If self-aware you wish to be, ask yourself these questions three
You know how when you’re observing your thoughts, that they are of a certain feeling or emotion, and now you’ve accidentally moved into judging that feeling?
Yeah. Me too.
I observe that I’m tired after a full day, and my focus has now subtly shifted from “observing” to “tired.”
Try, try again. It’s called a Practice for a reason…
In my current MBSR class (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), I’ve recently learned a tool that is a personal game-changer with staying in Observer Mode instead of slipping back into Player Mode. And I invite you to consider it, yourself:
Pleasant — Unpleasant — Neutral
When you notice a thought, an emotion, or a sensation, ask yourself this: Is it pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral?
For me, this has amazing results. I am more able to remain on the quality of the actual thought emotion, or sensation, rather than identifying with it.
And here’s the Bonus Round:
The Pleasant becomes amplified from appreciation. The Unpleasant diminishes, as its power becomes removed by fully facing it. (Surprise!) The Neutral becomes much more interesting. (Double surprise!)
And the biggest surprise of all? Most things that I had anticipated to be Unpleasant are actually… Neutral.
The fear of the Unpleasant — that I only now recognize as fear — is already gone.
Try this for yourself, with a curious and interested approach. The next time you notice a thought, an emotion, or a sensation, ask yourself: Is this Pleasant, Unpleasant, or Neutral? What surprises you?