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Raising A Sail

I heard a great analogy a few days ago and, while I fear I might have misheard or misinterpreted some of it, bear with me because I think it still works!

So here goes...

In this analogy we are all boats on the ocean, being constantly buffeted and thrown by the wind and waves. We have little control over where we are taken by these storms or when they will occur. We are simply subject to them as they appear over the horizon.

However, we do have the tools to raise a sail. This is, of course, difficult at any time and takes attention, strength and determination and will be even harder when the storm is peaking and, when the weather is good, why bother? It's pleasant to just drift in the fine sunshine. Having the sail up will also require us to use our strength to hold it, our attention in order to direct it and the development of the skill of manoeuvring it. This can be a lot to ask and we might be reluctant to make so much effort.

The analogy of course refers to our thoughts - they are the wind and the sea.

Raising the sail is difficult and requires patience and skill. However, it means we can harness the power of the storm and wind to direct us rather than being thrown in whatever direction it chooses to send us. Our thoughts act very much like this, taking us in unhelpful directions unless we harness the power of our mind and use its strength to control and evaluate the thoughts we have. Like the sail, however, it takes work to raise and to direct. It can feel frustrating and difficult to develop this skill and unfortunately, nobody can do it for you. Ultimately, it is rewarding and allows you to choose with more clarity the direction your mind will go in - with this skill we are less at the mercy of our thoughts and worries. This is the work done either in therapy or in a meditation practice. As much work as it is, some benefits are available very quickly so give it a try!

I hope that is what I heard anyway - its certainly what I took from the podcast I listened to.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at the website or my facebook account. It's good to hear from people and I will reply.

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