Our dominant culture would have us believe that in times of struggle, the solution comes in controlling the external.
However, some of the most enriching resolutions come when we are able to manage our inner-space more mindfully.
Once we shift our focus from external to internal, we realize that the flow of life is always from within. And as we learn to look even more deeply, we might identify certain toxic thought-behaviour grooves that cause our own suffering.
Below are six common thought-behaviour habits that cause us pain. Awareness of these patterns can significantly contribute to our well-being.
1. Not forgiving others:
Not forgiving others is like sleeping with your dumbbells on. Our hearts feel heavy and our minds feel uncomfortably restless. We end up feeling like a victim and the other person becomes “the victimizer.” These roles become fixed. Taking the role of a victim also makes us feel weak and unfit for this unfair world. This thought-formula is a trap!
It disempowers us by making us feel not in control of our reality. Also, when we hold on to memories of pain, we keep our wounds green. Why preserve pain so diligently?
Right now, take a pen and paper and write down the names of all the people who you think have caused you pain. You may begin as far as your memory goes! Once you have enumerated them all, decide for once and all, to let it be. Decide to not to cling on to them. Let go.
When we forgive, we give ourselves the gift of freedom. And, we also get the light-weightedness of a child who has no grudges against anyone, but has become wise with time.
2. Not laughing at yourself:
Do you rehearse several times before expressing your perspective? This might mean that you take yourself too seriously. It is a dis-ease. It makes us extremely careful about what others think of us, while they might be thinking what we think of them!
It is like living in a hall of mirrors constantly looking at oneself from all directions. It confines us into constant impression-management. It also makes us over-think and hyper-sense. In thinking about what others think of us, we forget to enjoy life according to our heart!
Life has an extraordinary spectrum of emotions. We enjoy life the best when we learn to row our boat with all times. And even if our boat sinks at times, know that the buoyancy of your soul will float you in all circumstances. Nothing can go that wrong. It is only our mind that makes us think so! Free yourself of all judgments and embarrass yourself more often!
3. Feeling Guilt:
Do you beat yourself up inside your mind for having done something or for not having done something? Do you constantly remind yourself of that one incident where you messed-up things?
If so, then it means that you are too harsh on yourself. It also means that your mind-radio is not letting you catch the music of your inner-goodness. It is blocking your happiness by constantly making you chew a chewing gum that has lost all its flavor long ago. It is time to spit it out and move on!
Urgently so, your inner-child needs a lot of cuddling from your inner-parent. You really need to sit down with the baby within, hug and heal him/her. Guilt and fear are toxic feelings. Release them and please learn to forgive yourself! This is the only way in which you can make your life a gift for yourself and the world.
Often we create a subjective reality inside of our minds that might be different from the objective reality outside. That means that the factual reality outside of us might be different from the perceptions and feelings that we create inside our mind.
This is the consequence of over-thinking. It is a trap. It makes you too careful to be carefree. It also causes thought-paralysis; it interrupts our capacity to act. Develop more trust and faith in yourself and this world. Take the plunge. Do what you feel pulled towards and simply take the responsibility of your circumstances. This is the only way to create a happy-fulfilled life.
Uncertainty is sometimes the price of happiness. Choose the mistakes you make and mistakes are often spaces of miracles (if only you give yourself enough number of chances)!
5. Not smiling often enough:
Try smiling at least once an hour! Sad that I have write to such a simple and beautiful thing in such a prescriptive way! My work with corporate audience usually stuns me that sometimes during an entire two-hour workshop, most faces in the audience look scarily serious. It seems like we have created a norm where seriousness is taken to be synonymous with efficiency.
Laugh, smile, joke, jump, nourish the child-within. This is how we remain open to our own brilliance.
6. Being away from Nature:
Our urban device-trapped existence has uprooted us from our natural habitat. Very few of us experience what it means to be drunk in the delicious morning breeze or to make a brief eye-contact with a squirrel or to play the optical riddle of locating a parrot on a tree… Away from nature we suffer from Nature Deficiency Disorder. It makes us forget the miracle of being alive.
Witness the awe of lying on grass and looking at the infinite sky above and to walk (barefooted) for at least 15 minutes everyday. This process is called Earthing. This will make your mind and body balanced and in-tune with your immediate ecosystem.
So do not take yourself so seriously, forgive yourself and others, free yourself of all guilt and fear, smile often and think mindfully and open yourself to the miracle called you!
Ask within if these symptoms echo with you. Identify them and heal yourself from pain.
Author: Charnita Arora
Editor: Catherine Monkman