Invariably, when we start to notice more of the content of our thoughts, we tend to get very, very judgmental–towards ourselves! And this can be discouraging, needless to say.
When we notice, for example, that what we’re thinking about is how much better at something we should be or how much more beautiful we should be or how so-and-so is better at such-and-such, it is like hitting our self in the stomach over and over and over. We become both the victim and the perpetrator.
I probably don’t need to tell you that this is a lose-lose scenario.
The good news is that if you can warn your “watcher mode” self that these judgments are going to come, you can trade judgment for curiosity in your mind management.
One of the best tools I’ve been taught for this (from one of my “gurus”) is to use the “neutral eye of a camera” to watch yourself. This mindfulness technique helps you use curiosity rather than judgment to filter all your brain content through.
And my own personal mantra utilized in times of pre-self-judgment is this: how interesting that I just yelled at my daughter when she didn’t deserve it. How fascinating I just sized up that sister and measured my strength against her weakness. How bizarre that my mind just immediately went to feeling jealous the moment that RS praised Sister Jones. Because I already know that I didn’t like how I felt when I did it and that was punishment enough; I didn’t need a self-flogging on top of that.
Just beware of the self-flogging that happens whenever you become hyper-aware of what you think. You will see into all the dark shadows and you will see under all the dark places and some of those thoughts are not pretty. But after every night a day dawns and so it is with self-discovery and self-understanding.
I urge you to start using curiosity and fascination as a filter through which to pass all your “data,” your dirt, your self-watcher content. This self-awareness best practice will make your self-discovery process much less burdensome and painful. Try it; then your brain can tell your heart “you’re welcome!”