Paraphrasing Andy’s notes from Day 36/37 Discovery Series within the context of my experience with this program…
It all flows from awareness. Our states of mind are in a constant state of flux…lingering on pleasant thoughts, pushing away or resisting negative thoughts. Headspace has made me very aware of my tendencies to get pulled away from the present moments into these thought strings. When I can step back and not engage with these states of mind, there is this feeling of detachment that is usually followed by a state of ease.
The Headspace exercises in mindfulness, noticing when I’m distracted have been extremely helpful in understanding how my thoughts can lead to less pleasant emotional states (enter the drunken monkeys). Mindfulness, simply noting these emotions as the observer, often lets these thoughts dissipate before they become a downward spiral of emotion. Noticing where my head is in these ‘mini moments of mindfulness’ acts to disrupt this typical chain of events, it creates expansiveness, more space for creative thinking, and acceptance. Just more space period.
Mindfulness of a situation may not mean that the situation changes, more so how I relate to the situation. The simple awareness exercise of noting when I get distracted means that the frequency with which my mind wanders off has been reduced. My mind wanders a little less than it used to, and it doesn’t wander for as long. My mind is clearer. I know that with practice, this will become even further engrained, leaving me much more space, more clarity, less anger, worry and resentment.
The directive to note those moments of awareness when I wish things were different than how they actually are is also interesting. I never realized how much I hang my hopes and thoughts on changing things that likely won’t change. Accepting things and people for what and who they are is huge and it has come from these meditation practices. This is echoed in my gratitude habit, in realizing and being grateful for how many things are perfect as they are.
It’s tricky though…some days are good, some days are bad and I feel like I’m back at square one. I am tough on myself, wondering how it’s possible to lose progress so easily? But the thing is that this is a subtle change, it is not lost. It IS there whether I can feel it or not and it doesn’t happen overnight. The hard part is changing the coding from prior experiences. It is as if I am re-coding my mind and all of my habitual responses.
This morning during meditation I had this huge realization that my mind holds on to and almost indulges my anger. It revels in resentments and it was shocking to me because Andy always says to note what you are holding on to, and eludes that the thoughts we indulge are typically pleasant. Then I started to wonder why I hold on to the negative emotion of anger…replaying it over and over…it’s like a bio chemical bouillabaisse…but this is the first time I’ve really clearly seen it… as part of how I create and subsequently hold on to my own ‘suffering’…And so another door opens.