A Clean Mind

Blogging about a less stressful way to live…

The Moving Sidewalk and the Hamster Wheel

Hi folks, and a hearty welcome to those that have recently discovered this blog since I finally caved and joined Facebook. We recently bitch-slapped anxiety and death, so now let’s shift gears a bit. And I guess I should learn a better way to phrase that… But seriously, if that phrase triggers a past abusive situation for you, then by learning this stuff, it’ll totally help clear that memory out. It really will. So in that case, it’s a good thing that I said bitch slap. I’m here to help!

Anyway, I recently had a great session with a client who is also a good friend. Or a friend who is also a client. It’s all the same to me, really. People who feel called to shed their ideas of smallness and let who we really are come out to play. And it can be funny, because they might not know this is what they’re getting into when they come in… But this friend certainly does. We’re on the exact same path and she finds it helpful to come in from time to time. And I really enjoy it as well.

We had a really powerful session, and we did a little guided meditation sort of thing at the end, using the breath to really relax the body and open. When we were finished, she said she saw the coolest thing. She was on a moving sidewalk, or people mover, like in the airport. And she was very relaxed as it took her where she needed to go, very gently. Then every so often she would get off of it for some reason and get in a hamster wheel, frantically spinning this way or that and getting nowhere. And then she would realize what she was doing and she’d just hop back on the moving sidewalk, just like that. And she’d once again be gently taken where she needed to go.

The cool thing, too, was the feeling. Because we’re always talking here about feeling our way through life rather than thinking. Those that try it out generally come away with the experience that it just works better. Life is better. Better choices, decisions, relationships, opportunities, etc. And most importantly, more peace. They just feel better. And I’m a freaking math major saying this! A major, major over-thinker… So I’d never say that unless I’ve done it and it works. And experience beats concepts all day long.

So my friend said she felt absolutely wonderful on the people mover, gliding along, totally at peace. And then when she realized she’d gotten onto the hamster wheel, she felt awful. She felt off. It felt wrong, tight. Then when she’d hop back on the people mover, there was that lovely feeling again, always right there for her to choose. She started to see how ridiculous it was to ever get off the people mover and onto the hamster wheel in the first place.

This is a great way to describe what we’re all about here at A Clean Mind, and what I’m practicing as much as anyone. And it’s getting more and more the norm rather than the exception in my own life, and that feels awesome. Life is WAY better. And again, that’s simply feeling your way through life rather than thinking. The thinking mind is always there, of course, to be used when it needs to be used. But it was never designed to lead us. And yet that’s exactly what most of us have learned to do. I know that I sure have! So I’m unlearning that, a little bit everyday.

So be on the lookout for when you’ve hopped out of the flow, off of the moving sidewalk, and onto the hamster wheel. How do you know what this has happened? Because you can feel it in your body. Stress, tightness, contraction. So you take a breath, relax your body, open, and get out of thought altogether for a few seconds. And now you can see what has happened. “Oh, I’ve gotten out of the flow again. No problem, let me hop back in now.” Take another breath, and off you go. It really is that simple. Seriously! Just takes practice. It’s all about catching it sooner and sooner, too. Much easier to deal with. And again, that just takes gentle practice.

I’ll be writing about Michael Singer’s two books before long (I hope), and they both fit what we’re talking about really well. They go together puzzle pieces, too. He’s just a very clear, awesome teacher. If I’ve mentioned them before, my bad. Memory is the first to go… The Surrender Experiment, his memoir, describes his experience of choosing this flow, which is available to all of us all the time (literally), for the last forty years. And what a story it is! A hippie who wanted to check out of society to mediate ended up becoming CEO of a billion dollar tech company. Read that sentence again. And again. And he didn’t even try to make this happen, nor did he even care much about money! Life had different plans for him, and he just followed that each and every day. And The Untethered Soul describes what’s going on energetically and physically in our bodies when we close ourselves off from this flow and choose the hamster wheel instead. There’s nothing wrong with that, by the way; it’s just painful. The choice is yours!

So there we go, we now have a great visual thanks to my good friend and her experience in our very brief yet deep meditation. I kind of want to go to the airport now to get on one of those moving sidewalk. Pensacola isn’t there yet, though. Small airport. Oh, well. I’ll just hop on the real moving sidewalk instead. Peace out and let me know if I can help!


All anybody really wants is peace. The good news is that peace can be learned. I’m serious. This should be taught in middle school, but it’s not. So I’m teaching it now.

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