Day 2: Be the Compassionate Observer
Before you can begin to change the way you think, you have to first become fully aware of what it is you are thinking. We spend most of our time on auto pilot and very rarely realize what we are actually thinking.
But we can actually watch ourselves think. Have you ever realized how incrediblethat is? It is quite extraordinary really. Something only humans can do.
So you will start by just observing your thoughts. Imagine you are just watching someone else’s game tape, trying to watch and learn what you can from them. But here, you are going to watch and learn from yourself.
By stepping into the role of the observer or watcher of your own mind, you are able to begin getting a picture of what is really going on in there. And like we talked about yesterday, what’s going on in there is the most important thing. It is what is driving everything else.
The first, most important step is just to become aware.
But here is the key. In the same way that you will only be honest and transparent with a person you trust, you will also only be transparent with yourself if you trust yourself. Are you going to be compassionate? Gentle? Loving? Or are you going to be judgmental? Harsh? Condemning?
We are taught to constantly evaluate ourselves in order to become better. But I promise you, you will never get the lasting results you want from a place of harsh condemnation. You can’t begin to train your brain without really knowing what is going on. And you will always hide thoughts from yourself that need to be addressed if you are scared of how you will treat yourself. The results you want will come from a place of love and self compassion.
So choose to love yourself and be a compassionate observer. Then you will really gain access to all that is going on inside and begin the process of transforming your thoughts.
- Have you spent a lot of time in the past really looking at your thoughts? Are you very familiar with what is going on in your head?
- Do you tend to go straight to judgment and criticism of yourself?
- What would it look like to be compassionate with yourself?
Observe your thoughts by doing a Thought Download. It’s just like it sounds. You are going to download all the thoughts going on in your head to a place where you can look at them (digital or paper, whatever you picked yesterday).
Spend 5-10 minutes downloading your thoughts in general or about a specific circumstance in your life. This isn’t a diary. Just a free flowing jumble of words. Look back through your thoughts as an observer who is curious. Pretend these are thoughts from someone you dearly love. How would you respond to them?
Today, try to be more aware of your thoughts. Tune in. Be curious, from the place of a compassionate watcher who wants to know you better.