A cloud consists of tiny water droplets that become visible in the air. When drawing, a cloud is used as a thought bubble in one’s mind. Combined, we can say that our thoughts make up what we visualize.
“Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness. “
~ Dvedhavitakka Sutta: Two Sorts of Thinking
Before taking action, a thought must come to invoke it. The mind never stops moving. In sleeping, our brain is doing work processing the world when you were awake. We dream of our world. The thoughts we create shapes our lives. We hear stories of how our bodies can become ill and miraculously recover through hard work and determination. There’s an organization called Children’s Miracle Network. They work with Children’s Specialized Hospitals with children who have been thrown physical/mental obstacles, affecting their lives. Upon meeting them, we would find a flame of determination behind their eyes. They know the struggles of life; yet, they manage to smile and continue to improve through obstacles life has given them. Their thoughts are nothing but positive.
Why is it, then, that we continue to let our thoughts control us? Mindlessly living life to other’s wishes. We are raised to live our dreams but not get ahead of ourselves. The story of Icarus tells this well. Icarus and his father, Daedalus, are trapped in a Labyrinth on an island. To escape, they created wings to fly themselves away. Before taking off, his father tells him not to fly too high or low, but to follow his path. Engulfed with the adrenaline of flying, Icarus flies too high. His wings melt and he falls. The main interpretation others take from this story is that it’s due to the structure and consequence of personal over-ambition. Where was the over-ambition? He was given orders and he disobeyed. Rather than ordering someone, it would have been wiser to play to his thoughts. Kids are usually rebellious. If he changed the way he spoke and involved a thought of importance and positive rather than demand and rules, Icarus would have lived.
There are various techniques in creating a positive mindset. We can use a meditation technique of mindfulness to apply in everyday life. Imagine sitting in an open field. It’s a cloudy day with puffy, white clouds passing by gently. Each cloud is a thought. It can be positive or negative; however, all of them pass by. The saying, “this too shall pass” provides a simple reminder that life comes and goes. The moments we remember are mostly the ones that created happiness. Spend little time letting negative thoughts in. No matter the situation, staying positive or neutral helps more than negativity.
Let the clouds in our minds pass. Acknowledge that our thoughts are controllable. If we allow them to take over, our mind becomes a hurricane. We begin to react before thinking. Visualize a better you. Create a sunny day with clear skies. The only clouds that pass remain positive. Let the dark, negative clouds pass. Let them float by.