CHECK IN Week 36: Bushwack Part Deux

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Checking in on Week 36′s Task of 50 Weeks to a Lighter More Loving You.

Your task is to SIT and BE CURIOUS about one of your thoughts that is causing “suffering”.

This can be done in your journal, through meditation, or by talking with a trusted friend, coach, or counselor.

How is that going?

Do you ever wonder why the things you don’t like in your life don’t change?

One reason might be TIME.  

  • Life seems too busy and I have to keep going.
  • Who has time to SIT?
  • Sitting seems like a luxury.
  • The spouse, the kids, the job, the house, the dogs, the yard, and on and on….how can I possibly take time to SIT!!

Another reason we don’t SIT and BE CURIOUS is FEAR. 

Fear will stop us from sitting and being curious because if we actually do see what is going on, we will have to change.   No one likes change.  The status quo, the well-worn trail, SEEMS much easier, familiar, comforting.   And, yes, it can be, yet what risks might you face a year or years from now if you don’t alter that thought that is causing you discomfort and dis-contentment?

Then there is the combo of the TIME and FEAR.

  • “I don’t have time to delve into my suffering thoughts.  I might become a basket case and not function well.”
  • “Looking into my thoughts will make me feel worse about myself because I’ll see how “ugly” my thought life actually is.  I just don’t have time to feel worse about myself.”
  • “I delve into my thoughts I might have to deal with unpleasant past experiences.”

I totally get all of those.


Here are some thoughts on those:

  • When you are really ready to change and have a better life, you will find the time.  Hopefully this will be before something falls apart, like your health or marriage or relationships or finances.    Time is only an excuse.   So many things are out of our control in life, how you spend your time is not one of them.
  • What if I told you it will be EASY to change if you keep SITTING and BEING CURIOUS?  What can happen when we do sit and be curious is what some call a miracle, a break through, a giant AHA.  What that really means is a CHANGE IN PERCEPTION, a CHANGE OF MIND. In the bible it’s called REPENTANCE which actually means a change of mind/thought.  When that happens all of a sudden it is easier to choose differently, to think differently, to be different, and thus, a change in your life.  Those “miracles” help us see more clearly, expand our awareness, and open our hearts.
  • When you sit and be curious, the idea is to not beat yourself up over those “ugly” thoughts.  You are allowed to have thoughts and those feelings that might accompany them.  You are not a thought or a feeling.  You are the “being” that is having them.   If you didn’t have that thought who would you be?  The answer to that question is closer to who you really are than that thought or feeling.   (Any time I’ve asked my self that question about a thought or feeling, the answer is usually, more at peace, more compassionate, more loving.   I’m actually a great human being….as are you!)
  • A definition of LOVING-KINDNESS is returning someone or something to its loveliness.  As you are curious about your thoughts, meet them with loving-kindness.  Meet your self with loving-kindness.  Loving-kindness includes compassion, understanding, patience, gentleness, acceptance, and non-judgment. No need to become a basket case or throw yourself into despair.   As  you do this, watch your thoughts and your self become more lovely.  A side benefit is you may notice your energy increases.  Fear and effort to change will not be an issue.  It just starts to happen.
  • Will you have to meet and deal with a PAST experience?  No one will escape life without experiencing someone’s inability to love well or love you the way you needed.  Nor will we escape hurting someone due to unloving behaviors or not loving someone the way they needed.   Unless you’ve already done some forgiveness work, (and do so on a daily basis, because encountering and handing out unloving behaviors, known and unknown, happen daily), I dare say, YES, you might have to deal with a past issue that has caused a suffering trail in your thinking life.  Even a natural disaster or accident can leave a “suffering thought trails,” like anxiety or anger.  In those incidences, we try to find someone to blame. Sometimes it ends up being our self or God.  Again, forgiveness is going to play a part here.   Check out Week 6 for more info on forgiveness.
  • If we could have a totally vulnerable SIT with a group of people, where everyone is being totally honest and real, we would discover everyone has “ugly” and “suffering thoughts.”  No need to beat your self up about this.  Welcome to the HUMAN RACE CLUB!  I club that is more exclusive, but wide open to everyone, is the SIT AND BE CURIOUS CLUB!
  • Will you ever be FREE of those kind of thoughts?  I believe it is possible.  Eventually, they stop appearing altogether because they have been brought into the LIGHT…into awareness.  You will be able to catch them, see them for what they are and where they came from, then choose a different way to act when they are present.   Their power has been reduced and thwarted as a force in your behavior and choices.  One day you may just notice that you haven’t gone down that thought trail in a long time.

Lastly, a word about being CURIOUS.  Being curious means one is open to learning.  Be open to learn about your trails and how your particular mind is working.  Be open to learn how all our minds work in general (check out THIS LIST).

Being open to learning will provide you with opportunities for those “miracles”, those shift in perspectives that can start you down different trails, different ways of being and choosing, to a better life of more peace, joy, and love.

Cheering You on to a Whole Miracle Experienced Heart,
Barbara

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2018 Week 36: Bushwack Part Deux

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Task 36 of 50 Weeks to a Lighter More Loving You is an extension of Week 35:  BUSHWACK…Part Deux (two).

(If you are just joining this or missed last week, click here.)

Now that we have written out and become more aware of our thoughts, how does one go about BUSHWACKing a new trail in our mind…especially the thoughts that cause suffering?

Suffering?  

  • Any thought that causes pain and often manifesting as guilt, shame, sadness, anxiety, depression, anger, tension, stress, fear, self-hate.

  • A thought that leads to or is full of blaming another, justifying a behavior, and/or defending your self.

  • Thoughts that cause us to act un-lovingly towards our self or others.

If you came to me and said something to the effect of wanting more peace, joy, and  love in your life, we would spend the majority of our time looking at what you are thinking and believing.

Our thought life creates the life we live.  What we think we will bring about because what we think effects our choices and our behaviors.

If you did last week’s task, you’ve done the first step, which is AWARENESS of the thought.

Journaling is a great way to see and be aware of your thoughts.

Meditation is a wonderful way to watch your thoughts.

AWARENESS is the first step.

Second step?

SIT!!

STOP and SIT!

I know you will be in conversations and situations where you just can’t plop down for a SIT.   But you can recognize you are on the a “suffering trail” and halt yourself before doing something unloving towards another or yourself. Then go sit.

Your job while sitting is to be curious.

  • Did something trigger me to go down that trail?

  • What am I feeling?

  • Is that a past feeling?

  • Is there fear?  And about what?

  • What am I believing that might not be true?

Your task for this week is to SIT with one of your “suffering trails”…one of your thoughts that are causing you to live or act in a way other than you desire.

Bring your journal to your SIT, write it all out.

OR find a loving, non-judgmental friend who asks really good questions, and talk through it.

OR contact me and we will explore your trail together.

Cheering You on to a Whole Sit and Be Curious Heart,
Barbara

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CHECK IN for Week 30: Seek Truth

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Checking in for Week 30’s task of SEEKING TRUTH.

The task is to be aware of any stressful thoughts you are having.  Write them down and take them through these four questions:

  1. Is it true?

  2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?

  3. How do you react when you believe that thought? 

  4. Who would you be without that thought?

After you question your thought, turn the thought around….write a few OPPOSITES of that thought…and then ask…which one of those statements holds some truth?

(This is called INQUIRY from Byron Katie’s book LOVING WHAT IS.)

How is it going?  Have you tried this with some thoughts that are causing you discomfort?

Here are a few notes about this method stemming from my personal INQUIRY:

  • It brought more awareness to my thought life and the emotions that stem from those thoughts.   It’s amazing how BUSY and UNAWARE I was spending my life!

  • It is a great way to gain different perspectives, which calmed the emotion accompanying a thought about a situation, person, or myself.

  • It has led me to talk and ask more questions of others, so I can get the facts AND NOT ASSUME ANYTHING! Many a stressful thought is based on lack of information and misunderstandings.

  • It helped uncover false beliefs about my self which in turn aided in changing bad habits, facilitating feelings of worthiness, and creating more of a life I desired.

NOTE:  Doing this too much could drive you crazy!  Not every thought you have needs to be put through this method.  If you start to doubting  yourself and keep questioning your GUT INSTINCT, it will drive you mad.   Sometimes you do know from your heart or your gut what is going on (what is the truth) and the feelings from those thoughts are trying to tell you something.

Whatever FEELING you have is TRUE…you are feeling it! 

Remember it is not the feeling we are questioning, it is the THOUGHT.    Our thought life plays such a big role in a lighter, more loving you. 

Cheering You on to a Whole INQUIRED THOUGHTS Heart,

Barbara

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2018 Week 30: Seek Truth

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Task 30 of 50 Weeks to a Lighter More Loving You is to SEEK TRUTH.

Time for those journals again!

Years ago I read a book that helped me understand my mind of thoughts.  The book was Byron Katie’s LOVING WHAT IS.

I have learned not to believe everything I think!  Not every thought I have is totally true!

Katie’s method of inquiring our STRESSFUL THOUGHTS is simple and effective.

Stressful thoughts are any that cause a negative emotion or feeling, such as anxiety, anger, hurt, depression, etc.  They can be about our self, another person, or a situation.

This week be aware of any stressful thoughts you are having.  Write them down and take them through these four questions:

  1. Is it true?

  2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?

  3. How do you react when you believe that thought? Take a moment to feel into it.

  4. Who would you be without that thought?

After you question your thought, turn the thought around….write a few OPPOSITES of that thought…and then ask…which one of those statements holds some truth?

Example:

Thought:   It irritates me that my neighbor is such a busybody!

Opposite Thoughts:

  • My neighbor is not a busybody.
  • I’m a busybody.
  • My neighbor minds his own business.
  • My neighbor is a caring person in his own way.
  • My neighbor is trying to be a good neighbor.

There is probably more truth in the last statement which helps see the neighbor and any situations involving the neighbor from a different, more loving perspective.

Considering that our thoughts play such a big role in our ability to be happy, lighter and more loving, this week’s task will be useful!

Feel free to share in the comments anything you discovered while doing this task.

Cheering You on to a Whole Truth Seeking Heart,
Barbara

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