The Power of Self Observation

Have you ever taken the time to ask yourself ,”Why do I think the way that I do about this certain person or situation?” Are you a critical thinker or do you live each day of your life on “automatic pilot?”. Be honest with yourself. If you are not use to that type of questioning, you might have to think about it for a moment. It’s okay. You are a creator. It is your nature. Your thoughts, both conscious and subconscious, create your reality.

The more aware you are of your thoughts, the more aware you are of their origin. Once you have identified where each of your reoccurring thoughts stem from, the clearer your choices become. You become empowered therefore you will begin to choose which thoughts serve you and which ones to let go . You begin to realize that you are not your thoughts. They don’t define you unless you allow them to do so. Once you no longer identify yourself with your thoughts, you begin to notice that you are both the observed and the observer.

Yes, you will still feel pain, but you begin to realize that the experience, although vivid, is indeed temporary. Knowing is the key. You have the power to experience an emotion without identifying yourself with it. You become the narrator of your own life story. Why do you respond the way that you do to certain individuals and situations? When did the this response begin? Reflect back to past occurrences where you responded in a similar way. What were the circumstances ? Where there consequences? Did your response ultimately serve you? Was the result hurtful or helpful to others?

It is my conviction that we are each connected to everything and everyone around us. How you treat “others” is a reflection of what you think about yourself. There is no escape. No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to run away from yourself. The solution has and always will be within you. You and you alone have the power to change your circumstances starting with your “true” thoughts. You don’t have to be a psychologist. You need to practice paying attention.

Do not judge yourself. Observe how you are feeling at any given moment. Emotions are part of being human. We judge ourselves based on a false interpretation of who we are , how we fit in the world and how we perceive others see us. You are both narrator and actor. The key to empowerment is knowing that it is all an illusion. Nothing is permanent. Play your part in your life story while making conscious changes to your life “script” as you go. Become a student of life. Experience the entire gamut of emotions while not being consumed by them. It is a “play”, remember? The truth is that you are infinite being “playing” human.  There is no need for judgement. If  a situation or reaction doesn’t serve you, change your perspective towards the situation. Make the most of it . Stay present while maintaining the vision of your ideal experience. Connect with the emotion resulting from it. You have the power of choice. Choose to focus on the lesson to be learned while establishing your “perfect” outcome. Use your emotions as your guide. This is self mastery. To become a master, you must know yourself. Identify what is genuine and what isn’t. Choose thoughts and actions that serve you. Although at times, you might feel victimized, you are never a victim. You are eternal. Absolutely nothing and no one outside of you will ever change that. Whether the appearance seems like a curse or a blessing, learn from it. Ultimately, each situation ,despite appearances, will prove to be a blessing. This is what “heaven on earth” looks like.

Escaping the “Noise”

From birth, our minds are constantly being bombarded with information. As human beings, we have been subject to more conditioning than we might realize. Who are you? Which group(s) do you identify yourself with? What do you think about on a daily basis?

I read an article that stated that the average human has between 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day. This range breaks down to 2500 to 3300 thoughts per day. These thoughts can range from serious issues to mundane nonsense.

Thoughts become things. We are creators by nature. The thoughts that we give the most attention to , whether consciously or unconsciously, are the “building blocks” used to create the situations that manifest in our physical reality. Notice that I mentioned consciously AND unconsciously. Most of us are not aware of our thoughts while many of us suppress the emotions tied to them. This habit can prove to be counterproductive to our well being. There is too much “chatter”. This “noise” can foster stress within us. We get up with the daily routine of life while missing the beauty of the simple things that we take for granted every day. We become more like human “doings” rather than human beings. Life becomes a daily grind. What is the need of the hour?… Silence. The key to true inspiration and empowerment is found in mastering our thoughts.

The Power of Silence

Whether you call it meditation or , simply, being quiet  has significant benefits that become more evident through consistent practice. Practicing silence helps you to pay more attention to what goes in and comes out of your mind. You learn to monitor your thoughts. As you become more conscious of your thoughts, you develop the ability to choose which thoughts serve you as opposed to the thoughts that sabotage you. Remember that all forms of success originate in the mind. It is also important to remember that our physical health is directly connected to to our state of mind. There are no exceptions. Toxic thoughts lead to toxic emotions which lead to the manifestation of dis-ease in the body. Toxic thoughts foster fear, hatred, anxiety, jealousy, anger, greed, selfishness and the like. You can appear to be the nicest person in the world yet humor thoughts of fear, anxiety , insecurity and guilt. Thinking these types of thoughts consistently can have damaging effects on your physical well being.

The Benefits of Silence

  1. Sitting silently can relieve stress. Whether being exposed to actual noise or experiencing stressful events, the body response by releasing stress hormones. According to an earlier research study, practicing silence can release tension in both the body and brain as quickly as two minutes. It has been shown to lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation in the brain.
  2. Spending several minutes a night before bedtime can also improve sleep. Mindfulness meditation has proven to be an effective practice for this purpose. This form of meditation involves focusing on your breathing as well as bringing your mind’s attention to the present moment rather than dwelling on the nonexistent past or future. Remaining present breaks the chain of unproductive “chatter” while producing a state of relaxation .
  3. Practicing silence can also increase brain growth by creating new cells in the hippocampus region of the brain. According to a study published in the journal titled ” Brain Structure and Function”, this part of the brain is directly linked to a person’s ability to learn, memory and emotions.

How to Practice an Hour of Silence Every Day

  1. Focus on scheduling your hour of silence at a specific time every day.
  2. Avoid all distractions. Turn off all electrical devices( TV, computer, radio, etc).
  3. If possible, designate a specific location for your silent hour. Focus on sitting quietly and resting.
  4. Engage in activities that don’t require engaging with others, using words or seeing others. Recommended activities include gentle housekeeping( dish washing,laundry, etc,)  or gardening.
  5. Connect with nature. Consider taking long walks . It is a good way to clear your mind as well as good exercise.
  6. Stay in the present moment. The goal is to “release” your mind from thinking. Thoughts may enter your mind. Acknowledge them and allow them to “float away”. Do not make a judgement. you are not your thoughts.
  7. Focus on your breathing while staying mindful of the silence.
  8. At the end of your time, focus on gratitude. Give thanks. Consider verbalizing these two words: “Thank You”.

You might not be able to practice silence for an entire hour. That’s okay. The key is to start where you are at and stay consistent. Relax. Start, but don’t try to muscle it. It shouldn’t be burdensome. Be gentle with yourself. Focus more on reaping the benefits of this mindful practice. I wish you well. Until next time…