For 38 years now, I have thought that external events and people shaped my life and that I was living within the small framework of my ability to respond to those events. I could give you endless examples of how a friend’s rejection could shake me to my core. I was letting things outside of myself determine how I thought of myself, what mood I was in, and how I responded to everything else.
No more. There is no reason to give anyone or anything that much power over us.
The very first step of beginning to think in a larger way seems to be simply noticing how you are reacting to things within your own mind and body. Michael Singer writes a great deal about this separation between your thoughts and your true self in The Untethered Soul. I wrote a great deal about this amazing little book, but to give you the gist: You are not your thoughts, feelings, or opinions. You are that still, quiet being inside noticing those things, moving through those things, observing, breathing, loving.
This is mindfulness and mindful living. Notice how the coffee cup feels between your palms. Notice how someone’s voice sounds in your head. Notice how your feet feel as you place one foot in front of another. Notice what goes through your head as you’re hearing the news, or a friend talks with you, or when looking out the window. Notice whether you are observing, making judgments, jumping to conclusions, feeling gratitude, feeling anxious… simply notice. This will help you separate your true self from everything else.
Then we can start from there.