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Your Mind- Turning your Attention Inwards, Better the Devil You Know Than The Devil You Don't?

Updated: Feb 12, 2022

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

-T.S. Eliot

(Photography by Je Suis Val)

Our behaviour is a product of conditioning, through experience we become patterns of thoughts and behaviours. Some of these serve us and some do not. We have the capacity to notice our conditioned patterns, through awareness. It's then that we have the power to choose new ways to respond.

The key here is awareness and to be aware we need to let go of things that numb us by taking our attention outwards and elsewhere- electronic influences, alcohol, consumerism, burying oneself in work... whatever it may be.

To sit with oneself, really sit and just be with yourself in quiet acceptance of your thoughts and feelings, is how we practice being aware. As you practice it is likely that your mind will tell you all sorts of stories- "this is boring, I need to go do something else, this isn't working". This is when you know you're moving towards change, you've started to notice your internal dialogue. Maybe you stay here and keep noticing- noticing your stories, your thought patterns, and aspects of you. You may notice shadow aspects of yourself, you may notice aspects that are light. It's all good, these are simply thoughts and feelings that are passing through you, never permanent.

One of the most powerful aspects of this practice is that you can drop into moments of self-awareness whenever you chose, it's not just reserved for meditation. For example, you could do this when walking between one task to the next, when waiting in line, or maybe something more active... like noticing how you respond when in conversation with someone. You have the ability to be aware, to learn, and to grow.

What we use to numb us is addictive- so this takes work. You'll likely be pulled back to your familiar patterns, when you notice you have a choice. There is no quick fix, there is no advanced guru that will enlighten you. This practice is for you, its up to you to reach out and take your sovereignty, you are in charge of your mental and physical space, and you are your greatest healer.

As we turn inward and simply notice, when we stop striving to find something outside of ourselves to fill us, its here that we can find deep healing- we learn about ourselves and in this knowledge we can make changes.

Its not about de-conditioning... that implies that we remove aspects of ourselves. Our memories remain, we just become more aware, in that awareness we can chose new ways of thinking and responding. When all is said and done, we are continuously creating our thought and behavioural patterns either consciously or unconsciously.

About the Author

Dr Kathie Overeem works one-on-one and in group sessions with people who wish to experience the healing and transformational effect of yoga. She works with clients that have experienced stress, anxiety, complex trauma, PTSD, eating disorders, complex mental illness, and people in alcohol and other drug rehabilitation. Classes are offered online and in person.

To book a private session or attend a group class with Kathie Click Here

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