A crucial skill for minimizing emotional chaos and sustaining clarity in your life is the ability to distinguish between your experience and your interpretation of your experience. Interpretation occurs as the result of a combination of several factors. The mind has an automatic tendency to interpret an experience and create a story about it based on memories, past associations, and attitudes you have about yourself and others. It then selectively gathers data from within the experience to support its interpretation. It may seem to you that your mind is simply trying to figure out your experience, but really it’s screening for evidence to support the story it’s clinging to. However, this story is a delusion because your mind is being clouded by the strong emotions of the moment. When we start to interpret an experience, the thoughts generated by our reactive mind become our primary experience, as opposed to whatever is actually happening that needs our full attention and considered response. Usually we continue on with the activity, but our attention is split or less than complete. Is it any wonder that we don’t do our best under such conditions? You can begin to break the habit of automatically interpreting every experience by practicing anchoring your attention firmly within the experience. Notice any physical sensations and emotions that are arising and observe the state of your mind. Is it racing, agitated, fuzzy, or clear? For instance, if you feel that someone has not lived up to an agreement they made with you, rather than contracting into an interpretation of them or their motives, simply stay with the feeling of what it’s like to be let down by another. You might say to yourself, “I’m just going to be interested in this,” and then watch what happens. Just be in the moment and let the experience form. We can learn to show up for our life by being willing to be present for what is difficult in life. The curtains will rise and the journey illuminated.
Illuminated. . .
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