When one reacts to what is going on externally or to what is going on internally, they are not experiencing self control and at times, this is to be expected; human beings are not robots after all. However, when one experiences no self control whosoever, they are going to find it difficult to feel centred and at peace with themselves.
This is why being mindful of what is taking place within oneself is so important. Through this, one will be able to experience more self control; no matter what is taking place externally or internally. Being at peace within and feeling centred can then be something that becomes part of their life
Without having this ability, one is going to be thrown around by their inner processes. So one is then not in control of their mind, their mind is in control of them. One reason this is something that a lot of people can relate to is because they have never been taught how to monitor their mind.
Instead of people being taught how to observe their mind, they are often trained to identify with it. This means that one moves from a place of acceptance, to a place of resistance. And as the saying goes ‘what we resist persists’.
So through fighting and trying to change what the mind does, one then ends up engaging in something that they will always lose. And this can cause one to feel: frustrated, angry and powerless.
So through being mindful, one gradually comes to accept what is taking place. This means that one is not getting caught up in what is occurring within them and neither are they avoiding it.
And like anything in life, this is not something that will happen overnight. But as one continues to observe what is taking place within them, their ability to observe will gradually grow. Patience and persistence will be the key and this is something that one can continue to develop for the rest of their life.
One thing that can cause one to identify with their mind is when they label what is taking place. Here, one will say something is good or bad, or that they shouldnt be thinking what they are thinking.
These judgements are often the result of what they have picked up from others in regards to what is or what is not appropriate. This could relate to what is acceptable in their society, and it can go back to their childhood years.
As one gradually begins to drop their tendency to label what is going on within them, as being either good or bad, one can allow themselves to settle down.
Mind And Body
When it comes to the mind, one can be the observer of what is occurring. One can also be the observer of what is going on in their body, and this will include their feelings and sensations.
But while the mind can create the impression that one is simply an observer and that’s the end of it, the body shows there is more to it. The body is ones connection to life and through this connection; one will know what their needs and wants are, amongst other things.
And at times, observing ones feelings will be the right thing for them to do, but if this is the only thing they do, it can cause them to become emotionally disconnected.
So one then becomes more centred through not engaging with their emotions, but at the same time, they can also become emotionally cut off in the process. The part of themselves that allows them to feel connected and alive ends up being denied.
Their needs and wants can then end up being a complete mystery. And what started off as a way for one to be more in touch with what is taking place with them soon becomes another way for them to lose touch with what is taking place within them.
One reason why someone would be drawn to mindfulness in the first place is because they have a lot of negative thoughts or mind chatter that they want to get rid of. Observing the mind and therefore not getting caught up with the minds stories is one approach.
However, what is going on in one’s mind if often a consequence of what is going on in their body. For example: if one has an emotional build up in their body, there is a greater chance of one having obsessive thoughts.
Out Of Touch
The thoughts could be seen as the problem, but the mind is simply creating them as a way to regulate how one feels. If one didn’t feel as they did, there would be no need for their mind to produce the same thoughts over and over again.
If one is out of touch with their feelings, they are not going to be aware of what is fuelling their thoughts. And one is then going to be looking in the wrong places and wondering why nothing is changing.
In order for one to settle their mind down, there is the chance that they will need to let go of the emotional build up within them. And while thoughts can be observed and then soon disappear through one not getting attached to them, emotions have to be dealt with differently.
Emotions have to be faced and therefore felt, in order for them to be released. Observing them might mean that one becomes very familiar with the build up within them, but it won’t allow them to let go of the build up.
It can be easy to say something is either good or bad, but this would be missing the point entirely. Mindfulness is neutral; what defines whether it is helps or hinders one’s life is how it is used.
So if one has become emotionally disconnected, it might be necessary for them to try something else. And this may mean that one needs the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.