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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

Trust the Teacher Within

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Dec 26th 2012

woman openingSomewhere along the way from the time we’re born until now we lose our ability to trust ourselves when it comes to managing our emotions or many other things. We hear messages growing up that imply we are to trust leaders and experts over our own intuition. There is so much information out there it’s overwhelming so it’s easy to get caught in the mind trap of doubting ourselves and overly defaulting to others for the answer. In The Now Effect there’s the saying, “As we learn to drop down from the busyness in our minds and into the now, we can cultivate self-trust and self-reliance.” How do we do this? 

The first thing we need to learn how to do is put our snap judgments aside and deeply listen to our experience just as it is in the moment. You can do this with any concentration practice for even a minute at a time. 

The most common practice is a breath practice, just pause for a minute, notice your body expanding and contracting with each in and out breath. Maybe saying to yourself, “in” as you’re breathing in and “out” as you’re breathing out. When the mind goes off, as it will, note where it went to and gently guide it back. This is training your mind to be here. 

The next thing we want to do comes out of the new release Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler:

“Set the intention to be on the lookout for the moments that your mind seems busy, anxious, distracted, or cluttered. Ask yourself, “Are these thoughts true?” Then ask, “What am I feeling right now?” Practice bringing a curious and friendly awareness to the sensation. Little by little we start to recognize that we can “be with” ourselves even in the difficult mind states and that “It’s going to be okay,” building a sense of self-trust, self-reliance, and opening up to what really matters.” 

The reality is, and in the field of mindfulness we say this a lot, your experience is truly your best teacher. 

The more your practice this process, the more you will automatically begin trusting yourself, feeling more confident in difficult situations, and opening up to moments of freedom. 

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from. 

 

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

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