Our minds can become misery manufacturing machines, and we can easily become preoccupied and spend a lot of time living in our heads and feeling down, depressed or anxious if we attach ourselves to the misery.
But why do we manufacture misery for ourselves?
We can think whatever we want, so if that is the case what stops us thinking pleasant thoughts?
Interesting question which I wanted to explore more this week. . .
I realised that my thoughts are information that I have gathered or recycled over time. It is often that our attention gets hijacked, seduced, caught up in our thoughts, which can attribute to feeling misery.
Various thought streams, and reactions of mind can fixate us on one particular thing, and we lose contact with the aliveness of the present moment.
I believe there are three classical ways of how our attention gets hijacked, or caught up. . .
Let's call them DEMAND, DEFENCE, DISTRACTED
We are so very good at making DEMANDS on ourselves! Such as
What I really like. . What I wish was happening. . What I wish I had, or What I wish I was doing with my life. .
Making a demand on the experience is similar to an energetic leaning forward or fixating on something. When this happens I often notice how it creates patterns of tension in my body.
When our thoughts become DEFENSIVE it is to recoil or resist from. A sense of contracting, such as
I don’t like that. . I don’t want that. .
For me this also causes patterns of tension in my body. The tension of resisting.
And then there is being DISTRACTED. such as
Spacing out, or getting lost in some vague fantasy, and roaming around in our minds looking for something more stimulating or interesting.
In my own personal authentic movement practice this week I have been exploring how to be in the experience and to face these 3 movements of my mind - DEMAND, DEFENCE, DISTRACTED
It's been an interesting process of learning how to unhook from the demands I make on myself, to free myself from getting defensive and tight when things are unpleasant, and learning how to stay in the moment when maybe the tendency is to space out into distraction.
I found it really helpful to name my thoughts in theses three different ways/ patterns (demand, defence, distracted). It helped me to recognise, to catch myself, and be aware of what was happening with my mind more quickly.
So my invitation for you this week is to play with the ways your mind leads you into DEMANDS, DEFENCE, and DISTRACTION and to recognise the patterns of fixating on something, and how that feels in your body.
1) Getting caught in demand 2) Noticing when you have become contracted, reactive, and becoming defensive, and 3) Noticing when you find yourself spacing out
So how can we untangle ourselves from these thoughts of the mind?
What helped me was to coming back and pay attention to my breath, to my body, and awareness.
This way I could then make choices to 1) Release the demands 2) Drop the defensiveness, and 3) Surrender to the distraction
And as a result I found myself in the only place where life is asses-sable, which is the present moment. RIGHT HERE. RIGHT NOW
How much time and energy do you spend placing demands on your life, getting defensive around your life, and loosing contact with what is happening (distracted) from the present moment?
A simple daily practice of journal-ling, meditating, and/ or a conscious movement practice, are just some ways, some remedies, to help you notice when your mind habitually goes in one of these three directions, DEMAND, DEFENCE, DISTRACTED.
Notice and observe without judgement the movements of your mind and when you catch it recognise what movement it is (name it) and then make a choose to release, drop or surrender to, so you may return to the present moment, right now!