You Are Not Your Unhealthy Ideas

“The start of freedom is the conclusion that you’re not the thinker.”

– Eckhart Tolle

Many people undergo life believing that our ideas are who we’re. Considering is so acquainted to us, a lot a part of our moment-to-moment actuality, that we will’t think about who or what we might be with out it. 

In fact, we want considering with a purpose to navigate our lives. Reflective ideas allow us to be taught from our experiences and hopefully make wiser decisions shifting forwards. Fascinated about the long run means we will plan the lives we want to reside. As a species, our means to suppose creatively has allowed us to extend our consolation, enhance our life expectancy and style the whole lot from skyscrapers to silicon chips.

However what occurs after we are overtaken by ideas that appear to be working towards us? What occurs when the identical ideas loop spherical in our minds on repeat and we really feel powerless to cease them? What can we do when our ideas are telling us that we’re nugatory, unlovable, destined to fail, and even that the world can be a greater place with out us?

The Secret Self

I struggled with my very own considering patterns lots in my 20’s. I used to be my very own worst critic, believing I used to be not adequate, not good sufficient, not attention-grabbing sufficient for the world round me. Inconsequential issues would lodge themselves in my head and refuse to depart me alone.  I did what I may to flee them however even when I discovered a brief reprieve they have been destined to bounce again extra aggressively in some unspecified time in the future.

At instances my ideas might be darkish, random and even disturbing. As a result of I believed I used to be my ideas, it adopted that I have to be a nasty individual.

Not eager to let anybody in on this secret self, I tried to include it and pretend normality. I attempted to be good on the surface and simply hoped that nobody would discover in any other case. Evidently this was a lonely and imprisoning expertise.

Awakening The Witness

I bear in mind the primary time I attempted meditation in my 20’s. It didn’t really feel in any respect useful. In reality it felt like being in confinement with my worst ideas. The expertise solely added to my feeling that there was one thing mistaken with me. How come meditation may work for different individuals however solely made issues worse for me? What was I lacking?

It wasn’t till I got here throughout The Energy of Now by Eckhart Tolle that I skilled the flexibility to step again from my ideas and observe them. Right here is an train from the ebook that stays in my thoughts:

“Strive just a little experiment. Shut your eyes and say to your self: “I’m wondering what my subsequent thought goes to be.” Then grow to be very alert and anticipate the subsequent thought. Be like a cat watching a mouse gap. What thought goes to come back out of the mouse gap? Strive it now.”

In ready for the subsequent thought to come back, I discovered {that a} hole opened up in my thoughts. On this hole there have been no ideas and but there was one thing alive that felt like me. It was peaceable, spacious and clear. By working towards the workout routines within the ebook, I continued to entry this inconsiderate place. With time, I discovered I may shift into it extra readily, without having to do something particularly.

What I had come throughout in The Energy of Now was ‘the witness’ – the a part of us that sits past the ideas, is ready to observe them and know it’s not them. It was life-changing for me as a result of I now knew I used to be one thing greater than my considering thoughts.

The Energy To Select

As I practiced extra yoga, I found that the idea of the witness (Sakshi) is central to yoga. The witness permits us to look at not solely ideas however bodily sensations and feelings too. We uncover from this observing place that ideas, sensations and feelings come and go while the witness is at all times there, unchanging. The analogy that’s usually used for this can be a clear open sky (the witness) with clouds passing by means of it (ideas and sensations).

There are a lot of ways in which yoga helps us to entry this witnessing capability. Whether or not we’re meditating or shifting by means of our asana observe, focusing our consideration on a specific object such because the breath makes it simpler to note when our thoughts wanders and ideas come up. The extra we get used to doing this on our mats, the extra it turns into pure in our on a regular basis lives.

Over time, we begin to discover our recurring patterns of considering and discover we’ve got a selection as to how we interact with them. We’d, for instance, select to problem self-criticism by reminding ourselves of our optimistic qualities. Different ideas we’d observe however enable them to simply move on by. And after we discover the form of ideas that assist the imaginative and prescient we’ve got for lives, we will select to interact with them and act upon them.

This act of witnessing our ideas additionally helps us to vary our behaviour. So if I’ve determined I don’t need to drink alcohol each evening, moderately than simply going together with the voice that claims ‘it’s the tip of a protracted day, you deserve it’, I can observe this as a thought that’s not serving my finest pursuits. Then I’ve some area to weigh up my choice – do I really need to have a drink tonight or may I make a special selection?

The witness provides us the reward of the hole; the area during which selection turns into potential.

Gateway To Freedom

The necessary factor about witnessing is that we’re not making an attempt to push something away. Darkish ideas could come up and we discover them however we be taught to not react to them. We uncover that simply because the sky can accommodate a myriad of clouds, we will make area for an entire vary of ideas.

In reality, troublesome ideas may even grow to be a present.

It’s straightforward to be complacent with a steady stream of ideas when they’re principally peaceable and nice, however when our ideas begin to hassle us, it will possibly remind us to take a step again from them.

In stepping again, we launch ourselves from the restrictions of the considering thoughts – the idea we’re trapped, separate and alone. We discover a gateway to our true nature which is expansive, peaceable and free.

Within the phrases of the late religious trainer Ram Dass:

“Ultimately, floating in that subjective consciousness, the objects of consciousness dissolve, and you’ll come into the religious Self, the Atmān, which is pure consciousness, pleasure, compassion, the One.”

– Ram Dass

Placing It Into Observe

Listed below are a number of concepts for accessing the witness:

  1. Take your consciousness to your breath because it strikes out and in of your nostrils. Really feel the feeling and temperature of every breath. When a thought pops up, discover it and return to the feeling of the breath. Discover your means to note the ideas
  2. Strive free-flow writing. Write three A4 sides of no matter goes by means of your thoughts, with out judging, analyzing or stopping. When the ideas are on paper, it creates a way of separation from them and it’s simpler to see that they aren’t us. (This system is taken from Julia Cameron’s ebook The Artist’s Means. She recommends doing it very first thing within the morning and it’s due to this fact often known as Morning Pages.)
  3. Observe witnessing sensations in your physique, each throughout your yoga observe and all through the day. Let go of the labels (‘my achey hip’, ‘my indigestion’) and produce a way of curiosity to the feeling. Discover the a part of you that’s doing the noticing and see if you happen to can relaxation in it for a time.

Did you get pleasure from this text? You might also like Not everybody who practices yoga is pleased; and that’s okay.

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