Don’t let thoughts make you their bitch.

Just because thoughts appear in our awareness, it doesn’t mean we have to do what they say.

We don’t have to listen to thoughts, or engage with them or believe them.

We can instead just see them happen, not judge them, not try to get away from them, or fight them, and not follow them down the rabbit hole.

Sometimes, it can feel like thoughts are our friend or that they’re in fact ‘us.’ But in my view, thoughts are impartial tools to be used how we like.

To see that thoughts aren’t you, notice how when a thought appears and disappears, you were aware of that happening. You stay, while thoughts come and go.

Maybe you think you are the thinker of the thoughts?

This is how it intuitively feels and it evolved this way for good reason. However, take a moment to notice right now that you have no idea what thought will appear next. Also notice that you have no idea where that thought came from, where it got made, who ‘wrote’ it before you ‘heard’ it.

Maybe you think you can control thoughts?

To see how we can’t control thoughts; stop thinking, (like you would stop running when you didn’t want to run anymore).

We can seem to fight with thoughts, reject them, deny them, judge them, believe them, listen to them, engage with them, or we can not do any of that and allow and accept them instead.

I find it much more helpful to allow thoughts to appear, see them and not engage with them if I don’t want to or if they’re hurting me.

Be the master of the thoughts, not a slave to them. (Easier said than done, eh?)

By Annie Charnley.

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Dreams can teach us about ourselves

In my view, dreams can often have very powerful and meaningful symbolic messages that can inform us about what’s going on inside us and in our lives. But most people I know don’t seem to realise this.

We can learn about ourselves and grow, thanks to these messages (from our subconscious?). Everything in those kinds of dreams is a representation of you. The people, the buildings, the animals etc.

One powerful example would be if someone dies in your dream, (someone you know, a character, or celebrity), it can mean that an aspect of your personality is represented in them, and that part is changing, or losing it’s power.

Sometimes however, dreams don’t seem to be meaningful, and seem to just be random nonsense, in my opinion. These can include people you are crushing on, TV shows you’ve seen, things you’ve read about, for example. Just processing the day that’s gone, or just random ideas and imaginations bubbling up from the subconscious.

A site I like to use for interpreting dreams is this. There are many websites and books for interpreting dreams (I imagine some will be better than others).

There are different ways to interpret symbols, it’s not an exact science, (same with religious symbols and metaphors, in my view).

The meaning of the symbols themselves are important to think about in the context of other symbols in the dreams and your feelings at the time. You will get a more accurate and relevant interpretation if you do this.

Carl Jung has been a pioneer in dream symbolism and interpretation. He has a book called ‘The undiscovered self, with symbols and the interpretation of dreams.’ I’ve just started reading it, so I can’t comment on it yet, but he’s a genius so I can’t wait to read it.

Thoughts can imprison us if we let them.

Being attached and identified with our thoughts and the thinker can create a prison (which is an illusion), and and it can be torture to live from that place; you are not really living right now. You’re living in the past and future.

There is no peace there.

It is constant grasping and striving.

It never delivers what it promises, and it can obscure what’s happening now, if we let it.

That prison we can live from and not even realise, is dead and not real, it’s just a map, and it’s not really who you are. The map is not the territory.

Thoughts aren’t who you are. If you’re constantly in your thoughts, how can you see that they aren’t you?

Thoughts come and go, but there’s something that always stays. You could assume the thing that stays is the ‘thinker’ or the ‘observer’ of the thoughts. But do you think thoughts, or do thoughts just happen? Do they come from somewhere you aren’t aware of? Do you ‘hear’ them, then claim to be the thinker of them?

Thoughts will do things like compare, make plans, present regrets to you, judge things, and narrate what’s happening even when a lot of the time, none of that is really needed. It’s a powerful tool, but I would ague, it’s not you.

Thoughts work in time, and if I always listen to them and believe they will deliver the goods, they actually takes me out of the raw experience of reality. They takes me away from what I actually want, they’re not capable of giving me what I actually want. (What I want is: aliveness, realness, truth, meaning, presence, salvation from the prison of being stuck in thoughts and identified as the thinker of them). The list of what I want, are still concepts, when faced with the reality of those things, it is quite terrifying and magnificently mysterious and beautiful, to me.

I have spent the majority of my life identifying with my thoughts and identifying with thinking them. This might not be everyone’s experience. But it is certainly my experience and I imagine many others too.

I’ve taken the constant commentary in my head to be me, and who could blame me, it intuitively feels true and I assume it is true. But you can only see the problem from the solution. You can’t see the problem from within the problem. In other words I could only see that it wasn’t me, from having a break from the identification with thoughts.

We don’t realise that the prison door is always unlocked, it seems to me that we are not our thoughts, we are not the thinker of them. We don’t have to listen to them, believe them or act from them. In reality, we are free to use them when we need them and not use them when we don’t need them. But many of us, myself included seem to not know this, and therefore not see ourselves more clearly and not be ourselves without identifying with thoughts and the thinker.

Thoughts are only one part of the misidentification of our true nature. But it’s okay, it doesn’t really matter, all of this is just words pointing to something.

You don’t need to do anything, except maybe to be open to this idea. Things just happen all the time in us that isn’t in our control. The seeing of this might happen too, we can’t make the seeing happen, but we can experiment with it through things like meditation, isolation tanks, being in a state of flow in activity etc, and get little glimpses of it.

I’ve found this to be true, meaningful and valuable to me. I hope it is for you too, if not, that’s absolutely fine. Maybe the words are dead for you and nothing jumps out as alive, we can’t make that happen or control it.

Things just happen, and we get to experience it all.

Meditation and ‘enlightenment’ are not special.

There is this picture of what meditation looks like and what ‘enlightenment’ looks like.

And there’s a tendency for many of us to believe that that is it, and anything else isn’t it.

It can make me feel like it’s not for us, and that only certain people get it, or see it, who are special. But I don’t think that’s true at all.

MEDITATION

To me, meditation looks like someone sitting crossed legged with eyes closed, hands with palms resting on legs, sitting on top a mountain or temple, with Eastern traditional clothes on. This image is understandable because meditation came from Eastern cultures, but all that is, it’s tradition. It’s made up by humans and I think we can be mislead by it, (because of our minds interpretations).

That image isn’t all meditation is.

You can meditate while you’re doing absolutely anything, while you’re washing up, taking out the bins, wiping your baby’s arse.

What you are doing has no bearing on whether you can meditate or not. You don’t need anything to meditate except a mind. You don’t need the ‘right’ place, the ‘right’ cushion, the ‘right’ clothes.

But at the same time, of course sitting in a quiet place to meditate, can be helpful.

I just don’t want that image described above to put anyone off meditating, it’s not that image, the image isn’t it. What’s going on inside is where it is.

ENLIGHTENMENT

The image of ‘enlightenment’ can also be very misleading.

To me, the image of ‘enlightenment’ is an old guy with a long grey beard, who wears beads and Eastern loose robe like clothing.

And then the mind can seem to assume that if you don’t look like that, then you’re not as enlightened or wise as the people that do look like that.

Again, in a way, this is bollocks, it’s just tradition, it has absolutely nothing to do with actual ‘enlightenment’.

Any one could be ‘enlightened’, and no one else could tell they were, because it’s an internal thing.

This is where fake guru’s come into it. If they look the part, people can often assume they are the real deal, and that they have something special that you don’t. And follow them and hang onto their every word. This situation can get abusive. Many cults do the same thing. There’s a great documentary about fake gurus called Kumare.

You could be a welder who has tattoos and swears a lot and see the truth of who you are.

In reality the way you look externally to other people, has absolutely nothing to do with what’s going on inside you. (As we know with people who are depressed and suicidal). There could be millions of people who see the truth of who they are, but you wouldn’t know to look at them. It’s an internal shift in the way you view everything.

Tradition is fine, but it’s not in the tradition. It’s in us, all the time, always has been, always will be.

You don’t need to do anything to see what you really are.The thing that is there before, during and after all thoughts, feelings and sensations. The thing that is aware of whatever is happening. You don’t need the ‘right’ clothes, the ‘right’ lifestyle, the ‘right’ hair style etc.

How I understand it, you just need a mind, and to drop your attachment to all conceptual thought. To drop the striving, searching and control you have and take a step out of your own way.

I don’t want anyone to be put off or mislead by these images, or by the word ‘enlightenment’.

The word makes it sound so special too. And in a way it is, but in a way it’s the most simple, immediate, ordinary thing there is, so ordinary, we miss it. The word ‘enlightenment’, also makes it sound like a thing to get that we don’t have already.

I think this is just what happens when the mind tries to interpret and grasp this pointing using words to something real in our direct experience. It’s quite innocent and understandable. But it is getting in our own way of seeing the reality of what’s happening.

In my humble opinion, this is the way we evolved, to think of ourselves as a self. It’s very beneficial to survival. But it’s not the reality of who we are and it causes a lot of suffering psychologically and emotionally.

The way I see it, we are all already born ‘enlightened’, it is what being is, what awareness is.

I believe we grow up forgetting who we really are, once the mind/self system kicks online, and we can start to take ourselves to be our thought systems, our bodies, our feelings, etc.

It’s not special; it’s completely ordinary.

Less is more…the minimalist philosophy.

Many people seem to like a vast choice of everything. For example, things to wear. I can relate to the dopamine hit of new things. Which is fine, but it comes at a cost; the cost of time, energy and money to name a few.

I’m finding that less is more. I used to think the more the better. I used to think more clothes, more choice, more information means more value. But I don’t think that is necessarily true!

For me now, more choice and more information means less value, because it’s too much to process and the real value drowns in the too much. So when you have less clothes, less information, less photographs; you treasure the one’s you have more, they are your absolute favourites and you can actually use them, see them, because they aren’t an overwhelming amount.

I’m very grateful to have the freedom of choice, but I find so much value in being deliberate and intentional with my choices and priorities.

I feel more lightness, more peace, less stress and less overwhelm because of adopting the minimalist philosophy.

For a tiny example, I now have 1 belt and 2 pairs of trainers, which are my favourites. (One’s I actually wear and feel good wearing).

Since being more intentional about all my possessions, and looking at whether I use them or enjoy them or not, I don’t have to fret about what to wear as much, or waste time deciding, or spend money on new things I don’t need or love.

I don’t care if I wear the same things often, that’s really not what matters most to me in life. Less time deciding, more time experiencing. Maybe that’s just me.

One big way we mess our kids up

“We’ve spent lifetimes thinking about our problems, but so little time actually shining the light of awareness on what is actually happening.” – Joey Lott

In my opinion and from what I have learned, one big way people can and do mess their kids up, is by not being aware of and integrating their own shadow parts of themselves (unwanted & rejected parts of self) and then they can project whatever issue they might have, big or small onto their kids, and the kids grow up and do the same to their kids and it perpetuates.

All is not lost though, because at any time, anyone can do this inner work, although hard, it’s possible. And we can undo our conditioning and integrate our shadow parts, not only for the wellbeing of kids, but for the wellbeing of ourselves and every single person we have relationships with/interact with.

We don’t have to do anything, we can do what we want, but if people are suffering, I believe this is important work.

Carl Jung’s, Jordan Peterson’s and Joey Lott’s work on this is a God send.

For anyone suffering with problems for a long time that they have never found a way to fix them; problems like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, obsessions etc. Joey Lott has an incredible online course that I can personally vouch for, that you can check out here. (Hopefully it’s still open to join, if not you can sign up to his email and receive updates of when it will next be open) Obviously this isn’t the only way, and there’s lots of good help out there. But this is one that I have found to be very effective and really get to the root of my problems.

I don’t know what it’s like to be you, you don’t know what it’s like to be me.

There’s so much I don’t understand.

I don’t understand the mindset you’d have to be in to want a baby. Or the mind set you’d need to have, to kill someone or go to a prostitute, or to want to jump out of a plane for extreme sport, or what it’s like to be schizophrenic, or be on LSD, or be a rock star, a nurse, or to have been a Jew in Nazi Germany. I have no idea what it feels like to be homeless, an extrovert, a man, black, old, disabled, and it goes on for infinity.

We often all get misunderstood and judged at some point, whether it’s to do with: sexuality, race, creed, gender, disability, elderly, mental illness, homelessness, survivors of war/other traumatic events, soldiers of war, prisoners, sex workers, introverts, HSP’s (highly sensitive people), shy people, INFJ’s (the rarest personality, 1% of population).

We often hear about how various groups of people are oppressed, and that some of these groups are more oppressed than others. This is sometimes called the ‘oppression olympics’. But how can we compare and measure oppression? The labels of experience are endless and we’re all totally unique in the way we view our world, interpret it, and experience it.

There are as many ways of viewing the world as there are people. We can sometimes relate to one another, but we can’t KNOW what it’s like to be a particular person, unless you are that person. And we can’t KNOW what it’s like to have a particular experience, until you experience it yourself. Even then, you’ll experience it through YOUR mind, not anyone else’s, so it’s interpreted in a unique way. 

Trying to imagine what others experience can help you find compassion and empathy for people. Judgement, on the other hand, could lead to discrimination, division, even hate and war. In my opinion.

Stuff to remember:

  • Don’t judge what you don’t understand. (Easy to say it, hard to live it.)
  • Everyone is unique.
  • Everyone struggles throughout their life.
  • Comparison is the thief of joy.
  • You can’t compare experiences or points of view.
  • No one can read your mind.

Hey, I could be wrong, just my thoughts.

 


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