I asked a client, who is a professional athlete, what he considers mental toughness to be? He replied that it is thinking positively even in difficult circumstances. Making a challenging situation into a positive and keeping your thoughts positive. Having faced many set backs during his career, he has mastered this version of mental toughness and could be considered an expert. He has all the physical requirements, is as mentally tough in his framework as could be and still not achieving his desired results.
My own take on mental toughness is fundamentally different. For me, mental toughness is the ability to be fully present with your whole being in any situation. Admittedly, his positive response can be more effective than its negative counterpart and at the same time it is operating at the level Osho calls a bubble.
Mind is the maya, mind is just a dream, mind is just a projection….. a soap bubble floating on a river. Your mind is just a bubble, prick it and it will disappear.
Working on the level of positive thinking is simply feeding the bubble of illusion. Mind is just a dream, just a projection. How can we learn to tune into the river rather than the bubble? The river of experience is accessed through awareness and consciousness. Connecting fully to the present moment time and time again until the flow of life is expressed through us.
Sitting in the dentists yesterday I became very aware of the fear in my mind. The expectation of the pain to follow. Slowly and surely, I was able to bring the awareness out of this bubble of fear and into the actual experience of the body. As the dentist merrily drilled my tooth to oblivion, there was an explosion of feeling from my little toe to the crown. This feeling filled my whole being with a sense of aliveness. It was a deeply pleasurable experience and a deep sense of calm filled the room. There was no sense of positive thinking. There was no thinking, just a radiantly alive presence.
Flexibility is perhaps a better word for this mental ability to be fully here now. The ability not to get drawn into the bubble of thought. As a professional athlete, or indeed any flavour of human life, the ability to be fully engaged in activity and to be fully vibrantly alive in physical stillness is paramount.
You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose. Indira Gandhi.
When we develop the capacity to be fully engaged in every situation in life, the bubble of mind becomes our servant. The mind is a powerful tool and from the aspect of the river is invaluable. Life is our playground. We can use activity and inactivity within our laboratory of existence to develop a deeper and deeper presence. Following this deeper and deeper presence allows us access to our essence and a foundation of life that is true peace.
I hope you enjoy my latest video….