Mind Chatter

So today I had allergies, and, funny as this might sound I thought there might be something in me, that I wasn’t aware of, that was causing it. And while there is strong evidence for the connection between the emotional and physical (See this Google search on “emotional connection physical ailments”), I unfortunately was left to have a dribbling nose the rest of the day. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t find something interesting, however.

To find it, I did a meditation to go to my shadow. The “shadow” is just a metaphorical construct that you can go visit in your imagination that houses all the feelings you deny as being a part of yourself. That’s why I went there (in my mind) today – I can find the root causes of various feelings, things I never even thought were the cause. You can buy the meditation I used to first visit my shadow by clicking here. It is one of the best ways I’ve found to have an instant, enriching, informative inner adventure. The meditation itself is by Mark Ivar Myhre. He’s got lots of great tools for healing yourself emotionally. Check his website out at:¬†http://www.emotional-times.com/

Today, I found what I interpret to be a metaphor for mind chatter:

The Mind Chatterers and their attacking snakes (and my Explorer going “oh no go away snakes!”)

My Shadow showed me to a room where I had a vague sense of what was there. The only thing I could clearly distinguish to visualize was a purple ball of energy in the middle of the room. So I was like, “well, I’ll just take this and see what happens.” Immediately after I did, I started visualizing what you see above. A number of stoic, thinking parts of myself were standing in a large circle around me, talking¬†incessantly¬†about if it was right of me to have taken the ball of energy. As they were lost in this talk, a hoard of snakes kept advancing on me from all sides. I noticed also that the talk of the thinkers and the snakes were connected.

This led me to the conclusion that when you start thinking incessantly, and get lost in thoughts, it can be like a hoard of snakes is also advancing on the acting part of you – the one who actually gets things done and moves around and explores the shadow. And I’m not talking about daydream thoughts – but rather the kind of torrent of thoughts you get when worried. “Well what if this, what if that, or maybe this, no this…” and on and on without end.

So if you’re wondering about practical application, I’d say this: Thinking about things is great and all, but just be careful about the effect it’s having on you. What’s it doing to you? Is it shutting down your ability to act, attacking you? If so, it might be helpful to stand up to those thoughts, find some way to get them to stand down. Or just act regardless of what they have to say.

P.S. I concluded in my Shadow by leading the mind chatterers out of their room. At first I was going to keep the snakes sealed away, but they complained saying that the snakes were their friends. So I let them keep them on the condition that if they tried to attack me or anyone else inside me, I would burn them up with fire. They agreed and so we all left the shadow, and then I exited the meditation. Fun times!

My Method: Cartoon Processing

Ok so today I wanted to post what I’ve been doing to come up with the “discoveries” I’ve been claiming to find.

Basically, I am putting my stream of consciousness on paper – not just as words, but also as little cartoon faces. The faces are important as they show the emotion behind the words, which allows me to see the character of the thoughts in my head – whether or not a certain thought is from a negative or positive part of myself, for instance.

With this tool, I have been approaching various topics that I want to delve deeper in to. My largest exploration so far as been in “self-doubt”, which is still ongoing. My goal in starting that section was to dispel my self-doubt by uncovering and resolving all the reasons why I doubted myself at any time. And while there are lots of reasons, I have felt more and more confident in more areas, and I feel more free.

But regardless of what I’ve explored, the method has proven extremely useful for whatever I’ve tackled with it. Often, when I’m feeling some kind of inner turmoil, I turn to this “cartoon processing”, and I get some kind of revelation about it as a result, and the turmoil subsides. New issues keep coming up, and I feel as though I’m just scratching the surface.

But since the cartoon faces represent my conscious stream at that moment, I know that it’s real – at least in the sense that I’m not postulating how self-doubt works – I’m living all the reasons why I’m doubting myself.

Anyway, it’s really easy if you want to try it. Just take out a piece of paper and think about something that bothers you. Draw a face to represent yourself (the part of you delving into this issue) and think something like “I want to resolve (insert issue here)”. Write that next to the face. Then, see what the response is inside yourself. Maybe it’s a cynical voice, saying “There’s no way you can resolve that!” or a fatalistic voice “Oh, we’ve tried time and time again to resolve that, we certainly can’t do that!” And draw what you feel is an appropriate face to that voice. Then let the conversation begin.

You may find as you continue that by representing these familiar forces as separate beings hashing it out on paper, that you notice patterns you never saw before, and ways to resolve the conflict that you didn’t think existed. You may just solve something that’s been plaguing you for years. And that’s always a relief!

So if anyone tries this, or has any questions about it, let me know. I’ll continue to share my own findings too. Maybe I’ll even scan in a page from my processing as an example. And if you do try it, I hope it proves useful!