When a thought that is unhelpful (based in separation consciousness, self-doubt, lack, limitation, unworthiness, blame, guilt etc.) arises, notice it from a place of curiosity. Just be aware of it. Refrain from judging it or labeling it (good or bad, right or wrong etc.) and simply be present with it. Allow the thought to be there without trying to eliminate it nor any feeling that may arise. So with any thought that surfaces that is not helpful (like “I’m not good enough”, “I can’t have what I want”, “they are bad people”, “there’s never enough”…) you just observe it and might even think something like, “Oh, look at that. That’s interesting that that is coming up.” Such a thought can be an old program/pattern of thinking running in the mind. By pausing and stepping back with awareness and non-judgement, you may gain insight or have the realization of the root of where the pattern of thinking is coming from. It often can be something from long ago, that is arising again to be looked at with love and compassion and be healed.
So awareness and non-judgement of an unhelpful thought can shift the energy around it to self-empowerment. We take back our power by choosing not to buy into nor identify with such a thought or stories. The practice is to be a loving and kind witness of what shows up in the mind. And to be gentle with ourselves with any thoughts that arise.
Amongst all the thinking is the ever-present quiet stillness of calm, which becomes more evident when we accept the present moment as it is and no longer resist any thoughts, feelings or sensations. If any feelings or sensations arise that you find distressing, allow yourself to feel them with self-compassion and love. It is our judgement of our feelings and sensations that can keep us bound to them. Resisting, burying, or repressing any that are distressing, does not get rid of them because they are trying to get our attention as they need our gentle and loving care. When we give them our attention and feel our feelings with non-judgement and love, healing occurs. Living from a place of presence, self-kindness, and acceptance of all of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations helps the body stay relaxed.
When we observe our thoughts and give ourselves the loving support we need moment to moment, the peaceful spaciousness around the thoughts and behind the mind chatter becomes more evident. It reminds us that all is well. That we are always taken care of. That we can relax and let go of any stress. This stillness/spaciousness/peace is the Truth of what we are. It is our true Self. It’s our true nature. With full acceptance and non-judgement of what occurs in the present moment, a natural process of transformation happens on its own. Any pull into the thoughts/stories subsides. A deep sense of liberation can emerge. Distress dissolves into peace and the past and future are released (any worries, doubts, guilt, blame etc.). The whole body relaxes too. It releases out of fight/flight/freeze stress mode and back to order, coherence, balance, and stability.
I have found that when we develop the practice of staying as the awareness of the thoughts, rather than identifying as them, and viewing them with unconditional love and compassion, and accept their presence, we cultivate a deep level of self-kindness. I have experienced that an inner gentleness for the self blooms which feels so liberating and blissful. It feels amazing to just be me and stay committed to living as the Truth of what we are. There is greater flow, ease and harmony. When we unconditionally love and appreciate ourselves and honor our true inherent magnificence, the old unhelpful thought and behavioral patterns fall away on their own. The feelings of love, peace, well-being, and alignment to our wholeness feels so good that we no longer choose to buy into any unhelpful patterns/stories, nor criticize ourselves anymore. We make the commitment to ourselves, to choose self-kindness and love. To be the love that is our Truth. The love that we always and forever are. And we can then also see through any illusions/drama in the outer world to the peace, stillness, spaciousness, magnificence, and love that is in all.
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