The image to the right is my new favorite way of thinking about how the machine-that-is your-brain will lead you through life, if you let it.
Your brain is brilliant. It’s capable of incredible feats of intellect, memory, and logic. It keeps your body humming along and it has successfully kept you alive long enough to read this article.
And, your brain can be like a hyper puppy—chasing shiny objects and movement in the bushes, easily distracted by what occurs to it in the moment. Pulling “you”—the wise you that’s there beneath the impulses and conditioned thoughts, fears and preferences—around and around in circles.
Trust me, you don’t want to let those superficial, transient, lower brain-based whims and impulses run your life. They are what has you finding yourself in the same restless feelings, the same bad habits, and the same insecurities day after day, year after year.
They are thought. Thought arises and sometimes has a pull to it, like a rustle in the bushes pulls the dog to root around and investigate. There will always be pulls in life. But you don’t have to go with the pull.
You have an ability your untrained pup doesn’t always have: the ability to notice an impulse, feel a pull, become aware of a feeling or preference arising within you, and not take the bait.
The pull won’t always be toward a behavior. Sometimes it’s an inward pull away from home base, toward a mental or emotional resting place that doesn’t feel good. Notice that.
You’re being pulled off-center, away from home. Notice the pull and get in front of it. Don’t let that dog pull you around on the leash. Gently, quietly, remember that you want to lead the way, and lead the way. It’s unbelievably simple.
Don’t get serious about catching every pull and staying in charge. Turning this into a job for yourself, or into a matter to be tackled and taken seriously, won’t help.
Instead, just stop and notice. Feel the pull, and know something about what you’re feeling. Kindly, without needing to always get it right.
As long as you’re blessed with a functional brain, pulls will be there. But they don’t have to run the show. You can see what’s going on in a way that has you out in front and the dog…I mean, your mind…heeling to wisdom.