Our thinking and feeling is not the problem. Our thoughts and feelings about our thinking and feeling is the problem. Feelings and thoughts arise without our direction but often related to our current focus. Our judgement of our thoughts, feelings and experiences is what generates the stress and problems in our lives.
Many of the recent books I’ve read in conjunction with managing the biz of you have shared some common thoughts. One of those is what we think about our thoughts and what’s happening creates much of our stress and problems. These meta-thoughts are our own internal feedback mechanism we use to perpetuate our beliefs and expectations about the world around and within us. Examples of this is thinking we are wrong for thinking negatively about someone or some situation. We also feel we shouldn’t have certain feelings when we look at another person outside our relationships or marriage in an amorous or lustful manner. We put ourselves in the place we think we “should” be or in the place others think we ought to be. These feelings and thoughts are a second level, a meta-level, not the original thoughts or feelings themselves. These meta-feelings are the main roots of our stress and create emotional traps.
The key to unlocking ourselves from the trap we set with meta-thoughts and meta-feelings is awareness. Observe your thoughts and feelings and allow them to be whatever they may be. If they are negative in nature then simply don’t focus on them allowing them to pass by like a warm afternoon cloud. We are humans and have the capacity for great sorrow and joy. Sometimes our thoughts can be random and completely unrelated to our current activity. This can be a source of suffering if we judge them negatively or it can be a source of intense creativity if we allow them to simply happen as they may and refocus as we need to. As my daughter’s experience related in the previous post indicated, our expectations create traps and are the basis of our meta-feelings and meta-thoughts. When we expect things to go a particular way, we set up the condition for us to immediately judge what happens. We create the framework for our meta-thought and feelings before they occur. Reality is full of chaos and randomness and thus things will not work as we expect it to. This to is an awareness to help us prevent our meta-stuff from getting in the way of connecting with what happens as it happens.
There are many methods we can use to facilitate or practice observing our internal states without judgement. One I’ve found effective is meditation. Others I know use yoga, martial arts or other forms where self-control is part of the practice. Some even find this ability to allow things to happen as they happen in music or the arts. No matter what your method of stilling your judgmental self, your meta-stuff, or your monkey mind, it’s upon you to do so if you would like to reduce the drama and suffering in your world.
We have a choice to allow the drama and suffering in our life or not.