HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THE THOUGHTS WHEN THEY TRY TO TAKEOVER? + A REMINDER TO BREATHE.
The Butcher, the Baker the Candlestick Maker
It is said that we are the space in which thoughts occur. It is also said that whilst we experience the thoughts, we are also the creator of said thoughts, as well as the thoughts themselves. Yet we find ourselves constantly at the mercy of these intangible but oh so ‘real’ parts of our our minds.
Whilst these electro-chemical responses are extremely useful tools for helping us in all manner of ways from completing basic needs to leaps in scientific and design discovery and creation, they can also be burdens. I’m sure at some point we have all been able to liken our thoughts to buffalo in a stampede and us the unfortunate creature that got in the way. Most of the time, we feel this way when the thoughts are ‘bad’, those thoughts that are worries, woes, unfortunate past moments or frets about the future, or my personal favourite kind; imaginary thoughts of pending destruction and worst case scenarios, you know those ones? We usually don’t complain too much about the nicer side of our imagination/ thoughts but if you’re like me, then at times even these can keep you awake at night.
All the while, we are the buffalo maker, the buffalo itself and the trampled creature, simultaneously… and the buffalo aren’t even real most of the time. So what do we do when the tool becomes a hindrance or even ‘just’ a distraction? What do we do when the thought begins to impact on our mental health and wellbeing and we can’t throw the tool away?
The Butcher in us all may want to just stop these thoughts. Hack them to pieces, chase them with knives blade side sky high. When I first began trying to “deal with” my thoughts this was definitely my method, or weapon, of choice. I would get very spirited and try to run the buffalo out of my head instead of being trampled. This method was tiresome and I quickly realised how hard it was to maintain being the creator of the buffalo AND being the one trying to run them out too. It also felt abusive, fighting with thoughts that I myself had created. In the earlier parts of my journey with meditation, mindfulness and yoga I would chide myself for the incessant thoughts, then in 2015 when I started attending yoga classes, I was guided in a way that changed a lot of my life. As a class we were advised to allow our minds to be as the sky, and the thoughts as clouds. Thoughts will surely come, and when they do, allow them to pass. Sure, this is easier said than initially done, but with practice this becomes powerful. Allowing thoughts to pass means you are out of the path of the stampede of buffalo, and at the very least you can watch them gallop on by instead.
The innate Baker in us often itches to reach out and pluck all the ingredients as they pass through and make a mess of a thought pie. However, in practicing detachment from thoughts, in observing them, allowing them to pass without grabbing onto each one, we definitely began to grow more selective and choose only the thoughts which are going to produce the more enjoyable experience. As much as we can differentiate from worthwhile and non worthwhile ideas, we also benefit from learning to identify which thoughts giving our time and energy to will yield wonderful creations, and which will result in stress, panic attacks and sleepless nights. Any thought we give our attention/energy/time and thus power to will have an outcome. The best bakers do not use crappy ingredients, let’s learn to choose wisely.
The Candlestick maker
The Candlestick Maker is the illuminator. The aspect of us that does not attach itself or emotions to thoughts, but instead uses them as a guiding light to find out what is going on at a deeper soul level. When we come from the perspective of The Candlestick Maker we are neither judging nor fearing our thoughts, we are allowing them to be, and since we are the thought maker, we are allowing ourselves to be, as we are. In this space, we are able to allow thoughts to pass, interact with thoughts in a non detrimental way and to also understand why the thoughts are. At this level we get to know the side of us that is creating the thoughts, and so we can begin to look at altering our thought pattern. It is not to say that in this frame of mind, the buffalo do not come running, the difference here is that you begin to be able to remind yourself to take the so important pause that can stop a stampede in its tracks, or at least give you time to get out of the way.
Regardless of which part of your journey through mindfulness you’re on, even if you’re not, we all need reminders to breathe from time to time. No matter which way you chose to experience your thoughts at present, taking an all important Pause and being mindful about your choice is great practice. Holding space for yourself in a moment is a way to stop time, regain your sense of gravity, clear your vision and show up for yourself instantly. Here’s a recipe and reminder to breathe for both myself and for you if you should so need it:
A Reminder to Breathe
I invite you
Take a moment to BREATHE
Know that all these thoughts will drown you before you ever get to see the outcome if you don’t COME UP FOR AIR
Position yourself as comfortably possible
Craft a moment of peace for yourself, on the train, at your desk, on the toilet, in the shower
Wherever you need to
Wherever you are
Just pause and
Create this moment out of love
This moment is
Just for you
Feel the breath travelling into your nostrils & down your throat
Just for you
Feel the air swirling down in the bottom of your lungs as you expand them, drawing the diaphragm downwards
Keep the focus on the breath
Allow the breath to stall for a moment here
As the interactions between cells occur,
As energy exchanges ensue,
Imagine that the pocket of air attracts all the undesirable energies towards it
All perceived negativity within you is being pulled towards this air
Now release slowly, steadily
This moment is
Just for you
With your outward breath
Envision the overwhelm attaching itself to the carbon dioxide and leaving your body
Allowing that which no longer serves you to leave too
Allow the earth to GROUND, refresh & replenish your energy & LIFE FORCE.
Be here now
In this very moment and be still
Make friends with your life partner, your body, in this moment
Let right now be all that matters
Feel that you are the creator of this moment, experiencing the created moment and the moment itself.
It would be great to hear about your interactions with your thoughts and what came up for you whilst reading this, comments are always welcome. I hope you enjoyed this post, and the moment you may have crafted for yourself.
Love & Light x