Friday, September 12, 2008

Becoming aware of your inner experience

When you sit quietly for 10 or 15 minutes and notice your thoughts and feelings, you’re making a radical shift in your relationship to your inner experience. Instead of being swept away by the current, you become, for the moment, an observer on the shore, watching the river of your experience flow by. Though the difference may seem inconsequential and you may not feel that you’re making any headway, you’ve actually begun to loosen your story’s stranglehold on your life. Gradually, you begin to notice spaces in your mind’s chatter, and what once seemed so serious and solid slowly becomes lighter and infused with fresh air.
You may find yourself laughing at your tendency to worry and obsess, or perhaps you pause and notice what you’re feeling before you react. As you practice welcoming your experience just as it is, including your judgments and self-criticisms, you may also discover that your attitude toward yourself begins to change in subtle ways. Instead of impatience or contempt, you may begin to notice a certain self-acceptance creeping in as you become more familiar with the repetitive patterns of your mind. Hey, you may even develop a measure of compassion for yourself as you see how self-critical or distracted or frightened you can become.

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