The Weekly Seeker #8
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“As we enter present moment awareness, one of the indicators this is occurring is a steady decrease in mental analysis.” – Michael Brown, The Presence Process
This quote from teacher Michael Brown reminds us that thinking – particularly mental analysis – is often incompatible with being truly present, here and now.
Many of us have, at one time or another, become servants to our minds – through mental chatter, rigidly linear thinking, ruminating thought loops, anxious thinking, or obsessive analysis of ourselves and what’s going on in our lives.
We might also have learned (or been taught) to use our minds as a way to escape our bodies.
If you’re a highly sensitive person who tends to feel things very deeply, perhaps you developed a coping mechanism of retreating into your mind to feel safer and/or less overwhelmed.
During my ten years in academia, I myself lived from the neck up.
I dissociated from my body and made my mind the BOSS – my mind called all the shots. I used my mind to get validation, approval, and recognition from others. I also used it to avoid feeling uncomfortable feelings.
When we privilege our mental faculties above all else, we tend to – as a consequence – shut down our powerful intuition and intuitive felt-sense.
We shut down important aspects of who and what we are.
And, as the quote above reminds us, being mostly or purely in our heads makes it far more challenging to stay open to present moment awareness – that awareness of and connection to all-that-is, to something transcendent, to the Universe, to our authentic selves.
Thinking and mental analysis require you to operate in linear, human time. You cannot think two thoughts at once – only one at a time.
When you fully enter the present moment, and stay present in it, this need for linear time dissolves. You become one with the Universe, with everything around you, with yourself.
You no longer need to analyze what’s happening, or why it’s happening, or what you’ve done right or wrong, or why the past happened the way it did… or whether the future is going to unfold the way you want it to.
All of these mental gymnastics cease – you no longer need them as part of your identity – when you fully embrace and enter the present moment.
Retreating into your head space (i.e., intellectualizing) might be one of your coping patterns. It’s a way to think about and analyze your feelings instead of feeling your feelings.
If it is, I challenge you to begin softening this pattern.
To get more conscious and curious about when and how you jump out of your body and into your head, and begin analyzing things (people, situations, relationships, the past, yourself) as a way to not be present. As a way to check out. As a way to distract yourself.
We won’t undo this pattern overnight, but it’s worth remembering this:
Mental analysis prevents you from being present with (and feeling) whatever is here, right now.
Use your mind power responsibly, and don’t allow your mind to rule you.
With lots of love,