I have discovered that even though I promote taking time to stop and reflect and connect with yourself, and totally believe in the ability of words and images to inspire and uplift, I still struggle with my own fears and doubts and anxieties. The power of my minds chatter doesn’t diminish with my understanding that I need to stop and take time, that I need to be a ‘warrior’ of mindfulness…that I need to always check in and realign myself. When life is not moving as fast as I like (yes, I’m notoriously impatient) or in the direction I believe it should I always need to remember to pause and re assess… my ‘should’s’ that are cascading around in my head are not reality but a story that I buy into… and they can be destructive and limiting, but I have a choice as to whether I accept them or not, whether instead, I decide to let go of assumption and expectation. Once on this path of mindfulness it is never ending and sometimes incredibly hard… but always so worth the effort. Life has altered so much for me... not easier or magically blessed suddenly, but better and simpler somehow. Knowing myself and loving that connection is a powerful thing, trusting that is the ongoing challenge.
The continued process of self understanding is a remarkable process that helps to explain how and why your life has taken the course that it has ... it also helps in deciding how and where you want to aim for in the future, or who you want to be. Taking time to understand yourself isn’t selfish it is imperative to living a complete life… being truly honest with what you are creating and how it works for you is the challenge. It’s easy to look to the external and give away responsibility for how your life is turning out… ‘He doesn’t make an effort’, ‘But, I never get the chance’ etc… Sometimes I truly think the most demanding thing is stepping up and taking 100% responsibility for where you are at and who you are.
I have realised that desperately trying not to have negative thoughts or feelings just makes them seem larger and less containable; like a trying to push a life raft back into its box after you’ve pulled the inflate cord. What has been helpful to me is acknowledging them and setting aside time to really deal with them, sit with them, feel them and understand their source and if they have any relevance in my current life. And if I’m needing to concentrate on something else I tell myself I have allotted time for that fear / anxiety / worry and will deal with it at that time.
So I continue to learn and accept and strive and go with the flow…all seemingly contradictory and yet all relevant. With larger issues or worries I ask trusted friends for their thoughts (understanding that they have of course their own way of looking at the world and their own assumptions etc.), this enables me to talk out loud about my concerns or thoughts and in doing so I get to ‘hear’ them too. I write things down, I get them out, and I assess them and their value or lack there of. And then I decide how much importance to place on them and how to deal with them as they return to my mind… as they inevitably do! I have found that finally stopping and letting them catch me isn’t as terrifying as it feels or sounds and all of these worries and fears don’t make me lesser…they just make me just a person living a life.