One of the first things we learn through mindfulness and meditation is how a thought is just a thought - it's not fact and certainly not who we are. The thoughts aren't even ours - if they were we wouldn't have the majority of them, would we?
Thoughts are mental events: they are like seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, feeling/touching - always active, but we don't need to lose ourselves in them - simply notice, acknowledge and be the knowing of the thinking, the sensing.
Worry is thinking about something over and over with the addition of 'what if', 'should' and 'could': some of the most futile words in our vocabulary and ones that can stir many sensations causing stress and suffering.
We also often wear worry like a badge, with pride - seeing it as an expression of how much we care about someone or something. Or see it as a natural response to dealing with situations. But are either of these things really true? Sitting with questions like these in meditation is a great place to start.
Worries are borne of fear. The fear of losing: face, money, love. The fear of life not being the way we want it to be, for us and/or our loved ones. I'm not talking about the wonderful creative, productive type of thinking here but the regurgitating, incessant chatter. Worry is misplaced imagination running riot. Constantly focusing our attention on what was, or what might be, is diluting our direct mind-body experience, distracting us from now, from our true nature. We should allow each person/situation to be what they are - not always pleasant or what we would choose, but just as they are - warts and all!
Emotions such as anger can stir us to take action, to move against injustice but worry merely keeps us in a state of negative bias and distanced from the reality of now.
Things will be what they will be, it's awareness that determines what we see.
We can go through life second-guessing and letting our imaginations run riot on all the things that might or might not happen, or we can live now - aware of the body breathing, the senses alive and alert ready to kick-in when the conditions are right, allowing experiencing to take place.
I recently read a quote which inspired the poem below: "Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles, it's takes away today's peace"
Borne of fear
Worry is borne of fear
of failure, of not being enough
of saying yes, of saying no
of turning the other cheek
of letting go
Worry is charged by thought
by comparison, by crippling doubt
by listening to yes, listening to no
by hiding away
by being on show
Worry is released in presence
in spontaneity, in knowing worth
in loving yes, in loving no
in timeless being
in living in flow
If worry is causing stress and anxiety in your life, contact me to discuss how mindfulness and meditation can help.
Author: Samantha Hall
Artwork also produced by me.
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