Noticing Your Racing Thoughts
Sitting on my balcony again, as I do every morning and sometimes at night.
From this place all I see is trees, some distant mountains and the sky.
At night there’s nothing but pure stillness and the stars.
Now you’d think in such an environment you must be blissfully still and at peace all the time. Yet, actually often I notice how my mind is racing.
It’s like my thoughts take up all my attention and drag me along. They drag me, usually not to the beautiful, not the good but to the most worrisome, judgemental and fearful places.
And often it takes a while before I’m even aware of it.
Sometimes, it makes me wonder, why is it so hard to be present, even while sitting between the trees?
Even when surrounded by the purity and stillness of nature, my mind get’s a hold of me. And yet, maybe that isn’t such an important question, the question is:
Am I aware—now?
Am I awake—now?
The moment you become aware of unhappiness (restlessness) inside, you’re no longer completely in the grip of it.
You don’t need nature or a balcony to practice observing your racing thoughts. All you need is the curiosity to know what’s going on.
Why observe your racing thoughts?
As you might have noticed, they make you miserable.
They like to complain, judge, make you feel unworthy and wrong.
In other words, they cause enormous suffering, and most of us are so used to it, we don’t even notice.
It’s like the humming of a fridge, only when it stops do you notice how noisy it really was.
Also thoughts carry a certain energy.
Fearful, worrisome thoughts lower your immune system and make you react in ways you often regret.
The way out is to be more and more present so spaciousness can arise.
Wisdom can start to lead the way.
Every time you notice your energy drop, you know you’ve lost presence.
The mind, has taken over.
Nothing to judge or be discouraged about.
It’s a great thing to be able to notice your worrisome thoughts.
Worrisome thoughts itself, don’t serve a purpose except as a warning signal that you’ve lost presence.
Be aware how these troublesome thoughts pretend to be all important.
They WANT your attention.
They almost demand that you follow them.
Time and time again, I fall into this trap.
I forget, I get dragged along.
Then I’m in pain, I suffer.
I don’t see the sky in all its beauty.
I don’t appreciate the small things.
I’m basically not there at all.
Lost in a stream of thinking that leads me nowhere.
The more I direct my attention to the stillness, the more at peace I feel.
That’s when I remember
no matter what the moment looks like,
there is a sacredness here.
There is beauty here.
The question is:
Do we choose to pay attention to it,
or do we follow every problematic thought that comes along?
Exactly, that is the shift.
Am I lost in thought?
Or Am I present?
You and I know, it requires great vigilance to make the choice to return to presence
again and again.
Never make yourself wrong for not being able to.
You are holy and perfect as you are!
With gratitude and endless love,