Observing yourself is the first step on the journey to everyday mindfulness. Every single mental experience that you have can be accessed and shifted, whether stepping out of an anxiety loop or re-labeling something from a "failure" to a growth opportunity. But in order to hack something, we must first understand how it works. And the best way to understand how your mind works is to observe it.
Maybe you're thinking- "But Krystal, I've been in my own mind for my entire life- of course I know how it works." But the truth is that many of us spend the majority of our days in auto-pilot mode, simply because we've not been taught that there is another way. In fact, we are often so unaware of our thoughts that we don't realize that they are in fact creating the reality that we are experiencing.
For the first week of this course, we are going to commit to observing our thoughts for just five minutes each day. There is a guided meditation track available to you at the bottom of this lesson, it is meant to be a companion as you transition into this daily practice. Each morning for the next seven days, I encourage you to start your day here, with this guided meditation. It will help you to create a routine of non-judgmental self-observation, which is the foundation of any healthy mindfulness practice.
So what does it really mean to observe your thoughts? Most importantly is the distinction between observing and engaging. Recognizing that these are different ways to experience your thoughts is the first step in realizing that you are actually in control of how they affect you. More often than not, our thoughts are set on auto-pilot and hyper-speed, right? We're cruising from one thought to the next, triggered over and over again by our own loops, entirely out of control of our emotions because they are wound so tightly with the power of our thoughts. But you are not your thoughts, dear one. Rather, you are the Thinker of your thoughts. Please sit with this truth until it clicks. You are not your thoughts. You are the Thinker of your thoughts. You can regulate them, you can control how they affect you, you can use them to create the reality that you want to inhabit. You only have to realize that there is space between your thoughts, and that this is where your true self actually lives. This course is going to show you how to do that.
Meditation is the process that reveals all of this to us,
and mindfulness is the application of this truth in our daily lives.
Again, the goal of this work is for us to realize that thought and Thinker are separate, so that you can rule your inner space instead of being ruled by it. Meditation and self-observation is how we start. When you're ready, proceed to the guided meditation below or simply sit comfortably in a quiet space. Set a timer for five minutes, and begin. Give yourself permission to just sit and notice, and trust that this is progress.
If you're here, you should have already completed the Observe Yourself lesson, and hopefully utilized the guided meditation. How was that?
Journal about what your experience was like. How were you feeling? How were you thinking about how you were feeling? What was the language like that you used to talk to yourself, to think about the world? Are there particular subjects that kept repeating? Note everything you can remember about the thoughts you experienced.
As the week progresses, note any trends or re-occuring experiences that you observe. Is it getting easier each day? Journal about each day as an individual experience, as well as a part of the week as a whole. After the seventh day of this practice, proceed to Day 8: Take Control of Your Mental Patterns.