Thoughts are like grains of sand

“Like grains of sand, our many thoughts and emotions are also shifting. Learn to arrange your own internal beach in a beautiful way.”

A few days ago I read something on the web that pretty much ruined my afternoon. At first, it was no big deal. But then . . . I started thinking. My creative imagination kicked into high gear and pretty soon I had built quite a mind-story around, “What if what I had read about would happen to me?”

As I crafted this mind-story, I began to debate with myself about some of the details. Even though a big part of me sided with an optimistic outlook, my determined inner pessimist wouldn’t give in. I came up with several reasons why this or that could happen. This lead to imagining how unhappy I’d feel if things would turn out a certain way. Of course, my mind then created exactly what I had directed it to do – I felt anxious and worried.


I was perfectly happy, enjoying learning some new things as I surfed around the web. Then, I read something (you’d think I’d learn to not look at so many news sites) and my imagination took over. Nothing had really changed in my life. None of the situations I had created in my mind-story had actually occured or were even likely to occur. But yet, in a way they had. I created them in my mind and experienced the unhappiness anyway. I felt anxiety and worry over a bit of mental fiction that I had totally made up.

As I mentally stepped back and “observed” what I was doing, I remembered something I had learned on the island of Alumanaya. The principle of Sand discusses the process our mind uses to create feelings. As I went through each of the steps that lead to creating my mind-story, I saw how none of the things I had created were real. But I also realized that for a while they certainly felt real.

Once again, I was reminded of just how powerful our mind is and how we use our creative imagination to process life events moment by moment. I learned (again!) how we are in control of our thoughts and can arrange our own internal beach however we want. Simple, but not easy.

For me, it’s an on-going practice. Maybe someday I’ll get to a point where I no longer create these kinds of stories. But for now, I’m still learning and applying what I’m discovering on the island.

For more about the island and the book Alumanaya – A tropical story about living with tranquility visit