Mind Control

Mandala Painting
Peace and contentment: Kathmandu, Nepal. February 2015.

Everybody wants to be able to control their emotions. There are all kinds of methods ranging from self help books and yoga to nightclubs and Class A drugs… but however we choose to go about it, we all like to think we can build up walls against sadness and heartbreak and conjure happiness out of productive days and well planned leisure time.  The only person who seems to disagree is Eckhart Tolle, who suggests that we stop thinking we are our mind and instead recognise it as an organ. He suggests we should watch our minds from an external vantage point, observing the ebb and flow of our emotions without associating too heavily with them. But if we’re stepping out of our mind to watch it, what are we watching our mind with? 

In fiction we seem to recognise that regulated, controlled emotions would be dangerous. Think ‘Soma’ in Brave New World or Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. So why are we so obsessed with achieving that equilibrium in real life?

I suppose the (two part) question is: why are we so obsessed with the pursuit of contentment, and what would we do if we ever got it?

With this in mind, I drafted this poem today.

Emily x

A Parallel Universe

One day I’ll wake up and things will be different.

I’ll rise and shine
on the right side of the bed
and, beaming, burst out of the front door
like a girl from a Special K advert.
But with birdsong.
And trumpets.

My working day will be challenging
But not so challenging
that my hair becomes ruffled
Or my shirt un-tucked.
Today will be the day
that the lofty promises of my
8 hour lipstick,
12 hour mouthwash and
24 hour antiperspirant
are finally kept.

I’ll have an efficient workout,
rich in endorphins,
which appropriately satisfies
the core muscle groups.

I’ll spend a Happy Hour
‘with the girls’
and calories will fly by
unacknowledged.
Smiles will be wide
and there’ll be no red-eye
in spontaneous selfies
which are just right.
First time.

Then in early evening
I’ll come home to my man.

Flutters seem unnecessary
in consideration of our steady history
and the warm confidence I have
in his commitment to me.

But there’ll be butterflies in my
(tanned and toned)
tummy.
Because I’ll summon them.
Naturally!
Who’d want a romance without
anxiety?

For this will be the day
I get to choose how I feel.
And (what else?)
I’ll choose to be: happy.
And the Lord will see
that it is Good.

When I get into bed I’ll yawningly say
“what an absolutely, positively, perfect day.
I love it when everything goes my way!”
And my last thoughts as I gently drift away
will be: I’ve cracked it and Hooray!

So why bother coming back tomorrow?

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2 thoughts on “Mind Control

  1. I often go to bed thinking “what a perfect day” and just hope that tomorrow will be just as good!  Is that the definition of optimism? X

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

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