Reprogramming Your Mind Toward a Better Life: Mary Oliver

What if you could put the past behind you and start fresh today? Ok, now take a moment to allow all the judgments and naysayers in the mind a moment to pass through and NOW, allow your mind to consider this for a second.

What if you could leave your past programming and step into being in this world the way you want to be?

What would that look like?

Would you be kinder, more compassionate, go after your interests more, pay more attention to your family, wake up earlier, run after sunsets, volunteer, more politically active? What would it be?

Acclaimed poet Mary Oliver tells us:

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Oh, alas, life does not work this way. We can’t just drop our past with the snap of our fingers and walk into a new life leaving it all behind.

All the experiences we have in life make up the automatic way we perceive things moment-to-moment.

However, the question is still paramount to setting the longer intention of how we want to be in this world. Some people call this setting an aspiration or making a vow. After doing this, then the work begins toward guiding our minds and behaviors in sync with this aspiration.

Make no mistake, because of our past conditionings our mind and behaviors will wander and our work is to become aware of it when it happens and gently guide our attention back to acting in line with these longer aspirations.

So today, what is one way you want to be in this world that you can pay attention to and bring your mind back to when it wanders? Allow this to be short space in your day to sit back, close your eyes and consider this question for 30 seconds or a minute. Don’t let it just pass by and on to the next web page.

Breathe and consider this vastly important opportunity to engage with living the life you want.

As always, please share your aspirations, thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom we can all benefit from.

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Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on

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