Sharing a personal story of experience can sometimes be helpful to someone in need of encouragement or support. Running story lines in our own heads about why someone said, wrote or acted in a certain way is probably the most prohibiting act to our inner growth as individuals. Why do I know this? I used to be the best storyteller around town and I would run story lines like nobody’s business. Today my storylines are less frequent but the difference is they dissolve with my mindful practices, they don’t hold me in a prison of my mind made thoughts.
After discussing this topic with a group of peers we realized everyone does this at some level and at stage of their life. I know for me, my mind is conditioned from living “out” in the world for so long. Mesmerized and hypnotized by the outer world I lost my way and became unaware of many behaviors and habits that were holding me back from living the life I wanted to live. Running storylines was the only thing I could do at that particular time to make me feel safe, I could predict the outcome whether good or bad and know I had control of it. I can tell you this caused a lot of pain and anxiety but that was all necessary in order for me to understand the power of my mind and thoughts.
Often times I would take words someone said or wrote straight to my deepest wound: not being good enough. When I read an article about my divorce from my ex-husband I would judge myself harshly and compare myself to his new partner, crushing every bit of work I had done up to that point. It only took a few times for this to happen for me to see this was an act of my mind-not my higher self which only sees love. The thoughts were being produced from my mind as an instrument to create a war within myself instead of infusing peace. I was not implementing a mindfulness practice at that time so there was no way I could be aware of my wondering mind. So, after being exhausted of running story lines in my head, I decided to make a shift in my perception when it came to the way I responded to material of any kind whether it be written, spoken or action towards me. I was finally aware of the pain it has caused me and the tears produced flooded me with an awakening.
Here are some mindful tips for helping to cultivate a new pattern if you find yourself running a storyline and it blocks the flow of peace in your life:
My feet don’t hit the ground in the morning before I have asked for inner guidance wisdom from my highest Self. This takes a moment and requires the act of surrender to allow the day to unfold as it will-not as I want it to.
The main principle here is basic-see through the appearance that confronts us with the fear of lack or limitation.
Eckhart Tolle described it best when he said, “ Be aware of your breathing. Notice how this takes the attention away from your thinking and creates space.” Breathing is by far my most important practice of all. The breath is underrated and incredibly powerful tool to our inner peace. It is nearly impossible to create thoughts in the mind when our awareness is focused solely on the breath. Whenever you feel like you are getting tight or feeling constricted, breathe consciously. You don’t have to close your eyes or sit down. Just breathe and let your awareness deepen within each breath you take. Focusing your awareness of the breath coming into your belly and going out of your mouth is what dissolves the emotions that make us tight. When you feel the restriction in your body let go, do the next single thing, whatever that is. Learning to breathe has changed my life and I hope it will make a significant difference in yours as well.
Mediation is key to restoring the balance in my mind and spirit. I see my meditation practice as a “shampooing process” to my very conditioned mind. After my period of inner silence there is a presence that stays with me with the occasional need of a top up throughout the day. There are many different types of meditation from walking, sitting, contemplative, conscious awareness meditation and so on. If you need help finding one please contact me directly.
Take every word, written or spoken for face value. Do not allow the mind to make a story because the truth is, we have no idea what someone is trying to say or the reason why they say what they say. I have come to learn people are never trying to attack the personal sense of me, it is never their intention to hurt me regardless of what my mind would make me think.
Understand everyone is at a different stage of inner evolvement and they don’t know what they don’t know. We are not to excuse anyone for their behavior; however, we are in charge of the way we view their behavior. Express compassion-not pity and certainly get in the habit of not creating judgement.
Remembering it is not our job to decide if someones words or actions are right or wrong is always very helpful. Keeping in mind we create our experience based on our response to situations. Defense is the first act of war and running storyline is like preparing our armor for battle.
Even though I have been practicing living by principles rather than personalities for a couple of years now, I still come up against the occasional story line created in my mind. The good part is that I know when this is happening, and I can put a stop to it before my mind sends the thought to college and it gets a PhD in judgment and criticism. It doesn’t matter so much that we run story lines, it is what we do with them that make the difference.
Everything begins and ends with awareness. As we learn to see through the appearances of what our mind tells us is real we will begin to feel freedom and inner peace.
My only advice to all of us who create stories in their heads is that we are fine. We are enough. We are pure and good. We are not crazy. We are not uneducated. We are human and the most spiritual thing a human can do is to be kind to themselves, and others.
Wishing you all a beautiful string of moments that lead you a place of peace,