During this morning’s meditation, my thoughts led me, as pretty usual, to planning. I felt doubt (which is also pretty usual being me) about how to proceed on certain matters. What is the best course of action? How can I make this as smooth as possible? With as little unpleasantness as possible? I am a human being, and just like most humans, I like when things go my way and don’t inflict discomfort. It has been a historical theme inside my head to dip into that doubt and spiral away with catastrophizing thoughts and anxiety. Dying to get some sense of control of this unpredictable world.
With time and practice, I have adopted other ways of coping. Thoughts pop up all the time. That is simply how our brain seems to be designed. We see that thoughts pop up and we see them go. With time and patience, we can learn to see that they are just mental processes, nothing personal necessary. They are merely suggestions, mere flowers of air. They are nothing unless we make them into something. However, you are allowed to have fun with them.
Back to my morning meditation, I felt the doubtful thoughts rise and I could see my habitual pattern of leaning into that getting ready to pounce. At the same time, playfulness was leaning on the railing, ready to join the match too. Playfulness served: “What if you would think the opposite?”. The thought “I’ve got this” appeared with assertiveness and a smile lurked behind my focused face. Doubt didn’t stand a chance with that curve ball. “Of course! I’ve got THIS!”. I’ve got this moment. I have every chance to greet THIS moment as my teacher, instead of an opponent or problem that needs to be fixed or worried about. This moment, my anticipated problem doesn’t exist. (And then you can wonder, who or what is this “I” that has all these thoughts and problems…)
For me, the doubt and unease melted away with the reminder of “those thoughts are not now, they are pointing toward something that might not be real”, but if the unease lingers, I would greet the unease as my teacher. “Hello Unease, while you are here, might we sit down and have an honest conversation?”. Usually, visitors like Unease come with a message of “I don’t feel safe”, and that feeling usually dates back to our childhood conditioning. Compassion is where I go then. Compassion for my suffering and ultimately all the suffering in the world: “I see you”.
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