This stained glass dragon reminded me of another dragon I painted on my wall aged about 12, and I’ve recently made good use of the dragon to help me understand my thinking, and to choose to think differently.
What came from the reminder idea was a mental prompt tool for me, that has become pivotal to my calm, and my awareness. Essentially, I drew a simplified version of the dragon, and called it the Dragon Glass. The following explains a little about it.
The Dragon Glass has become a mental prompt that reminds me to take alternatives to specific topics of my negative thinking, and thereby to come back to a mindful, calm and objective state of mind.
For a good deal of my life so far, I’ve spent time thinking, in not-so-positive ways. I think most of us do this. I found recently, when I did a few weeks of writing notes on my thoughts, that I spend a lot of time on the same topics. And mostly negatively biased on those regular topics.
Each different element of the drawn version below represent a recurrent thinking topic. These topics of thought vary from the self-absorbed to the basic and essential. Though of course, many are fundamental to existence in life, such as ‘My view of the future’. Many were predominantly negative for me, but with some positive or useful qualities, such as ‘My judgements’.
Here is the drawn Dragon Glass. It’s deceptively simple, so I’ll try and explain how I use it below. If I’m aware enough, I use the Dragon Glass as a prompt and reminder many multiple times a day.
You’ll see each part represents one topic of thinking. What’s less obvious is how they can combine. Also, note that the topic titles I’ve written describe something specific and personal for me, even though they are broad titles.
An important element is that the Dragon’s chest represents mindful awareness of my breath. Another is the Dragon’s head, representing my logical thinking mind.
The other parts, as you’ll see and especially if you can read my writing, highlight a broad range of thinking topics. Each one of these I would spend dwell in, spending unhelpful time feeling less than brilliant.
My Aim with using the Dragon Glass
Essentially, the aims are twofold and simple:
1 – Spend more time mindful of my breathe, enjoying the here and now
2 – Spend less time dwelling negatively on the many things that run through my head.
How I use the Dragon Glass
I use the Dragon Glass as a prompt – to remind me and show me there are other things to think about. If I’m experiencing something, or thinking something I’m not enjoying, I bring the Dragon Glass to mind, and it is clear where I am on the Dragon. Immediately, it is clear where I am, and where else I could be.
If you’ve ever been caught up, stressed out about something, or preoccupied you’ll know what I mean. For years (and still often, let’s be upfront), I find it difficult to realise that there is an alternative, right here and now.
The mental map of the Dragon Glass shows me I can be calm, even in the face of stressful work, or calm even when something I’m doing is ridiculously frustrating. It shows me how I’m currently thinking and what my alternatives are.
So, put simply, the real power of the Dragon Glass is to show me that I have a choice.
I always, always have a choice.
A choice to accept this emotion, or to move past it.
A choice in every moment, to be aware of my breathe, to be calm.
A choice to be as logical as I can be (it’s relative, still, of course).
A choice to be as objective as I can be (also always relative).
A choice sometimes not to influence or decide, but to just enjoy what is happening.
Hopefully, you get the idea, and it might help a little. Certainly did for me.