So you’re all inspired and ready to rock and roll on your new journey of staying in the present moment and recognizing what is and isn’t you. Feeling great!!!
And then … wham! You’re in it again, up to your eyeballs in an old and familiar situation that bugs the heck out of you. And try as you might, the peace of the present moment evades you. You are in a kind of half-conscious place – you are aware you are running on an unconscious brain track, but you are not able to separate yourself from it and its effect on you. Frustration builds along with other familiar emotional reactions.
Breathe! Easy to say – maybe not so easy to do. Stop! Breathe! For just a moment. Really stop – don’t just know you need to stop. One conscious breath taken out of your day, no matter how urgent it may seem, is not going to break the bank. One breath – the recognition that this is a brain track in motion and that this isn’t you is all you need to start the ball rolling in the opposite direction. This isn’t you, this isn’t who you are.
You may not know right now who you are – but the one thing you can be sure of is who you aren’t. This is the beginning of knowing who you are. Repeat the one breath and the words this isn’t me as often as you can. Eventually this will take root. Eventually the full recognition of your breath and words will sink into your awareness as a reality. All this is just an old brain track, a learned habit/reaction from long ago, and I don’t have to follow it if I don’t want to. Relief! It isn’t who I really am! I can go forward from this place and create a new world.
There are times when it feels as though things are getting worse, rather than better. My analogy for this is a bucket of mud and water, where the mud has settled to the bottom after sitting still for a long time. When you start to pour new water into the bucket, the mud gets all stirred up again and things can feel as though they have gone to hell in the proverbial hand basket. However – keep pouring that new, fresh water into the bucket and eventually the mud will be flushed out of the bucket forever.
Keep pouring! Don’t stop! Persistence pays. It really does. Recognition is imperative, not only of the brain track that is sweeping you along in its current, but also that it doesn’t disappear overnight. This recognition provides strength to your ability to keep yourself anchored in this present moment.
I have sometimes felt as though I am under a violent and never-ending attack from some of these old patterns – as though they will never go away. And in truth, it is not about making them ‘go away’. It’s about learning to be me in the middle of external circumstances, no matter what they are.