The idea that ‘you cannot be that which you observe’ and ‘you are not your mind’ are key concepts that I picked up a few years ago when I studied practical philosophy. Let’s just think about that objectively for a minute. You cannot be the observer and the observed at the same time, so just close your eyes and notice that you can observe your own mind. If you are able to observe your mind, it follows that you are detached from it, you are a separate entity, something known as spirit or higher self. Consider a night at the movies, your mind is like a movie with lots of mental activity and scenes being played out, and there you are in the cinema watching the movie. Just like in your own head, you are watching your mind, and like any great movie you get lost in the scenes allowing your imagination to run riot or you can observe without judging.
Begin to ‘check in’ with your mind and your thinking by asking yourself: ‘What was my mind just thinking?’ Notice you become disassociated from your thoughts and your state of mind becomes neutral (no feelings); here, you can easily observe your mind with humour from a place of detachment which is one of the great antidotes for fear and stress. Test this for a few days and notice the shift in your state of mind. Understanding this concept and its application is something very simple and yet it is a very powerful tactic to use when you are having a negative mental conversation with yourself and need to change track.
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