feel like being the problem for ourselves and for others. In the following text, there are some questions to help understand more why we feel guilt and self-blame.

1. Why do we feel so much guilt and self-blame in some cases?

Because we take responsibility over things that are not ours. Because we fail to accept what we cannot change. Because we have developed a low self-esteem sentiment, and we fail to forgive to ourselves. Because we think our pain and failure are from our own making and we feel ashamed of that.

2. Why self-blame and culpability (too much guilt) is dangerous?

It is dangerous because one can decide to punish him or herself: when the feeling of shame is too high, when one blames himself or herself too much, there is a tendency to seek to punish ourselves. When it goes to the extreme, issues of suicide lingers in our mind as we tend to see our life worthless. Punishing ourselves may take many forms and according to literature reviewed, most of these are self-immolation, infringing pain on oneself, denying ourselves what we should have the right to have, taking drugs such as alcohol, smoking and finding refuge in short term stress relieving substances such as intoxicants. All these damage our mind and body.

3. How does self-blame affect our mind?

It is said that guilt is what we do, and shame – who we are. When we blame ourselves too much and when it becomes like a way of life, we put an end to creativity, to any action geared towards development, or any move that makes life progressing in a positive direction. Our mind will never be at peace, will hardly concentrate and focus because reminiscence of past events will prevent us to let go and carry on with life. Whatever keeps us back is not good for our mind that needs to surpass a past to live in the present.

4. Any suggestions to get out of this deadly feeling?

Introspection in one’s life to identify where lies the loopholes to amend it and correct what appears to be wrong is the act number one. Specific therapy should be applied to each life situations as causes of our issues are different but we have one common engine that determine our actions. That is the mind. If the mind is taken care of and made to be clean and pure, still and less clouded by the past events, pains we feel, wounds we carry within, feelings we don’t let go, bad attitudes we do not abandon, we may always have this problem. We are to train the mind not to bother about what we cannot change. I learned this when I started meditating some years back. This tool which brings about mind’s relaxation an concentration can make one’s life look more beautiful and fruitful, positive and progressive.

Photo credits

Why Everyone Needs to Practice Meditation

Based on my own experience as a meditation trainer, people wonder a lot about when and why one needs to maintain meditation practice. Should that also be a misunderstanding of what meditation is all about? Possibly. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, meditation means, “engage in contemplation or reflection, or to plan or project in the mind”. But this is not what we are talking about. In fact, the real word which stands for meditation is actually called Samadhi, which means “standstill, peaceful and focused at one point. In this article, we are basing our argument on some facts about the function of our brain which is, in a way, conditioned by the state of our mind.

The three main parts of our brain

In her article “How meditation boosts creativity and innovation”[1], Bianca Rothschild (2014), explains the three main parts of the brain and their functions:

1) Neocortex: the newest part of the brain which is essentially concerned with what can be considered the important stuff: creative thinking, problem solving, visioning, hypothesising, strategizing.

2)The limbic system: located below the neocortex, and is simply said to be the area of processing our emotions,  motivations and memories. If we are feeling emotionally out of balance or distressed, this part of the brain gets activated, and our brain becomes ‘busy’ dealing with the stress and emotions at hand; it won’t allocate any resources to our creative thinking.

3) The reptilian brain: the oldest part of our brain, concerned with our survival and primarily activated by the adrenaline hormone; it is where our fight or flight responses originate. This is the laziest part of our brain; it only wants to process things which it deems critical to our survival.  The reptilian brain also includes sex impulses, and if the idea is ‘mate-able’, dangerous or threatening our survival in any way, it will get passed upwards, and hence has a hard time getting to the neocortex.

Enhanced creativity and emotional intelligence

Mindfulness meditation has been scientifically proved to be a great technique to improve creativity. “The kinds of things that happen when you meditate do have effects throughout the body, not just in the brain.”[2].  Elsewhere, the study published in May 2016 in the medical journal PloS One[3]  showed that one session of relaxation­response practice was enough to enhance the expression of genes involved in energy metabolism and insulin secretion and reduce expression of genes linked to inflammatory response and stress. There was an effect even  among novices who had never practiced meditation before.

Certainly, meditation has positive side effects: it reduces the reactivity of the reptilian brain, increases resilience, stimulates the neocortex, as well as improves emotional intelligence[4]. All these factors assist in getting ideas flowing directly to our best creative thinking brain – the neocortex. According to the research conducted on American company’s employees regarding their ability of problem solving, the result shows that non-meditators had more cognitive rigidity than regular meditators; they also had tendency to apply difficult or outdated solutions to easy problems, based on their past experiences, which was not the case of regular meditators who are more creative.

Conclusion

Everyone deserves happiness and peace of mind on one side and creative thinking on the other side. Unfortunately, our everyday life has so many happenings which are often unpleasant and at the end deprive us from being joyful and creative as our brain becomes busy dealing with stress and emotions. The good news is that everyone has a solution in their hands, and it is meditation practice.  So, the choice is YOURS.

 

References

[1] Bianca Rothschild, How meditation boosts creativity and innovation, july 2014

[2] The Benson-Henry Institute for mind-body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital

[3] In http://www.bl oomber g.com/news/ar ti cl es/2013­ 11­ 22/har var d­ yoga­ sci enti sts­ fi nd­ pr oof­ of­ medi tation­ benefit

[4] Bianca Rothschild (2014)  in Op.cit

Turn off autopilot, be a warrior with an open heart

Habits, morning routine, places we go out to eat, the behaviour towards our partner – this all can slip into an autopilot mode. To be mindful and turn off this mode means to be a warrior with an open heart.

Sometimes the battle is against being on autopilot mode, which due to its familiarity, can be quite a comfy state. It keeps one in the comfort zone but prevents access to new experiences, to what our heart truly desires.

Here are some tips that will help you turn off this setting in your brain and start making more conscious choices in your daily life:

  • Create a morning ritual: pay attention to the way the alarm makes you feel, the way your restful state changes if you start the day with checking your phone. Set an intention for each day.
  • Alternate your work out and physical activities you do and the time you do them. Moving the body – walking, dancing, swimming – works wonders for your health and mood.
  • Take your partner on a date and try different locations for your regular hang outs with friends as if you were just discovering each other.
  • Take a different route to work, observe the scenery and the environment. Using different vehicles to get to the same place can prevent your commute from turning into a routine.
  • Connect with others. Try to be a good listener, receive pieces of information and personal stories that are being shared with you with compassion and without judgement.
  • Unplug. Watch less TV, take breaks from social media and you’ll find yourself having more time for the unexpected, even challenge yourself to start learning something new.
  • Volunteer. Find a cause in your community that you are passionate about and feel the urge to make a difference on it. Along the satisfaction that comes from helping you’ll meet interesting individuals you don’t normally interact with.
  • Spend time in nature. Observe the colours, the layers of vegetation, the silence and peace of mind that it generates.

These practices open insight on simple ways to break out the rut, find inspiration right where you are and genuinely connect with others.

Photo credits: Jason Leung @unsplash

Low Self-Esteem: A Handicap to our Mind’s Stillness?

Self-esteem is a healthy state of mind, whereby we value the person we are and the activities that we do; we cherish and positively view ourselves as normal and capable. It confers a good self-image and allows to lead a happy life, free from self-blame and hate or feeling of anger and frustration about who we are. However, if the opposite happens, it can lead to fatal cases of inability to forgive oneself and a lack of self-confidence. Low self-esteem is therefore unhealthy both for the body and mind as we are to see the reasons here.

What causes low self-esteem?

Various sources give wide-ranging reasons why people have low self-esteem but the most common can be, when we compare ourselves to others and downgrade ourselves. Hating our own body due to many reasons can lead to self-denigration. It is when we fail to understand the complexity of nature and our world; where things do not happen all times the way we want.

The clinical psychologist Dr. Lars Madsen reveals that it can be from our early childhood caused by ongoing stressful life or events where our contribution to resolve issues is insignificant or impossible.

The succession of unfavourable life events such as financial issues, relationship breakdowns, unfair or abusive treatment by others (bullying) can be contributing factors. A doubtful mind where keeping wrong mantras in our mind such as: “I can’t do it” or “I will never overcome this” will eventually evolve in labelling ourselves as incapable beings, and so we remain.

What can be the consequences of low self-esteem?

If unchecked, low self-esteem can lead to mental health disorder, a change in our normal way of relating to others, societal withdrawal, state of anxiety and depression. It can also lead to self-destructive moves such as unhealthy cosmetic surgery, drug abuse (taken to escape stress and fear), self-defence mechanisms to nonexistent dangers, unhealthy eating disorders which in most cases come with its own costs.

Such self-denigration compels us to seek outside ourselves for esteem and force others to treat us the way we believe we deserve. In most cases, it has led to abuse of power or authority, imposing on others our acceptance.

This feeling of low self-esteem can lead people to enforce codes of conduct to be shown to them. This is common for leaders and those in high positions; they will install excessive discipline measures and sanctions when they feel they are not respected or valued as they feel it ought to. They tend to believe they deserve more than how being treated. Lynne Forrest says that “we blame, justify, exaggerate, and manipulate, all in an effort to hide our perceived worthlessness”, and I have seen people turning into aggressive beings to impose their identity. Over spending monies to amass material things, obsessively can be a sign of inner unquenched desire to be better.

When it comes to relationship, low self-esteem in both men and women can lead to move from one partner to the other, searching who will validate them, not love them, and once they find him or her, they get too much emotionally attached to him or her and aggressive when there is a clear indication of relationship break up.

Towards eliminating low self-esteem

Dr. Kevin Solomons states that “it’s not external events that have the most profound effect on our self-esteem. It is how we view our own life and life’s events”. Therefore, since the therapy seems to be from within, the step number one is to know our own problem (be aware of our state of low self-esteem) and work towards improving it. Experts suggest the need to look after our body but care less on how it looks as we can’t change it.

Getting to know the meaning, purpose and goals of our life, the need for a connection to something greater than ourselves, embarking on creative activities, the need for intimacy and connection to others (good and sound friendship), cultivate inner sense of control reflex, developing a positive thinking, mind physical health by mere body exercise and most importantly, mindfulness and mindset coaching through meditation which science has made to be the easiest and most effective way to digest any mind’s related issues. It consists of letting the mind focus on one thing at a time, maximize and prioritize concentration and relaxation. It inherently helps one boost self-confidence, love, compassion and ability to comprehend the complexity of the world especially when we learn to let go that which we cling on, that does not matter at the moment to just remain happy and content of who we are and what we are doing at the moment.

Developing a Bullet Proof Mind Through Cameroon Crisis

What do you do when your hometown has become a place of constant chaos? Sometimes the first thought is to run away. But running to where? We can’t control everything that happens externally but the one thing we can control is our mind. How we react to situations depends on the quality of our mind.

I come from a place that was once a reference of peace but has become a hub for every day violence. Though the option of running away may sound considerable, there are many questions running through my mind in the growing heat of the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. What about the stakes you have in the place where you spent your entire life? Where do you start from if you leave? Can you really run away from your mind?

Fear, doubt and panic
This crisis started as a peaceful protest against the government for marginalization (of the English speaking minority as oppose to the affluence of the French speaking majority) and a request to return back to Federalism. As it is with every protest that is not tactically handled, this too aggravated from peaceful to violent and a quest for secession. When this tussle persist, the regular man of which I’m a part of is the one that ends ups confused in the midst of both violent parties.

This state of mind comprised of fear, doubt and panic is that which is shared by many in the community. So, when you look around and realize there is no need to run because the stakes involved and the love for patriotism supersedes any other, the only way out is to find a means to deal with the situation and not run away from it. This conception is what led me through a journey of retrospection where I decided to make use of a skill I once learned in a country far, far away from home.

Visualization and flower garden
Together with a group of peace loving youths, we started the Buea Peace Club which aims at empowering the minds of youths to be calm and resilient towards effect of the sound of frequent gunshots in the neighbourhood. We use the tool of mindfulness meditation which I learned in Thailand to train the mind to disconnect from the negative physical environment and create an imaginary one of everyone’s choice where we visualize, focus and feel the pleasure of being in a positive environment such as a beach, flower garden or anywhere we love to be.

These mental exercises have proven to help the participants of the club deal with the chaotic situation in the community better than before. In one of the sessions, a participant named Joy said: “I felt like I was floating, as light as a balloon during the process. The headache that I came in with has all of a sudden gone away!”. Many others said the process gave them a feeling of freedom and peace instead of the constant fear and negative energy brought by the sound of gunshots.

The chaos has not ended in the region, but we – the members of the club – are not feeling the effect as others may because we know how to control our mind. Hence, meditation has now become the bullet proof of the mind. Hopefully, we can reach out to more people with this approach of peace that is grounded from within.

How to Overcome a Doubtful Mind?

We all have doubted of something at least once in a life. Many times we fail to establish certainty about facts, situations, theories, beliefs and other aspects. In such a state of mind, it is normal that we fail to make a decision and we are afraid to go further until the mind is cleared and we are assured of how to act.

Doubting is natural
Doubt is a natural instinct in humans, which occur as a protective predisposition of our mind. It is therefore normal to doubt. We are talking about a doubtful mind, an excessive inclination to always doubt even when we ought not to. It may not be a hindrance to one’s life, not yet reached this level where everything is doubtful in our lives. Because having reached that level, one gets inner reflex preventing a move forward, an act of creativity, progress or any move to advance simply because one has less or no faith in its successful accomplishment.

This is not to refute though that most creative ideas come out of a doubt; a move to challenge the long established status quo which eventually leads to discovery of the truth, where new theory and belief can be formulated. Yet, here we are concerned by the mind that, for anything at all, we have to doubt till we lose trust in our own acts, till we lose confidence in ourselves to the point of lowering our own self-esteem. This is when we undermine our capabilities and prefer to be passive due to the fear of the unknown outcome of what we do, say and act.

 Bane to self-development

Hence, this doubtful mind can impede our self-development when we lose credibility in our own acts, when it leads us to denigrate the power to create what lies in our minds, when we fail to bring it to the light and discover the truth.

In the past, before I got to know the tricks helpful to overcome a doubtful mind, I have been a victim of the lack of faith in my acts, a lack of urge to make one more step forward due to the fear of the unknown. I would prefer to remain silent when I did not know where my words could reach, how they would be interpreted, whether they were right ones or not. I would refrain from doing something, because I had not done it before and had not seen good results, and this had nearly led me into a coward guy till I learnt to dare and act, and let whatever happens to happen.

It is at this stage that I understood that a doubtful mind was unhealthy state of mind. It could erode my own self-confidence, that kind of a doubt that leads to inaction for fear of uncertain outcome. This is what many could agree that it has been hindering the possibility of making progress. Long after I came of this, I saw that there is one main factor that led me there: ignorance.

Ask for a reason

When we have less knowledge on something, when we don’t understand or have a clue on some things, we tag them untrue, impossible, unrealizable, hence not worthy it all.

There is a beautiful quote from a philosopher I enjoy reading and that helps me understand this: “If you doubt first, doubt again”. That simply told me that there should be a reason why we doubt, ask yourself why you have such a doubt.

This assertion means, in the process of acting we have to analyse, vet and ensure that we are right, and this can lead to rational thinking and development.

However, when doubt becomes a part of our inner self, when it becomes a part of us as a habit, it will create a conflict within our mind, develop a close- mindedness which may lead to distress as one fails to act. Muhammad Ali said: “Give up what appears to be doubtful for what is certain. Truth brings peace of mind and the deception of doubt.”

Towards an innocent mind

Doubtful mind destroys us when it has become a habit which is hard to reverse. A way to prevent it is adopting practices that clear and clean the mind; something that can help us grow trust, boost self-confidence and raise self-esteem.

Spending a good amount of time calming the mind and emptying it from distracting thoughts and ideas, developing an innocent mind, we start seeing life differently. Meditation is like rebooting the system to go back to the initial settings of my life. A kind of resetting that truly works.

This cleaning and clearing of the mind means focusing on one thing at a time to increase concentration. In a long run, we feel relaxed and happy. Comprehending complex stuff becomes easy, handling tough deals become burdensome, and when the mind is empty, we can refill it with positive thoughts. We earn positive energy, and the world looks different from within and outside. Meditation did it for me. Triggered to try it? You may visit us here.