Here’s What to Do When Life Is Troubling You: Change Rooms In Your Mind

Change Rooms in Your Mind for a Day

—Hafiz

When your life takes an unexpected turn, and you don’t know where to go and what to do with whatever is troubling you, try simply changing your environment for a little while. Just go walk outside, connect with nature which is regulated by the principle of harmony. I guess that’s what Wallace Stevens meant when he said, “Sometimes the truth depends upon a walk around the lake.”


Sometimes what we believe is true and what is True with a capital “T” isn’t always the same thing. It’s about perspective. That’s because beliefs are constantly changing.

Yoga philosophy teaches us that our beliefs are a part of us but are changeable and therefore not the best representation of our True Self. Beliefs are just beliefs. Once we place our awareness above our perceived beliefs, and this includes worries, then we raise our consciousness to see something broader. This means taking a moment to simply observe without judgement.

Observing without judgement helps us to escape the trap of black and white thinking. The more we practice, we will see past our own rigid ideology. This observation without judgement raises our awareness to a paradoxical place where both black and white can be right, or to a place that is ultimately more important if either is right, is what harmony really means.

To raise our consciousness like this, to exit old beliefs, the engines that make us worry, means we need to take a vacation from our own mind, from the way we’ve been previously thinking. Not that we have to change very radically. Just see a different something different. Like Hafiz says, we’ve gotta change rooms in our minds for a day.

Start by changing your environment. Get into nature. Jump into a yoga class and get out of those worry landscapes, those fear landscapes, and connect, even in a small way, with that part of you that is Harmony, that is the rue part of yourself.

A German scholar I know loves to quote a particular Prussian general speaking to another general as he looks over a devastated battle field when he said, “The situation is hopeless but not serious.” With practiced awareness we train ourselves to kind of perspective that allows us to see past our small worries.

Here are a few poems I love that I feel relate to this topic

The Peace of Wild Things 

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

All The Hemispheres

Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out

Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.

Open up to the Roof.
Make a new water-mark on your excitement
And love.

Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
And giving
Upon our intimate assembly.

Change rooms in your mind for a day.

All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.

Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
Back home.

All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire
Chatting

While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of
You.

— Hafiz

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in Salt Lake City, Utah and when he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to trail run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son.

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