We can choose what to mindfully study in our ongoing present experience. We might watch only our physical sensations for a period of time. This is very good for calming and steadying. By just accepting what we notice is happening in the body experience it has a strong tendency to regulate itself to a calmer state.
We might choose to notice our emotions with an attitude of compassionate acceptance. This may not mean that we agree with those in-the-moment feelings, but accepting our emotions lessens the battle with the ones that are most difficult for us.
Thoughts can also be very interesting to observe. Instead of just being in the thoughts and letting them run automatically, it is possible to notice them and name them as they occur. Naming thoughts might be something like: ‘ planning, worrying, judging, remembering, savoring’ just to name some possibilities. It could be quite illuminating to discover that our thoughts were having a tendency toward repetitions of something such as worrying.
Then it’s another act of mindfulness to notice what helps you at any given time.Nancy
Through mindfulness we can develop willingness and capability to observe ourselves in any aspect of life be it relationships, work, creativity, what we think and how we feel. Mindfulness can give us more freedom from strong negative beliefs and painful emotions. That’s because it affords us the possibility of being conscious rather than running on automatic.
It may be easier to understand how meditating quietly while sitting still can relieve stress than to imagine how actively living life with dual consciousness opens up potential for choice and change. Even in the midst of challenging and overwhelming situations we can become the observer of our own experience. This is what is meant by dual consciousness: one part of us is having the experience while another part of us is observing. The part of us that is observing is openhearted, open minded and curious. Just like the ideal parent or therapist, creating the ideal environment for growth.
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Nancy Christie BFA, CYW
170 The Donway West
North York Ontario
Certified Sensory Motor Psychotherapist Advanced Practitioner
Member Canadian Association for Psychodynamic Therapy
Member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
Clinical Member of the Ontario Society of Psychotherapists