written by Catriona Rogers
Finding time to nourish your mental health in the frenetic environment of Hong Kong can be challenging.
While spending years on a Tibetan mountaintop, or even a few weeks in a retreat, may not be an option for you, there is a way to create space for your mind – and it doesn’t require a penny from your purse.
Befriending our mind can feel like a mammoth task – especially when our racing thoughts are negative. The first step?
Notice when your thoughts begin to take over. This is often easier said than done. Our thoughts create narratives that can be unhelpful, which in turn, can produce reactive behaviours.
Have you ever noticed what happens when someone criticises you? You might feel hurt. Or if you feel it’s unjustified, you might feel outraged. You may lash out without considering if there is any validity in the criticism and how you could respond constructively to it.
Our potential reactions to events, communications that upset us, and our own internal thoughts are endless.
What if instead, we took a moment to create space for our thoughts? In doing this, we step inside the calm space of our Heartmind.
In this space, we have the ability to see any unhelpful narratives we may have created and evaluate the impact they have on our relationship with ourselves and others. This allows us to connect with our compassion and generate a different, more useful response.
Coming to know our Heartmind is an ancient Eastern teaching, accessible through meditation. It is a space in which we can hold mental activity: observe our thoughts and feelings, without becoming entangled in the unhelpful stories and behaviours they prompt.
Our Heartmind helps us learn to ‘sit in the seat of our consciousness’. It enables us to let go of judgement of ourselves and others. In our Heartmind our experiences can be transformed into joy, peace, serenity, compassion and loving kindness for all.
Our Heartmind is a truly miraculous healing resource – and the best part? It is innate, always available within us. It is our true birthright.
You can think of your Heartmind as a muscle – and like any other muscle, it requires the disciplined focus of regular exercise and good nutrition. You can provide it with both of those things through practising meditation.
Meditation is a key foundation of mental health, just as exercise and good nutrition are the keys to physical health.
If you’ve previously struggled to still your mind, or create dedicated time to practise meditation, you can sign up for our Monday Mindfulness classes – free sessions which can provide you with practises to acquaint you with the safe and transformative power of your Heartmind.