Becoming Aware of Your Breath

Start by counting breaths.

Quietly sit somewhere and Observe your breathing. Just continue to breath in your normal way.

Then start counting breaths…as you inhale count one as you exhale count two and so on up to 10.

You can picture in your mind the numbers if you would like.

Remember to pull your mind back to the counting of your breath when it wanders.

Repeat counting 1 through 10 again.

~Wishing you well this day,

The Mindful Gatekeeper

Advertisements

Putting Words On An Experience

After learning to Observe we learn to put words on an experience.

We did a little of that in the chair exercise but the main point was to become aware of how to practice simple Observation.

When you put words on an experience you Describe an experience with words. The practice of putting words on an experience is not judging an experience.

When you Describe you use non judgemental statements to communicate what is happening at that moment.

If you are presently walking you might say “Step, Step, Step”. Or if you are driving you might say ” My hands are on the wheel. The wheel is firm and cool”…or “Turning, Turning”.

The key is to recognize what you are doing in the very moment you’re doing it and to Describe your actions in the most basic way without judgemental words (highly charged descriptive words and adjectives).

Let’s say your sad. You would say ” A feeling of sadness has come over me”. This way you won’t get caught up in your feeling.

One of the most famous sayings I learned from DBT is quote..” A thought is just a thought, a feeling just a feeling.”

Sometimes we have thoughts that are overwhelming. Like “There is no way I can do this”. When using Describe you would say..” A thought of ‘There is no way I can do this’ has come through my mind”. Again you are putting distance between you and the thought that may create a strong emotional pull that gets you caught up in Emotional Mind…where you can’t see the truth as clearly.

Another great visual learned in DBT is the emotional snowball effect.  Emotions can “snowball” when not properly acknowledged. A great example is the commercial on TV where a snowball starts small and just keeps growing so large that it takes out the neighbor man’s car at work. When we get “caught up in the content”(descriptive adjectives (judgemental words) this can prompt further emotional responses that can obscure the reality of a situation. We have trouble seeing clearly when we are caught up in Emotional Mind. Emotions, which are natural and valid, want to be acknowledged and to run their course. We need to know what that course entails and where the function of emotion starts and stops.

So why not try the chair exercise (underneath the Seeing Deeply post) and use purposefully use  Observe with Describe.

It doesn’t hurt to keep refreshing. Go back to The Learning to See post if needed.

Wishing you well this day~

The Mindful Gatekeeper

Two Videos To Introduce You To Mindfulness

Mindfulness can help everyone have a more complete and peaceful life. Here are 2 videos that help introduce the concept of Mindfulness.

The first link is more secular/psychological presentation from Garden of Now

INTRODUCTION TO MINDFULNESS

The second link features Thich Nhat Hahn a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk, Peace Activist, Teacher, and Author

WHAT IS MINDFULNESS

Enjoy!

The Mindful Gatekeeper

Learning To See

Image Tumblr.com

Tumblr

In the last post I talked about reserving judgement when being Mindful.

What that means is that you have to become aware of the different mindsets and then learn to Observe.

First all the mind is not the brain it is a state that is generated under certain circumstances. In my experience there are 3 mind states that all are to work together.

  1. Emotional Mind
  2. Reasonable Mind
  3. Wise Mind

Emotional Mind is when a person is influenced by their natural emotions.  All emotions are valid and natural. This is where your feelings live. This mind is full of drama. But it has a function that is very important…The Emotional Mind is a messenger.

Reasonable Mind deals in facts, lists, organization, and logic. It is flat and has no emotion. Reasonable mind’s function is to look at just the facts.

Wise Mind factors in both the Emotional Mind and Reasonable Mind to intuitively make a unique and wise decision based on truth.  Everyone has a Wise Mind.

These 3 mood states are designed to work together.

The Emotional Mind will alert the Reasonable that something needs attention…that is all it is supposed to do. Then the Reasonable Mind will look at  just the facts and the Wise Mind will make the decision.

Both Emotional Mind and Reasonable need to work in unison for the Wise Mind to work most effectively.

We all use our Wise Mind in different circumstances. Sometimes it is harder to use Wise Mind in particular areas in our lives.

I always say to myself why didn’t they teach us this in school? Emotional/Mental intelligence sometimes needs to be learned not guessed.

So now that you know what the 3 states of mind are and how they work together, it is time to talk about learning to Observe.

In Mindfulness we break things down and practice one idea at a time. Observing is just to see. When we see things we just see them. It is the first component to understanding and the only part we use when Observing.  Just notice what is going on and reserve your judgement while doing so. Do not react to what you see. Let experience come and go…let the images slide right out of your mind like your mind is a slick surface. Let an experience be just an experience. Do not ask why. Hold on to nothing. Just let the thoughts and images come in to your mind and go by. Be alert to all images, thoughts, feelings, actions, emotions that passes through your mind and let them go on by like a train going down the track…don’t jump onto the train..just let it pass on by. Watch your thoughts and feelings (etc) like watching them go by on a conveyor belt. Be sure to notice all of the sensations in your body through your 5 senses. If it is raining feel the rain on your skin. If the sun is warm experience the warmth. Smell the flowers or the food cooking. See the birds flying through the sky. Taste the sweetness of a strawberry.Watch the clouds go by in the sky.

Tumblr

Do not describe any of what you observe to yourself. Just watch and notice and be.

Think about this for awhile, chew it over in your mind, and try observing in this way. The door to more peace and satisfaction is opening.

Wishing you all well,

The Mindful Gatekeeper

Taking Hold Of Your Mind

Stress can come in many ways. Life can be so hectic and time can slip away in this world that values multi-tasking and busy schedules. SometimesFeatured on Tumblr   stress happens due to having trouble implementing structure or routine. Many people have stress because they think happiness is a goal to reach in the future.

All of this is a symptom of living life in a less aware state of mind.

Why must we do this? Probably because our world expects more in a faster manner due to technological advances and lifestyle choices. Maybe a person is born with challenges (or to circumstances) making life events and daily activities more overwhelming to tolerate.

The reality is that if we want more “happiness” then we have to take action.

This brings us to the point of the discussion today…. Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is paying a purposeful attention to our 5 senses, thoughts, emotions, feelings, behaviors and so on in a non- judgemental way to take control of your mind.

Anyone in any situation or spiritual path can use Mindfulness. This very highly effective skill can change a person’s life for the better and just keep deepening throughout time. This skill can be used anywhere and anytime…talk about convenient! To use this skill you must reserve your judgement, be open to new ideas and be willing.

Before we can talk about using Mindfulness it is important that we go through the anatomy of the skill to fully understand the process and how to use it effectively.

In my next post I will start talking about reserving judgement and how that plays a very important role in learning how to take hold of your mind.

Also on a side note this blog is about truth and at some point I may address an issue that is sensitive to some. Truth is a very important ingredient within the recipe for a more peaceful life. So please bear with me and forge onward in these moments if lasting peace is what you desire.

Wishing you all the best on this day….

The Mindful Gatekeeper

Welcome To Gate Keeper of the Mind!

Hi I am the mindfulgatekeeper and I welcome you to my humble blog!

This blog is about feelings, emotions, stress and peace. I write from personal experience and practice the skills I will be writing about. I make no claim to live a perfect life just because I strive for a more peaceful environment. By sharing ideas taught to me now for many years I feel it is time to share with others what I can. I am not a therapist in any way and I encourage those who are under overwhelming stress to get in touch with a professional of some sort for support and structure. Spirituality has also been a comfort to me and I have learned peaceful practices from a variety of spiritual sources and this too I plan to share.

Thank you for stopping by~ Have a great day!