It’s a Trap

Sometimes, people trap themselves into their own perpetual self-fulfilling prophecy prison traps. An example might be someone who often says things like “I feel like nobody wants to help me with anything,” yet also says “I just need to do things myself to keep myself distracted,” among other phrases that catch some in a near perfect trap of inability and apathy.

Granted, every situation is different and context is needed. This isn’t meant to be a blanket statement. These situations are complicated, especially when we can see people who put themselves into these perpetual self-fulfilling prophecy prison traps. In these instances, being around those who trap themselves, it is important to note that we can only do so much to help. This isn’t meant to say we should be apathetic toward people like this or love them less, but we should be aware of how much time and energy we spend with people like this, as after a while it can prove to be draining.

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Loud Mind

Sometimes, the mind is much too loud to quiet on one’s own, and this is completely normal. Our minds have a lot to say sometimes, making it difficult to focus on breath or silence, especially for new meditators.

While it is ideal for one to simply acknowledge each thought & return focus and energy to breath, heartbeat, silence or whatever, a little help getting there doesn’t hurt from time to time.

When the mind is too loud to simply focus on one’s breath, this is where focusing on a mantra or words could be of great benefit, or even some peaceful music.

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Remember to Play

As kids, it was a staple of our lives. Somewhere, for many adults, playing slowly fades perhaps due to increasing pressures of the “adult world.” But it is important we remember to play once in a while, to nourish that inner child through dance, toys, art, imagination, music and maybe even doing nothing.

Play allows the mind to relax while simultaneously growing and moving through & releasing many things, perhaps even a few subconscious thoughts & feelings.

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Feeling Others and Self

Feeling the tension in others can be difficult, and sometimes we don’t always know when we are. It’s easy to confuse other’s emotions with our own sometimes because the movement, vibration and energy of other people are quite fast, regardless if it’s of a positive or unfriendly nature.

I’ve noticed that often, when I am around others or speaking with others who are experiencing a lot of grief or frustration, in the moments I am with them I am fine, everything is good. But later, after speaking or being in their presence I find that sometimes the echoes of these thoughts reverberate back, like a delayed response. I feel these things move through my body sometimes, and I often cry/laugh later. For some like myself, it seems like there is a greater inclination toward becoming attached to the the thoughts, vibrations and energy of others. Every day is a learning process of how to detach and release. 

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Obstacles of the Artist

Creativity is unlike anything else on the planet. It is akin to madness, with a touch of release and a drop of hope. I recognize that creativity is a big part of my life and personality. However, I think sometimes I’m afraid to let go of the world around me, even if it’s something simple like a beautiful leaf.

As an artist it’s sometimes a volatile process to be in the now. In general, for everyone it can be, but I think for artists it can be even more difficult. Artists spend much time in the moment already, yet also and sometimes simultaneously the art comes from not being in the now at all by essentially freezing a moment in time, or a thought and emotion. Even those artists flowing in a stream of consciousness are, in a way at the very least holding on to a moment for a little longer as is translates through their song, brush, pen or whatever. 

I think this process has the potential to pose a challenge in regards to letting go of thoughts sometimes, especially for creative types. I don’t think creative types obsess over certain thoughts, but at the same time, they do. This isn’t to say by any means an artist cannot or shouldn’t meditate, but rather an acknowledgement, as an artist myself, he creative process can sometimes make it harder to let go, despite the fact that art itself is a method of release. 

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Pain Disguised

Often, but not always memories, forgotten thoughts, past trauma, emotions and feelings disguise themselves as physical pain. Sometimes though it’s also just physical pain.

But when a thought, trauma, memory, feeling or emotion does disguise itself as pain, it is because a reconciliation and release hasn’t taken place. Our memories (both subconscious physiological) can be quite mysterious sometimes in storing things that have had an impact on us. Perhaps some of this is due to being too young to wholly process and move through said memories, forgotten thoughts, past trauma, emotions and feelings, so our mind and body stores it away for later. Sometimes we make a specific choice not to “deal with” certain things going on within and around us. Either way, the longer we hold on to these different things, the more and more they become like ghosts after a while, occasionally haunting.

This is why meditation can sometimes be intense, because sometimes in an effort to tone down our conscious and subconsciousness, things like memories, forgotten thoughts, past trauma, emotions and feelings might come bubbling to the surface.

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Disappointing Attachment

Attachment to any thought, positive or negative, no matter how uplifting it may be is also setting oneself up for disappointment.

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Shouldering Too Many Burdens

Many of us face the obstacle of shouldering too many burdens.  Though sometimes it comes from a thoughtful place, the mind can sometimes overestimate the mental capacity and strength we have to endure such heavy thoughts. One needs to be mindful of how much they are putting on themselves. Because many of us have a tendency to carry more responsibility than we can handle, we sometimes forget it’s weighing us down. However, ultimately it is a choice.

When we shoulder too many burdens, it becomes much more difficult to spread our wings.

spread your wings.

Painting by Saeed Akhtar

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Obstacle of Nothing

Sometimes the easiest, yet most difficult thing to do is nothing.

Nothing often requires a letting go/ surrendering to the pressent. But our minds don’t always make it easy. I think this is where focused based meditations like Vipassana or Transcendental Meditation are useful.

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Emotional Weight

It might surprise some of all of the things that weigh it down not just physically but emotionally mentally and spiritually as well. Each day we move through many facets of emotion, many facets of living. In five minutes one could conceivably run the gamut on the emotional spectrum. This is where meditation can prove to be beneficial.

 

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A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skilled Mariner

Sometimes now is a challenging place to be. It’s not always going to be complete serenity and surrendering to bliss.

Sometimes the mind is especially loud in thoughts and distractions, which is ok. The key is not becoming frustrated, because that gives your mind thoughts more power. Sometimes when we are in now, old traumas or hurtful thoughts may arise, or maybe present traumas may come to surface. Again, this is ok too, as it shows one is ready to process and move through these thoughts, feelings, emotions, desires, etc. Acknowledging and accepting they exist is a HUGE and quite profound step, but it is not the only step. One still needs to embrace and release these thoughts, feelings, emotions, desires, etc. If one is unable to do this with themselves, that too is alright because this is where the talking kind of therapy could be beneficial, should other means of appropriate release not be helping.

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Knowing Thyself, Maybe…

Sometimes I wonder if it is possible to truly know thyself for an extended amount of time.

Thinking about the various transformations that I’ve harangued through over the years, sometimes this thought crosses my mind that knowing thyself fully and completely might be something of a long, winding dead end. I don’t know…

Everyday parts of our minds & bodies are morphing and dying. Everyday our thoughts, ideas and consciousness undulate through temporal fabrics. It unnerves me when someone asks my opinion on something because of my awareness said opinion is continuing to grow and evolve.

In each moment, I know myself in that moment, but am aware of the mercurial fleeting nature & mechanics of just about everything.

I think this idea scares some people. Sometimes it scares people into nihilism. Other times it scares people into clinging to certain schemas about themselves and/or their surrounding environment. Both reactions are understandable. This isn’t a condemnation of said reactions. Some people like a little organization in their life in various forms so the world and themselves don’t seem so chaotic.

 

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The Puzzle of Contradiction

Life often contradicts itself, making it humorously frustrating sometimes. But it’s these contradictions that often reveal some of the most profound parts of ourselves.

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