Prior to Judgment & Self-Doubt
Have you ever found yourself sensing that something or someone simply didn’t resonate with you but you bypass this information and listen to what you ‘should do or feel’ instead?
This happens everyday. Our mind can be as fast as a hummingbird.
Hummingbirds move instantaneously in any direction at speeds of 25-30 mph and can dive up to 60 mph. They can even fly short distances upside down and they employ a trick rollover when attacked by another bird. Sound familiar?
Sometimes we are conscious of the first clarity and we accept it and sometimes the mind inserts itself so quickly that the initial knowing appears almost imperceptible.
What happens when thoughts and emotions spin a web of beliefs prompting judgment or self-doubt to take over?
What is at stake when we turn away from this momentary flash of ‘knowing’ that arises prior to the mind’s interpretations that drive us to respond to its projections and fears? Does this side-step continue to support our false sense of self and the identities we’ve created?
When I have the experience of turning toward my sense of knowing it doesn’t necessarily unfold without challenges. However, even in the mental noise, there is a sense of peace in knowing I’ve moved from what was true to face whatever comes rather than a robotic response to fear and its subtle levels of control.
It is an enormous stretch to live with an allegiance to this knowing rather than be swung around the merry-go-round of the mind. The biggest obstacle I’ve found is the judgment and interpretations that follow this way of responding to life.
An example of how this shows up in my life:
For months now I’ve been invited by many friends to explore a particular teaching. I’ve taken the time to watch the videos and read about the view of this work to see if I felt called. I didn’t but I wanted to know if it was my mind or a deeper wisdom. I had no opposition to it. It just simply didn’t speak to me. This month I attended a training. Within 15-minutes I knew it wasn’t for me.
I was sitting next to a dear friend who has been deeply impacted by the path and has encouraged me for months to explore it. I sat in my chair feeling the impulse to leave and watching the stories spin. In a matter of seconds I watched a movie of conditioned thoughts:
- ‘Will he be offended or judge me?’
- ‘Will I lose connection with him?’
- ‘What will people think if I walk out in the middle of the session. Am I rude?’
- ‘What am I missing..all of these people find it so compelling, there must be something wrong with me.’
- ‘Is this an egoic block that is sabotaging me from receiving an opportunity to grow?’
- ”Maybe my Mom was right, I’m a quitter and always run away from things.’
…and on and on it went.
Following any of these thoughts, and taking them seriously, is the creator of suffering and the seduction into the complexities and distractions of the mind.
The fruition of seeing and slowing down to learn about the mind is well worth the discipline and investment! These kinds of experiments I find to be very insightful.
Keep It Simple:
Why is it so hard to just keep it simple?
I was able to hear a gentle voice inside say, ‘I tried it, it didn’t resonate’. Ah, rest, ease and I was on to enjoy the next moment of the day. There wasn’t more to say; of course, the mind didn’t agree.
The liberation isn’t in eliminating judgments or doubt from arising but rather seeing it for what it is and exposing the mind’s covert way of taking us out of our immediate experience.
When we can see the patterns of the mind without trying to change or fix them we are on a path of living a peaceful life. From this awareness and capacity to witness we can move toward and away from things when it’s the obvious thing to do from deep in our being.
What would it look like to create a practice of slowing down enough to sense the knowing, even if it changes in 5 minutes, and to practice moving from this place rather than all the interpretations the mind overlays on the experience?