37. PART of me, not ALL of me – How self awareness can help me to uncover unconscious blocks.
Image from the movie “Inside Out”
Have you ever been shocked or puzzled by the actions of someone you thought you knew really well? Have you ever said to someone, “Well, I just saw a WHOLE DIFFERENT SIDE of her / him.”?
I COULD spend my life endlessly noticing, judging, being shocked or puzzled by those people ‘out there’ who suddenly say something out of character, or behave in a way that’s less than ideal.
But to be perfectly honest with you, that would just be a very convenient DISTRACTION. Seriously, I think I’d be better off being honest and focusing on my OWN occasional actions that cause me to internally squirm. They’re most likely the very same things that I dislike in others. Those moments when I think, “What the HECK just came out of my mouth?”
For example, I’d become aware of a tendency to occasionally be snippy and cutting in conversation. I thought I’d worked pretty hard on eradicating this trait. But then, without fail, I’d be triggered by some specific incident and there it was again!
What followed could be up to a week of beating myself up for being a ‘mean person’, and a renewed effort to ‘eradicate’ this. For that whole week I would feel that I WAS that! I would feel like Bart Simpson writing a hundred times on the chalkboard, “I must not be snippy. I must not be snippy. I must not be snippy.” This attempt at eradication was clearly not working in the long term.
Witnessing the behaviours
However, a few years ago I was introduced to a new idea that felt like a deep TRUTH to me.
It was the idea that Snippy Girl was just a PART of myself; in fact just a certain vibration, or Level of Consciousness, passing through me in order to be noticed, understood, loved and ultimately TRANSCENDED. Not cut off, not eradicated, but transcended.
My life changed from feeling like I WAS those traits or behaviours to being able to WITNESS all of the very many vibrations passing through me, and understanding that they were simply parts of the human condition awaiting integration through my personal experience. Little by little, Snippy Girl didn’t make an appearance any more.
Participants in my Mindfulness Meditation course are taking the first step towards this kind of everyday awareness. Not only do they learn many techniques to relax, and calm their nervous system, but they also learn to develop the WITNESS; noticing yet not judging the thoughts that attempt to reassert control when the mind focuses on any relaxation technique.
This can have a spill over effect in everyday life. We begin to notice the thoughts and self-talk that accompany our actions. The other day in MM class, we even did an exercise to bring these thought forms out into the open, by assigning them a ‘character’; a bit like Snippy Girl; a bit like the characters in the movie “Inside Out”. https://www.google.com/search?q=movie+trailer+inside+out+youtube&oq=movie+trailer+inside+out+youtube&aqs=chrome..69i57j0.6820j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
Seeing these as cartoon characters helped us gently and humorously notice how they were just a PART of us; just an energy vibration we are BORROWING for a time to learn something about ourselves.
If you’re interested in developing the WITNESS to your thoughts instead of being overrun by them; if you’re interested in the greater personal freedom that comes through learning about PARTS of yourself, my next Beginners Mindfulness Meditation course would be a good place to start. You can find all the details at https://www.barbaracookauthor.com/meditation-classes/
I also invite you to follow my facebook page “Barbara Cook Author – Re-awakening your Essence” for regular musings on, well, just that;- re-awakening your own essence. I call it “coming home”.