Mind Category Archives

Le..Annie Drop Your Gun

I get lost in my thoughts, like every other human being in the entire world.  For me this “getting lost” is most prevalent in the morning.  They are thoughts fueled by anger and sadness and before I know it I have spent a good hour shuffling through my morning “doings,” and sometimes even driving while lost in them.  I go on this kind of automatic pilot while my mind travels with the injustices I have been dealt; that person that flipped me off, how time is rushing by, and  basically everything I think is wrong with me and “my life.”

These thoughts are always all about me, centered on myself and they don’t feel good.  Frankly, I make myself angry with the stories I attach to the feelings. It’s not long before my thoughts begin attacking one another.  A little voice comes up that tries to find the solution and ward away the angry thoughts by justifying why I’m angry or feel resentful, and before long there is a litany of people who are at fault.  The next round of thoughts start trying to talk me out of those angry feelings: “there are so many people worse off in the world,” “just breathe,” “relax,” “they are just feelings they will pass soon,” and this resistance causes tension to mount in my body.  I start to deploy tactics I’ve read about or that have worked in the past to get away from the anger and sad feelings buried deep inside.  Then I get angry all over again.  I’m not exaggerating, I can literally get lost in this cycle for an hour.  It can sometimes repeat itself 20 times within an hour; angry, list of the causes of anger (i.e., resentment), trying to beat myself internally for feeling the anger, and then trying to get away from myself with tactics to stop the feelings I don’t like.  I’m not going to soften it, I don’t like feeling anger or negative feelings, and I’m pretty sure it’s because they don’t coexist well with the self-image I’ve created all of these years.

Death And The Merging With Life

Death, it is a funny thing and not something, in my experience, anyone enjoys talking or thinking about with sincerity.  We keep death at a distance.  It is known but always a known that will be “later.” It seems, for the most part, we avoid the reality that this thing called death is the one thing that is a for sure in life.  We all will die.   Everything dies.  Moreover, as human beings, we tend to do everything we can to keep the thought of death at bay.  Death is sometimes referred to as darkness, but lately, I have been spending some mind time wondering if it is indeed darkness as we perceive it to be.  If death is inevitable, as it is today, it is therefore interwoven into life itself, yet we see them as separate; life and death.

When it comes to death, we tend to wrap it up with euphemisms, parodies, or even thoughtful quotes to encourage the mind that this death thing is OK.  I see stuff like live the moment entirely, this moment is all you have, etc.… with the underlying tone that you could be hit by a bus in a second and have it all gone.  When we grasp those present moment thoughts or when we have a traumatic event we get glimpses of the idea and feeling that this could be my last day on the planet.  However, it is beginning to seem to me that death and the idea and understanding of death could have much more to offer.

How A Personality Test Brought Acceptance

I ran into some old papers last evening from a job I had over 20 years ago and included in them I found a personality test I had taken, a Myers Briggs test.  I vaguely remember taking the test back in the day and the feeling of disdain I had for being placed in a defined box.  The last sentence in the summary of the report states, “Leanne is a highly introverted individual who has mastered extrovert skills.”

My personality summary was defined as an INFJ type.

Now, I never cared about what an INFJ type was 20+ years ago, but I found another Myer Briggs test today, and I retook it.  The results have not changed, the same four letters appeared to define my personality type, INFJ.

The Personal Mind, Is It Really So Serious?

Oh, my personal mind!!  It churns and searches for something to latch onto and grasp.  If given its preference it would do leaps and bounds into the future every minute of every day.  Dear mind you show me the yearning to fix, solve, create, implement, buy, change, and modify.

Experiences stored, memories created and strategies planned off of the information of the personal mind.  When the mind is calm, there is space for new experiences, new insight and ways of being with my body, mind and the world.

Pay Attention, A Practice

I analyze.  I am continually finding myself analyzing situations and then strategizing how to best respond.  At least this is what I have called it for most of my life.  This obsessive analyzing has served me in many positive ways:

  • It has made me a super problem solver.
  • I am a tinkerer driven by a mad curiosity which results in discovered efficiencies both in my career and in my personal life.
  • The constant questioning and problem-solving have led me to learn – and I mean a lot about a lot of different things.

However, if I do not pay attention that same analyzing quality also can destroy my happiness by creating confusion and clouding clarity.

A New Year Word

Welcome to 2018!

I have been off in hibernation over the holidays – it is what I do every year.  I visit my family at the beginning of December, my hubby heads off to his family’s house, and I stay at the casa with Travis (the cat) and hibernate.

It is one of my favorite things to do each year.  There is a space that opens inside of me when I am left to my own devices, when I can make my own schedule, and when there is no one, but Travis of course, to listen to me regurgitate my thoughts audibly.

For the past 20 or so years, I have practiced my end of the year ritual.  It is not even about the new year itself but rather the energy that permeates everything and everyone towards the end of the year that resonates with me.  Everyone seems to be in the same mindset; there is more optimism everywhere I look, and I ride the tide and wrap myself in the energy that feels like wrapping up and beginning anew.

How Are Your Senses Shaping Your Perception Of Reality?

I have an overactive right side, physically, which has contributed to the thoracic outlet syndrome the medical profession diagnosed years ago.  Everything from my right eye to my right toes works harder than the left side of my body (except the gluteus minimus).  If you look closely at my physical structure, in person, you can see even my right cervical spine is pushing to the left.  Take a look at the picture next to this post, and you can see my right side pushing towards my left.

Now, some of this stands to reason since I am right handed.  So, it is safe to assume I would dominate with my right side somewhat.  However, the amount of structural and muscular movement is beyond regular right-hand dominance.

Meditation, No Slick Guarantees Here

Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, regardless of all the slick guarantees, do not make unwanted things go away.  These practices do not hold promises of unending bliss.  Instead, they create a space to see yourself as you are and open your heart to yourself with acceptance and kindness.  They expose your habits and present them before you and you can either buy-in or let go.  It is through these practices you realize whatever occurs at this moment is neither the beginning nor the end.  Thoughts, emotions, and feelings come and go, and all that is ever here is the basic nowness that is unfolding in front of you.

Oops, now that has gone but here is another, and another, and another and another…

Why You Can Meditate

When I meditate I focus on my out-breath.  When I first begin my meditation practice, I pay attention to the qualities of the out-breath, the color, the texture, etc….

After getting settled, usually about 5 minutes, I start to pay attention more to the space around the out-breath rather than the qualities of the breath itself.  As my mind starts thinking, which it always does, I imagine popping the thought bubble with a feather and say to myself, “thinking.”

When I first began meditating several years ago, I would label things within my meditation as they happened. This labeling was identified by the sense perception I was experiencing. When I would hear a car go by and my attention was drawn to it, I would silently say to myself “hearing.”  When I noticed I was lost in thought, I would silently say to myself “thinking” and then bring myself back to watching the out-breath.

Communicating Mindfully Through Email

Everywhere I look my daily life offers opportunities to become more mindful, present, aware, and responsive.  Everyday “mundane” tasks unfold in front of me, and I see the opportunity to serve them vs. how reactive and ultimately unmindful I have approached these interactions with life.

One of those daily interactions, my attention was drawn to recently is email.

A couple of weeks ago, I realized just how reactive and quick I am to write or respond to emails while never considering in great detail, the other person at the end of my email.  Emailing has been driven more by a desire to knock something off my list and get the answers to the questions I had so I could move on.  As Eckhart Tolle would say, my action of writing emails so often have been “a means to an end,” I am writing A so I can get to point B.