Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Enemy: Your Brain

Lately, I've been reading a lot of books regarding spirituality, near-death experiences and overall ways to cope with the mind's inability to shut the hell up. One of the books that I particularly enjoyed was called, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I know, I know, I'm like a decade late on this best seller, but I feared it may have other belief systems that went against mine. I'm more open to other belief systems today, but surprisingly, they referenced a lot about Jesus in this book. The main gist is to separate yourself from your physical mind and become your "Being" -- your "soul" and observe what the mind does to you or what it conjures up. And once you witness and notice the thoughts, all thoughts seem to dissolve, as if you caught your own mind undressing. That's the best way I can describe it, because this book can be very 'wordy', the the point of dropping it and picking up The Cat in the Hat instead. I guess it's very hard to comprehend, or better yet, explain the 5th dimensional world -- to actually explain something that human beings are not supposed to know. So Eckhart Tolle's descriptions can really baffle your mind if you are not ready to take in his 'awesomeness' as I would even call it. It teaches you that all we have is "now" -- everything else such as the past and the future are all illusions. Years ago I wrote about this very topic, but not on the level to which he took it. He even throws in a dash of quantum physics in there which is just mind blowing.

Even Anita Moorjani's book, Dying To Be Me taught me a lot about the most basic fact of how loving yourself can improve your life. To love yourself -- to forgive yourself -- to accept yourself 'as is' right at this very moment is one of the most powerful things I have done for ....me. I have read a lot of articles that sort of mirrored this message back and forth, but reading it from personal accounts and also by diligent practice of my own has sort of awakened me on a whole new level. If you have already read these two books that I mentioned, you'll know that it gets a bit repetitive -- same words are used, same phrases have to be reiterated only due to the fact that there is no other words or phrase to really describe this awesome 'lifting of the veil' so to speak -- the realization that reality itself is not real at all. I won't even go into details because you're gonna think I'm a bit cooky if not already. 

So, my point is, just by reading these two books, my daily life has changed greatly. For instance, I am no longer complaining about winter. Instead, I am walking outside with my dog, taking in every sound of the birds, each crystal left in the fallen snow and especially, that deep sense of silence in the midst of a cold wintery day. There's nothing like it. I'm learning and experiencing appreciating every single little thing in my life -- even feeling my own breath, my own spirit, as well as controlling my own mind from chitchatting too much. My mind feels less complicated because I'm not thinking anymore. (Have I ever...?) But thinking in terms of, "what if" and thinking way too much about my future and causing a great deal of fear. Fear is the number one reason why people overthink and overanalyze everything. Fear keeps us from making the right choices. For instance, I used to fear eating saturated fats. Now? Saturated fats are good, so now I fear eating carbs. It's a vicious cycle. So, what Anita Moorjani taught me was to not fear it at all. I keep it in check, but I no longer avoid things out of fear. I see obsessive people in my Paleo group who are on this diet in fear of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. They eat out of fear. But what if they still ate the same foods, and yet had no fear of indulging once in a while? It doesn't matter in the bigger picture of life because we're all trying to do our best. But what if the perfectionist in us makes us stall a little? As Eckhart Tolle says, whatever you resist, persists -- then if we truly resist or (detest) a certain way of living, it just won't work as good as we thought. If we do things out of fear, we do a half ass job. Anything done with courage and confidence is done with contentment, whether we succeed or fail. It's about enjoying "now" and living in the present. 

But I'm still finding myself in certain situations listening to my mind's clutter and getting frustrated over everyday bullshit. It's not to say that I'm just gonna stop caring about my future or forgetting my past entirely, but I am going to consciously try to enjoy every passing moment, even if unpleasant -- trying to make the best of each "now" that presents itself. I'm so sick and tired of my mind reminding me that my future may not be so bright or my mind reminding me that my past is why I'm such a fuck up. The mind can be your worst enemy, filling you up with negative and obsessive thought patterns. So, I'm choosing to observe the mind as it starts to open its trap and watch it all dissolve. Once you witness the mind in action -- it automatically stops. Tolle gave a little test for us to take in the book. He says to close your eyes, make your Being (or soul) the witness to your thoughts. Wait for your mind to 'talk'. Wait for the first thought that enters your head... Do it now. 

Did it take a long time? Most people say it does. So, if you practice "observing" those thoughts, you'll be more conscious not to overload your mind with "what ifs" and negative dialogues. 

I have come to accept the fact that there is nothing I can do to change whatever it is that's in God's will. I can't take away my mom's cancer. I can't bring back my father who lost his battle with cancer. I can't fix the world. But I can change the way I view things and I can only do the best at the given moment it presents me with. Many of us lie awake at night because our minds won't shut the hell up. We stew and focus on certain events or things that are about to take place and all of those pesky "what if" scenarios. We drive ourselves insane with things that have not happened yet! And most of the time, they don't happen as our mind "predicts" it will. I guess I just came to a point in my life where I can't live this way anymore. I refuse to. If that means labeling me a "floater" in life -- then so be it. I'm sick of planning things out and then coming to a deep realization that it was all one big fucking disappointment. I'm not going to expect anything other than what the present time is giving now "NOW". Not later, not in the future...now. 

I'm about to go to my doctor's appointment and wait there for like 2 hours and enjoy every single second of it. (Sometimes you gotta lie to yourself too!) Just a little update: I'm scheduled to have a partial hysterectomy due to my dysmenorrhea. The intense pain I go through each month has ruined my quality of life since I was 12 years old. On top of that, I had to take massive amounts of NSAIDs (pain relievers/ibuprofen) that ultimately poked a few holes in my stomach lining. So, without the pain every month, I won't need the pain meds, which leaves me with a healthy stomach and well, some peace of mind knowing I won't be suffering for a week out of the month. It has prevented me from living a full life. And now, I am ready to fully live life as it should be lived: without fear. I always feared getting my period, especially if I had to go somewhere or go on vacation. I planned everything around my period. Special events weren't attended due to my pain and nobody ever believed me because this type of pain is very rare. It can get to the point of passing out or vomiting. Not a pretty scene.  So please say a prayer or send some positive energy my way. I leave in 30 minutes to get examined and set up for my little 'vacation' in the hospital. I might be slow with the writing for a while after surgery. But go out and get those books if you haven't read them yet. I really feel like it has changed my life for the better. It was actually one of the reasons I came to the decision of finally getting this hysterectomy. Time is precious and I'm sick of wasting it. 

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!