Our busy mind is a trap that disconnects us from reality. We get “caught” up in our heads. I often hear this phenomenon called a “monkey mind,” meaning we are literally swinging from one thought to the next like a monkey swinging from branch to branch. So how do we stop this indulgence of mindlessness and calm our incessant thoughts? Of course, we can never stop thinking, but we do have the brain power to slow down the pace by connecting to our breath, observing our thoughts, and staying rooted in the present moment.
To be present means to notice what is actually happening in the moment instead of clinging to the story we create around it. A great way to do this when feeling overwhelmed is to imagine that you’re watching your thoughts arise, float, and disappear as if they were the shiny flakes in a Christmas snow globe, falling, swirling, and eventually settling to the bottom. With this mindfulness practice, we rest our awareness in the rise and fall of our thoughts as a way to see more clearly and be more aware of what’s happening within us and around us in the world. We can notice if our mind is clinging in any way to anything. We can look for sensations in the body, a feeling of impatience, or a desire to be doing something different as a way of identifying where we are clinging.
When I find myself not paying attention to what I'm thinking and how I'm responding, it feels like I am in a different world, disconnected from my core and heading into anxiety. Being mindful is being watchful of our mindset, emotions, and behaviors and noticing how it makes us feel inside. Resting our minds in natural awareness is the opposite of how most of us live. We often are caught up in drama and reaction or just checked out on auto-pilot.
If we can see our thoughts and acknowledge them, we may be able to let them go to relax more into the calm consciousness of “being” instead of the unconscious hamster wheel of “do,do,do!”
By Julie Bertagna; All Rights Reserved @2019