This article is not for everyone. Let me explain. On the surface, many view getting healthy as eating right and exercising - the BODY. But what about the MIND. Mind-Body has become a buzz phrase in recent years as the main stream has finally recognized the intimate connection between the two. This is good news, but the problem is that there is no clear path to addressing the mind. A typical journey might go something like this. Maybe you read a book which teaches you to be more mind-ful, then maybe you start meditating, maybe you go on a retreat, maybe you experiment with an entheogen like Ayahuasca, maybe you start talking to psychics and “energy" workers, maybe you even disconnect from everything all together and move somewhere remote were you can expand your consciousness. A year later you move back and find you are still looking for something.  In this article I am going to teach you how to find what you are looking for. It doesn’t require a book, it doesn't require a guru, it doesn’t require anything except the desire to grow and the willingness to look inside yourself.  Know that it will not be easy, but once you make the decision you will be supported.  If this first paragraph resonates with you, then read on.  If not, well you can still read on, but you might not be ready (see point 2). So here are 7 ways to free your mind.

This does not mean you have to burn or throw everything away and live on the streets. This does not mean that you can’t have nice things or appreciate the beauty in a piece of furniture or pair of shoes. It does mean that you need to sever any attachment to material possessions. Many people define themselves based on their house, car, clothing, jewelry, etc. Do you drive your car because you like way it drives or because of the make and model?  Is this who you are or is it an image you are projecting? If you take away one of your possessions you don’t disappear do you. Start by getting rid of things you haven’t used in while, maybe you donate them to someone in need, maybe you sell them. In any case you are accomplishing the objective.

Your belief systems are kind of like programs in your subconscious mind. This is the part of your mind that your conscious mind looks to when it makes decisions from moment to moment. It happens so fast you don’t even realize it. Your views on nutrition, politics, religion, sex, etc. are all based on these programs. These “programs" are installed mainly as a child, through interactions with parents and teachers. But they are driven home later in life by the people you hang around with, where you go to school, television, news, media, etc.  Some people have stronger belief systems than others. Those with very strong belief systems are usually poor listeners, are very argumentative and like to single people out. They may seem smart and use a lot of impressive words, because this is what is required to defend their strong belief systems (think bar scene in Good Will Hunting). Letting go of your beliefs means that you approach every situation as if you were a young child, with a playful curiosity. When you learn to do this you may notice that your sense of intuition gets quite strong (maybe you become slightly psychic).

We all have a self which we have created in our mind. Usually this version of your self is negative and includes all the things you don’t like about yourself. This is the voice in your head that tells you things like -  no one likes me, I am not smart enough, I will never find a partner, I am not pretty enough, etc.  It can be quite powerful at beating you down and preventing you from achieving what you are here to achieve. Many in the new age world speak of "ego death" or dissolving the ego. This is a misunderstood concept. It is your negative ego that you want to dissolve, not your ego. You need your ego (personality) to function in society and interact with other humans.

This starts with self-love.  Self-love is not narcissism, although in some people it can turn into that. You can’t love another person until you learn to love yourself. Why? This is because true love involves giving and receiving at the same time. Without the ability to love yourself there is no receiving. Most people fall at one end of the spectrum, they are either really good at loving themselves and not good at loving others or they are really good at loving others and not the self. In either case, this is not unconditional love, because there is no giving and receiving. The point is to help you recognize the dysfunction that you are dealing with. Which end of the spectrum do you fall? This concept extends not just towards the self and fellow humans, but all life forms. This doesn’t mean you should tip toe around so you don’t step on an ant, but you should love that ant you just stepped on and all ants unconditionally. And you should give thanks for all food that you choose to eat, both plants and animals. Lastly, you should learn to love the people you don’t like (i.e. your perceived enemies). You don’t have to like them, but you should love them. This is when real growth happens.

Most people go their whole lives without facing certain fears. Some are common, like the fear of speaking in public, while some are very personal and in many cases would be viewed as very silly to others. Start by announcing that you want to face your fears. Write it down or say it out load. Then list your fears in a notebook. Don’t worry, you don’t have to show anyone. You will then be given a chance to face your fears.  I assure you. You wont be forced into anything, you will always have free will. If you don’t choose to "opt in" the first time, don’t worry, you will get multiple chances. Watch how good it feels to check a fear off your list.

Most people carry around the “bad” things that happened to them or more commonly the things that were done "to them."  Some really bad things you unconsciously block out and bury somewhere for fear of dealing with the pain. Every emotion that you have not dealt with creates an energetic blockage in your body. Going further, these blockages might even alter your DNA and are probably a driver in many diseases.  The goal is to remember the bad things from your past, let the emotions flow through you and transmute them. During the process you may cry, you may get angry, you may even get sick for a period of time. All of these allow the energetic blockages to be removed and the necessary healing to take place.  For some of you, reading this article may help you remember, it may even activate a healing episode. Others already know what they need to work on, still more might benefit from working with a healer or therapist.  A great starting point is getting a notebook and writing down your memories, as far back as you can remember. You will be amazed at what comes out. I should add that remembering the past probably extends to past lives as well (it does but I am trying to please certain belief systems by implying that it might not).

Learn to control your mind and the thoughts that flow through it. Many speak of shutting off the the mind. While this has benefits, especially in deep states of meditation, most of life is not spent in a meditative state. Controlling mind flow starts with learning to let your mind go idle. When your mind goes idle you can then start monitoring the thoughts that come into your head. What you will find is that there are multiple voices in your head. Some say good things, some say bad things, some say really strange things. There is so much meaningless chatter in your mind throughout the day that is wasting your energy and trying to steer you off course. Imagine if you could learn to filter your thoughts. Your productivity, creativity, intelligence and intuitive knowing will transform to another level. Going through points 1-6 will help you gain control of your thoughts, but it will take practice. Spending time in nature is a great way to get more in touch with your thoughts, what you should pay attention to and what you shouldn’t.

There you have it. Know that this is not going to happen overnight, but once you get in the saddle, you will be rewarded.

Please note that this is not medical advice and you should consult with your doctor before attempting any of the exercises outlined in this article.