One of the main reasons for taking up mindfulness is to calm your thoughts, to create clarity and to understand and comprehend exactly what you need and desire to do. One of the main reasons why people believe that mindfulness isn’t suited for them is because they can’t calm their thoughts, create clarity and therefore understand exactly what they desire and need to do. And there-in lies the problem; The perception that to be mindful, you need to try; That is is a chore to remove these thoughts; That it takes effort – This is untrue on all levels; Mindfulness is the opposite of a chore, it doesn’t take forced effort and it doesn’t require trying to “block your thoughts”. All it takes is time, and getting your thoughts flow through you like a river.
There is clarity through the confusion.
Become an Observer
To truly harness your thoughts, you simply need to become an observer to your thoughts. You need to be the awareness behind your thoughts, behind your feelings and behind your emotions. This doesn’t mean that you don’t experience all these things, quite the opposite. It means you experience them in an unclouded and un-judgemental light. You experience them in their entirety and slowly begin to understand the reasons behind them. Once you observe these things, and observe them for long enough, then they’ll float away, allowing new energy to flow into you. Often you can then actually tackle whatever issues you have in the real world, effortlessly and without fear.
Accept all thoughts, feelings & emotions
The key here is that you don’t have to think a certain way. You simply need to allow yourself to think and to feel. Give permission to all your thoughts and feelings and observe them through. This may prove difficult to begin with – and it’s often hard to identify and allow through certain thoughts and feelings – especially if you’ve been used to blocking your thoughts or casting judgement on yourself. You need to accept all of yourself, all of your thoughts and all of your feelings, and then keep doing this. They are you, and they are there to serve you and guide you. Once you examine them, you can start to realise this.
The goal to truly observing all your thoughts and being the awareness behind them, is to let go of whatever you are holding onto mentally or emotionally, accept the thoughts and emotions are there, and then let them flow seamlessly. Then you can be completely honest with yourself in unravelling and looking at them from a higher perspective. Ask yourself, why are you feeling this? why are you thinking this? What’s the real reason behind this? Until no more thoughts remain, and you are in the present.
The reality is; when you block thoughts or feelings, you are in effect, being controlled by them rather than being in control of them (this is how people eventually end up in denial and develop such twisted and illogical view points of the world). At first this may sound completely counter intuitive; that to block a thought is to be controlled by it, whereas thinking it through and being aware of it isn’t. But once you start to accept and observe your thoughts and feelings – which is essentially what meditation is – then you can understand them and either a) accept or act on them or b) let them go. Either way you are then freed of that thought, that emotion or that feeling and are restored to the present.
This ability to home in on thoughts, feelings and emotions is critical in taking control of your life without the stress. Once you perceive these things are mere manifestations, once you realise that what you think and feel aren’t reality, but an interpretation of reality that has no bearing on the present, then you can release yourself from their burden and focus on what you desire in the present.
Tricks of the mind and the ego
When you start doing this, it’s easy to get tricked by your own mind. You can easily get locked into a thought without realising it. Even the thought of “I have to observe” or “I have to let go” can become a blockage. So, even when these thoughts pop up in your mind you need to follow them through and effectively unravel them until they are no longer – To pan them out and to accept the conclusion. Once you do this, then they are also released, and you are either back with a new thought, feeling or emotion (where you can repeat the process) or you are released in the calm of the present.
Don’t get tricked by these thoughts pretending to be the present moment. The mind cannot think itself into the present moment. Being in the present moment, is simply being. Thoughts, feelings and emotions all come along for the ride – the difference is, you realise it.
Tricks are often a card play of your ego. It tries to convince you that staying locked up in a thought will keep you safe. It tries to convince you that you’ve learnt all you need to know and you can just be content and safe. But all it actually does it prevent you from moving forward. Prevent you from learning. Prevent you from being present and prevent you from enjoying life and having new experiences, often outside of your comfort zone.
So then, to truly get go, we must first accept all that needs to be accepted. This includes accepting the reality of our constant thoughts, feelings and emotions. And this isn’t nearly as painful as you may convince yourself it is; in fact, it’s a complete liberation.
Thoughts or feelings can trick you too. Once you release a thought, a feeling or emotion (or another thought) may rush into your being. It occupies the space you’ve just created. This feeling can often seem like it is something it is not, as it has become out of context.
Try and explore your feeling, your emotion, and understand what it really is. Is that sensation in your stomach anxiety telling you, you can’t work. OR is that another ego trick, making it seem like fear, when the real sensation is that you just want to “get out there and twat it”! (whatever “it” is). Most likely the latter. Once you realise the feeling you are freed of it and you can trust what your intuition tells you to do.
Ego can manifest itself into your feelings and emotions to, and it is your job as your own observer to seek it and and uncover it’s truth. The ego is afraid, it is fragile and it is holding you back ALWAYS. Sure it can provide a degree of mental safety, but that safety is nearly always best left out of the way in favour of exploration, discovery and growth. The ego will also often try and lie to “protect” you. These lies just continue to hold you back and keep you constrained in your ego bubble. Learn to be completely honest with yourself when observing your feelings and thoughts – the truth really isn’t that painful when the go is gone.
Habits are also a type of blockage. A habitual, non acceptance of what is. If you get a feeling of dread whilst strolling to your desk every day, then explore that dread, as with any other feeling. You don’t need to stick to habits that are making you unhappy. Change the habit. Get outside, take your work with you. Do whatever it is you really desire once you observe the feelings, the emotions, the thoughts and go with the present. That is the goal here. It is the goal and the secret to life.
Releasing Fear and achieving your dreams
In doing all these things, you are effectively overriding your habitual reactions. You are connecting with your true self, in the present moment and allowing your intuition to take charge. Trust it, even if it feels odd at first. It will take you places you quite literally dream of. Without the ego, without the baggage of constraints, of fear and of self imposed blockages, you can achieve whatever it is you desire.
Once you do this, you may find you can start approaching every life situation as an experiment. Things become less serious. Less about them and more about your own spiritual, emotional growth. Explore and Enjoy!
PS. Total Acceptance of Yourself, right now. That is the trick. Now go forth.