(this post is part 2 to Self Care Tip: More Than Just a Brain)…
Don’t let your brain be a tyrant! Yes, value your thoughts and your mind – but experiment with valuing the other parts of yourself as well, letting them take turns and share your attention. One fun way to practice this is to give equal focus to various parts of yourself and increase your ego’s tolerance to not dominating the scene all the time!
Start by setting a timer and taking 2 minutes to notice everything happening in your body. Don’t get carried away by the stories that your mind will naturally want to take you away on; just notice any areas of pain or tension. Notice any and all sensations or lack of sensation. Feel your clothes; notice the temperature of the air around you.
Now take 2 minutes to tune into your feelings. Again, just catalog: I feel bitter because my wife fussed at me this morning; I feel worried about my Mom being sick; I feel grateful for this gorgeous weather… and so on. Just notice your emotions and give them the mic for 2 minutes.
Next, try handing the mic to the inner witness. This is the silent part of you that’s just there, watching, listening, experiencing. It’s not your body; your feelings; or your mind – it’s the part of you that’s wide awake, even when you’re sleeping. The part of you that’s simply here, taking it all in. See if you can tune into that witness.
Finally, let your mind take back over: give your brain 2 minutes for all the thoughts: plans for the future; learning from the past; anything and everything it wants to run through. You’ll probably find that it’s a bit quieter than normal, maybe unsure of what to do when it’s not constantly running the show.
However, your brain deserves respect and appreciation too, so take a moment to enjoy the practice of thinking and delighting in all of the amazing things your mind can do!