By: Gabriela Yareliz
It’s a dark and rainy spring morning as I write this. It is so cool outside, which is refreshing after having woken up with allergies and swollen eyelids. (My allergies are killing me lately). I have my basil Beauty Pie candle going, and my pretty bunch of chamomile flowers on my entry table. (Thank you, love!)
This morning, as I was running away from the jumping oil in my frying pan as I was sealing my taquitos, I was listening to Lydia Millen Gordon, one of my favorite YouTube voices– ever. She is someone who invites people to dream. She makes me dream of what I want for myself, how I want to express my femininity, and how I want to cultivate my home and relationships.
Lydia was discussing how she gets attacked often by folks in the comments who tell her she lives in another world. That made me smile. People say that like it is a bad thing. I think anyone who has survived something awful and came out thriving knows what it is like to train the mind. We can train the mind to see what could be. We can shelter the soul from the harshness of the world or circumstance and see what we want to see. The weight of our choice is heavy, powerful and also exciting.
She mentioned, “You create a lot of your life and how you live your life in here [in your mind],” she said pointing at her temple. “A lot of people are allowing themselves to be restricted because of the way that they think.” And she is right. We are prisoners of our own making. Have you ever met someone where things are continually going wrong? (I have been there, too). While the circumstances may be so, I really feel like some people don’t catch a break because of their mindset.
People often lash out at others because someone else has demonstrated the resilience they have determined they do not have. And yet, with some work on the mindset, prayer and literal effort, they don’t realize they could have something better. They could inch closer to what they desire. And I don’t mean this in a material way but in a character way.
As I listened to Lydia, my mind went back to a dramatic example, but one that stands out strongly in my mind, Nelson Mandela. When you read his writings from prison, you know this man was free. I don’t remember specific quotes (though I am sure they are sprinkled throughout this blog because this blog has been in existence for just that long, see here and here)… but I remember finishing that book knowing for a fact that the mind is such a powerful thing. He was free. He didn’t see the walls around him. And in reading and learning that, I also intentionally tried to train my mind. I wanted that freedom, and I still work toward it, every day.
When people say that Lydia lives in a different world, I get that. In many ways, I think I have cultivated my own world. My mind is an active jungle and a sort of fortress to which I retreat often (I have written about that here). You have to be careful what you input into the mind because it affects the state of the mind. It affects what you achieve, what you believe and how you live and serve others.
I write this to say that the discipline of the mind has served me well. It is an ongoing conversation with myself. It requires diligence, exclusivity and intentionality, but it is well worth it.
I recently heard a brilliant podcast with Ed Mylett. We are often just one decision away from success or moving closer to something we dream of. It’s what he calls The Power of One More. I love the way Mylett emphasizes personal responsibility and choice. So if we take the time to build our world and shape our future and our beliefs– if we take the time to decide who we will be and we keep the promises we make to ourselves (as Ed Mylett says), we can achieve and be more than we dreamed.
We can reach our God-given potential. Isn’t that the goal of life?
Take some time, while the summer rain falls, to take inventory of your mind and to build your own world, brick after brick. Don’t decide to be defeated. Don’t decide that you are done. Pick what your next move will be; open your awareness; and above all, be free.
Life is a game you must play to win.