Do you know you have access to extraordinary capacities found in your creative, intuitive, and spiritual nature? Your mind is wondrous as a glorious forest: teeming with neuro-networks just like trees’ roots, which communicate with each other beneath the surface. Scientists have measured increased chemical exchanges between these tree roots, for example, when storm clouds arise, anticipating rain. Our unconscious minds do much the same thing, especially in times of stress, when the ego becomes infused with fear, narratives and scripts from the past, clouding our minds, which come without warning. Some forest paths lead to peaceful meadows and spectacular waterfalls, other paths to burnt and dead trees. Like the trees and plants which reach toward the sun, we can’t see what lies beneath the surface of our minds.

"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost." - J.R.R. Tolkien

Here is a process of getting back to the root of the self, to reconnect with the soul. To practice this variation on mindfulness, you need only assent to the proposition that you are not your thoughts.

LIVING ARTFULLY IN FIVE STEPS

  1. Remember “I am not my thoughts.”
  2. Distance from, and Dis-identify with, your thoughts.
  3. Accept yourself completely.
  4. Find your inner voice and state your truth before your higher self.
  5. Wait as long as it takes. Let your soul guide you.

First, become a compassionate witness to yourself. Realize that thoughts and feelings are not “true” or “false.” Suspend the need to be right; seek the root feelings – like fear, or sadness. Accept thinking and feeling many things at once.

It is interference and commentary about your thoughts, dredging up old wounds and scripts from the past, which tricks you into fusing with your thoughts, making you con-fused. In other words, you had been “conned” into becoming “fused” with your thoughts! A neat memory trick is to “diss” (dis-identify) your thoughts, so you don’t get “conned”.

How will you know when you have found your inner voice? You will know. It feels very different inside yourself when you connect with your higher wisdom. And when your soul gives you the guidance you were seeking, don’t be shocked if spontaneous experiences of forgiveness or compassion well up from within.

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John O'Donoghue is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor, who practices Online Transpersonal Psychotherapy from his home in India. Visit his website here.

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