It is very important that we feel all our feelings. They are a kind of messenger to help us along our life path. We also do well in observing our thinking, the mental mind, the heart mind and the gut mind. These processes require us to be able to step to a position away from the feelings and thoughts themselves. This seems difficult at first, though with some practice it becomes smoother and more efficient.
The point of such exercises may appear at first to be a waste of time, or even an impossibility. This makes sense. We have probably spent most of our lives embroiled in the belief that we are our thoughts and feelings. This is a shallow view of who we truly are. The easiest example would be to consider our hand objectively for a moment. What is its shape and size? How does it feel? Does it feel strong, weak, painful, or neutral? Has my hand changed over time? Will it change more as we grow on in life? Once these points have been addressed and this is noted, we can ask, ‘Are we just our hand?’
Of course, in reality, we are much more than just our hand. Thoughts and feelings are like this. They (our hand, our feelings and our thoughts) are all part of us, but not the whole, and perhaps not all that important as parts. They are one thing today, different tomorrow, and much different perhaps than one, five, ten or more years ago. Could we live without our hand? Or our feelings today? Or our thoughts right now? From what position did we witness our hand? Can we go there and look at our thoughts and feelings? It is a healthy practice. Change happens, that is guaranteed, and we can go with the flow. This is good news. It is much nicer than complaining or non-acceptance of reality. More good news is that we have a gift in life called ‘choice’, which we can apply to our investigations, to perhaps guide the changes that are happening anyway.
Today’s book How to Change by Katy Milkman was written recently in 2021. Penguin Publishing distributes it. It can be found in paper form or audio edition. This book takes a well-researched scientific approach to behavioral change, (and thinking and feelings can be considered behaviors, we ‘do’ them), helping folks find techniques to guide the changes in their lives for more happiness, abundance, and needs meeting reasons. The mind and its attendant feelings, including the gut feelings, are very powerful tools for humans. If we feel stuck in life, this is just a thought/feeling, and is not true. Life is still flowing. We need to get in tune and rhythm with this flow. This book could start that process.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Life is not a theory. Live is alternating energy between rest and action. We are always living, though we sometimes feel we are not in control of our life. These are not the same thing. Sometimes the very best living is letting go of control. Where we let go of this control to, is perhaps fodder for another article. For our purposes today, let us just note that letting go of control, consciously, is an action, a choice. We decide to do this, and then we see what happens. This is not about steering a car, and letting go of the wheel. Rational thinking is required. It is really more about trust.
Trust is a very delicate commodity. Delicate is not weak. Delicate notes that the use or non-use of trust as a tool and element of life’s choices will have subtle and sometimes great effect on life. Trust is a union of integrity and intelligence. We must, as we described above for the hand, feelings and thoughts, be able to step back and consciously understand what we are doing with trust. If we are freely tossing about, that could be troublesome, yet if we are withholding trust for egotistical self-preservation or out of fear, it may be even more harrowing. There must be a conscious balance. The integrity element of trust allows us to recognize our trustworthiness and lends an ability to know that though trust is very significant, it is not the only tool in the toolbox. The intelligence element of trust allows us to either extend or restrict trust accordingly. As with everything, trust levels will change with circumstances on the human level. The small note on witnessing thoughts and feelings and the hand must be an area of complete trust. If we cannot trust ourselves, how will we ever trust anyone or anything?
Our book today, How to Change by Katy Milkman may have some ideas around trust, feelings, thoughts and actions we can take to effect more positive changes in our lives. It is certainly worth consideration and a little effort for us all.
Enjoy and read on!