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Archive for July, 2017

The brain is an amazing problem-solving machine and it can be directed to just about any problem or challenge you can think of. Sadly, when we were kids, we experienced some excruciating rejection and even violence in situations where we felt weak, or stupid, or vulnerable, or unwelcome for being naturally who we were. It was so painful that we made it our one ruling priority to never again feel those feelings. At that moment we programmed and instructed our amazing problem solving mind to stay constantly alert to anything that might result in us feeling those painful things and to keep us the hell away from them. Our attention and strategising, problem-solving potential was then all directed to never feeling or appearing vulnerable, never looking stupid, never looking ugly, never being rejected or exiled, never risking…and whatever other items on the list of ‘must’ and ‘mustn’t’ we created from all these confusing and wounding childhood moments.

The constant stream of thinking which we take for granted every day is how our problem-solving mind does the job (that we instructed it to do) to keep us safe from those scary and painful things. The mind-machine uses thoughts which are so sophisticated that they make us think they are our values and our truths, SO convincing, like an amazing ventriloquist dummy or impersonation of ourselves – we really think, when we are worrying away or imagining someone’s intentions towards us, that these beliefs are our truth when really they are just a list of ways the mind-machine is throwing up to protect us. It also uses feelings and body chemistry urges and ideas of battling, controlling, manipulating, escaping, numbing, denying, condemning, fearing, worrying….so compelling and so constant that most humans live as if that loud radio station which is always ON, Headfuck FM, is who they are.

It only takes 2 minutes of sitting quietly and observing the conveyer belt of thoughts that arise all by themselves from this mind-machine to realise that who we are is not that constant stream of protections and fantasies that compel us, who we are is the one who is Watching, Witnessing, Observing those thoughts. When you realise that for the first time, that you’ve been living as if your stream of thoughts was true and You when really it was just a problem solving machine you programmed to make sure you never again felt pain, it’s quite a moment. I’d even say it’s the difference between living as a robot, constantly yanked left and right by the next danger or opportunity, or living as a free being, who sees and feels all those urges and thinking-protections, but doesn’t base truth and reality on them and always let’s the Witness or Observer that can see the mind’s antics, make the actual choices and decisions (and especially write the emails!)

How much of your day do you spend absorbed by the stream of thinking and forget that it’s not You? Try watching the thoughts for 3 minutes and see if you can not get sucked in. As Gabrielle Roth says: “Freedom is simple but not easy.’

www.jamiecatto.com

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The idea of ‘growing’ as a person and ‘improving’ oneself springs from the presumption that some states are better than others and that our messy, reactive days are less ‘improved’ than our equanimity ones – as if we can cherry pick preferred states – but the truth is, the one in us that even concerns itself with growth or improvement isn’t who we really are. Who we really are is Loving Awareness – and this Loving Awareness that we really are (that sits in the space behind all our busy thinking and planning and strategising) doesn’t deal in terms of growth or anything other than the acceptance and full presence of this moment, whatever it holds. The ‘real’ or more essential Me and You would never even conceive of growth. Only the fragile, worried, self protecting ego does that, because it’s been brainwashed to achieve and ‘get to the next level’ in it’s constant quest to be loved and not rejected, exiled or lonely. But ever ‘getting to the next level’ is really an affirmation of LACK – a belief in ‘we’re not there yet’ when really we are – because being ‘there’ is really ‘being right here’.

We are already right here – so drop the ideas of future improvement because every moment you concern yourself with that, you’re not in the present moment (the only authentic reality we can experience) but in some future abstraction in our ambitious mind. Loving this Now is the only authentic state. Everything else is a deluded ego-trip to satisfy a not-enoughness.

Have we been so thoroughly trained in achievement and ambition that we can’t be fully accepting of how we are now with no need to change?

To improve yourself is only an ego concern because the real Self can never be improved. So if it entertains you to participate in ‘growing’ practices and it’s the most fun available for you then great. If it’s interesting to try and get your ego to act more like a Soul then go for it, but if it’s something you feel you need to do, something you couldn’t be comfortable without, then I’d question where that urge is really coming from.

It looks like it’s rooted in Lack to me, and wherever we move from, wherever we act and choose from, that frequency begets and attracts more of the same. Lack begets lack…..and on and on it goes….and we empower an inner slave-driver to push us along and measure how far we’ve come and how well we’re doing….all total nonsense.

There’s a much juicier offering, and that is to let go of the ego’s improvement concerns for a bit and just sink back into the Loving Awareness that we can call ’Soul’ where there’s nothing to achieve, nowhere to go – just….this…..Now. When we do that for just three minutes, and watch what our crazy mind thinks about all by itself, we are amazed that we acted for years as if that constant stream of ambitious and strategic thinking was ‘Us’. When really it’s no more than a badly programmed protection machine that we charged with the job of making us lovable, making us never be seen to fail, or look stupid, or look vulnerable or anything that might get us rejected or exiled. That constant stream of self-protection and self-elevation is not who we are, the that loud radio station in our heads, Headfuck FM, has been on so long, and so loud, that we’ve become accustomed to treating as Reality. Just three minutes observing the thoughts proves to us without doubt that those thoughts are not who we are. Becasue if we can observe the thought come and go, even just once, then we realise we are the Witness, not the thought.

If we drop the whole growing thing then we have a chance to practice true Self Love and peace and the end of having expectations and judgements about others.

All that’s left is the space to truly experience this moment together, just as we are, complete, with our easy and hard days – all included and honoured equally.

www.jamiecatto.com

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