Your clever, difficult brain. Can a gift also be a nightmare? September 19, 2016 News Sometimes a gift is also a nightmare. Take the human brain, for instance. It’s one of the human races’ most remarkable achievements: the ability to think about something that is not actually happening. Amazing. It’s a cognitive triumph… but one that comes at great emotional cost; because it’s a gift we find very difficult to control. You’ll know what happens. Unwelcome thoughts or feelings can arrive and change our mood instantly, taking away our peace. Perhaps we re-live a painful memory from our past, one when we were hurt; or get caught up with an anxiety about the future. These things aren’t actually happening, but they might as well be; they’ve managed to kidnap us with consequences for our mood. From a state of happiness we become negative towards ourselves or others; feel despair, unable to cope; trapped in rigid and obsessional thought processes, worried or exhausted. Ultimately, a wandering mind is an unhappy mind, hooking up with the unreal and problematic whilst removing us from the present where we have power. By noticing what is arising inside me; by deepening my breathing; by going for a walk/cycle ride/swim/run; by allowing but not bowing to any thought or feeling passing through me, I begin my journey back to the present… …where free of past and future kidnappers, I can decide who and what I will be. Arriving at the present is the real gift.