Not resisting what happens last week has led me to start writing a novel. I'm not questioning why I want to write that particular story as a novel, not as a screenplay, which is what I've been working on thus far, because the rule is not to resist what happens. How did not resisting work for you?
What am I still resisting?
The truth of the matter is that I am still not in complete surrender. This past week I found that guilt arose. The guilt stemmed from the fact that I wasn't working on a screenplay instead. After all, I've been training in the craft of screenwriting, then why wasn't I continuing to do that?
Which brings me back to the original question...
What do I really want out of life?
Ultimately, what I really want is to be at peace. Then, how do I maintain peace when guilt arises? Eckhart Tolle teaches that the guilt, shame, fear, or any other disturbing or uncomfortable emotions we feel are due to our identification with the incessant "voice in the head." It's the voice that labels situations as good or bad, judges, analyzes, reviews old conversations, brings up the past, etcetera. Or what Jill Bolte Taylor (Stroke of Insight) calls the "left brain chatter."
My intention this week is to combine last week's technique of not resisting whatever arises, including guilt, and creating more space between thoughts.
How does one create space between thoughts?
Those of who are familiar with the practices of mindfulness or meditation know that we are not our thoughts. Thoughts are just there doing their thing like digestion. Those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, go to your breath right now and see if a thought arises while you take that breath. A thought cannot possibly arise when your attention is on your breath. To create space between the chatter and the peace underneath it, we need to place ourselves in the role of an observer. The more we observe our thoughts without identifying with them or taking them personally, the more space we create.
The techniques that I use are: going to the breath, going to the body (what does a thought feel like in my body), and watching my thoughts without judging their content (and forgiving myself if I forget :)).
What kind of a person do I really want to be in this situation?
I want to be able to stay focused on what I'm doing regardless of guilt arising. Intellectually, I always know that I am not my guilt. It's just an energy vibration that comes in and out. Then, how do I connect to that knowing in the midst of guilt arising? I can choose to watch the vibrational energy for as long as it takes before it passes. And as everything in life, it will pass.
How can you join me in creating space inside?
You can practice observing your thoughts this week, as well as allowing whatever arises to be there, and watch it pass on by.
Just for this week, "I am watching my thoughts as they arise and I'm letting them pass me by."