I find myself consciously using disruption to stop myself sinking into an unconscious trance and to keep myself alert and aware. Most of the time it is attention on my breath which interrupts and disrupts the flow of thought, and allows me to access short moments of the silence between thoughts. I really thrive on those short moments, they give me back my sense of fullness and aliveness. When I am lost in thought I only feel partly alive, in a sort of subdued trance, with my senses shut down.
In some ways living was easier when I was propelled from one interpersonal drama to the next. At least I was fully occupied. I had people around me giving plenty of distraction. This period of my life now is characterised by aloneness and silence. It’s a time of learning to be still, to be with myself, to make friends with myself. Previously I had an inner civil war raging on, as the self criticism and harsh judgements of the Inner Critic made it impossible to be at peace. I would rather be with anybody than nobody.
Now it’s an almighty facing of everything taking place inside me. Nowhere to run. I am alone in silence much of each day here. I am learning skills I was never taught as a child. Learning to be kind and to nurture myself. How to comfort myself in times of heightened stress. Learning that it is okay to suffer, that I trust more now that I can look after myself during those times. Learning to appreciate and love myself. Permission to thrive rather than just get by and survive.
Consciously disruption of thought is a major help in this process of sinking into my own skin, sitting more deeply in the saddle, being in the present. I awoke last night for example, a thought stream arrived at 4am and I was carried along by it. It was suggesting doubts about whether I had taken on too much work over the next 6 weeks. It suggested I would let the clients down and it was going to be disastrous and they would be angry. If that was during the day I might automatically realise that those thoughts are just random doubt thoughts, not reality, but in the middle of the night somehow I am more vulnerable to the whispering a of doubt. I felt stressed and anxious and that led to further anxiety provoking thoughts. I was stuck lying there in the darkness of the night feeling worried. Which kept me awake of course as there was now the early stages of a fight flight chemical cocktail in my body. Then I remembered that I can interrupt this flow, gently and easily. All I had to do was bring my awareness to my breathing. Breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out. The soothing effect was immediate, the story was interrupted and broken. Back to the present. What is real right now? What is happening in this moment? Peace, quiet, warmth, safety, rest, breathing. I slipped back to sleep. It didn’t take hours. These small successes make me feel safer.