There are three types of mind: reasonable, emotion, and wise mind. We tend to gravitate towards one, but they are all useful. It’s more an issue of using the right state of mind at the right time. Let’s take a look.
Reasonable mind is the masculine side of us. It’s the part that deals with linear, logical, factual things like math and sovereignty. It makes sense to use masculine thinking when approaching masculine topics. (By “masculine” I mean energetically, not gender). Reasonable mind activities are things like balancing your checkbook, planning a vacation itinerary, and evaluating research findings.
It wouldn’t make sense to approach doing your taxes from an emotional point of view, would it? The IRS doesn’t care about how you feel about taxes. Feelings won’t get the work done. So reasonable mind is the best state of mind for that task.
Emotion mind mind is the cool, feminine side of our mind. This is the part that deals with our softer side of life like relationships, community, and connection. It makes sense to use feminine thinking when approaching relational, emotional issues. Emotion mind let’s us know what makes us feel good and connected.
It makes sense to design a ritual using your reasonable mind, but carry it out using your emotion mind. Your emotion mind would be a better guide for meditation or getting a massage.
Wise mind is the sweet spot in the middle that contains reason, emotion, and intuition. It’s the still, small voice inside that never steers us wrong. It’s wisdom and clarity sometimes arises spontaneously, but it can also be cultivated. How?
- Observe. Observe is a skill. It means “to take in with the senses.” It’s what you see, smell, taste, touch, or feel. We’re not thinking, evaluating, or judging. We’re just noticing what is present. For example, you can observe your breath going in and out of your body. You can observe what happens as you breathe more deeply or more shallowly. Which body parts move? What temperature do you notice? Is it different in one place than in another? All of those things are observations.
- Participate. If it’s appropriate to do so, let yourself be where you are. If you are sad, be sad. When you are angry, be angry. This isn’t an invitation to act out, just feel. Experience what there is to experience. It’s not about pushing anything away, just letting it be as it is.
- Act Effectively. If there is something that needs to be done, act effectively. This is essentially sovereignty and connection in action. It means to do what works for you and others, now and later, the small picture and big picture. While you might feel like punching a wall, your reasonable mind says, “That will cost money and do damage” so you figure out a more effective way to express yourself. Perhaps your goal is to save 80% of your income so that you can retire early, but your emotion mind says you have to have some fun too. So your wise mind choice is to adjust your savings goals so that you can save and live life too.
It’s always a good choice to use wise mind. The more you practice, the easier it becomes. If you have trouble, practice being aware of the reasonable side of an issue, then the emotional side of it. Then see if you can find the middle path.