"I could've done better."
"Nobody likes me."
"Everyone else seems to have a life plan except me."
"I could never do that."
"Everything in life comes hard."
"I'm doomed to be alone forever."
Are you paying attention to the messages you tell yourself daily? Let alone the barrage of messages pounding down on us by media and advertising. How do you imagine those thoughts might be impacting your choices every day, every hour, every minute. Negative thoughts often became negative stories and ultimately ways of being. I'm a believer that our thoughts create our reality. Whatever you think you can or can't do, whoever you think you are or are not, you're probably right.
Have you ever tried separating yourself from your thoughts or do you believe you are one and the same? Granted, many of us had to develop a certain way of thinking in order to make sense of our world and survive our young, often dysfunctional environments. Unfortunately, once out of that environment and adult, we never get around to updating and revising our thinking. Once we can make the unconscious conscious, we have more control and options before us. This takes a certain amount of self awareness and mindfulness practice. Inside each of us is the writer scripting the thoughts and there is also the one listening to them. What if the one listening began to question what they were hearing?
The next time you have a negative self deprecating thought, see if you can:
Do you have a reference for what it means to simply "BE"? Similary, to "BE PRESENT"?
Today the world is moving faster than ever. This tends to mean an average person's brain is working faster and more easily distracted than ever before. People are much more likely to be stressed and anxious than even five years ago. These days it's hard to accurately diagnose who has actual Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and who has simply been conditioned to today's instant gratification, hi-tech digitally demanding world. Can you stand in line or wait in a doctor's office without checking your phone? What would happen if you tried it?
The majority of our thoughts either involve reviewing the past or fretting the future. How many are focused on the present moment? Not many.
So how do we practice presence? There are various techniques and most involve a certain amount of bodily awareness. Bodily awareness means noticing the fact that you have a physical body, with breath and sensations like warm/cool, tense/loose, trembling/still, etc. Richard C. Miller, PhD, Founder of iRest Yoga Nidra, says bringing attention to sensation slows down the thinking mind (http://www.irest.us).
Try this 3 minute exercise to start. It can be practiced in private or in public, eyes opened or closed:
Recognize that during this exercise you were likely more present, in the moment, less stressed, than before the exercise when you were likely ignorant of your feet. When you are actively noticing physical sensations in the moment, it is impossible to also be having thoughts about past actions or future "to dos." The world around you slows down when you practice body sensing because you have become more curious about your internal world.
When we practice presence, we get closer to practicing longer experiences of simply "BEING" which means more calm, less stress.
This is where I share MY TRUTH.... authentically, some of my thoughts, inspirations and insights that might be of service for whomever has interest and need.