Healthy mind management involves the art of wisely choosing where to hold your mind’s focus – because all else in your life emerges from that primary choice and focus. All too often our deductive minds run out of control, becoming occupied with pre-conceived fear- based expectations and beliefs – leaving no room for in-the-moment experiences motivated by the heart and soul. The following are thoughts written by John Selby in Quiet Your Mind.
John Selby says, there is much to be gained by focusing away from left-brain deductive activity toward what is more a present moment realm of consciousness. For some it is not so simple. Each human possesses a very talkative inner voice that almost always dominates every conscious moment. This interruptive function of the mind is chronically busy analyzing everything we encounter, making ongoing comments and judgments; in fact, this inner voice occupies the majority of our mental activity every day. Unfortunately, all too often our inner voice is caught up in fear based worries or judgments that generate negative feelings rather than loving thoughts from the heart. When our inner voice is caught up judging, evaluating, and ruminating about everything we encounter, it becomes very difficult for us to enjoy any present moment, heart to heart encounter where we tune into our deeper feelings.
At any given moment, ask yourself: Is my inner voice operating out of fear or love? Your answer is a key indicator if your voice can be trusted. When you inner voice is anxious it tends to think worried thoughts; these fearful thoughts generate fearful emotions, choices, and actions. But when your inner voice is dominated by love and trust, your thoughts will be joyful, creative, and pleasurable.
The beautiful psychological fact is this: When you quiet the habitual, many times negative, chatter in your mind and tune your attention into heart-felt sensory experiences, you free your mind and open up new thought flows. Let us begin to learn how to quiet our mind. First, focus your attention on the two always present sources of bodily sensations; first get comfortable and focus on the thoughts popping in and out of your mind. Now begin to shift your minds focus from your life thoughts to what is happening right now. Begin to focus your mind on the air flowing in and out through your nose and mouth; gently feel the air flowing in and out, your chest and belly expanding and contracting. Now expand your awareness to include your heart beating; continue with this exercise until your thoughts are quiet….your attention fully in the present moment.
Your mind’s natural tendency is to be constantly judging, separating you from your heart and the world around you. Second, once you have calmed the mind with the first step, move your attention to your emotional feelings and allow yourself to verbalize your unspoken beliefs and assumptions. Calmly ask yourself by speaking out loud, “Is my anxiety and negative thoughts about……………..really true? Am I projecting judgment out of fear based thoughts? What is it that is creating my anger and fear? What would my thoughts be if they were based on love? Instead of getting involved with run- away thoughts, employ new methods to rationally evaluate your beliefs.
When our minds are busy judging ourselves and the constant bombardment of life situations, we are lost to the present moment; we have separated our mind from our heart. While we are busy in our minds constantly comparing and contrasting, and creating imaginary projections into the future about what may transpire, we have separated ourselves from engaging in what is unfolding in our life at the moment.
When we are judging, we are definitely not accepting things as they are. But as soon as we say, “I accept this just as it is,” or even more important, “I accept myself just the way I am,” we open our hearts and embrace the present moment experience. As soon as we accept our present reality without judgment, and let our love flow unconditionally into the situation, we surrender all of the attitudes that keep us detached; we become active participants in the moment, rather than judgmental observers. By entering into intimate participation in the unfolding present moment, our loving thoughts begin to influence the present; when we respond with love rather than judgment, a positive change will be influenced by our very presence.
You cannot love and judge at the same time; in any given situation, you have the choice between stepping back and judging, or stepping forth and participating from your heart. So step three is to observe yourself. Look clearly at your own mental habits of judging and perceive the damage that is being caused by ingrained attitudes and beliefs about yourself and how you view the world. The key is learning how to enter into a state of consciousness where you can observe your thoughts without being consumed in or identified with them. The self-correction process is activated only when we have shifted free of our usual mode of thinking into the more expansive present-moment awareness.
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