The fictions that don’t always serve us

We operate along gradations of I like it / I don’t like it, seeking pleasure or avoiding pain. This impacts our mood and our interactions and forms our personalities. Our mind is always quick to judge ourselves and others and this influences our behaviour and our sense of being. This can happen right this moment we can either be in some kind of neutral state, or somewhere along the I like it / I don’t like it continuum. Wherever we are there is an element of story telling,  we create past, present and future narratives in our minds and most of the time it is fiction. We are the protagonist of our own continuous unfolding monologue, often about the self. We are often wanting something else, not being satisfied with what is, expecting something more from others and being disappointed when our expectations are not met. How can we can let go of this often defensive attachment to self during our day to day life? This is no easy task and takes commitment and time to tune into what is going on in our mind and our bodies, observing, noticing, reflecting, letting go. An ongoing regular meditation practice as part of yoga is a powerful technique and tool to observe, notice, reflect and let go. We must be mindful not to judge ourselves too harshly, to actually be kind and encouraging as we cultivate a more balanced way to be. It is a continuous ebb and flow as we let go of the narrow world of our likes and dislikes and thereby slowly loosen the grip on our own self importance. Let go of the constant ‘I’ narrative and relax into simply being, accepting what is without unduly reacting.

To be or not to be, that is the question

This is of course the start of Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, whether to continue to live his life or to end it. I use it in the context of To Be Present or Not to be Present.

We are always coloured by our mood, if we feel happy and bright we may be more or less balanced, if we feel sad and melancholic we may be off balance. We are attuned to the world through our moods and the mood dictates are Beingness in the world. Whatever mood we are in, we can choose to be present or not to be present.

To be, or Not to be, is the question, the position or the mind state, in a moment of wanting to say or act out we have a choice, “to be or not to be”. To be, I see as resting in awareness, in presence, Not to be is to give into chaos and habit mind, to react. It is of course a momentary fraction of a pause that will make the difference to whether you respond or react in any given situation. It can be quite a challenge if you have reacted the same way to certain situations or triggers for most of your life.

In a given moment where you notice you are being triggered, pause, make a conscious choice To Be with your breath. That is the point that allows you to choose how the next moment will unfold, it is such a small space but it becomes magnificent if we heed it. Mindfulness is awareness and the ability to observe experience. No one said it was easy, but with continued practice it does open a space to move away from your usual habitual reaction that is not helpful to you or others.

We can cause harm to our relationships and ourselves if we choose to not be present. Be aware of the energy that pushes you into doing or saying what you don’t want to say but you go ahead anyway because that is what your are used to.

To be (present) or not to be (present), you decide.