Do you ever wonder what to do with your negative thoughts?
If you’re like me, they come unbidden and sprinkle themselves throughout the day, like little dark clouds.
When you feel a negative thought plaguing you, notice what sensation is accompanying the thought, and where it is happening in your body—a clenching of the jaw, a tightening of the shoulders, a lump in the throat.
Then, instead of tensing against the unpleasant sensation, consciously take a breath, breathe into it, and embrace its presence. Spaciousness and distance comes with this breath—and the magical key to inner peace—accepting whatever is unfolding in the moment. Why? Because it is already there!
Imagine this spaciousness flowing out to the edges of the unpleasant sensation, and inquire into the negativity by holding this question in your awareness: “What is the wisdom or teaching you’re offering me right now?”
This simple act of kindness and respect for your negativity causes the thoughts and sensations to soften without any other ‘doing’ on your part.
The thought will remain ‘negative.’ But the way you’re relating to the negativity will shift to accepting and allowing its presence—as it is. This is a much better state of mind for imbibing the mystical insight that positive and negative are irrevocably connected, just like in and out, up and down, and wet and dry. To try and get rid of one in order to corner the opposite simply doesn’t work.
Thoughts and sensations are like clouds in the sky—transitory and impermanent. Although they come uninvited, your breath’s spaciousness offers a constant backdrop, like the blue of the sky offers its clouds. Then the dramas and stories of your body/mind that are based on one opposite being better or worse than the other can be received, accepted, and embraced—not as ‘truth,’ but as messengers offering you the wisdom of your divine discontent.
When you embrace your negativity and allow it to rest in accepting arms, you are more like the sky—allowing what enters your vast expanse to easily come and go without creating much ado about nothing. And that is the key to the art of being unflappable. Go ahead and give it a whirl and let me know how your experiment turns out.