The Witness Challenge

I’m rereading the Michael Singer book The Untethered Soul.  In it, Singer talks about the idea of witnessing our thoughts.  Our monkey minds like to take us on all sorts of adventures and unfortunately they are not always good.  The smallest thing can happen and our thoughts will start racing creating a disaster.  I still remember something that happened years ago when we lived in Columbus, Ohio that is a perfect example of this.  I was driving home from a party that was on a side of town I was unfamiliar with.  I was on the interstate and very confused.  At the last second I realized I was about to miss my exit but luckily someone let me over.  In my frazzled state I didn’t lift my hand in a gesture of thanks to the driver behind me.  I’m pretty sure that’s what set him off because when I looked in my rearview mirror I could see that he was yelling, shaking his head, and making hand gestures.  It should have ended as he sped passed me on the highway, but it didn’t.  I carried that event with me all day long.  The inner dialogue lasted hours.  How could I have made him so mad?  Why did I forget to thank him?  What could I have done differently?I don’t do this as much as I used to but I have been known to doubt and question myself when a blogger doesn’t publish my comment or I don’t get a response to an email.

Our thoughts can really run away with us.  One night, when I was staying at Kristin’s, I was overcome by a bad feeling at bedtime. I really started to worry that something was wrong with Mark or the girls.  I sensed the feeling was right and my mind started imagining all the possibilities.  Within minutes I was ready to call the airline and book an emergency flight home.  Then I stopped and reminded myself it would be OK.  I didn’t let the thoughts snowball anymore I just watched them and released them.  I was able to fall asleep.  When I woke up the next morning, Mark called to tell me Bella had a fever that had started the night before around the time I was lying in bed worried.  The feeling I had was right but all those thoughts my monkey mind had assigned to it were wrong.

In his book, Singer suggest that you learn to sit in the witness seat of your consciousness.  If you can do this you will experience more peace in your life because you become aware of the emotional turmoil your mind creates.  If you are witnessing and observing your thoughts you are not being pulled along for the ride.  I will continue to challenge myself to witness my thoughts.  If I notice myself reacting and letting dramatic thoughts carry me off, I will put on the brakes and take a seat in the box….

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Creative Visualization

I just reread the book “Creative Visualization” by Shakti Gawain.  It is a short book, takes only a few hours to read, but is very informative.  Creative Visualization is putting the Law of Attraction to work for you.  If you don’t know about the LOA it is the idea that our thoughts are things, like attracts like, you reep what you sow, and your consciousness creates your reality.  We use it everyday.  Every time we imagine where we are going to go, what we are going to do, or say, or be we are using Creative Visualization.

I used to use it unconsciously.  When I was a kid I played softball for two years and took gymnastics for a lot longer than that.  In softball, whenever it was my turn to bat, my lack of self-confidence would take over and I’d imagine myself striking out…and guess what?  I always struck out.  In gymnastics, all I wanted was to be able to do a back handspring but I always saw myself landing on my head. So almost  every time I tried I’d land on my head.  There was a few times though that I managed to squelch the vision and do a perfect round-off back handspring.  I knew even then that physically I was capable, but mentally I was sabotaging myself.  The examples could go on and on, but I’ll stop with these two obvious ones.

So once you grasp the concept of Creative Visualization you can use it to build a positive life experience.  The key to it, though, is belief.  I will admit that I have tried to apply this principle in certain areas of my life and haven’t seen results.  Like after writing my first novel, I would imagine the phone call I’d get from an agent saying they were just dying to represent me, I’d visualize myself cashing my first advance check, and sitting at some table in Border’s for my book signing.  But the reality was there was too much disbelief between me and this vision.  You have to clear yourself of all the blocks.  You have to believe it and want it without fear.  My vision will not come to fruition as long as I believe that it is “too hard” or hold onto fears of what others might think of me and how the changes of a career like that will affect my life.  Gawain suggests that in this situation you continue to hold onto the vision, write it out along with the negative feelings that bubble up.  If you face and acknowledge the feelings you have at a deeper level, you can eventually let them go and rest in the positive vision until it becomes reality.

Also, a great thought to add at the end of your Creative Visualization is “This or something better is coming to me now.”  Ultimately it is about surrendering…letting go and letting God.  This is a most difficult place to reach.  In reading books by Joel S. Goldsmith, I am reminded of this key step often and I am also reminded of how hard it is to get out of the human picture.  Until you can surrender in the truest sense of the word, it can only help to hold these positive visions!  (For more thoughts on surrendering check out this post over at Owning Pink.)

Weight

My weight has been something I have obsessed about almost my whole life.  I remember being like 10-years-old and noticing (as I sat next to another girl) the way my thighs spread out in the chair much further than hers did.  I’m pretty sure I went home that day and asked my mother why.  From that point on I was always comparing myself to other girls and noticing if I was bigger.  I’ve never really been fat…although fat is defined differently by every person…but I’ve been a lot of different sizes and none of them have ever been quite small enough for me.

Once I had a daughter, I made the decision to stop openly obsessing about my weight.  I never, ever, ever want my daughters to hear me refer to my physical appearance in a derogatory way.  I don’t want to be a model of “not enough.”  I’m sure at some point they will learn about all of that stuff (the importance of looks in our society), but they will not learn it from me.

My most recent thoughts about my weight led me to a book called “The Only Diet There Is” by Sondra Ray.  Basically, she says that our weight issues all stem from our consciousness and that changing your thoughts and ideas can change your physical appearance.  I would say that I definitely could see my thoughts and habits in what I read.  There have been times where I have dieted and felt deprived and found myself not losing an ounce because my thoughts were that I couldn’t lose the weight or that just looking at food caused me to gain weight.   There has also been times where I have watched the inches drop off of me like crazy, while still eating giant size bagels and fast food, all because I believed that the “diet” was working.  I have reached the size I am right now by just focusing on health.  When I think of a healthy size, 8 is the one that has always popped into my head.  I will admit that now that I’m at that healthy size, I still think I’d prefer to have smaller thighs and a flatter stomach.  I don’t obsess about it anymore and I don’t diet.  I have made lifestyle changes over time (including meditating and becoming a vegetarian) and these days when I find myself concerned with my weight it is more of a distraction than a problem.