In order to heal our experience of psychological trauma, we must be willing to get in touch with what we are thinking. For most humans, thought is not a conscious process. We often aren't aware our thoughts. Thoughts, just seem to come and go. They are like leaves floating in a stream, coming into our awareness, only for a moment, then moving on past us in the trickling stream of consciousness.
We don't realize that our thoughts create stories; and these stories become our inner reference and guide. We aren't aware that this thought-story is creating , within, our feelings of despair. Intrusive memories become the enemy we confront throughout our attempts to heal. We don't realize that our trauma story has become our guide. With awareness and with practice, we can become fully aware of the conversation running inside our mind. When symptomatic, this is not an easy thing for us to do.
With the symptom of memory intrusion, our minds seem to dictate our story to us and we resign ourselves into believing we have lost our ability to control our thoughts. With meditation, we can regain control. We can learn how to rewrite our inner story. As we learn to edit the inner story, we can experience some welcome relief.
Remember, always: human beings are story-tellers by nature. We've created stories since the beginning of time. We've been writing, internally, our life story since the day of our birth. We use story-telling to express to ourselves and others the intricate weaving of experiences we've encountered along life's journey. We use story-telling to make sense of our experience; to make sense of ourselves and of reality. In order to calm the mind, we must learn to control what we think. We need to take charge of our inner story-telling experience.
Creating awareness is the first step. By sitting in silence, by introducing meditation into our lives, we can begin a journey into our inner world. Thoughts will challenge any attempts we make to be silent. Soon, with practice, we will become aware of the words we are sharing with ourselves. We can begin to hear, again, our own inner voice.
Once aware, we can observe (listen to) the story we are telling ourselves. With observance, over time, we can then pay closer attention to the story. The most wonderful and healing part of learning through this process, is when we ultimately discover that we can control the words we write upon our mind.
Trauma is the story of what happened to us. Our inner story of trauma, with the symptoms that challenge us become our inner dialogue; intrusive, unwanted recollections of the events that brought to us, so much pain.
To begin a practice of meditation takes only five minutes. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Using the practice of Breath Work and Grounding, shared in the previous blog, first take charge of your breathing and ground yourself. Don't expect silence. Listen, instead, for the sound of your own voice. Be gentle with this voice. Don't judge the words (thoughts). Listen, quietly, as you continue to practice grounding and breathing. Wait for a silent break. Then, take charge of your thoughts with a single phrase: "I Am!" This is a mantra. "I Am!" Repeat these words, silently to yourself. Continue for five minutes. This is meditation. This is a fresh start.
Five minutes today; maybe ten minutes tomorrow. Keep working with the practice and allow the experience to gently and slowly grow inside. In time, you can use this practice to change your thoughts. To change your inner-storytelling. As our thoughts change, our symptoms will reduce. It will be a challenge, forming a meditative practice. Doing so, will make all the difference.
Below is a collection of mantra's (personal devotions-affirmations) from the Buddha himself, courtesy of Gerald Penilla and The Manifest Station. Enjoy!
Be Well! My mantra to you.
This video, recommended today from Silva Life Systems