Circumstances continue to temp catastrophising thoughts and I getting pretty jammy at dealing with them now. I notice them as they creep or sneak or blast their way into my consciousness, some are more subtle than others… and what I do is notice them.
It’s just a thought.
Hello thought, I hear you.
Bye for now thank you for your input.
End of story.
In fact no story gets a chance to develop. If And when I remember to do this.
Scary thought comes knocking at the door, I open the door and greet, then politely show the thought the back door, and not inviting them to sit at the table to tea.
This way the thought withers through simply lack of my attention. There’s no aversion, no pushing away, or attempt to squish it, or attempt to replaced it. Just notice and say thanks and let go. Over and over and over. Sometimes I ground myself in the present, in my body by noticing my breath or my feet on the ground.
So space arises, that would otherwise become filled with anxiety filled tales of possible disaster. And in that space, new things appear. The heart can be heard, what it would like. It’s voice is more subtle than the voice of the shouting brain as it’s a receptive sense, sensitive.
So what happens is that new doors open, new opportunities. I still don’t know how I’m going to pay these upcoming bills, but because I’m not angst filled and preoccupied with worrying about it, I can hear ways forward as they arise.
A competitor approached me with an offer, that would allow me to drop the bit of the business I dislike and makes me feel burdened, and spend more time doing what I love, designing. So a transition to doing less construction project management to more time in creative flow. I’m considering it.
I have seen how this happens in my life. If I avoid overwhelm of anxiety (which is still almost always present btw) if I don’t collapse into it, then I am able to maintain awareness of the space in which anxiety arises and subsides, in which thoughts arise and subside, joy, anger, sadness, worry arise and subside. I can deprive them of attention and then they become less sticky.
With an approach like this, it almost doesn’t matter what is going on in my life. Adverse circumstances are seen as an opportunity to up my game, be more vigilant about the thoughts I let in, and give an extra motive to be kind and reassuring to myself.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be practised on a cushion for an hour a day, it can become a way of life. Sitting having a pee on the loo I’m aware of my thoughts coming and going, walking to the shop, driving on the motorway…anything we are doing is an opportunity to be present to what is happening right now this very second.
We make a decision. Do we love ourselves enough to feel we deserve peace inside? Do we want stressful stories escalating into anxiety and fear or do we want peace for ourselves? What we do with our thoughts determines this, and with practise a momentum builds, and the scary thoughts come less and less. We starve them of attention and they get bored and go away.
So I’m even thanking my adverse circumstances at the moment, for the opportunity and the courage of desperation they have brought.