Hi Kelli! Do you have any tips on how to identify less with all the thoughts that make me crazy and simply ‘be’ more, simply exist with what is happening each moment, with out judgment? Thank you for your time and all your insight!
Anyone who is familiar with my work knows I like to talk about the mind a lot. There are two reasons for this.
One, this ego/mind part of us is kind of screwy, and causes a lot of issues. Soooo… getting a grip on all that is going to offer myriad benefits in every aspect of our life. While I am definitely at least 95% woo, my interest in personal development, and energetic transformation, is largely practical in that if we have to get up everyday ,and live this human experience, doing anything we can to make said experience more pleasant seems like a good use of time!
The second reason I like to talk about the mind a lot is because, in terms of the law of attraction, conscious creation and all that jazz, the mind, and how it functions, lies at the root of all our energetic discord. All the doubt, skepticism, self-sabotage, fear, need to control and manipulate, and all that other stuff that gets in the way, is more easily addressed and ‘fixed’ when when we understand what’s causing it, why we do what we do, and feel what we feel.
I realized one of the biggest reasons many of us struggle on this journey, is much of our personal growth work, and much of our focus, merely ‘treats’ the symptoms of this dysfunction, and never really addresses where it is all coming from. And if we don’t do that, we probably won’t ever feel like we are making much progress.
Try as we might, we just can’t seem to break the cycle of self-sabotage, stop letting fear dominate all our decisions, or get a real handle on our anxiety. We put so much effort into ‘feeling better’ but the positive emotions never seem to stick.
We feel powerless against changing the deeply ingrained patterns of letting our circumstances determine our feelings, or not letting our past experience dictate what we believe is possible for the future.
Our mind is constantly going. The thoughts don’t stop; that inner voice never shuts up. Depending on the chatter in the moment, this tendency amounts to feeling anything from annoyance to sheer torture. The good news is our job really isn’t to ‘stop’ it, it is to change our relationship to this part of ourselves, to relate to the chatter differently.
Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t quiet that part dramatically. You surely can. Thoughts that sometimes were being screamed at you so intensely you thought you would go crazy can become nothing more than a whisper.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have the ability to dramatically, and sometimes completely, change your thinking around certain subjects…you have immense power to do so.
But generally, we will probably be contending with unwelcome thoughts to some degree. We have lots of deep conditioning that can be triggered at any moment and we won’t see it coming. Save for the most enlightened beings, there are all sorts of experiences us humans tend to have we will find challenging, that will unleash very unwelcome trains of thought.
Our Thoughts Are a Choice
Our thoughts are a reflection of something we are believing about a particular situation, a particular person, or about ourselves. Something is happening right now, or something happened in the past, that is essentially a neutral experience that has no inherent meaning.
Our mind observes what is going on, and starts formulating a narrative, a story about it. It draws conclusions about what it must all mean. It makes all sorts of assumptions about other people’s motives, intentions and thoughts ,that on an emotional level, we take for as good as cold, hard fact.
We bring the past to everything in the present moment. There is a filter set up through which the experiences get evaluated.
And our conclusions, our story, our narrative, the contents of that filter will create some sort of emotional ‘counterpart’ to those thoughts. They will either make us feel good, or badly, or perhaps neutral.
The only reason a thought would be troublesome is if it was making us feel badly–if it wasn’t we wouldn’t care. It wouldn’t be a problem. That something makes us feel badly is the truly the only reason anything is ever a problem for us.
Like I said earlier, our real job is to change our relationship to the thoughts, but this doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about them. You aren’t stuck with them.
You don’t have to keep thinking thoughts that feel badly to you. You get to think whatever you want about anything. You get to decide the meaning you assign to an experience. You get to decide whether you can look at an unwanted situation as this big ‘problem’ you must go into resistance mode against or just something that is happening.
If you are panicking right now about your finances, you get to examine the thoughts triggering that feeling–again, our feelings don’t come out of nowhere. They are a product of our belief system, of the thoughts we are thinking, of a perspective we are holding on a situation in that moment.
Why are you worried right now? What do you believe about what is happening now, what you think will happen?
Do these beliefs and perspectives lend themselves to an energy that would allow you to manifest the money or some other solution, or an energy that would keep it all away?
Questioning our thoughts is a non-negotiable for energetic transformation because energy is just a fancy word for feelings, and again, our feelings are stemming from those stories, those narratives, those conclusions, those meanings .
This doesn’t mean constantly monitoring every thought you have or obsessively analyzing them. It simply means we must get off of auto pilot where our mind is just running wild ,and we feel like are being dragged along behind it, powerless to do anything. Awareness is a conscious creator’s best friend, the most powerful ‘tool’ in her arsenal.
Once you start questioning the variety of thoughts you have, and rejecting their validity, you start emotionally detaching from them. The thoughts only feel badly because we believe they are true.
When we don’t believe them anymore, they don’t feel as heavy and intrusive, because they aren’t triggering something on an emotional level as strongly, or in some cases, at all.
They are just words in our head that we notice, that we may sometimes get sucked into, but more and more of the time, just background noise that doesn’t distract us nearly as much as it used to.
The key here is obviously is making a conscious choice not to believe the chatter. And this is something so incredibly simple, yet something we overcomplicate to an almost comical degree, simply because the mind has such a hard time implementing the ‘fix.’
You can’t really talk yourself out of a negative belief. You really can’t make yourself believe something for which you have little, to perhaps no evidence, in your own life. There is no logical ,rational argument you can present to this part of yourself to believe one thing instead of another.
This is where trust and faith come in. This is where you are asked to tune into your heart, your feelings and intuition-something that very few people are taught to do from a young age–and accept the premise that how you respond to information on that level is a valid means of evaluating what is true and untrue.
You accept the premise this part of us is our connection to truth, to that invisible world of spirit, of energy, where everything starts, where all physical manifestation comes from, . You accept the idea our feelings are a guidance system of sorts, where a good feeling means something must be true and a bad feeling means something must be false.
And as you start seeing, most of the stuff we have been conditioned to think is true about money, relationships, how the world works, that which we are capable, etc… feelings really shitty. So based on our new system of evaluating our thoughts, beliefs and perceptions, what does this mean about these things? It means they aren’t true, correct?
And then you start learning about all these other perspectives that feel really good, that resonate deeply on that intuitive level. And based on this emotional guidance system, what conclusion do we draw from this? That things thing are true, correct?
It really is that simple but not easy for sure. It essentially boils down to the willingness to make conscious choices about what we believe.
This typically won’t be a one-time choice however–it is one we will be called on to make over and over again. And so long as we commit to doing that, we will always be moving in the right direction.
You are Not Your Thoughts
This is probably something you have heard a million times and with good reason–it is absolutely true, and absolutely crucial to understand if we are to make any real progress with detaching more from our mind chatter and not getting so worked up all the time about its contents.
We need repetition to recondition our minds. We can’t dismiss the things we have heard a million times before, that have become nothing more than cliche to us ,and have lost all meaning. We do this a lot in this journey and it is understandable but we must be vigilant. To do otherwise is to our detriment.
Who you really are isn’t that part of you thinking all that painful, anxiety-inducing, fearful bullshit. Who you really are is the one observing it.
That part of you is totally untouched by all of that noise, totally untouched by anything happening to human ‘you.’ This part of you is totally dialed into ‘truth,’ and has a vibration so clean you could eat off it! This part of us is said to be pure consciousness, pure awareness.
The more strongly we consciously connect to this part of ourselves, the more freedom we feel from the mind. The more easily we break free from it ,and no longer let that distorted thinking inform our decisions, and how we move through the world, how we treat ourselves and how we relate to others.
Essentially connecting to this part of us requires nothing more than believing it exists, and consciously feel that connection–this is hard to verbalize but I am sure you all know what I mean. We all know that feeling of dropping more deeply within and feeling like we are passing through all the layers of crap.
But for the average bear, we are going to need to do things that help quiet the mind chatter and allow us to ‘feel’ and ‘see’ this part more deeply. We need to get used to observing our thoughts, being with them and consciously choosing how to respond.
Meditation is probably the best tool since it gives us practice observing our thoughts without judgment and emotional investment, and this is something we start to be able to do all the time, not just when we are consciously trying to do it while in the actual act of meditation.
Allowing yourself more time in quiet without any distraction is also good even if you aren’t going to officially ‘meditate.’
Any situation where you would normally distract yourself by looking at your phone,etc… like waiting for an appointment, riding the subway,etc…take that time instead to just observe your thoughts, and practice consciously disengaging from them, questioning them, just letting them be without judgment, without trying to ‘change’ them or ‘stop’ them.
Immersing Yourself in the Present
The title of Eckhart Tolle’s classic book ‘The Power of Now’ says it all. Being in the present moment is by far the best antidote to incessant mind chatter and the emotional discord it creates because most of our thoughts are typically about the past and the future. In the ‘now’ there isn’t much thinking taking place–you are just doing whatever you are doing and you are just focused on that.
We are not used to being fully present in the moment so it’s a challenge for sure. Most of the time, you will literally forget to do this rather than consciously choose not to, since the conditioning to be lost in our heads is so deep. But every time you do it, even if just for a few seconds, you start becoming more deliberate about it.
Another challenge is most of our ‘now’s’ are pretty mundane and it’s all too easy to let the mind wander. It’s hard to be fully engaged in things like washing dishes, doing the laundry, waiting in line, cleaning up your kid’s toys, etc…
But when I am, it’s a wonderful feeling. When you start experiencing those moments when you are free from thought, it’s an amazing feeling. It’s like being on temporary furlough from your mind prison!
All of this takes practice and a real commitment for sure, but it’s worth it. It’s super uncomfortable because we are kind of addicted to thinking, and the shitty feelings the thoughts typically produce.
We have become so identified with the part of us that is doing the thinking that to let it go in any real way feels scary because it is like we are erasing the part of ourselves with which we most strongly identify as being ‘us.’ That isn’t true of course but we think it is, so it’s disconcerting.
Make a point to experiment with this. Try to fully immerse yourself in whatever you are doing in the present, and the variety of sensations you feel,etc…
The mind certainly isn’t our friend but by no means do we want to treat it like our enemy. Don’t see it as this thing making you miserable or constantly thwarting your growth even though it kind of is! It’s just how it is for whatever reason.
Think of it as a child who doesn’t know any better. It is fragile and scared and is just trying to protect itself essentially. It doesn’t realize how detrimental its belief system is, how the perspectives and changes it is so scared of, will actually get it all the stuff it wants.
What did you think of the post? Anything resonate in particular? How do you deal with your mind chatter? Looking forward to your thoughts as always.
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