Thinking, Feelings, and Finding Peace

Much of your life is spent thinking; even when you wish it would stop, it doesn’t, does it? We tend to think about how we feel too, which, of course, is not feeling at all — it’s thinking.

Through thought, our mind tells us that it is too uncomfortable to feel our feelings. We then get caught in a loop of thought about how painful we feel without ever really exploring our feelings. We can even have body sensations that confirm our thoughts about it. This tendency of the mind leads us down an exhaustive path of pain and suffering.

The truth is we must begin to notice this ploy of the mind to break free of it and then feel our feelings fully. However uncomfortable that may be—resisting them leads to a much lengthier healing process and an increased level of suffering.

Feelings are energy, and as such, they must keep flowing. Resisting them means we hold onto them, and the energy gets stuck in our body, which can cause physical pain and even illness.

Recognizing this truth or knowing it on an intellectual level is not enough; you must have a direct experience to embody this truth. We often end up stopping short on the spiritual path and in life of realizing this because the mind tells us that we know it already, whatever it is. Then we get distracted by thought again and sent down another path without ever having a direct experience. The mind has endless offers to distract us, and many of us can spend our whole life seeking and not finding. How many years or decades have you been looking?

Therefore, the next time you find yourself suffering, notice if you are in your head and having a conversation with yourself. Bring your attention down to your chest, the heart area, and notice that your thoughts begin to slow down. Then focus even more attention there and begin to feel your feelings. They literally are your friend and not something to fear. Know that the mind will try to stop you through thought, physical sensation, and intensity.

Be with your feelings, let whatever needs to arise, and let the energy flow again—knowing that you are entirely safe. Some of you may feel the energy flowing along with the emotion, and some may not. Either way is perfect. Do not let the mind come in and question whether you are doing it right or not; it is just another distraction. Keep your attention in the chest. If you are guided by the feeling to another part of the body, follow it. Just stay with your feelings and keep breathing. If it feels too overwhelming, you have the power to slow it down or stop it at any time.

The mind may tell you otherwise, but I can assure you this is the most loving thing you can do for yourself and your body. You are the only one who can offer yourself this kind of unconditional love. We have all felt someone’s love for us being taken away before because it was not unconditional. However, once you feel this kind of self-love, you will know it can never be taken away by anyone. Therefore, do not be afraid to feel your feelings because what is often disguised as pain can blossom into something beautiful if you let it.

Beliefs

“We see space as what separates us from everyone and everything. But what if space is what holds everything together; what if it connects everything.

Know that sometimes what we believe to be true is not the truth at all. What is true is that if we never question our beliefs, then our misguiding beliefs are sure to create pain and suffering in our lives. So whether you believe that space is what separates us or connects us, we must begin to question our beliefs. Inquiry at this level always leads to a greater understanding of who we are and the world around us—bringing more peace and comfort into our lives and those lives that we touch.”

The Root Cause of Your Disturbances

Are you feeling frustrated because things are not going the way you want in life? Perhaps you are looking for a job, relationship, or you have a desire that will not manifest. Maybe your fearful of all that is happening in the world today.

Do you know what the root cause of your disturbance is? Does your mind immediately tell you that it is another person, outside circumstances that cause it, or maybe it is something you perceive to be out of your control, like covid19 or something personal like your age?

Have you noticed that all these reasons that show up in the mind are entirely unsolicited? They do not come from critical thinking; they just show up spontaneously. What would happen if you did not immediately identify with these thoughts? Would your life unfold differently if they never appeared?

Let me answer that last question for you; yes, it would be very different because your thoughts would no longer be in control of guiding your life. You would be free from doing things in the same conditioned way you do them now, and you would have a stronger connection to your intuition. You would be free from frustration and worry, or it would be significantly minimized. You would have more energy, and your life would change in many unexpected ways.

The question is, how do we take our power back. I can offer you a simple process that works. It may feel challenging at first because we are unconsciously habituated to listening to and identifying with our thoughts without question. The extent of this varies for each of us. But we have been doing it for years, if not decades, so do not think that you are the one person not impacted by it.

Most of us will make gradual progress over time rather than giants leaps or the expected instant gratification the ego wants. Our progress is based on our ability to connect with greater awareness and then bring this awareness into our experience, which may feel uncomfortable at first. Particularly for some people, they notice the volume of unsolicited and negative thoughts; previously unseen is much greater than expected. Many of these thoughts can sound ridiculous once we start to pay attention to them.

So, what is this simple process? It is the observation of your thoughts, feelings, and body sensations that arise from them. When we can observe them occurring, without identification, we create some space or freedom from them. The mistake many make is trying to stop them consciously. You will only find yourself identifying with them more, a subtle trick of the mind to distract you.

When we no longer perceive ourselves as the thought, we notice that all thoughts come and go, just as everything does in personhood. This is an essential recognition because we often begin to THINK that uncomfortable circumstances will last forever. Our thoughts reinforce this misunderstanding. You can verify this by looking at past experiences. By having this erroneous perception, we begin to experience frustration, anxiety, fear and worry. We begin to have pointless conversations with ourselves in the mind that reinforce this story and keeping us stuck. We can no longer see a way out, which causes tremendous suffering. Suffering that is unwanted and unnecessary. The desire to not have this experience can intensify our suffering because we now have conversations about how bad it is, so the cycle persists.

We must regain command of the mind, our thoughts, and feelings if we ever want to be free from suffering. Therefore, I offer you this simple and effective way to begin breaking the habit of the cause of your suffering. Begin today, observing your thoughts and any feelings that arise as often as you can. Notice when you get pulled into a conversation with the mind and question if it is essential. Are there body sensations that clue you into being caught by the mind? Notice and see. Bring more awareness into watching this unfold in your daily life, and I guarantee that you will begin to see how much time is wasted being dragged around from one meaningless thought to another by the mind. Feelings arise from these thoughts, and cause disturbances in the body, pay attention.

With some attention and awareness, a little practice, and some time, you will begin to master this innate ability, and your life will change. You will experience more peace, suffer less over things that do not need your attention, and find your way back to the present moment.

The Blame Game

Do you ever get tired of all the blaming that goes on these days? It is the fault of the liberals or the conservatives, which is not the reality. If you cannot see that both parties are to blame, that the root of the problem is not a political party, but some of the people that make up that political party, then you are blind to the truth.

If you think all the good and right people are on this side and not that side, you need to wake up. Belonging to a particular political party does not make you a good person or right. Belonging to a specific church or religion does not make you a good person or right.

We are good people when we love one another and treat everyone equally and with respect. We are good people when we are kind, compassionate, and empathetic. We are good people when we make good choices and learn from our mistakes. We are good people when we dare to do better because when we know better, we should always do better. Of course, as we see in the world that does not always happen.

So let’s start learning from our mistakes and start doing better. Doing better will not be accomplished by pointing figures at one another but by questioning where we can do better personally. Instead of expecting someone else to be different, we need to take a closer look at ourselves.

You can complain all you want, and all it will do is cause you to suffer, worry, and live in fear. Stop thinking that your way is the only way. Start to quiet your thoughts long enough so you can feel some peace again and realize we are all in this together. If you cannot give love, then show some kindness. If you cannot be kind, then be patient. If you cannot be patient, then say nothing. Get support, ask for help if you need to, love yourself first, will make it much easier to be a good person.

The Real Cause of Our Pain and Suffering

The mind and our conditioning tell us that we should never suffer, feel pain, or have difficulties; that the perfect life is problem-free, and this becomes our belief and pursuit. Many religious people think and are taught that if they find God, all their problems will go away, and the spiritual seeker often believes that enlightenment will free them from all of life’s complications.

Is this your experience? Can you tell me that this is true, that you have escaped the challenges of life through these pursuits? Following this concept of freedom, when presented by the mind, will only keep you trapped in an endless quest. You will always feel that you are getting closer to your desired destination, why it’s just one more step, the mind will say. Yet somehow, you never seem to arrive.

If we want to be free, then we must awaken from the mind’s blinding influence. We must be willing to take a step back from what it is saying for a moment because real freedom comes when we allow all of life to flow through us. We cannot continue to follow the false narrative that the mind presents, where there should be no pain or suffering at all.

We must allow and feel whatever arises, to embrace and experience it. Being mindful when resistance appears, because whatever flows will go, be transmuted, or transcended. Whatever we resist will get stuck and persists.

Take a step back, become the observer of your thoughts, and watch how the mind frequently influences your life. Then let your unrest awaken you to the present moment and your True-Self. Let feelings and facts destroy the imagined storytelling of the mind and be open to receiving grace and the guidance of your True-Self that is always available to everyone.

Living an Awakened Life Becoming Zero

I remember when I was growing up that calling someone a zero meant that he or she was useless or worthless. Now here I am decades later writing about becoming zero but from a loftier understanding.

You will notice with a little bit of awareness that everything in personhood comes and goes, including the body. Life is not stable from the perspective of the person. One moment you can be upset, the next laughing and then the next anxious. When we take pause, this can be noticed, but it is something that usually is overlooked or ignored, not by choice, of course, but by habit, a habit that took shape so the mind could remain a controlling authority.

Let me tell you with one-hundred percent certainty that becoming zero is the most stable state you can experience. However, I do not expect you to believe me; but instead, I want you to experience it for yourself because it is only through having a direct experience that you will come to see the truth.

When you are curious, you learn, and when you are desperate, you discover. The mind wants to learn and will have its own interpretation of what becoming zero means. It will put up roadblocks every chance it gets to distract you. Therefore, it is up to you to use your awareness to awaken to these distractions and stay focused on what is evident.

What do I mean by becoming zero? It means you do not have any attachment to your thoughts and feelings. Please do not misunderstand me; I am not saying that you should not think and feel. Of course, you will. However, you will do it by choice. In other words, your thoughts and feelings will not control you and operate unchecked. They will still come and go, and you are free to pick them up at any time. Moreover, it certainly does not mean that somehow your life will be dull or boring. In truth, just the opposite will happen.

Can you feel the freedom that comes with having command over what causes your psychological suffering?

Remember, a thought, feeling, or emotion has no power over you until you believe it. I can have a thought that says this is amazing, and someone else might think it is awful. When we believe something is amazing, we feel good, and if we believe it is awful, we suffer. I am sure you can access countless instances of this in your life — for example, a new relationship or the break-up of one. Therefore, without belief, a thought, feeling, or emotion has no power, and therefore it will pass like a cloud floating across the sky.

Now, this is very simple to do. First, we create some space between our thoughts, feelings, and emotions by not believing in them automatically. We begin to notice or question what arises. This is accomplished by bringing awareness to them and becoming the observer. It is from the position of the observer that we create the space we need to stay unattached to what comes. As long as we are watching and not grabbing hold of the thought, feeling, or emotion, there will be some space creating a moment free of reaction, which will lead to stability. You will feel a sense of freedom in this space.

Now I did say this was simple to do, and it is; okay here comes the but, the challenge happens when things start to bubble up from underneath, i.e., conditioning, beliefs, feelings, etc. You have years or decades of automatically going with your thoughts, feelings, and emotions; it is a habit. To break the habit, you will need to come back to observing as the mind distracts you repeatedly. And it will try to distract you because you are taking your power back. Remember, nothing will stick unless you believe in it. You break the habit of attachment by becoming the observer.

There is no need to struggle. If it feels hard to do, then notice that that is a thought. Step back into the observer position, and the hardness will soften, letting go with ease. Any struggle signifies that you are attaching to a thought, feeling, or emotion created by the mind to distract you.

“The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.” -Blaise Pascal

Start here first, and do the best you can because the smallest step toward your authentic-self transcends the mind and brings about tremendous transformation.

 

Navigating the World of Personhood

“If you only use your intellect and let your mind and emotions rule your world, then you will surely suffer.”

Resistance or Peace You Decide

There is a belief by many that the perfect life is a pain-free life. This is a false assumption brought about by our own conditioning and misguided thinking. With this belief, a perfect life is unattainable. Why, because there will always be pain in this world, it is an unavoidable part of our life because we have physical and emotional feelings as human beings. Without them, we would not be having a human experience; it would be something altogether different.

You cannot resist pain and embody peace at the same time this is not possible. Real peace comes from the understanding that pain is necessary, and it is not a punishment. It is only by changing your perception about pain that you can begin the journey to finding lasting peace.

You must no longer see your pain as a punishment or a problem, but an opportunity to heal. It is an indicator that something in your life is out of balance and once it is put back into balance, the pain will disappear or no longer matter to you. If you continue to resist this guidance, then you will suffer.

To avoid suffering, you must embrace what is happening, move into acceptance when you are faced with the truth and let go of any resistance to that truth. Once you do, you open the door to connecting with your innate nature, which is always in a peaceful state. From this place, you can remain peaceful no matter what is happening outside of you. It allows you to see things more clearly and make better choices in life. This shift does not just affect yourself but also the collective energy that connects us all.

Pain

Pain is part of our journey and something we will all experience. Suffering, however, is optional and not a requirement. Jesus did not suffer on the cross. He experienced pain, but he knew how to forgive and love unconditionally. The ones who suffered were his accusers and attackers because they lived in fear and hate.

Every experience of pain brings opportunity with it; we only have to look for it. Pain teaches us all how to live a better life when we are willing to listen. Once we do, our suffering melts away, leaving us with a stronger connection to who we really are, the Divine clothed in humanness.

Finding the Middle

Most things that happen in life are not good or bad; they are good and bad. Where do you put your attention? Do you have enough awareness to see them both? Do you only see the bad, which leaves you anxious, angry or depressed? On the other hand, do you focus only on the good, convincing yourself that nothing is wrong? Seeing life either way will only lead to suffering and the continued loss of our humanity.

Remember life is not about getting, it is about giving. Too many have forgotten this, and have fallen into a trance. Their focus is too narrow, and they can only see the good or the bad. This forgetfulness creates a more significant disparity between those who have and those who don’t, leaving our world in war, hunger, poverty, and turmoil.

We must awaken from our trance, or we will continue to spiral down. Our lost humanity will not just be something we gasp at in the news; it will become so regular that we will grow numb to our inhumanity.  This has already begun to happen in the name of peace and safety. Can you see it?

Will we find a way to wake up or will we continue down our current path? Each one of us must ask this question of ourselves. We must be willing to take an honest look at our beliefs and perceptions so that we can uncover the truth. Otherwise, we will continue to parrot our conditioned views and judgments out into the world, and that will only strengthen what we most dislike about it.

When we can stay in the middle, a balanced life is lived, and happiness becomes the norm. We learn to appreciate the good and have the strength to take action to improve the bad. Can we find the middle or will we continue to fight for what we think is ours and ours alone?