"Even when disrupted, the immobility of the mind can offer sacred."Stephen Richards
One night my four-year-old daughter woke up shouting, surprising me and my husband from sleep. She arrived in her room and came a little later and I was immediately bothered by how she was handling the situation. I will admit it now: I can not remember what he did, but at that moment I knew I would do it differently and made me feel annoyed and angry.
I left the room and walked into the bathroom. As I sat there, I remembered something I had heard to do to make myself quieter and more attentive: Watch yourself and describe my feelings and what happened in my body as if I were telling a doctor about the medical symptoms.
I just noticed what was happening inside me as if I were another person watching myself and I was running through what was happening. I described how I felt confused and how much my stomach felt charming. I described how anger felt hot and a fence and how much my chest was eating.
Then the most amazing thing happened: my anger disappeared completely.
I was surprised. Usually I can speak of negative or overwhelming feelings with little time and patience, putting new thoughts or convincing myself simply to let go. But that was something different. It happened so quickly and easily.
He was really impressed by this experience, and a week or two later I tried to do something like that while I was meditating before bed one night. That night I felt crammed and sad, and I felt like I put a frown on me and a sense of gravity.
During my meditation, I continued to return to the present moment and notice how and where I brought these feelings. I do not judge or try to change them. I just noticed them. Within a few minutes, a great feeling surpassed me. I can only describe it as a wave of knowledge that told me "these feelings are not you".
It was so relaxing. I felt I was the observer and although my sorrowful and restless feelings were definitely a real part of my human experience, I saw that I did not have to overwhelm them. I did not have to let them rule me or my life.
I am a person with many feelings. I have the tendency to anxiety and sorrow, although of course I have some anger, or at least irritation, thrown there for good measure. My ability to separate from these emotions was so free.
I'm not saying that feelings are not valid or that we should not have feelings about things that happen in our lives. I think, however, that we can move in the most helpful and joyful way if we take the time to observe these feelings and take some distance from them.
If I had stayed crazy and acted on my husband that night, over something so insignificant that I can not remember his details now, a month or two later, would that be the best result for me? Do not believe. the middle of the night the arguments do not end well.
I think observing and describing feelings allows you to get the best result. If you have been mistreated by someone in any way, allow yourself anger and frustration. But from there, step back. Take a look at what you say to yourself and where this frustration is alive.
After you have done it and put some distance, make the next move. Making a decision from a position of restlessness and reflection can only make your life better.
This is a practice that, of course, takes practice. I have to remind myself to do it and sincerely, sometimes I do not want it. A stubborn, elegant piece of myself shouts something according to the phrase "I want to stay crazy!"
But it is worth, at least for me, to incorporate it more and more into my life. I find myself a quieter and more focused person and this is something I have wanted for a long time. Here's all that works for me and how it can work for you too.
Enjoy the idea that you are an observer. The older I get, the more I realize how much of what I'm doing is just a pattern, a repetition of the ways I've done before. This allowed me to identify less with what my mind says and give me the permission to just observe what is happening instead of taking it so seriously.
Avoid judging yourself and your feelings. Only this morning I began to worry about the sadness my daughter was expressing to return to kindergarten after a break. I began to disappoint myself to take my feelings and not to do better, but at that moment I realized I had to let myself criticize myself and simply observe it. And, as usual, helped.
Give yourself time and space to practice. This has not been taught us. Not at all. We have been taught to try to control our feelings, learn to express feelings in healthier ways, learn to give and feel feelings. The idea of observing our emotions? I did not hear it until I was thirty-seven.
Try to see your feelings separate from your real ones. I believe that in our core we are compassionate and dear beings. The stories that our minds tell us – about how we have been wronged or how things should be different – are precisely these: stories.
Let yourself be noticed what the mind says. Let yourself be aware of how these stories cause you to feel. Take the time to really describe, with intense details, what you say to yourself and what you feel physically. Are your shoulders in your ears? Is your chest tight? Are your first tightened? What does your face do? Do you feel hot? Do you feel you are in slow motion? Describe everything.
When you take the time to do this, you take the time to see that these feelings, these feelings are separate from you. You are the loved one who observes them. You are the one with the power to let them go.
I just TESTED it. Taking the time to raise my awareness and observe myself, improved my life in a short time and I think it can make one's life more peaceful.