Someone shared with me recently that they liked their judgemental attitude. They did not want to get rid of it. I realized they were hearing what I was saying as prescriptive. They thought I was saying because we have innate peace within as a natural state, you should not focus on stirred up thinking and righteousness because they disturb the experience of inner peace. When all I was meaning to convey was how thoughts and feelings work.
When we bring life to our judgmental thoughts it creates suffering, but there is no requirement to stop. That is simply how it works. It does, however, start to look a bit crazy to nurture and foster judgmental thoughts when we see they create suffering, and that not paying attention to these thoughts allows them to float away. But this is not a requirement. If you like the feeling of being stirred up and righteous that is your prerogative. The conversation I had was brief so I didn’t get to find out why she liked being riled up so much. One of my guesses is that it made her feel more alive.
Peace of mind can sound boring.
But that is not my experience. In my experience, it is the opposite of boring. It feels vibrant, alive, and dynamic. Quiet and clear. Buoyant and expansive. I experience a quiet mind is a very dynamic state.
However, when you have a busy mind, slowing down can look boring. It can feel flat when you get quieter. Not because that is the experience of a quiet mind, but because when you let go of the adrenaline buzz of your busyness and slow down a little, it can feel like you are quiet, even when there is still a lot of thinking going on. The experiences of bored and flat are reflections of thought. Even though the thoughts can be invisible. These states of mind are actually quite busy.
I remember when I finally saw the benefit of letting my mind relax and slowing down. When I took my foot off the gas I felt exhausted. I felt flat. I wasn’t depressed, but I had no energy or motivation. This lasted for months. Fortunately, I recognized this was not about boredom or lack of inspiration. It was the by-product of pushing myself for years. I was just plain old tired and my lack of motivation was a good thing. I needed to rest. I didn’t want to do anything so I did the basics of what was required. I read a lot of novels, rested, and worked as needed. It took awhile for my mind to actually relax and get used to a different internal pace. As I took care of myself, my body healed and my mind slowed even more. I began to notice that I didn’t feel flat and uninspired. My mood became more buoyant and hopeful. I began to have the energy to do new things and create.
Connecting more with my peace of mind filled up my reservoir and put a spring in my step. Respecting a quieter mind allowed me to relate to my thinking differently so it wasn’t constantly bringing life to my anxious thoughts. I was able to relax. I no longer needed the buzz of stress and adrenaline to help me feel alive and make life seem interesting. I experienced a different source of vitality that did not require me to sacrifice my health and well-being.
I am not, however, advocating a goal of being in a certain state of mind. One, that is not in our control, and two, it doesn’t matter that it is not in our control because when we understand the fluid nature of our experience, no state of mind is a problem.
Why I see this as helpful is that it is natural to not manage our experience when we see it is not a problem. There is no pressure to think or feel a certain way. We can simply let ourselves be and let the natural intelligence within us unfold without wasting energy trying to manipulate our state of mind. Feelings move through us. Thoughts come and go. If you want to hang on to them fine, no problem. They will still work the same way.
If you want to be judgmental and righteous that is your choice. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it became less appealing when the drama isn’t needed to feel alive and you see the suffering it creates.
And it is okay to be attached to experiences. It can feel disconcerting to see what we think of as fixed personality traits as transitory and just concepts about ourselves that we experience at some times and not at others. The fluidity of who we are might feel scary rather than freeing.
Who am I without my judgments?
Who am I without my concepts about myself?
Who am I?
Only you can answer that for yourself.
My answer in this moment is nothing and everything! The pure potential that condenses into form and then goes back to formless potential.
Righteousness and judgment are just two forms created from possibility. They are passing and momentary.
Yes, we constantly create concepts. The mind works that way. Relentlessly creating the form of thought from the formless potential. But who we are is not rigid, consistent or fixed. We create the illusion of continuity. Experience is created moment-to-moment. Our brain edits it together into a seamless reality.
There is nothing boring about this infinite capacity of creativity. Peace of mind is the experience of connecting with that infinite well of well-being and potential. This seems like the opposite of boring to me!
Rohini Ross is passionate about helping people wake up to their full potential. She is a transformative coach, leadership consultant, a regular blogger for Thrive Global, and author of the short-read Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1) available on Amazon. You can get her free ebook Relationships here. Rohini currently has an international coaching and consulting practice based in Los Angeles helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of well-being, resiliency, and success. She is also the founder of The Soul-Centered Series: Psychology, Spirituality, and the Teachings of Sydney Banks. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and watch her Vlogs with her husband. To learn more about her work go to her website, rohiniross.com.