Freeing Your Mind

Have you ever thought your life was over? I have and actually it’s happened several times. I could rehash all the times I thought my life was over or you could just read it here. I didn’t have an easy life. It was full of pain from others and mostly from myself. Every time I thought my life was ending, it wasn’t just because my world was falling apart—it was because I could actually feel it inside my body. My soul felt so heavy, fearful, and dark.

I felt like everything was wrong. Everywhere I turned things just got worse and worse. People say there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but what no one talks about is how long the tunnel is. Or how cold, damp, and lonely it is. I hated when people would tell me about a light at the end of a tunnel because they had no idea what my tunnel was like. Sometimes people think they have all the answers or they can magically wave a wand and presto all the memories, fears, insecurities, anxiety, doubt, self—criticism, worries, depression, shame, and guilt just disappear. What people don’t get is that it doesn’t just disappear—it’s real, alive and ripping you apart.

What I didn’t realize back then was it all started with my thought life. I was bombarded by terrible thoughts of my failures, things I said, how I was given a shit piece of life, worries, fears, replaying painful moments, doubting my self worth, feeling rejection and abandonment, hating my body, constantly comparing myself, anxiety that I would say, do or choose the wrong thing and the list goes on. I was literally consumed by my thoughts so much so that I would isolate myself.

There were times I was so afraid to be around people because I was either afraid of what I would say or what they would think about me. I thought people would know somehow that I fucked up and that people like me shouldn’t be in society. I constantly believed that people were making judgments or assumptions about who I was as a person. I would think things like, “Oh he doesn’t want to be with me because of this” or “she doesn’t like me because of that” or “they made that face because of this.” I just made up a narration in my head that slowly started to consume me. It was a never-ending story of me against the world.

I felt so alone and afraid. I couldn’t understand how the world could be so awful. It was in those moments that I would think that there was nothing to live for. That’s when I would have thoughts of disappearing, running away or committing suicide. I felt that these dark escapes would somehow comfort me in the end. The thoughts of despair would be so bleak that I truly believed that taking my life seemed like the only reasonable solution.

I felt like no one cared. That I couldn’t come back from all the bad decisions I had made. That nothing ever goes right. That I had a shitty life. That I wouldn’t be able to find my soul mate or that I didn’t deserve him or that I had lost him. That I would never amount to anything. That I would never be able to pursue my dreams. That people like me should just quietly resign from this thing called life.

I felt like I had no direction or purpose. I couldn’t see how someone like me could exist in the world because I was the scum of the earth. The worst possible human being. A person who didn’t deserve to live. Yes, these were the things I truly believed and yes it was awful.

It’s funny how we hate when others judge us, but it’s so easy for us to bully ourselves with our own judgments.

We let our thoughts consume us and we beat ourselves up like a punching bag that never gets bruised or so we think. We punch and punch with so many negative thoughts until we’re curled up in a corner crying from the pain that’s radiating form our heart. It feels like your chest is caving in, your throat is choked, and your heart is being stabbed or chopped into a million pieces. Trust me, I know these feelings all too well. I remember so many nights sobbing on a floor or burrowed under the covers crying uncontrollably as my heart felt like it was breaking. It’s painful, I know.

But the truth was no one was hurting me but myself. In the moments when I cried myself to sleep I was usually alone. There was no one with me but my thoughts and my fears. I had created these monsters in my head that were raping me of my sanity—they took, stole, beat, and murdered me almost into oblivion.

I don’t know about y’all but I had a tendency to take a thought and run with it. I would see someone glance at me a certain way and it would start out as, “Oh they’re judging me” and end up at, “They were looking at me that way because there’s something wrong with me.” Somewhere in between or after those two thoughts I would have so many other thoughts that would drive me into self-hate. My thoughts would just spiral down and out of control and it always ended up with me feeling like I wasn’t enough and then I would hate myself.

It was a vicious cycle of turning something seemingly harmless into a big ugly terrifying monster in my head that would tell me that I’m the worst person in the entire universe and what was more awful was that I believed it.

 I talked in one of my blogs about how Mike and I realized we wanted to stop the incessant thoughts. We had discovered the book The Power of Now and it pretty much rocked our world. Of course there were many other books, videos and audios that were apart of this process, but The Power of Now was one of our biggest gateways to the idea of presence. We began to learn that we are not the thoughts, but rather the awareness watching the thoughts. This might seem like an easy concept for people to grasp, but for me it was one of the most challenging things I had to learn and integrate into my existence. It’s not as simple as it may sound.

I began to watch my thoughts and doing this made me realize I was responsible for all the monsters I had created inside of my head. I had created an inner bully that was the biggest bizzo I knew and I was getting in bed with these monsters and this bully. Every time they attacked me I was letting them rip me apart and rape me.

I realize this language could be a little graphic for some people but what I’m trying to say is that I felt perpetrated. I felt like a victim, like I couldn’t get out of a dungeon I had created in my own brain. I felt trapped, like there was no way out. I felt as if my thoughts were holding me hostage and I couldn’t get out because I was tied down by my fears and insecurities.

If you’ve been here, or are here now, trust me there is a way out of all of this mess. I know it sucks, but what I had to realize was that it’s not the state of mind that any of us were ever meant to be in. My first step towards freedom was realizing that I had created this world inside of myself. It was a world full of hate, distrust, and fear. It was a world I somehow believed I deserved.

Taking ownership of your thought life instead of blaming others for the way you feel is a very powerful tool that will set you on the path of freedom.

I realized that one of the reasons my thoughts were so rampant was because I would blame everyone else for the way I was feeling. I never wanted to own up to the fact that I was in charge of my own emotions. I felt validated in the way that I was feeling plus I had no idea that I had an inner bully.

It’s so easy to point the finger at everyone else, but the truth is we’re in charge of our own emotional state of being and how we ourselves react to others.

I actually went back through my life and replayed every situation where I was hurt or felt judged and recognized that I was being an emotional mess in a lot of those situations. I realized that even if people treat you bad, you don’t have to take on their crap. It’s powerful when you realize that people are just as messed up as you are and knowing this you don’t have to react to their bullshit. If people treat you bad—who the fuck cares? That’s their shit and not yours. I could have saved myself so much heartache and pain had I just recognized this.

People constantly act out of their own pain. They take their day out on you or maybe you said something that set them off. It doesn’t matter what it is, if someone reacts and treats you negatively in any way, be the better person and DON’T react. Don’t dive into the drama. Mike and I learned that any reaction is an ego trying to play itself out. If you dive in and react to their reaction, then your ego wins and you will inevitably feel like shit afterwards either because you got angry or hurt.

I realized I didn’t want to live like this anymore. I realized it was the incessant thoughts in the background that we’re causing me to react. I realized that if I want to live a peaceful life, I had to stop reacting. I reacted in so many ways. The most common was the victim. I constantly thought people we’re attacking me when really it was just a learned pattern that was stuck in my brain. I had to learn how to stop being a victim because it was destroying my relationships and it was causing me so much grief.

It’s not easy shutting off all the negativity that’s going on inside your brain and sometimes the more you fight it the worse it gets. I had so many self-defeating thoughts and it was so hard for me to stop them when they were so ingrained inside of me. It really wasn’t an easy process. I would start to become the awareness and watch my thoughts, but then I would still feel the emotions from the thoughts inside of me. I realized I had to start catching my thoughts and disregarding them if they were dark and hateful. Anytime I had hateful self-defeating thoughts I would try to replace it with something positive about myself. This really helped to turn things around. I was beginning to recognize my inner bully and instead of listening to her I would remind myself that I’m awesome, beautiful, talented and loved.

It’s really liberating to tell your inner bully to Fuck Off!

I’m not saying this is the best method, but at times it worked for me and it actually made me laugh because I was basically telling myself to fuck off but really it was the bully inside me and that’s just comical if you think about it. Oh the things that we create. Lol. I even called my inner bully a bizzo. Again, no I’m not recommending for you to name your inner bully but hey if it works, great. This is just one of the methods I used to help myself.

I think one of the best ways to stop the thoughts is practicing presence. This wasn’t an easy task. I thought I was being present, but I wasn’t because the thoughts were ruling my life. It didn’t help that I was constantly on social media either. Social media has a way of letting your thoughts run rampart. What helped me the most was being in the Awaken Mastermind Group that Mike and I joined. We started to practice being present in some of the most simplistic ways. Like when you drive a car. Instead of thinking about all the things I thought about while I was driving, I would just pay attention to the moment. This would stop all the negative mind chatter so I could just gander at creation and be more attentive.

Here in India, I’ve been practicing presence while I do my daily activities. I do it when I’m in yoga, when I’m dancing, when I’m washing my clothes, when I clean my room and bathroom, when I do my daily Ayurveda routines, when I meditate, when I do mantras and when people are talking to me. I also learned that by putting your attention and focus on the breath and the body it helps you to practice presence, which helps you to stop your thoughts.

There are actually many ways to lesson the thoughts, but I think that I’ve listed several ways to begin the journey of taking back your mind. First, recognize that you’re in control of your emotional state of being and don’t react to other people’s drama. If you feel like you’re reacting take a time out, name your ego (anger ego, frustration ego, jealousy ego…) and then let it go. There’s no point to hold onto an ego because all it does is trap you in vicious cycles. The next thing you can do is practice catching your thoughts and transmuting them into something positive. This will help you identify your bully and lesson the power it has over you. Then find activities where you can practice being present in the moment instead of being stuck in your head.

Another thing that Mike and I have both done is write a memorandum to reprogram our thought life aka our subconscious. You can find Mike’s memorandum here. I’ll most likely post my memorandum in the next blog. Reciting a memorandum helps you to clear your mind of the negativity and it helps you to fill your head with positive words and affirmations.

There are so many things you can do to bring yourself to a more peaceful state of mind, but in the end it’s your choice. You have to decide you’re fed up with all the negative mind chatter and then you have to find tools to help yourself gain your freedom. I’m going to write more blogs on this topic, but I hope that this has helped you to get one step closer to freeing your mind.

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