One of the biggest challenges of the awakening process is recognizing our constant mind-chatter running on repeat. Once we realize we are not our thoughts, but rather the observer of our thoughts, then the real work begins.
Truthfully, most of what the mind spouts will be unpleasant. It's how it operates. It is trying to make sense of an often nonsensical world. It uses criticism of self and others to preserve itself not realizing this negativity is counterintuitive to inspired, helpful change. Instead it is a major hurdle to peace.
Developing stillness practices are the best initial step to bringing your thoughts into conscious awareness. Healing tools like mindfulness practices, meditation, and journaling will help with this process.
Once you've grown your awareness, then what?
Let your mind have its say because resistance is futile! In fact, arguing with the thoughts that habitually and naturally arise will only cause them to get louder and bigger. Once the thought has expressed, acknowledge it and with calm in your heart, gently challenge it with a kinder perspective.
Creativity is key. Looking for the gifts and wisdom within life's obstacles helps.
Another key to success is being truthful. If we try to skip to a better feeling thought and our heart isn't capable of believing it in this moment, it won't serve us very well. For example, if I'm not happy with what I see in the mirror on a particular day, I can't deny that and say, 'I am beautiful'. Instead, I can consider alternative definitions of beauty. I could say, 'My soul shines bright with possibility' or 'The truest form of beauty is timeless and eternal, I am both'.
Learning to hear our thoughts is a life-long journey. The reward is peace becomes possible when we notice the 'not-so-nice' thoughts and choose to question them until they feel softer to our souls.
Give yourself credit for how much you've grown your awareness so far. This is not easy! It takes a grounded, amazing individual to do this inner work.
Inward & Onward,
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Thank you for reading!