Your conscious mind tries to pretend that it is all of you, that it is what defines you. It isn’t… it’s just the part with the loudest voice, drowning out the rest.
Your conscious mind not only isn’t “you”, it doesn’t even follow your best interests. It’s as likely to sabotage you as to help you, misleading you and telling you to do things that deeper down you know aren’t true.
It tells you things like you’re not good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough. It tells you not to try because you might fail. It even tells you not to do something just because it might be hard.
It tells you these things over and over again, at a high mental volume, drowning out the rest of you, your body, emotions, and spirit. Many times these other parts of you just give up and go along with your conscious mind because they can’t get a word in edgewise.
Fortunately, your conscious mind doesn’t have infinite energy, and you can use that against it. One of the best ways do that by going to a place where it doesn’t have fresh input (a nice quiet place where everything is pretty much still, or at least has no call for your attention) and letting it talk itself out. Eventually, with a lack of anything new to talk about, it winds down and pretty much shuts up.
It’s amazing how much of a relief it is to have your conscious mind shut up, so that the rest of you can actually communicate, like leaving a huge crowd that’s packed too tightly… you don’t even notice how much it affects you until you feel its absence. All of a sudden the rest of you starts relaxing and letting go, freeing up resources for healing physically and emotionally.
Your spirit gets to rest and recharge, replenishing its energy. Old mental wounds start closing and healing while your body cleans out the toxins it has built up. If you’ve never been there before, or if it has been a long time, the difference can be absolutely amazing, making you wonder why in the world you waited so long.
There are other ways to get your conscious mind out of the way, to make it stop talking… they mostly involve strong focus, especially on something that you are passionate about. Some people call that kind of focus being in the zone, or in the flow. While you’re there, everything else just sort of fades away, keeping your conscious mind from receiving new input, like the quietness above.
You can also intentionally listen to one of the other parts of you, which has a similar effect… exercising makes you listen to your body, meditation and prayer can help you listen to your spirit, and loving contact can help you listen to your emotions. Any of these things brings relief to all of you… pretty much anything that takes your conscious mind out of the picture allows the rest of you to rest, heal, and do what it needs to do.
The good thing is that you can train your conscious mind to be quieter, to listen more to the rest of you… the more you do any of the things listed above, the more you are training your consciousness to stop promoting itself at the expense of the whole. Doing so generally results in improvements in all areas of your life, leading to a happier, more satisfied existence.
So, knowing that the things I mentioned (exercise, mediation and prayer, loving contact) are very general categories of things, do any of you have any specific practices that help more than others? For me it’s definitely exercise (followed by a nice relaxing shower) and quiet time (which is sometimes the previously mentioned shower)… how about you?