The last week of Making Every Moment Matter brought many aha moments in quieting a demanding mind and defining several stages of self.
Self Conscious, Self Awareness, and Full of Self Defined
I liked hearing how Oprah defined self conscious, self awareness, and full of self.
She said when we get self conscious that’s because our inner and outer selves fail to align because we’re uneasy with who we believe ourselves to be.
Self awareness is when we know who we are and our intentions, desires, feelings, etc. all align to that end.
Full of self she said, while it may sound like something negative to be, is actually the best thing to be because that means you have made honoring awareness and your true self a priority vs. allowing the ego to create a separate self. And she adds that when we’re able to connect to this awareness and stillness, in spite of the craziness of the day, that’s when we become timeless. Deepak Chopra says that’s because as we silence our mind from wrestling with everything around us, we change our perspective of what truly matters, which is the experience of every present moment.
The Power of the Demanding Mind
When we get off track and stop listening to this awareness, that’s when Oprah says we allow deadlines, worries about the past or future, etc. to break us from the wholeness of present moment awareness. That’s when we create a separate self that shifts our view from wholeness to us against the world. This leads us to feel lost, weak, lonely, insecure, etc. We become defeatist and see failures as a negative, vs. the positive they truly are. Oprah goes a step further to say that there is no such thing as failure, it’s just energy moving you in another direction and back to awareness. That’s why mistakes are never a bad thing, but a necessary step to the unfolding of the best you.
Quieting the Mind
To keep ourselves in present-moment awareness, we have to overcome our mind’s resistance to the now and it’s need to draw us into the past or into the future. Meditation, breathing exercises, and overall stillness, are what allows us to become aware of our mind’s habit of distracting us from the present. This awareness allows us the space to become re-centered toward the hear and now.
Oprah says when we release our anxious thoughts and negative chatter in our head, we allow what is happening before us, the validation of being seen and heard. It also keeps us from wasting time projecting what might happen or lamenting past mistakes. It brings a level of contentment and peace.
Deepak adds that our mind is so powerful and ready to be out of living in the moment, that as soon as we hit a hard spot, the mind is ready to become restless and demanding, giving way to fear, anger and frustration. It’s when the mind thinks something is taking too long or people aren’t cooperating, that we become distracted and lose focus from the here and now. That is when our mind slips away to the past or future and we allow our negative emotions to take us back to the ego self, separate from what is going on before us. It’s at this moment where breathing exercises, meditation and stillness are needed to bring us back to awareness of the here and now.
When we replace our thoughts with actual experiences, we quiet the resisting mind and allow ourselves to be calm, safe and secure. When we have mastered these awareness skills, we are able to maintain our awareness to the present moment, even in the midst of everyday demands and pressures. That’s when we see life as happening for us instead of to us. It just requires a conscious choice on our part to change our perception and access the possibilities available to us in the here and now.
How do you quiet your demanding mind?