Updated: Aug 30, 2022
Create more Freedom and Joy in your Life
How? Through practicing mindfulness and witnessing the transitions
My teacher Rod Stryker says we need to witness the transitions in our life to be able to become truly mindful. Rods’ first suggestion was to watch ourselves transition from awake to asleep. I have to admit this unearthed fear in me as in the past I had suffered from insomnia. Any discussion around sleep had sent me into a tailspin of whether or not I would get a good night's sleep. Despite this fear, I thought it was worth giving the practice a go. The first night I watched myself falling asleep, and it worked! Then as instructed, I watched myself transitioning from being asleep to being awake!
Wow! Incredible experience, I was in a deep sleep and actually saw myself waking. The next instruction was to witness every moment from there on.
The interesting thing about this practice is it allows you to see how much of you is operating on autopilot. Not only your actions but your thoughts as well. We tend to get stuck in patterns of behaviors and thoughts that are gifted to us by our fears, parents, grandparents, teachers, work colleagues etc.
Do you even know what the first thing is that you do when you open your eyes in the morning? Do you look at your clock, your phone? If you look at the clock, what is it that the mind perceives? Is it that you have had too little or too much sleep? If this is the case, then ask yourself if you are setting your mind up for failure from the start of your day.
Watch the negative self-talk that happens around the story of you oversleeping for example. As you start to stretch and move if your hip is aching, do you focus on that and concentrate on the pain or discomfort or do you say ‘well 90% of me is feeling fantastic. Do you read your messages on your phone or do you go straight o the toilet and do your ablutions? Could you stop and stare out the window at nature or people on the street or to the sky for a few moments, contemplating nothing at all, or perhaps contemplating gratitude. Could you write in your journal about all the things you are grateful for before you even get out of bed?
I went through a period after my separation of writing everything I was grateful for before I left my bed. Some days it would be as simple as ‘I am grateful to have woken up today because I realized not everyone on the planet gets to do that! In moments of despair, it is hard to imagine things to be grateful for, so we need to dig deep, there is always something there.
Trust me if I can do it, so can you!
What we need to do is to be witness to our transitions and notice when we are in auto-pilot mode.
Have you noticed when listening to someone's story, you are already thinking about what you want to tell them about you or your experience and barely hear anything they have said! This is because we are not fully present in that moment, We are not being mindful. Watch how you transition even in conversations! Witnessing yourself not being fully present is part of becoming more mindful.
Get off autopilot and change your routine and watch yourself being what triggered. There is so much information that our routines and habits can tell us about ourselves, about our parents, and about how often we are operating from our subconscious minds. When we start to witness and ask questions off ourselves, we open the space for new ways to emerge.
Take the time to ask yourself ‘how could I do that or ‘how could I think about that differently, taking a new perspective. One suggestion is to mix things up a bit, challenge your mind, and take another route to work, each something different for breakfast.
I urge you to challenge your stories every day. My suggestion to you is to get curious about your thoughts. Be playful, try not to get stuck in your stories. Be careful not to use violent language such as ‘you idiot’, or ’how stupid self-talk. Be kind to every thought that comes up and challenge why you think that way. Instead of negative self-talk or violent language try saying ‘isn’t that interesting that I tough that way? I wonder where the autopilot came from?’. Set a daily challenge to do one thing differently. Make that conscious choice and start to navigate from a place of conscious awareness rather than autopilot. I promise you will create more freedom and joy in your life.
I am a Spiritual coach and mentor and want you to free yourself form the binds that keep you stuck in life. PM me if you would like to know more about the work I do one on one, in person, or online