Be the observer.
Do you ever feel like your mind is going in ten thousand directions? Does it ever seem like your mind is obsessed with a certain thought or situation? My mind would drive me nuts and it used to happen quite often. I would want to do something and my mind would pull me in twenty different directions. I would also find myself becoming fixated on a certain thought or situation.
This spring I am going to a ten day mediation retreat. In preparation for the trip I have been mediating about two times a day for twenties minutes. My increased practice has had a huge impact on my life. It has helped me deal to with the obstacles I encounter in my mind that I described above. Now I do not feel such a sense of urgency and stress around getting things done. But one of the biggest benefits I have received from this practice is becoming the observer of my thoughts and feelings.
I do not just observe my thoughts during my mediation, I also do it do through out the day. When I think or feel something, I observe it and I do not identify with. The difference is now when I have ten million thoughts going on or I become fixated on a thought I observe it and let it go. In the past I would identify with the thoughts as part of me and feel stuck in them.
My thoughts would create how I was feeling such as worried, sad, happy, or tired. Now my thoughts are not spiraling and causing feelings that I do not want to experience, I am causing the thoughts and feelings I want to have.
One thing that I have noticed since I have been observing my thoughts is that I have and addictive thought pattern. In the New Year I made the choice to detoxify my body from caffeine. It was hard to do it at first because my thoughts were preoccupied with coffee all the time. All I thought about was a big cup of warm coffee. My mind was trying to convince me that having one cup would not be a big deal. I gave up caffeine because I thought it contributed to my scattered almost ADD like thinking at times. But what I got present to was that it was not the caffeine, the caffeine only enhanced what was already going on internally.
I also was so fascinated by how my addiction to caffeine was mostly mental. When I took a step back and just observed my craving thoughts, they stopped controlling and consuming me. Had I not taken the observer approach this would have been much harder to do and I probably would have given in and had coffee.
I encourage you to take on this practice of being the observer of your thoughts and feelings in your life. This practice will give you the power to not be a victim of meaningless thought patterns. When you observe your thoughts you become acutely aware of how much time you spend on meaningless thoughts that serve no purpose for you.
Now I find my thoughts very amusing and I see how often they serve no point in my life. You too can free yourself of the burden of meaningless thoughts and patterns that have you play small in your life. Just observe a thought as it enters your mind and do not judge it or start a monologue about it. Simply just observe your thoughts as they come up and let them go.
Be patient in the beginning because it can be hard to not get enrolled in your thoughts. With practice you will be less engaged in the thoughts that come up and you will be amazed at the results you can produce by just observing.
Your assignment: Just be the observer of thoughts that come up. It does not matter if thoughts are bad or good, just observe them and do not identify with them as part of you. I recommend you start to meditate to help you effectively be an observer. You have many voices going on in your head at once and you are not even aware of all of them. Meditating will help you to quite your mind and get you present to the different voices and distinguish them. Observing your thoughts will be much easier to achieve if you have this foundation in place. Good luck!
Copyright (c) 2008 Melisa Milonas LLC