As we move through our days millions of thoughts stream through our minds like a running brook carrying us to places we like and places we dislike. The mind’s function, at least in part, is to actually think thoughts. Yet, there is another function that has become evident – to notice the spaces in between the thoughts.
Like the breath that transitions from an inhale to exhale, exhale to inhale, there exists a space, a slight pause before each inhale becomes and exhale and each exhale becomes an inhale. Confused yet? Good, that tends to get our minds out if it’s habitual way of thinking and for at least a moment, we experience this () space.
So how on Earth do we find this space in between our thoughts and why should we? Well, why not I say since it exists for some unknown reason far beyond my understanding AND since it provides relief and perspective to this wild roll coaster we have affectionately come to know as – Life.
Sample practice to get in touch with the space in between our thoughts as one can do this countless ways:
- Wherever you are, start there – pay close attention to each and every thought as one thought (conveniently?) links to another.
- Slow your thoughts down 1( )by( )1
- Feel the aliveness in your body
- Connect with your breath and the spaces that exist after each exhale and each inhale
…now that some awareness has arisen, be aware of what you go filling up all that space with…
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth” ~Buddha
Oftentimes our mind becomes completely wrapped in the tendency to pressurize. We build and build more things to do, set impossible expectations for both ourselves and others, and then become subject to the eventual emotional fallout of this tendency.
I find the word “should” to be a red flag for such moments in our minds. When this word creeps in (as words are purely energetic manifestations of the unseen), it brings with it a huge weight that demands immediate action.
And off course this action brings with it the illusion that once completed, this pressurized weight will dissipate. If we don’t step-up to this illusionary demand, then we are left with feelings of turmoil. Too often does this word create ultimatums for ourselves and for others.
So what to do for such times?
- First step, become aware of how often we say this mentally to ourselves and for others on a daily basis
- Second step, question the logic of this term in these moments
- Third step, replace “should” with “could”
- Fourth step, observe this transition and then act from this newfound space within
Are there times when this word is necessary? Off course there are, specifically during times of actual danger or ethical dilemmas when right action is required. However, it seems that this word is used more often than not in a way that is not helpful to us or anyone else for that matter. The goal here is to become aware of how we are using this word “should” so that we make conscious choices instead of falling prey to habitual negative unconscious patterns.
Perhaps this mental awareness exercise can help us to stop “shoulding” on ourselves:)!
Photo By: ava_babili