Life Warrior Blog
By John Austin Foster- How to Cure Your Addiction to Thoughts
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” – Franz Kafka
Here is a paradigm shift for you. Your life’s purpose, love, abundance, and even ecstasy are all waiting for you right now. Not in some far away place.
What if life, by its very nature, existed in a constant state of expectancy waiting for you to open your heart and get out of your story?
I have come to learn, the hard way, that the more I struggle with life, the less life unravels at my feet. This is why the above quote is so powerful for me! It speaks to me right where I am at in this moment.
I have also come to find that the more I meditate, calm my mind, follow my bliss, take on worthwhile projects and put myself out there with meeting other passionate and inspired people, the more life unfolds for me. So, the less I struggle and the more I simply learn to BE LOVE, the more life offers herself to me.
So, if this is true, then why do human beings exist in almost a constant state of struggle with what is?
The answer is simple: We are addicted to our thoughts and emotions. We literally can’t help ourselves.
This brings to mind an example. A while back, the radio broke in my car. No longer could I listen to music or to talk shows. No longer could I distract myself by other things. At first, the silence was deafening! I found it difficult and uncomfortable to drive my car with no sounds except traffic and those of my car.
However, after a relatively short period of time, I began to relish the times of silence in my car. One of my favorite meditations became simply driving without judgment, expectation, interpretation or thought about the cacophony of the city around me. I found that often, the city plays like a John Coltrain song, dis-harmonious and chaotic but beautiful and enchantingly reminiscent of something lost from nature yet headed in the direction of something profound.
This brings me to another example:
A couple days ago, I was standing in the lobby of a church watching others around me, when I noticed my thoughts were completely still. That is when the idea for this article came to me, and when I wondered at how far I had come and at how much others around me were perhaps stuck in their thoughts. Perhaps the only thing separating them from the divinity they sought was the ability to remain silent in their minds?
So, I guess, the question you are most likely asking is, how do I break my addiction to thoughts?
This is a powerful question, and one that can dramatically change the course of your life. When you realize that you are not experiencing life as much as your thoughts about life, you will begin to reduce the causes of your suffering in a powerful way.
Matthieu Ricard, the happiest man alive, says that meditation is learning to experience things in a new way!
So the first step towards breaking your addiction to having 95% of the same thoughts everyday is the realization that you are doing this. You are creating your emotional reality with your thoughts!
Working with a coach is a powerful way to see these repeated thoughts! Often, in conversations with clients, I will point out a specific thought pattern. The client will notice this, yet they will continue to bring up the same belief, excuse, or idea over and over again. Part of my job, is to non-judgmentally point out this thought pattern again and again to my client until it may even become a point of laughter, like, “Yah, I see myself doing it again.” Pretty quickly the client gets the idea and they leave with something to work with in their meditations.
Give yourself GRACE- You have 20, 30, 40 or more years of practice thinking the same thoughts, creating the same defense mechanisms, and going about in the same ways that worked for you when you were 7 years old. Luckily, you are an adult now and you can learn to choose new thoughts in a powerful way!
NEXT IS PRACTICE- Practice, practice, practice becoming aware of your thoughts. Of course MEDITATE but do way more practice then just meditation!!! Set reminders in your phone to give you an opportunity to scan your thoughts and check in with yourself emotionally. Create a “change” word that you will use when you catch yourself having the old dis-empowering thought. When you catch yourself thinking in old patterns, say that word and remind yourself to STOP!!!!
Enlist a spouse or a loved one to non-judgmentally point out old patterns when they arrive, giving you a chance to change a long held re-action loop with that person.Non-judgmental is the key here! Without which, it will never work, especially when you are working with people with whom you’ve held those patterns for so long.
Finally, one of the most powerful practices that I have found to stop unnecessary thoughts is the practice of picking up the WARRIOR’S SWORD. Pick up the warrior’s sword and when you notice unnecessary thoughts arising in your mind. Cut them out. Picture a sword slicing them off and not allowing them to entire the temple of your mind. Be your greatest guardian and protect the beauty, power, and simplicity of your thoughts.
When you see each thought as precious, powerful and the creators of your reality, you will begin to be much more aware and much more skillful in what you allow to arise inside your infinite self.
I hope this article is helpful and empowering! Please contact Life Warrior Coaching today to start a conversation that could change your life.
Lots of love and here’s to unlimited possibilities, John Austin Foster,www.lifewarriorcoaching.com
Meditation- Pick Up the Warrior’s Sword
Sit quietly and in a powerful position with your spine straight and your eyes closed or fixed on the space in front of you. Take a few minutes to root yourself into the moment and notice how easily thoughts try to creep into your mind.
Now envisions yourself as a powerful warrior, in seated meditation practice, and then pick up the warrior’s sword. Sit with dignity and grace. Sit like you would as if you were already enlightened (because you already are when you are not thinking). When a thought tries to enter, good or bad, cut it off. Be the powerful protector of your mind. Sit in beautiful silence knowing the warrior’s sword is here to protect you.
Practice this for a full 10 minutes.
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