How do you start stepping back from your thoughts? Right where you are. Begin this very moment. Become aware, right now, without thinking about it, that you are thinking. See that there are thoughts and feelings coursing through you. As you watch their movements, be their silent witness. Just observe.
To observe yourself, assume no position on the thoughts and feelings you see moving through you. Don’t put yourself on either side of any thought’s content. In other words, be neither for nor against any thought with any other thought. And should you get temporarily caught in the web of any thinking, then watch that event with the impartial intent and simply start over. Just let your awareness of these thoughts and feelings be there.
The foundation of self-observation is a higher self-awareness that puts you in direct contact with a new and superior intelligence, a silent wisdom that immediately goes to work in your favor, knowing exactly what to do with all that passes before it. It can see the mindless, self-serving antics of your lower nature coming from a thousand miles away — which is the same as taking you out of harm’s way.
Imagine for a moment you’re driving home from work, and that you’ve just come from having a pretty rough day. As you drive along, your eyes see the road before you, but your mind is in the past. It’s very busy re-running all of the day’s unpleasant events.
Over and over again, you feel that painful stab of some thoughtless remark someone cruelly blurted out, or the embarrassment of that stupid comment you made without thinking. And with each mental replay of this unpleasant scene, you go deeper and deeper into thought, desperately trying to find a way to escape what seems an intolerable situation.
But what you don’t see happening to you is that the more you think, the more you sink! Exactly the opposite of what you think you’re accomplishing. And the deeper you sink in thought, the less you’re able to see what the rest of you is doing.
Driving recklessly, speeding, missing the exit you want — these, and other equally dangerous stunts, are only a few of the foolish things that happen to you while driving under the influence of a stream of self-compromising, self-wrecking thoughts.
Your life, in moments such as these, is actually out of your hands. It belongs to your thinking, to an undeveloped nature that doesn’t understand what it’s doing to itself, or to you, as it struggles to find a way out from under the weight of its own unconscious actions.
To free ourselves from this imposter nature — a self of sorts created by our own whirling thoughts and feelings and their imposed reality — we are called to see that its world is not the same as ours. This discovery begins with the conscious action of deliberately stepping back from our thoughts. We become an observer of ourselves, watchful of both the content — and the intent — of everything arising from our own mind and heart… [to be continued]