Mental health and sanity are interchangeable concepts, recognizable from within, where our minds are fluid along a spectrum. We can be:
Sensitive (to what is here; love, gratitude)
Thinking (good, clear, necessary thinking; logical, compassionate, easily stopped and started)
Feeling (experiencing emotions of direct perception)
Wanting (what is not)
Feeling (emotions that lead to or arise from confusion, from what is not present; turmoil/downcast)
Thinking (solving/creating non-existent problems, scenarios)
The pivot point is wanting, desiring. It can quickly take us from a place of stability to a place of insanity. Sometimes we call this love!
Time is a mental construct; we can easily spend moments, days, decades hovering in any realm of the spectrum, or we can fluidly move along from one end to another without and hang ups.
Enjoying life is enjoying where the mind is, how it is.
A healthy mind knows that
everything is ok (right now)
everything is changing (also right now)
everything was and will be different
And still, everything was and will be ok.
From that inner point of centered stability, we can do anything we desire.
The hard work is recognizing 1) where we are, and 2) where we are going.
The hardest work is changing that trajectory. But you only have to do that if you are unhappy with where you are, where you are going.
The hardest work is easiest when we begin with the hypothesis that humans can change, that you can change.
Know that the mind and body co-act, express one another, express the principles with which you live. Changing the set points of the body change the set points of the mind, and vice verse. Both respond to goal-oriented work, consistent technique, which come from the intellect.
Emotions of change are difficult. To see where we are, we need to create order, to organize, and become more energetically economical, so that there is liberal energy available to create the change we desire.
There is something noble, romantic, divine about desire. It is a matter of the heart. Cravings come from the mind, along with the likes and dislikes that are a confusion of time with the present moment. Accumulating likes and dislikes over time creates preferences/personality, that create psychology, or habitual mental states.
To change our mind, we often need to change our preferences, which means releasing the past pleasures and future expectations. We can do this with love, embracing that everything that we once were/did served a purpose. There is no need to close off parts of ourselves, drown out feelings, or get rid of thoughts. We can simply release what no longer serves us now.
When we make our daily choices, even the smallest ones, based on the present moment, we are able to create a flexible, freer self, one that is not bound to past actions. When we habitually repeat ourselves, without awareness of what we desire, we automatically stagnate, create a past-like future, resistant to adaptation.
The mind is happiest when it feels fulfilled, that it has what is wanted. It is the same as wanting what we already have, what is already here, recognizing the abundance that is at our fingertips.
To desire, to seek, to want requires a gap, a distance of space, time, between what is at hand and what is out of reach. When the hand is full, when the mind is full, it cannot reach for anything more. This can be wonderful, if we are filled with positivity and purpose. But if we are filled with thoughts and feelings that bring us down, we need a reset.
Resetting comes with renewed sensitivity to what is here, both the visible (possessions, work, people), and the invisible (love, space, time) and sensitivity to what is not here, both the visible and the invisible.
When we can really see, and sense, what is here and what is not, then we can enjoy what we have and what we seek.
Seeing ends with receiving.
Desire ends with gratification, satisfaction.
And while we can end the insane cycles of wanting/getting, hurting/recovering, we need desire, deep desire, the low burning, long burning longing that pulls us from bed in the morning and inspires all that we do in this life.