Saturday, July 4, 2015

Self Downing Strategy: Ignoring

Thus far, I have been exploring how to challenge and alter your self downing thinking, in particular how it pertains to writing. Yet sometimes you don't want to get into all that emotional "work," or you just have not yet been able to alter the content of your thinking enough to make an impact, yet you still have to push forward and work.

Two strategies, if you can call them such, are ignoring and distracting.

I will write about ignoring first, and get to distraction another day.

While ignoring our thinking might not seem to be of value here, it actually can be quiet powerful and has some theoretical legs.

First, consider a few thousands of years of yogic practice and thought. I first became aware of the power of learning to ignore your thinking when I leaned to practice Hatha Yoga in the mid to late 1980s in San Francisco. During meditation, we were taught to focus on our breathing, and when thoughts came into our mind, we did not fight them, control them, or engage them. We simply "witnessed" them and allowed them to pass.

By coming to understand our thinking as something other than us, or beyond who we are, we learn that we can do several things with our thoughts. We can engage them, believe them, challenge them, or in this case, return to our breathing and let it go- ignore. Practice that. Actively think of something, hold these thoughts in your head for a while, and then actively follow your breath and allow your thinking to pass.

Viewing "ourselves" and our thinking as not being one and the same is part of many systems of change that rely on and facilitate mindfulness. On one level, mindfulness is about becoming witness to our various experiences and learning to choose where our attention goes. We attend to one thing fully and in the process ignore our own internal chatter.

You don't need to turn your thoughts to your breathing;  this is but one technique. Another method is to pat yourself on the head (literally, to concertize and embody the metaphor), and say to yourself " OK brain, you think what you want; I have work to do and am not paying attention to you while I am working." Of course, this takes a great deal of practice, yet consciously learning to disengage from our thinking and ignoring it is a powerful, powerful skill.

No comments:

Post a Comment