Just as in alcoholism/drug addiction/compulsive overeating/smoking/tv watching or any other addiction, there can be an addiction to thinking, to living in the mind. I wake up to this when stress grows and my sense of connectedness with Life Itself disappears. I stop doing the routines that work for me and drift into unconsciousness. My priorities change and even though I know how important it is to connect with Life Itself through meditation or writing or nature or any of the other means I use, somehow those priorities disappear, and the stress of living life through the priorities mind thinks are most important, take over.
Until I get a wake-up call yet again.
Recently it was through a conversation with my daughter who was enthusiastically telling me about a new program she was doing. It reminded me of an inspirational first-thing-in-the-day recording I used to use to get my day going. Those were days when life worked remarkably well for me and I felt immersed in Source Energy and that I lived from that Source.
And I had just stopped listening to that recording. Other things had got in the way and I had let go of the practice. There were other practices also that I had let go, but that first-thing-in-the-day one had been the springboard for others.
I fell off the wagon. I fell off the wagon of awareness. The addiction is to running old brain tracks and living life from mind. The sobriety is awareness; awareness of who I am being in the moment, of thought patterns as they arise, of stopping and breathing into conscious awareness as I go so that Life Itself can be living through me instead of mind.
This is of course a huge challenge. Quitting any addiction is a huge challenge. There are withdrawals, cravings, a need to change environments in different ways, to change old thinking patterns that have run on automatic for so long, a need to be educated about the addiction. Learning to become conscious of thought and then consciously redirect that thought is a discipline that Wallace Wattles, who wrote The Science of Getting Rich, called the hardest discipline you will ever undertake. This is the process of becoming conscious. It is said in spiritual teachings that the way to know how conscious you are is the degree to which you are able to not think, to just be.
I had started a new part-time job which meant I had to get up very early in order to take care of my puppy along with my morning routines and get to work with the sun. I no longer had the luxury of time for the other morning practices I had been accustomed to doing. I figured, since it was only 4 days a week, that I could catch up on the 3 days I didn’t have to be at work so early. But slowly my stress levels grew, my awareness of Life Itself fell and I slid right back into old patterns.
So my discipline had to be to awaken even earlier, and to put my headphones on and allow myself to be connected and inspired before I even thought about getting up and on with other morning routines. Yes, it was so early and dark and a time when the rest of the world was still asleep. But I wasn’t the rest of the world. I was me. Of course the’ rest of the world’ is an illusion, but that’s how it can feel. And I understood the nature of this particular discipline as being ESSENTIAL to my health and well-being, and my ability to live from the depths of my being instead of the shallows of my mind.
(The recording I listen to first thing in the day is Awake and Create by Paul Santisi. You can find it on uTube).