Have you ever had the sense that you got kidnapped by your fearful thinking and feeling? I certainly have and still have to catch myself quite often!
Getting kidnapped by your fearful thinking and feeling is like getting on a high-speed train without knowing you are on the train, towards a destination you have no intention going to. This happens the moment you start believing your fearful thinking and feeling (and if you are human, this is mostly an automatic unconscious process). The ride itself is very unpleasant and as you are not aware that you are on a train you start believing that this is just how life is. This train ride becomes your life… Your mind continues to fool you by saying: Come join the joyride!
Well, you tell me how joyful this ride is?
Another word to describe this train ride: Suffering.
Ironically real life is not on this train, but in the world outside of the train. True aliveness and authentic living are also not on this train. This train ride with fearful thinking and feeling disconnects you from all of life including your own.
Mindfulness is to pay attention to everything playing out in this moment without any judgment. It is counter-intuitive, very simple and accessible to every human being. It is surprisingly effective, not as a magic wand, but as a way to connect to sanity and aliveness of being irrespective of the challenges you are facing.
With mindfulness, you become the observer. You are the one who experiences your own fearful thinking and feeling. It is important to remember that you are not the fearful thinking and feeling that happen inside you. This is a crucial distinction for the sake of your own sanity and aliveness of being.
Any fearful thinking and feeling that you encounter does not define who you are and doesn’t reflect any of your worthiness as a human being. Disconnecting from believing your fearful thinking and feeling, is to reconnect with your true essence and aliveness. As much as I dislike recipes (as life doesn’t happen accordingly), here my attempt to break down the process of handling your fearful thinking and feeling in a mindful manner. It can also be seen as a way to do mindfulness meditation in any moment you catch yourself being on the train.
Step 1: Awareness ~ Name the train
Become aware that you are on the train. Acknowledge in a non-judgmental and kind manner to yourself that you are being carried away by your fearful thinking and feeling. The moment you name the train is the moment you disconnect from being on the train. A way of looking at this is that the train is heading nowhere and that the journey itself is hell. Luckily irrespective of circumstances, there is always a station called Sanity and Aliveness of Being that appears the very moment you choose to step off the train. The moment you name the train you step back into your power as the observer.
Example: You didn’t get a promotion and feel terrible. Listen to you body and become aware that you are feeling huge disappointment and that many self-critical thoughts are running through your mind. Consciously name it: “Train of disappointment and self-critical thoughts I see you.” You can even say it out loud (if there is no-one in hearing distance from you of course 😉 )!
Step 2: Allow while breathing deeply
Your only aim here is to witness everything as it plays out while breathing deeply. Keep your spine upright and relax your belly allowing it to expand fully with every inhale. Relax into your being as you are fully allowing the train to rush past you. You are not trying to change the train or fight it in any way. Fighting it will only give it more fuel. You can also imagine that your feet are firmly grounded on the platform of Sanity and Aliveness of Being. Know that you are safe irrespective of the fearful thinking and feeling that rushes past you. Give the train full permission to be, while you are giving yourself full permission not to be on it.
I very specifically don’t mean to ignore/suppress your fearful thinking and feeling. The more you suppress what you think and feel, the more you become numb to all of life including your own.
Example: You are fully allowing feeling terrible and all the self-critical thoughts playing out. You give it full okayness and permission to be. Keep breathing deeply in a relaxed manner allowing a soft expanded belly. You didn’t get the promotion and that is the only fact playing out. All the rest is your thinking and feeling getting onto the train. Remember your worth as a human being is never at play in any scenario in life.
Step 3: Repeat step 1 & 2 as often as needed
Repeat the process as often as necessary throughout your life. Whenever you find yourself having fearful thinking and feeling you know your mind tricked you into getting back onto the train.
The lesson is always: Be kind to yourself and get off once again…
Example: Every time you catch yourself just repeat the process. The world is mostly run by fearful thinking so no need to be hard on yourself when you catch yourself being back on the train.
I wish I could tell you just to follow the above and your life
will be all roses and no thorns. Life with its unique cycles for every individual, unfortunately, doesn’t work like that. Symbolically speaking, roses and thorns can not be separated. If you judge the thorns you will never have roses. They go together. When you shift your expectations to encounter and experience both in your life, it makes all of life a lot easier to process. Above steps are especially important at times when it seems that your life is only consisting of thorns, as it will support you not to fall victim to your own inner critic.
Wishing you lots of kindness towards all that is playing out in your life!
How does the train play out in your life? What works for you when you get carried away by fearful thinking and feeling?
You are welcome to post your comments below or to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.