A Simple Yet Important Phrase to Bring into Your Life
I’ve often written about how we can bring mindfulness to our difficult emotions to reverse the destructive cycle of trying to get away from our difficult emotions and come to a place of greater ease, balance and compassion. Sounds like good stuff right? But there’s something that inevitably happens that you need to know about that is a trick of the mind that can keep you stuck and there's a phrase that can cure it.
The instruction in bringing mindfulness to a difficult emotion is to bring a beginners mind to it, which is seeing it as if for the very first time. In the field of neuroscience this is also called bottom up processing, free of our preconceptions, judgments and thoughts about how this feeling “should” be. So we start out noticing how the emotion (e.g., fear, anger, shame, disgust) arises in the body, noticing its texture, how big it is, if it has a shape and generally feeling practicing accepting the reality of the moment.
But what inevitably happens to most of us is a thought comes in, “I hate this,” or “this is so frustrating,” or “this isn’t working, I need to check my phone.”
Remember, the purpose of mindfulness is to contact the direct experience of the moment so here we have a very sly trick of the mind that is subtly taking us away.
So, what do we do?
We practice this phrase, “And this too…”
And this too means, this thought, this feeling of frustration that is here in relation to being with what is difficult is also part of my experience and so we wrap our awareness around that too.
So here we are again, being with what’s here, practicing mindfulness.
The next time you experiencing something that is taking you away from being present, practice saying, “and this too…” and see what happens.
As always, don’t take my word for it, try it out for yourself, your experience is the best teacher.
Please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.