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How To Eject Your Inner Critic December 2, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness.
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We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ~ Carlos Castaneda

Even better than ignoring the “inner critic” (so you can sing, write, laugh, dance, or play in peace for a few minutes at a stretch), terminate his/her lease, and eject your inner critic from the building entirely.

How?  Practice meditation.  Silence the mind.  Just be.   

In meditation practice, as the observer of your thoughts, you start to see all the “crap” (technical tantric term) running through your brain.  That energy could be better utilized in your current creative endeavor.

When you learn to stop that constant stream of noise (your Monkey Mind), you begin to exist in the field of pure potential and pristine silence. 

And that empty space is filled solely with inspiration ~ from inspire, “to breathe” ~ drawing in exactly what you need in that moment.

So meditate. 

Just be here now.  

“Don’t just do something.  Sit there.”

* * * * *

There are many different types of meditation.  Play around until you find a technique that helps you calm your thoughts.  

If you’ve never meditated, here are a few ideas to get you started:

(1) Watch waves crash on the beach (or focus solely on the thought of crashing waves). 

(2) Repeat a positive affirmation, like “Be here now,” or a phrase, like “All we need is love,” or a word, like “Ohm . . . ” 

(3) Focus on a repetitive activity, like chopping wood, waxing a car (“wax on wax off”), or carrying water. 

(4) Watch your breath coming and going: every time you find yourself focused on anything other than your breath, come back to your breath. 

Whatever you choose to focus on, let everything else go.

* * * * * 

Start small. Don’t sit down in a full lotus position for an hour spent berating yourself for your inability to get your mind to “Shut the *$@^ up!”  

Aim for five minutes of just sitting still, and observing a candle flame, or listening to the ticking of a clock, or counting 99 bottles of beer on the wall. 

* * * * *

Meditation, like playing the piano, gets easier the more you practice.  At first, just try not to get attached to any extraneous thoughts for 5 minutes. 

Sit quietly, and comfortably, and let your thoughts drift across your brain like clouds through the sky.  Just watch them come and go. 

As you do, you realize that you not your thoughts and your thoughts are not you ~ you become the observer of unbidden (and sometimes unwelcome) thoughts which constantly stream across your mind like a ticker tape parade.   

Try to slow down those passing thoughts and extend the silence ~ as if the clouds were parting with more and more blue sky showing. 

When you get to patches of cloudless sky, the silence becomes profound, and you start to feel your connection with . . . well, everything.

There’s no right way or wrong way ~ there is only the way. 

“Just start . . . and the way will appear.”

Related posts:  Your Brain On Bliss * Guided MeditationMindfulness Meditation: A Miracle Drug * Deepak Chopra: Mindfulness Meditation

Comments»

1. duke1959 - December 2, 2010

You have such good advice. I know one thing that people struggle with is projecting what is going to happen.

nrhatch - December 2, 2010

It is difficult to live with the uncertainty . . . so we picture the worst and worry incessantly. 😉

2. Barbara Gunn - December 2, 2010

I must be making progress because I love the uncertainty. Knowing things will happen, but not having a clue how is sooo cool!!

Loreen Lee - December 2, 2010

That’s where our freedom lies, in the ‘uncertainty’ of the future, explored through hermeneutics, and the vagueness which allows for individual interpretation and expression. For our strength, we have the lessons we have learned from the past, and sometimes that ‘inner’ voice is merely the invitation to explore what we have already learned, and to come up with our stories, reshaping them, as the Buddhists say, looking for the seeds of karma, and hoping that some day we shall write the perfect ‘narrative’ of our own most totalized past. If we are truly responsible, we will claim that voice in the head for ‘our own’, and realize that every feeling we have, even shame and guilt, is in the final analysis of our own making, and so when we no longer project our failings on others, we are in a position that when we do ‘clear our mind’, we find the nirvana of inner peace, and can maintain this state of mind over longer and longer periods of time. All the best.

3. Paula Tohline Calhoun - December 2, 2010

Why do you think I write in the first place? To spill out the flotsam and jetsam that washes up on the shore of my brain, thus clearing it so I can then meditate. Didn’t you know that by reading my beautiful and eloquent renditions of the F&J I write every day that you are a mere dumping ground in preparation for my own “quiet time?”

Well, now you know! 😀

Loreen Lee - December 2, 2010

grin grin. You certainly understand ‘narrative’ – the writer’s curse. Bravo!

4. nrhatch - December 2, 2010

@BG ~ I’m delighted to see that you re-cognize the inherent possibilities which are found in uncertainty.

@PTC ~ Glad to be of assistance . . . even in the role of “dumping ground.” 😉

@LL ~ So true. We see the world behind OUR eyes. 🙂

Loreen Lee - December 2, 2010

I see the world behind My eyes. I can only infer how you see the world, but I don’t want to be thought to be curious. In any case, please delete if this offends.

5. Alannah Murphy - December 2, 2010

I sacked my inner critic and and sent her off packing 😉

nrhatch - December 2, 2010

Excellent! Send them off, bag and baggage.

6. Cindy - December 2, 2010

Yesterday I watched my rabbit frolic, I zoned out completely and – before I knew it – an hour passed. Felt like I’d been on a holiday in the tropics.
Have a good evening 🙂

nrhatch - December 2, 2010

That’s awesome.

Nature does that for me too ~ allows me to enter the moment while time slips away.


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