Wednesday, January 17, 2018

When caught in unhelpful patterns of thinking

The next time you’re hooked into a waterfall of ruminating, unproductive, repetitive thinking, just notice what has happened… and then stop. Commit to caring for yourself in a new way. Shift awareness from the limiting beliefs and back into the open mystery of the here and now.

Replace the self-abandonment with embodied presence. While there are an infinite number of ways to engage in fight/ flight avoidance, none is more efficient than drowning in thinking. While it may feel like moving a mountain, to cut through billions of mind moments of becoming tangled in thought, slowly over time you can chart a new way.

Become fascinated at how quickly you abandon feeling and in detail how this process plays out for you. Which feelings will you do just about anything to not feel? What behaviors do you tend to engage in to protect you from those feelings? What are you believing about yourself in a moment of emotional flooding?

Just this once, cut into the momentum of self-aggression. This time, I am not going to attack my own vulnerability. Stay with the feeling and allow it to unfold, to make its journey through the temple that is your body. As you notice the very compelling temptation to go back into thinking about what you’re feeling, just this time return into the aliveness of your belly, your heart, and your throat. Use your breath to help you to regulate. Feel your feet on the ground. Listen to the sounds around you. Look up into the sky. Engage your senses.

Once the intensity has calmed – once the limbic arousal has come down and you have returned into your window of tolerance – you can then go back and reflect on what happened, see if you can make some sense of it, using your mind and your intuition both to provide needed guidance. You’ll have a much more fruitful inquiry if you first attend to the emotions, feelings, and sensations which are longing to reach you.

You can practice this any time you feel like you are falling down the rabbit hole, you are triggered and hooked, becoming flooded by what feels like unmanageable feelings of rage, shame, unworthiness, or sadness. Even for just a few seconds. There is no urgency on the path of love.

My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

My next event is a five-day retreat, The Place the Light Enters, with Jeff Foster, April 4-9 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO. Tickets went on sale on January 1st, 2018 and registration will be taken in the order it is received.