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For greater self-control, learn how to sit with your own feelings

Learning to sit with yourself - with your thoughts and feelings - without attempting to escape or fight them is a powerful practice for claiming self-control.

Most of us are living our whole lives as an attempt to not have to directly experience our emotions and thoughts. We do this by staying busy, staying distracted, and staying absent. We continuously project our imagination into the future when "everything will finally be okay" or nostalgically into the past "when everything was better".

Of course this creates a lot of problems. The chief of which is that we're playing a losing game. How could we possibly hope to get away from ourselves? It's like trying to run away from your own body.

The other problem is that when we're constantly fleeing or fighting some aspect of our experience, we're never really at center. We never quite feel stable, secure. We never truly feel at home in our own experience. We feel vaguely threatened all the time!

And then THIS provides a sort of motivation, but the "coal-powered" version of motivation. The motivation that freaks us out, makes us anxious, has us drinking coffee and moving back and forth between panic work and procrastinating with games or videos.

So in this article I'd like to suggest that you try out this fundamentally different approach of sitting with your thoughts and emotions (just for a few minutes, not forever) as a way to finally step into your true power.

What it means to reclaim your "True Power"

I'm not suggesting that this will bring you into some god-like state where you can finally be in total control of your body and ONLY ever do what you think it should do.

Instead, that through focusing more on tuning into your own experience, being present to your own experience, you'll find more cooperation between your conscious and unconscious mind. You'll find it easier to lead yourself. You'll have a much, much better shot at setting habits and sustaining focus on your work over time.

Reclaiming your "true power" is to be able to be still until it's time to take action, and then to take action from a place of true inspiration, instead of trying to prevent unwanted outcomes from happening.

How to sit with your own feelings and thoughts

Hopefully I've sold this concept enough that you're willing to give it a go. That said, it's likely that you've already tried meditative techniques like this one. If so, then just allow this to add to portfolio of ways to approach and understand meditation.

  1. Sit quietly, close your laptop and set your phone on DND for 5 minutes or so.

  2. Close your eyes and float the question: "What does it feel like to be me right now?" Be very careful to avoid evaluative answers such as 'good', 'fine', or 'okay'. Instead use actual adjectives.

  3. Just observe without trying to change, fight, alter, fix or even heal anything. Also pay attention to any tendency to judge what you find - like "I don't want to feel this way" or "I shouldn't be feeling this way".

  4. Move into total allowance for whatever you observe in your inner atmosphere. Allow all feelings thoughts and sensations to exist here. Give them permission to be here. Drop any effort to "hasten" their existence here.

  5. Sit here without any conflict or fight. Just keep observing. Notice what happens over time.

You've returned to your center, your core

If you did that exercise with any amount of sincerity, it's likely that you feel much more relaxed, grounded, lighter, more relieved.

You've woken up out of a hypnosis that you've been in up until now. Notice the futility of running around within the dream when it's so much better simply to wake up out of it!

Notice also how so much of your effort and energy was going to avoiding that which you directly faced just now. How did you find it? What effect does it have on your motivation now? How does this influence your priorities for the day and week?

This practice will take you deeper and deeper into yourself

And thus grant you more freedom and power along the way. You become less suggestible, less hypnotizable, less easy to manipulate. You become more adept at choosing for your authentic self, for what's in your highest and best interest. This in turn helps you more fully actualize your potential in the world.

Anyway I hope this helps! I'd be sincerely curious to hear what happens if you try the practice out. - Brent

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