I’ve been teaching meditation and mindfulness techniques since 2001. In this article I’m going to show you a really effective technique that will help you to train your mind to obey…
…and I learned it from Cesar Milan, the “Dog Whisperer.”
I don’t have a dog, but I started watching Cesar Milan when my brother-in-law kept raving about a person with almost mystical powers to train dogs. So one evening my family and I tuned in.
We were all fascinated by his ability to transform these sometimes dangerous animals into wonderful loving pets.
But what really amazed me is how he re-trained the dog’s owners.
In every episode he basically tells the owners, “The dog is not the problem. You are the problem. ”
The dogs were neurotic, aggressive, and/or fearful because of the way their humans interacted with them.
To rehabilitate the dog, Cesar would start with the owners. Specifically, he helped them to think of themselves as “pack leader.”
You are the leader of your mind.
The reason why your mind won’t obey you, why it’s out of control, unruly, frustrating, or filled with fear, worry, and anxiety is because you have not asserted your authority as the leader of your mind.
You are not meant to follow the mind, the mind is meant to follow you.
The mind is meant to be a friend and a helpmate, not a tormentor.
Its job is to help you visualize and implement creative ideas, make plans, and be a cheerleader.
Its job is not to run your life, make decisions for you, or tell you that you’re not good enough.
Just as Cesar shows the owners that the dogs are happiest when order is restored and their person has assumed the leadership position of the pack; your mind (and you) will also be happiest when you assume authority and leadership.
Try This Exercise:
1. You may or may not have a dog, but you most definitely have a mind. If your mind were a dog, how would you characterize it? Is it fearful or aggressive? Does it bark all of the time? Is it intimating or timid? My husband describes his mind as a Jack-Russell Terrier, full energy and going in a million directions.
2. Try it, close your eyes and imagine what kind of dog-mind you have? Write it down. Don’t get too attached or over analyze what kind of dog-mind you have.
3. Close your eyes and imagine what the dog is doing. Is it lying down? Is it digging up someone’s yard? Has it wandered far away from you?
4. Now, imagine that the dog has a leash around its neck and that you are holding the other end of the leash.
5. In your mind’s eye, imagine feeling strong and authoritative. Tug on the leash and bring the dog over to your side.
6. Tell it to sit. Tell it to lie down.
8. Tell yourself and the dog, “I am the master of mind.”
Once you get the hang of this visualization, try it at work or wherever you feel like your dog/mind gets off its leash.
Just very simply check-in with it, and bring it back to your side.
You are the master of mind.
Photo Credit: Allef Vinicius