There is a bit of excitement in the house this week as the first copies of my new book, “The Mind that Changes Everything”, published by Brolga Publishing, will be available in the next few days.
What is it all about?
Consider this. Whatever you do begins with a thought. Reading this blog seemed like a good idea at the time. Whatever you are sitting on right now began in someone’s mind as a thought: I will build a chair that looks and functions according to the image I have of it in my mind.
Whatever you do next will be determined by your mind. What you will have for your next meal begins with a thought. The next person you spend time with, the next outing with friends and family, the next business decision, the next holiday, the next purchase; on and on.
Everything begins with the mind. And all the experts say we only use a fraction of our mind's potential.
However, there is more to it than this. While everything we do begins in the mind, what we complete, what we achieve, what we let go of, what we abandon; all these outcomes are largely the function of our own mind.
Truly, it is the mind that changes everything.
And when it comes to the mind, have you ever wondered how some people seem to keep a clear head?
In sport, these people just seem to know how to be in the right place at the right time; and they perform at their best when the pressure is on.
Maybe you have noticed how some people seem to be comfortable and at ease in any company – whether at formal meetings or informally with friends, even strangers. They just seem to know what to say. How to be. They seem confident, relaxed; engaged and clear. Very appealing.
Maybe you have observed these clear-headed people in business. They are the ones who consistently are making good decisions. They enjoy their challenges, remain cool and calm. They have clarity amidst complexity, make decisions with assurance and have the confidence to follow things through to completion.
Then again, you probably have heard stories or know of people who used their minds to bring about great changes in their health and their lifestyles. Those who found a way to give up smoking, lose weight, overcome serious illness or perhaps the greatest achievement of all, to live a long life, free of illness, abounding with really good health, a high level of resilience and a joyful sense of wellbeing.
What we all know is that a few rare individuals have this gift naturally. They just seem to have this quality, this capacity to use their minds really effectively.
But here is the good news, the really good news. This capacity, the capacity to keep a clear head in good times and bad and to use our minds to better effect, this capacity can be acquired. It is a skill that can be learnt and with practice, it can become a natural part of our lives – a natural part of who we are. How we are.
This then is the gift of learning how to train your mind. And in all truth, perhaps this is the greatest gift you can give to yourself or to someone you care about. The skill of learning how to calm and clear your mind, and in doing so, learning how to be much more fully in control of your body and your mind, and the situations that unfold around you.
What we are talking of here is definitely a science. A mind science. It is just like choosing to become physically fitter, going to the physical gym, running around the park, training your muscles. Here we go to the mental gym. Train our mind, enjoy it becoming fitter, more capable; get the best out of our mind and its potential.
How do we do it?
Those of you who already have done a little meditation will know that the mind has two aspects. Firstly, there is the active, ever changing thinking mind, with its conscious and sub-conscious realms. Then there is that more profound, more constant nature of mind that we experience in the quiet stillness of meditation. Accessing meditation was the focus of the book I wrote with Paul Bedson, “Meditation – an In-depth Guide”.
While we did include in that book the key elements of both contemplation and imagery, this new companion book, “The Mind that Changes Everything”, goes more deeply into how the active mind works and the techniques that enable us to use it more effectively. The focus therefore is on understanding and using the practice of imagery.
Imagery is defined as the conscious development and repetition of mental images for a creative purpose. The truth is we live in a world of images. Images flood the world around us, being projected by television, film, photography and life itself.
Everything we experience, everything that registers with our senses, forms an image that is taken in to be stored in our memory. Internally we think using images, remember using images, create using images. Our whole life is affected dramatically by the images that come to us or that we produce ourselves. Images have a major impact on health, healing and wellbeing.
“The Mind that Changes Everything” is all about how we can more fully understand all this and then use imagery as a crucial element in the process of training and using our minds to make the most out of all we do in life.
My hope is that you will find this book very accessible and very practical. While I have read widely on the subject, studied it, attended other people’s workshops, and learnt directly from some remarkable teachers, the essence of the book comes from the lessons learnt by both ordinary and remarkable people who have used the creative power of their minds to good effect.
Along with 48 imagery-based techniques for training and using the mind potently, the book contains many great stories from people who have achieved remarkable things using these techniques for their sport, business, relationships, healing and wellbeing.
“The Mind that Changes Everything” is a book intended for a wide audience, so I hope you, your family, friends and colleagues will enjoy it and find something useful in it.
The official release date is the first of May, so it may be a while before you find it in the shops. However the Gawler Foundation and Brolga Publishing will be able to fill orders over the net.
COMPANION BOOK Meditation an In-depth Guide: Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson
CDs Mind Training 2 CD set by Ian Gawler
Mind-Body Medicine The 2 key imagery exercises led by Ian Gawler including one accompanied by the harp of Peter Roberts
IAN'S WORKSHOPS around Australia.
The brain, the mind and relationships Nov 2010
Go with the flow or intervene Nov 2010