Sometimes, it feels as if a foul wind has suddenly blown the door wide open into my mind and body and imprisoned me in negative feelings and thoughts. All my well-intentioned plans for my day – or my life – disappear into a haze of ‘I can’t be bothered/I feel terrible’. My focus becomes extremely scattered and whatever I had wanted to do suddenly seems so unrealistic that I have no chance of making even a beginning step.
I have noticed this often happens when I have something going really well in my life, and am feeling very good about what I am working on or creating. It’s as if something in me says, “OK – you’ve gone far enough along this path now – if you go any further you’ll end up in unknown territory and we can’t have that.” And that ‘something’ closes down all my energy.
The Thermometer Analogy
I wrote about this in DreamQuest – How to Create Your Hearts’ Desire. I used the symbol of a thermometer in a house where there is automatic heating and cooling. So we set a temperature range within which we are comfortable and cool air is pumped out when the air gets too hot and warm air when the temperature gets too cold.
So too it is with our comfort zones. We will let ourselves experience as much that is good and wonderful as we have learned to tolerate and then the subconscious mechanism kicks in and says ‘OK – that’s it – no more – now we need to make something go wrong to bring you down under that comfort zone level”. And it does, in some form or another and we fall into the pit of darkness and depression. We wonder how we ever felt good about anything and how we will ever feel good again.
We tend to vacillate somewhere between these two points, the high and the low.
This is NOT Who I AM!
In both cases, it is important to realize that those feelings are not who you really are. Rather, they are constructed of brain tracks learned over the years and are a part of the mind or ego that you think you are. To begin to move beyond these restrictions you first need to recognize that this is not who you really are. Simply being able to say to yourself, “This isn’t me” puts a moment’s gap into the situation. You can take a deep breath and say again and again, “This isn’t me. This is something I have learned at an unconscious level”.
Surrender to WHAT IS
Then you allow that horrible mass of thinking to simply be there. It is so important to be able to accept that this mass is there, now, in this moment. Eckhart Tolle suggests in ‘A New Earth’ to say “I have this negativity in me” instead of “I feel negative”. Be curious enough to see what happens to it when you allow it to just be there. It’s WHAT IS in this moment. It won’t last – it’s a storm that will pass by- but acceptance in the here and now is a vital component of eventual healing.
Inner Body Awareness
Now is a good time to go into the Inner Body, connect, be aware of the mass of negativity you are experiencing and just allow it to be there, alongside the you that is real, the Inner Body. What does this mean? It means to be still, breathe deeply and put your attention on your hands, your fingers. You may become aware of a sensation, a light and subtle energy, maybe even tingling. Then move to your feet and put your attention on them and then gradually through the whole body. Experiencing this inner subtle energy, however you do it, is what brings you out of the mind and into the Present Moment. Give yourself time to run your attention all through your body.
Then a little later, after you feel more yourself, you might want to look at what was going on in your life that might have triggered a thermometer reaction.
In particular, watch for the highs, getting excited, feeling you’ve mastered it. You may well have done so, but if the mind has learned that this level of happiness is as high as it goes, it will try to take control. It’s as though you have to be super alert when things start working out for you – and make an extra effort to be in the Present Moment, observing your thoughts carefully. Any hint of ego, of feeling superior in any way, which excitement can easily mask, needs to be caught red-handed and acknowledged. Simply recognizing the thoughts for what they are is enough – it puts that space in there where consciousness can shine through. Conscious is about joy in the journey.