How can we think our way into change when our brain is the problem? We don’t need more information, we need power and inspiration. By seeking out experiences which will completely overhaul our thinking, we wake up and start to change our perception of reality.
Looking back at my younger days (this is already starting out like a Bob Seger or Bryan Adams song) … I realize now that I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
I was trapped in thought patterns, spinning my tires, and I didn’t have a clue.
Even when I thought I was being open minded, constantly learning new things and actively seeking (with humility), but I wasn’t addressing the real problem – my incessant thinking.
I remember my daily hour long commutes from Shelton to Bristol (this is in CT), and then back home again, driving my blue piece of crap Pontiac with its broken ignition and leaking head gasket, where I spent so much time listening to seminars, training, and self help books on CD. I would pepper in some vocal warm-ups and general “deep thinking” and contemplation all while heading down the road. I was trying so hard! I’d often stop at the halfway home mark at Dunkin Donuts for a coffee and a smoke, and to take a moment to reflect. I was always so excited about whatever new idea I had latched on to, that I thought would fix everything for me. I was a self help junkie, hooked on shiny metal objects and the search for the holy grail.
Hope was keeping me alive and it was propelling me forward. And I needed it. We all need it, because life is hard. But, 10 years later I realized that, although I had made nominal improvements, and I DID stay sober and manage to provide for my family (and not murder them … 3 small kids, including twins, one with autism) – I was actually “stuck” in spite of all my best attempts at chasing success.
I had been living completely in my head, replaying the past – either romancing it or beating myself up about it … or forecasting the future – worrying about what’s going to happen or making plans to control it. I was insane – doing the same things over and over, expecting different results, for years. Life was passing me by, because I wasn’t living in the now, in the moment, I was always in yesterday or tomorrow.
I was completely missing what was right in front of me. But how could I not see what was happening? Why didn’t anyone try to tell me? Would I have heard it if they did?
So, what am I talking about here?
Thinking can’t fix thinking!
Even when I sought out help, turning to successful people for advice, and paying coaches to guide me toward a breakthrough, I was still stuck, because I was trying to solve the wrong problems. No matter what I LEARNED, I was still standing in my own way, blocking progress. Because I didn’t need information, I needed to have an experience! I needed something to happen that would completely transform and change my operating system. Not a software update but a new install.
Self help wasn’t the answer. My perception of reality needed to change.
I had to stop grabbing at stuff, taking random actions in a desperate attempt to fix whatever issue was on fire at the moment, and stop, take a breath, and create some space between my thoughts and my actions. I needed divine inspiration – a power greater than myself, well, at least greater than my thinking mind. Whether we call it a higher “God” power, or a deeper “inner subconscious” power, it had to be something truly revolutionary – something that I had never fully tried before.
But like I said, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
I knew something was wrong, and I was seeking out a solution, but I never considered the solution could be as simple as “stop thinking”. I had tried meditating before, but I didn’t understand the point of it. Because I’m a thinker, I always need to know why I’m doing something or else I won’t truly commit. I might go through the motions, but inside I’m judging it, saying to myself, “that’s not gonna work, I don’t really believe that”.
What ultimately worked for me was acknowledging that my thoughts aren’t everything. The subtle surrender to the fact that there is a power and wisdom beyond my thoughts, that when I get out of the way, and I can BE in the present moment, the world makes more sense. I don’t know how to tell you the straightest path to get to this place, to awaken, to have this change in perception of reality, this complete operating system overhaul, because I had to go through hell to find it. But, one thing I know for sure, by focusing on and working toward a solution to what I consider to be “the right problem”, this idea of practicing presence and spiritual awakening, you’ll start to notice things you hadn’t noticed before, and more will be revealed.
Really, it all begins by creating a small space in between your thoughts. Small spaces become bigger spaces over time, which allows new power to come in. You can start practicing that right now.
Mindfulness, Music & Marketing. I’m obsessively curious about what makes people tick and what makes us all feel more connected.
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