What is the one thing that belongs to you? Is it your body? Is it your money? Is it your job? Is it your family? The body ages and fall apart despite our constant effort to stay healthy. Materials wealth comes and goes. Family members leave us.
In our limited existence on earth. We have the illusion that we own many things but in reality, we do not. The only thing that is with us 24/7 until we die is our mind.
We work out and eat healthy food so that our body stays healthy. What are we doing to guard our mind? How many times have we said or done things that only to regret it immediately?
Our mind is like the water in a lake. If we stir the water, it kicks up the sands at the bottom of the lake. The lake would no doubt be cloudy. If we keep the lake water still, we can see through the water.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.
To guard the mind, we have to know the mind. To watch out and to catch the mind when it has unwholesome thoughts.
Be aware of your feelings. Examine yourself, ask yourself how are you feeling? If you are feeling angry, tell yourself you are feeling angry. If you are feeling sad, tell yourself you are feeling sad. We cannot fight feelings but to acknowledge it. Once you recognize your feelings, you will quickly calm down regardless is happiness, sadness or anger.
Write a journal. To be aware of any moments on the fly takes a lot of practices. Every day, spend a few minutes writing down how you feel throughout the day. Those moments may be over, but the journal helps to review the day. You will find emotional triggers. If something or someone keeps triggering your negative state of mind. You will be able to catch the emotions when you are near that thing or that person. A journal will help to identify those trigger.
Be compassion and kind. We are all humans. We all make mistakes. Be compassion and kind to yourself for making mistakes. You can be your own biggest critics, but you do not need to punish yourself. There is a difference between pushing yourself to a higher standard and punishing yourself. The former is about encouragement. The latter is through intimidation.
Avoid excessive alcohol and stay away from drugs. The human life span is short enough. We may die tomorrow. Do not let alcohol and drugs to judge or hamper our mind. Driving under the influence can result in a life time of regrets.
The only thing that we truly own is our mind. Guard it with your life.