Since June I’ve been considering discussing this huge issue: the ‘stories we weave’ and how they impact everything in our lives. I have had the great honor of interviewing a new author Christopher Papadopoulos on his book Peace and Where to Find It, twice now (in June and this month, July). He discusses how our ‘thinking mind’ is involved in every moment we are awake. To achieve true Peace we must get out of our minds and into our hearts (sound familiar J). The key to doing this is in his new book. I chose 2 interviews as I wanted to discuss the concepts and then I wanted to discuss the practices.
How does ‘Peace’ fit into the ‘story of me’, you ask? I’m going to explain it. I hope! Our ‘stories’, our ‘identities’, are tied up in our thinking minds, (our egoic minds) and we elaborate on our ‘stories’ every time we maintain being unconsciously caught up in our heads! When we are constantly ‘thinking’ we are creating and cultivating our ‘stories’. You know the identity that is ’us’. It is who we believe we are from our ‘human perspective’. It is the ‘perceived’ image we have about our life … the labels we identify with, how we perceive others and what we believe others think about us! This is the ‘story of me’.
And we use words like ‘always’ and ‘never’ to describe these ‘perceptions’ we have of ourselves. We like to embellish our ‘stories’ and recreate our identities whenever possible. You get the idea … it is who we believe we are when we are caught up in our minds all day long.
However, there is evidence to suggest that our perceptions are not truth, therefore all our judgments about others and how we believe they are judging us, isn’t the truth. Who we tell the world we are isn’t our true essence! When we are in our minds we are stressed, our muscles are tense, and we are constantly ‘doing’ things (including things to distract us from our discomfort and allow for unconscious addictions). When we are in our hearts with our hearts open and when we are in our bodies being aware of our subtle energy and breath … we are present. When we are present, we can BE peace! When we are present, we can change the ‘story of me’ and create from a place of peace, unconditional love, or your true essence.
However, first we have to clearly see our identity and our constant need to think. We need to know that who we perceive we are is our egoic mind, our thinking mind, our story that we have created due to our experiences and our perceptions of these experiences. We need to choose how we want to BE in our lives first and allow our inner feelings to guide us on how we experience the world.
Typically, we get up out of bed and just get caught up in our lives without a thought about how we want to experience it. We become unconscious once we begin ‘doing’ anything: from brushing our teeth, to driving our cars, to working. We tend to live in our ‘thinking heads’ believing this is the only way to get through the day. We are in a constant state of ‘thinking’, ‘doing’, and ‘reaction’! Then we continue through the day thinking about what we did and what we perceived was done to us, finding ways to justify what we did and how we are ‘right’! These are the very ‘stories’ I’m speaking about.
This is not to say that we aren’t here to ‘do’ things… we are, but we are to ‘do’ from a conscious place. Imagine if we not only consciously breathed but consciously ate and ‘did’ things from a conscious state of BEing! This would stop most of our ‘stories’ from continuing and magnifying. We could lie in bed, decide how we would like to feel today, maybe happy, motivated, confident or clear and relaxed… then we connect with how that feels. Once we choose, we can create a connection with that feeling and when we feel ourselves deviating, once life happens, we can make another choice to go back to that ‘feeling’ … or another feeling. And our Heart would be in the driver’s seat.
We could continue to make choices all day on how we would rather feel. Don’t confuse this with visualizations or positive thinking; this is about becoming conscious and aware at all times. Christopher uses the body and I believe this is the key. Whenever we feel ourselves stepping out (you know when sh@t happens or when we are feeling uncomfortable we leave our bodies or exist from the ‘thinking mind’ only) we can become conscious of our body and our breathing and this will ground us back into our selves. Then we don’t add to our story, we can choose create a new one!
Remember I was going to bring Peace into our ‘story’; well peace is our inner state of BEing. It is our true essence that always exists without our perceptions, without our judgments, and without our ‘story of me’. Have a listen to the interviews I have done with Christopher to understand how we both believe that peace comes from within and is not something that we need to ‘work’ on or ‘change’ outside of us … we just need to become conscious. Our ‘stories’ come from us being unconscious and from our thinking minds. We can choose to create a new story to include one where ‘peace’ is our constant state of BEing!
What story would you like to live?