Lost in your thoughts?

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Click image for source

As the 100th post on my blog, I’m pleased and honoured to be part of Sindy’s 11 Day Cooperative Blogging Clearing Challenge. You can read all about it here 🙂

   Thoughts really can’t be quantified. I mean, one could start with a seed that germinates and grows into a huge tree or mountain, one thought linking to another forming this whole new tapestry. Some thoughts could be brought up by a person or situation or word which triggers a particular emotion within us, creating a lot of “what if” thoughts which can be nice or be full of horrors. Thoughts are there…good or bad, always there…whether we are conscious of them or not.

Thoughts can cloak us in a fog causing us to become “lost in our thoughts”, they can lift us up , drag us down, light up light bulbs giving us amazing ideas, make us feel amazing, amazingly sad or bad; or just completely blah.

There are thoughts about every thing : We think about work when we are at home, we think about home when we are at work, and sometimes it works the right way round. We think about our past – either in a positive way or negative way, we think about our family and friends, we think about what we want, what we need or what is it that we want or need – because some of us still struggle with that all important question. Most times our thoughts can be totally random and jumbled.

I used to have many negative thoughts, about myself, how I looked, what I was worth and a lot of other stuff. I still have negative thoughts but I would like to say that they aren’t as many as before and the most important thing is that I am now aware of those thoughts and I can stop myself, choose to acknowledge them, question them and at times have been successful to changing them into positive thoughts, or at least choose to disregard them with a “Thank you, but no thank you!”  drowning2

Reading books in the genre of spirituality or New Age you will invariably come across the advice that we have to become more aware of our thoughts and also to learn how to still our minds. In fact, stilling of the mind is an important side effect of and to most extents a part of meditation.

Can a person tell you how to still your mind? That’s the important thing isn’t it? Maybe the other question that is as important is does everyone go through the same process the same way, and therefore the duration to reach that level of stillness within,  will be the same? I think we can safely say that the answer to this question is no. We all will go through our own process of learning or should we say re-learning how to still our thoughts.

There are a few things which I feel can help us to re-learn how to still their minds.

The first thing is to be aware of your thoughts – The way I would describe it to someone is to imagine yourself actually waking up and consciously observing your thoughts. It’s literally working to “look at your thoughts”. It will start slow. There will be 9 times out of 10 in which your thoughts will pass you by, but the way to increase those odds is to keep doing it…every day…for a few weeks….a few months….and maybe a few years. I’ve been at it for about a year now, seriously looking at how I think and what I think, questioning those thoughts, finding out why and all that, and some STILL pass me by!

The second is to learn how to clear your thoughts – Basically it means to learn how to empty your mind, which leads to stilling your mind. It is also in a way learning how to gradually stop your mind from running amok. It’s to remove all those unconstructive thoughts and remaining calm and centered. It is also one of the ways to heal. As we empty ourselves from all those bottled up emotions and thoughts, we keep clearing all the muck stored within us, and as we keep doing this process at some point the balance tips over to the side of calm and centeredness.

In the book Journeys into Emptiness the author talks about how Carl Jung wrote down all his thoughts and his dreams. It was like emptying the vessel of the subconscious mind to allow for more things to come up. He also says that many of those who are artists or writers do this. By practicing or doing their art and writing they are in effect emptying themselves each time. It’s like the story of the monk who poured the tea continuously into a tea cup without emptying it….as it filled up and tea spilled all over. The moral of that story was, if we keep all our thoughts / emotions bottled up within us, one day it’s just going to spill over and make a total mess out of everything.

Below I have listed out some of the ways you can do this:

1. Journal – If you like writing then write. Keep this a private journal. For your eyes only. Write. Write and write every thing

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Click image for source

that comes into your mind. It’s okay if just when you put pen to paper your mind goes totally blank, just write that down. “I’m sitting here with my new journal and pen wanting to write whatever comes to mind, and it goes blank! Aaargh!!! What’s up with that?!” …then watch as you continue from there 😉 I tried it once when I was doing a healing exercise. I started just like that….ended with one and a half pages of writing done.

If you can’t remember how to write with a pen and paper (c’mon, I know there are those like me. We are so used to typing on the computer, writing seems alien after some time 😉 ) , then start a journal on your laptop, lock the document up with a password or start a private online journal.

2. Write down ALL the negative things that you think of on a sheet of paper. If there is one thing that most of us can do is to write a list and maybe even a thesis of the stuff we hate, we don’t like, we don’t want to do and all that. So keep writing. Once done, go outside or over a large sink with running water available and burn the list. The idea is that as you write all that stuff down, it’s turned into energy which flows out onto the paper – your negative thoughts which is energy is turned into impulses which power your writing hand, which in turn transfers that energy into the words that are written. So, when you finally burn that list, it is being transmuted into a higher vibrational energy of light and dissipates with the smoke 🙂

3. Find a good trusted sounding board. This was something I used to do when I was younger. I had friends who were heroes because they sat through my rants and raves, my moaning and crying nodding their heads at the right time and allowing me to pout, rant and rave, not saying a single word. As you keep talking and talking about the same crappy stuff, trust me, one day you’re going to suddenly realize  you feel nauseated even thinking of thinking of talking about it! That’s when you’ll know that you are over it! Now, the caveat to this method will be that you must do this with the intention of purging it out from your system and your friend really shouldn’t be goading you on! Remember, sounding boards are silent. Their only purpose is to sit and listen to you – or at least pretend to listen to you 😉

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Click image for source

4. Meditate – Forget the usual definitions or perceptions of what meditation is supposed to be. This will be meditation your style! Start with 10 minutes. Just sit, close your eyes, breathe in and out deeply three times then just wait and watch. Just watch your thoughts. As each thought comes “look at it”. Any thought that makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, if you feel your body tensing up, heart beat increases…take a deep breath, tell it “Thank you but I release you”…then breathe out. Imagine that thought coming out together with your breath, being zapped by a lazer beam into nothingness. Any thought that makes you feel light and happy, you smile, say “Thank you” and imagine it flowing by and entering a beautiful room or garden, leave it there and continue to sit and watch.

You know, don’t be surprised when you do this the very first time and nothing comes to your mind. I had that experience once. We were at a meditation class and we were asked to try Vipassana for just 10 minutes. It’s basically a meditation where you don’t move at all, except for breathing and all you do is observe your thoughts. That first time I did it, I closed my eyes and said “I’m observing my mind”. 10 minutes felt like a minute and there was NOTHING! No thoughts at all! It was like my mind froze up because he knew I’d be watching! It was actually pretty freaky…awesome, but freaky. I tried it again the next day at home….sigh..it didn’t work so well that time 😛

5. Colouring mandalas – This is another therapeutic way of clearing your mind and calming yourself. It is actually a form of meditation. As you colour the mandala, let whatever thoughts or emotions which crop up flow. See it, feel it, then let it go. Concentrate on the colours, focus on the process, enjoy your creating process.

Now, traditionally mandalas are coloured from the inside out. However, I’d like to gift to you two different mandala templates that you can choose from to print and colour from the OUTSIDE IN. As you colour , observe your thoughts and let them go. As you move from the outside in, my hope is that your mind becomes calmer and less disturbed by your thoughts 🙂 I’ve already infused that intention into these mandalas. If you do try them out, let me know how it went 🙂

Click to take you to attachment page. Copy and print out to colour :)
Click to take you to full sized image, right click and save as, print and colour 🙂
Click image for full size, right click, save as and print to colour :)
Click image for full size, right click, save as and print to colour 🙂

This post is written in conjunction with Sindy’s  (bluebutterfliesandme) 11 day clearing challenge. You can click here to go to her blog which lists the other 10 bloggers who are participating in this challenge 🙂

The 10th post will be posted by Julianne.

29 thoughts on “Lost in your thoughts?

  1. I always enjoy your posts. I think it is preferable to journal with pen and paper because it involves different brain circuitry than typing, but if it is a dealbreaker, typing is better than not doing it al all 🙂
    I also agree with you about meditation. Pick a style and technique that suits you, I feel a slogan coming on..

    ” Meditation, its not just for yogis anymore” or ” Meditation, this isn’t your ancient relative’s practice 🙂 ”

    don’t mind me, I feel wired tonite!

    so glad I am on team Shree and part of our wordpress posse!

    love and hugs, Linda

    Like

    1. Thank you so much Linda for the lovely and wonderful comment!! You’re terribly good for my confidence..hehehe.

      I really like the “Meditation, this isn’t your ancient relative’s practice” line 😀

      And don’t worry…wired and weird…it’s both totally awesome in my cool book..hehe.

      I’m really glad to have met you too 🙂

      *hugs*

      Like

  2. Wow such a full post of good information. I spent 10 years at a Gnostic Center where we weren’t allowed to move in meditation, with a meditation designed to reach silence of the mind. I never did, I would deliberately wiggle my toes in defiance. I was rebellious against my own cause, still to this day, I have never experienced silence of the mind. It is about time I give it another go.

    Thank you Shree for such a contemplative and thoughtful contribution to our challenge.

    Namaste sister~
    Sindy

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    1. Thank you Nancy 😀
      I know right….it would be totally awesome if that first experience just kept on coming…ah, but well, where then would be the adventure in the “life is an adventure”…right?

      Like

  3. Hi Shree, great addition to Sindy’s series…I love this:
    “By practicing or doing their art and writing they are in effect emptying themselves each time.”
    I’d be really nutty if it weren’t for writing, walking, and playing music, and of course, my family, cats and friends, including my writing friends here.
    Ahh, meditation (I loved Sindy’s remarks about defiance :)). I also learned a very structured and powerful practice of meditation at Ananda. But I like how you invite the practice of any sort of meditation. Being still, even with one’s thoughts, can slow down the mental pace for me. Thanks for sharing your clearing here and for visiting my blog!
    Debra

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    1. Hello Debra!!

      Thank you so much for dropping by and contributing your thoughts!!

      Yes…I sometimes have this “inner dialogue” about “Shouldn’t meditation be done the right way?? What if I am wasting my time!!”….now I am slowly realizing in truth there really is no right way…the best way will show itself to us…when we are comfortable and ready for it…BUT to start we can start our own way…as long as we have thoughts of light, love, God, the Divine, Beauty or any high vibration intentions…that’s awesome enough! 😀

      Like

    1. Thanks Peter!! Well if you try them out, let me know how it goes!!

      Tell you something though…it’s some thing we need to do as often as we can, as consistently as we can so that if can become a part of us….but you know what? No pressure!
      I used to feel bad if I didn’t meditate everyday and then I’d feel bad if I couldn’t sit still for more than 1/2 hour because that is how it SHOULD be done!

      Then I said heck it all!!!! I’m just meditating when I feel the need…now it’s gone to “Just try everyday for 15 minutes and if you can’t no biggie!”…..and that’s quite nice for me right now 🙂

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  4. In the very beginning of my own awakening spiritual journey, I read and read so many books I was like a sponge soaking up others information and experiences… I also bought many books on How to meditate and many tapes ( cassette tapes were then the rage ) Lol… so that dates me..
    Each piece of information slotted together the pieces of a jigsaw as I tried to seek the truth of those questions which we all ask, of who Am I……..
    Keeping a journal is something I instinctively have done, Writing out our thoughts ..Allowing ourselves to just let the pen flow as we can create inspirational writing or poems I know that often words do not just come from me, but flow through me, as I link and tap into that Universal Mind..

    But can another help still our minds?.. what may work for one may not work for another, Stilling our minds becomes a personal journey and learning our own best techniques are what we pass on…

    I love your mandala’s and I too was so absorbed within the focus of them …

    Love your combined post…. Love and Blessings
    Sue

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    1. Sigh…I missed replying to your comment 😦
      I’m sorry….
      I agree that one cannot actually help someone still their mind Sue but there are times we want to know “How did she do it?” and it’s not to copy but that spark which may ignite…showing us a way that will suit us? Or..it’s like a trial and error thingy until we find that right one for us?

      I get that absorption of everything I can get my hands on thing you talked about! It’s sort of slowed down a bit, but I still enjoy the knowledge…the student hat I put on..hehe.

      Thanks Sue for coming by and contributing your wise words…for some reason I feel you as this wise woman …old…wise…you know? hehe.

      Like

      1. Chuckle, yes I know exactly what you mean Shree, ‘old-wise’ lol although I am getting long in the tooth hehe!…. and will be celebrating my own major landmark next year, as my 6th decade will fall then…

        I still am trying to perfect that stillness of mind… the only way I find is within the breath, that single deep breath we breathe from deep within for me allows me to expel all the garbage of my mind, it may soon pop back in again.. and often does, but for those brief moments Clearing our minds comes in short bursts ….

        And I love that you are like a sponge too… now-a-days I am no longer striving to to fill in the gaps as much as enjoy the gaps as they arrive 🙂

        And you were not late in answering the previous comment I left here,, I was late in making it! 🙂
        Love and Blessings ..Sue

        Like

        1. I am slowly but surely coming to terms that there is no such thing as “there..it is just a matter of becoming more aware of when we need to be still and pulling our minds gently back to that stillness.

          Clearing the mind does come in short bursts!!! And I am learning to appreciate and be grateful when it does..because in the end, that is what matters!!

          Like

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