We get so caught up being the commentators and experiencers and narrators of our own lives that we often forget to just experience the experiences. The truth is that all of the stress and worries and anxieties and pressures of the world don’t even exist, yet we allow them to weigh us down. We allow them to dictate our daily emotions and even sometimes our own abilities and worth. I am calling bullshit on all of it! Outside of your own mind, these things do not exist. They are merely your perceptions of something. You cannot put them in a box and say, “Here, check out all of my stress” because it doesn’t exist that way!
It is possible to live without the horrible stress we put ourselves under. I don’t mean the outside stresses of the world, mind you. I mean the stress we give ourselves, that we create for ourselves that serve no one. We do not benefit at all from this. When we allow ourselves to simply experience a given moment without a thought to anything else? That is living. That is life. That is choosing to be present and open to the universe and nature.
Last week I went about practicing this way of being or thinking. I was surprised. It wasn’t easy. I spend far too much time in my own head as it is, but once I realized that it didn’t have to be this way, that I could simply choose to cease the spiraling thoughts at any given moment, I found a calmness I hadn’t known before. I found that I could simply look at a tree or a flower and just experience it with my senses without naming, cataloging or otherwise breaking down what that thing is to my mind. My mind was allowed to see and take in details it hadn’t been able to before. Feathers on my co-workers (chickens) seemed at once a dull brown and a glorious iridescent green! Lovely!
This inner self or experiencer inside of our minds is holding us back from truly living. We spend so much of our time and energy on thinking about the past, regretting something we said or did, worrying about the future. We don’t allow ourselves the opportunity to just enjoy the present moment. It’s a shame, really. Even in modern western society there is so much to see and delight in in this world. We worry so much that we cause health complications for ourselves. Not that there aren’t other causes for them, too, but stress is a killer, we know this. Yet we choose to live and perpetuate it in our own minds and in our own lives while telling others simultaneously that they need to relax and let go of the worry and stress.
That inner self is your ego. It is not you. You are beyond this voice and this critic. You are on a plane of existence entirely different than this commentator. We have been encouraged to develop this ego our entire lives in order to analyze, weigh and measure the world around us. But this is a false reality. This is a mistake and a betrayal of our true nature, I think.
Consider our ancestors and all they went through strictly to survive. We evolved for a reason, yes, but did we really evolve so that we would have the luxury of stress and anxiety? I don’t believe so. I want to believe that by living in the moment we can be free to be our truest selves. That we can extend kindness where none existed before. That we can let go of modern perceptions and judgments and just be. No easy task, I know.
For me to go nearly five entire days, work days at that, without a single panic, freak out, worry or stress? I would previously call this impossible or a fantasy, but I did it and I know I can do it again, if I stay mindful. If I stay present I give myself the chance to drop the baggage and walk in nature and stay true. Who knows where this could lead. It’s already felt good, so why not keep doing it?
We are not perfect creatures and it is in our flaws and variations that beauty lives. It is the intricacies and complexities that make us who we are both as a species and individually. I love that! Because I am not just the shell that I walk around in, I am not only the mind in my head, but I am a multi-faceted individual with thoughts and feelings and need and desires, too. To celebrate that is to live in it, to just be and to allow it all to flow freely. At least, that’s where I’m at with it now. I won’t think on the next…anything!