When we are in a “fixed mind,” we are not open to new experiences. We are instead controlled by our past and our own rigid rules. Albert Ellis calls these rigid expectations, “musturbation,” – I swear I’m not making this up!
Ellis said that if we hold fast to the belief system that the world must be a certain way, we must be a certain way, or others must be a certain way- then we are setting ourselves up for feelings of bitterness, resentment and anger.
When we are in “fresh mind” we are unaware of the dangers we might face. We do not consider past mistakes or experiences when evaluating a new situation. We are overly trusting of a person or situation that is potentially dangerous.
Both of these polarized states of mind are problematic.
Instead, we want to be in “fluid mind”, or “wise mind”; that part of ourselves that knows and experiences personal truths.
“Fluid mind is being peacefully aware of each moment as a new beginning that is based, in part, on previous moments. It is willingness to try something new but not just because it is “new.” It is focusing on where you want to go, while still honoring where you have been. Fluid mind knows that living effectively requires genuine adjustment to an ever changing environment over time. What worked once may not work now" (Dimeff, 2007).
What area of your life do you need to use fluid mind? Are you more prone towards being in fixed mind or fresh mind? What consequences have you experienced when engaging in either of these problematic states of mind? What needs to happen in order for you to stay in wise mind/fluid mind?
Dimeff, Linda. "Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Clinical Practice. New York: New York, 2007.