We’re going to try something a little different today – switching observation from what you see to what you sense. Firstly though, as you replay the moment, take the time to focus on each of the visual elements you see (just as we have been in previous days) – the fast moving rain, the slow moving drips, the gentle swaying of the trees in the background, the even slower movements in the distant background…
Now try switching your observation from what you see to what you sense:
Remember when we first talked about mindfulness at the very beginning of this course, we talked about the mistaken belief that the ultimate goal is to eliminate all thoughts from the mind? Instead, we are seeking to observe our thoughts and let them go without attaching any significant emotion to them. Are you finding this easier with practice? Great news, it will get easier and easier!
We have been gently practising with these scenes from nature to not only practise observation of your thoughts, but also your ability to change your thought focus and observe alternate aspects.
Naturally, your mind will continue on with its relentless reel of thoughts as you go about your day. However, hopefully as you continue on with your daily practice, you will find it easier and easier to disengage from your thoughts, step back and observe them – especially the anxious, obsessive, self-deprecating, unhelpful thoughts that seem to dominate.
Next time your observe yourself having a thought that is unhelpful or damaging to your confidence and self-esteem, try this:
Out loud or in your mind, say “I notice I am having the thought that………….”
This simple but powerful tactic detaches the emotion from the thought so it remains a simple thought – not a cause for emotional reaction, nor a fact or a judgment.
As you go about your day today, practice simply acknowledging your difficult thoughts and letting them float away like a ripple on a pond. Observe the thought with curiosity and accept it, without attaching any emotion or judgment to it.
Have a lovely, light-hearted day!