Our friend, singer and songwriter Chuck Pyle, likes to say, “The mind is like a bad neighborhood—you should never go there by yourself.” If you’re mind hasn’t been trained to help you, via methods like meditation, shamanism or NLP, it might really be a bad neighborhood. Our minds constantly absorb thoughts, behaviors, and responses from our environment. These various thought patterns and responses may or may not be in alignment with our goals. So, unless we actively train our minds to be responsive to our needs, we may be in for a wild chariot ride (and 6 out of control horses)!
From a shamanic point of view, we say that each person is a spirit with a mind and body. In other words, we are spirit and mind and body are tools that we, spirit, can use. However, just because we have mind as a tool doesn’t mean that mind, in its current form, is a good tool for us. The untrained mind is a lot like an untrained animal—be prepared for the unexpected!
Have you ever sworn to yourself (say on New Year’s Day?) that you’re never going to fall for the wrong kind of mate again? Or you’re going to lose 10 pounds this year? Or you’re going to … the list is endless. Then what happens? We forget what we’ve promised ourselves, or we find other priorities that are more important. That forgetfulness is a sign that mind isn’t trained to help us with our aims. Mind is doing its own thing.
So what can we do to train mind? Segment intending, one of our favorite exercises from Abraham-Hicks, is a simple way to train your mind to help you while also accomplishing a lot each day. Here’s how you do it:
1) Pick the length of time for your “segment.” It can be any length of time, but no more than an hour. Thirty minutes or an hour works well. Decide exactly what time the segment will start and end.
2) Decide on your aim for that segment. It could be a list of tasks, a state of being, or both. For instance, you might decide that you will strive to remain light hearted while you return phone calls for 30 minutes.
3) When the segment start time arrives, start your segment with no second thoughts. Put your attention solely on the tasks for that segment and nothing else.
4) If you get interrupted during your segment, you need to decide whether the interruption is important enough for you to stop your segment (for instance, if your boss stops by your office for a chat). If the interruption is not important enough, keep going on your segment. If the interruption is important, make a conscious decision to stop your current segment and start a new one (one centered around the interruption).
Practice doing these segments throughout the day. Each segment is a training period for your mind, and will teach your mind to assist you in whatever you are doing. Segment intending works even better with a buddy, who can help you stay on track and stay focused. Whether you segment intend by yourself or with a friend, you’ll find your mind becoming much more responsive to your needs as a spirit. Enjoy!