All human beings have a story in their mind, a narrative built from their perception of their life experiences. Every one of us lives with varying degrees of mind activity that leads to varying degrees of the unrealized self. For many of us this is acknowledged with the feeling that something is missing, something is always missing, a sense of lack or dissatisfaction. The thought that something, somebody or somewhere is not what was expected, leading to the formation of emotions, mostly negative, that we call our life. Never quite “getting there”, or the thought that we will get there at a future date. Or the thought that we did “get there”, we got that promotion, that relationship or to that location only to become disillusioned and ultimately incorporating this into our life story. Many times, in my own life I experienced these things and incorporated the thought or perception of these experiences as my life…my life that was always somehow lacking. Humans evolve from a thought based reality, to a knowledge of their authentic self at their own pace. Much of the literature on this subject describes this as moving from the unconscious to the conscious.
An important, and life altering realization that is happening to me, and can and will happen for any of us, is that any thought of lack or feeling of dissatisfaction is completely ego based and not about my reality. The situation or challenge I am facing is real, however, my emotions about the challenge are based completely on my perception or more precisely, on the narrative built from my perceptions, my life story, that is not my real or authentic self.
This realization or awareness that my perception of a situation is not based entirely in reality, begins in the moment. It happens to all of us at one point or another, when we are submerged and become totally present with some activity and then realize that for a moment you had no thoughts. One small present moment of awareness. Everyone you meet on your journey is at their own level of awareness. For example, some are so immersed in the narrative that even the smallest life activity is perceived by them as an affront to them personally. I heard this level of consciousness best described for me by Eckhart Tolle. He spoke of the person that perceives every moment of their life driven by their own narrative, never considering the possibility of another lens on their perspective. He gives an example about the person waiting in line, at the grocery store, the pharmacy, the airport, or wherever, a situation beyond control, who begins to react to their own ego based thoughts of dissatisfaction. The thoughts begin with something like this; “what is going on here”? “Don’t they know what they are doing”? Then it begins, the thought will manifest a negative emotion that cascades to more negative thoughts and emotions. For most of us this takes place on the inside, causing discomfort and needless suffering that can go on for hours, weeks, months or years. This is a small situation, but, as you can see, and many of us have experienced this, the negative energy projects out to all around you and creates more of itself back to you. I have seen some people get so lost in this type of narrative that they begin to say out loud, things like; “doesn’t anybody know how to do their job”? “Do I have to do everything”? The ego is relentless, because it does not end there. For some of us, this will be followed by the realization that we did not behave in a way that we wanted to. So, the ego, again will begin with another direction of thoughts; “I shouldn’t have said that” or “I shouldn’t have acted that way”. Many of you reading this, identify with this hamster wheel of living in your thoughts. We are all at our own level of awareness, but, I believe that most reading this will be able to see that this is not the real self. This is from uncensored living in the unconscious mind.
Taking the example of standing and waiting in a line, the conscious person will be there in the present moment. I can hear some of you thinking, yeah, right. How does that happen? Or, how could that help? Just talking about this situation, a small, uncontrollable event that we all encounter, a moment of being present in the moment, the only moment that is, we can begin to raise our consciousness. If just a flash of awareness can motivate you to acknowledge that the thoughts in your head are not reality based, that the situation you are in is not a narrative about your life, (your ego) you plant the seed of another perspective. The possibility that the real self, the authentic self is not this long-suffering person that is getting through the moments of their life until they can “get there”.
There are many ways to raise your consciousness, the simplest and what I find to be the easiest for me is the ancient knowledge of breathing meditation. Becoming aware of the breath, something we all must do, can begin to quiet the mind. The next time you become aware of your thoughts, take a moment and focus on your breath. It is not necessary to change your breathing for this, just become aware of your breathing. Become aware of your breath in and your breath out. Keep bringing your thoughts back to this…breath in, breath out. Thoughts will come to mind while you are doing this, let them pass through while you focus, in other words, put your energies to the breath awareness.
Remember, life will happen, the good, the bad and the ugly, the more we can raise our consciousness, the less negative energy we contribute to the whole. The connection to the whole will need to be another blog. I will leave you today with a link to mindful breath.
Try This Simple Mindful Breath Practice
Breathe along with this GIF to calm a stressed out mind. Focus on the sensation of your breath in and out.
For those of you who are aware that I have been displaced from Naples Florida because of Irma, I am continuing to make my way home. I am currently staying in Savannah, Georgia for a few days. I am enjoying the history, the culture and the architecture. I have met so many beautiful people on this journey, it has truly been life altering. Currently there continues to be no power or water at home, so tomorrow I will head to Tampa and wait it out there until home is livable again. I am so looking forward to what and who I will meet in Tampa.