Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.
Stress, worry, anxiety, and fear can cloud your mind. When these emotions are allowed to take control of your mind, it is hard to see things clearly or make good decisions. Your mind can’t focus and will began to become “muddy” if you will. It is hard to think rationally when your mind is bombarded with these emotions. Just as a crystal clear lake can become muddy when the sediment at the bottom is disturbed, your mind will become “muddy” when it is disturbed.
Don’t let trifles disturb your tranquility of mind…
Ignore the inconsequential.
Quit minds cannot be perplexed or frightened
but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace,
like a clock during a thunderstorm.
Robert Louis Stevenson
So what do you do to clear your mind when it has become cloudy from these emotions? Do the same thing as the lake does to become clear again – nothing. The lake simply waits for the muddy sediment particles to settle back where they belong, and once again the lake becomes crystal clear. You should do the same thing. Quit thinking about the issue at hand. Just put that subject on the shelf for a while. Do something else like meditate, work in the garden, work out, etc.
Don’t let worldly thoughts and anxieties trouble your mind.
Only in quiet waters things mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.
It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you get your mind off of the problem that is causing these emotions to cloud your thinking. Just get away from it and allow the mud to settle. When you come back, your mind, like the lake, will have cleared up and you will be able to see things differently. Once again, you will be able to think rationally and intelligently, the way the warrior should think.
The mind deludes itself.
In matters of the mind, you must stay on your guard.
The key here is to be patient. You can’t make the mud settle back to the bottom of the lake by pushing it back down; it has to settle on it own, at its own pace. Likewise, you can’t force yourself to clear your mind of stressful thoughts, unless you are proficient in meditation techniques and mind control. You have to just get away from those thoughts for a while, and the easiest way to do that is to get your mind on something else.
The secret of patience is to do something else in the meantime.
Your mind can’t hold two different thoughts at the same time. Don’t believe me? Just try it… Think of a picture of a dog while at the same time you think of a picture of an elephant. Were you successful? The same thing goes for negative, stressful thoughts. If you are thinking of something else, they can’t remain in your mind. Sounds simple, but it is true. Next time you find that your mind is clouded by negative thinking, get busy doing something else, even if it is cleaning your house. Hey, if it doesn’t work, at least you will have a clean house, either way you win…
Be master of the mind rather than mastered by the mind.