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Thread: How to become more aware of your thoughts?

  1. #31

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    Thank you PoE, for sharing those quotes.

    Quote Originally Posted by WellBeing View Post
    If you "so don't enjoy" doing that thing ("second-guess") that's getting in your way of doing what you want to do, then it makes sense to do less of that thing that you "so don't enjoy," doesn't it? And you know when you're doing it because you have your feeling​ of "so don't enjoy" letting you know when you're doing it.
    I think "second-guessing" maybe wasn't the best word. I meant when I intend to think about kittens for example, I feel unsure of whether I'm actually thinking about kittens or not. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what "thinking" means, but I've tried to write down words on paper that are about bubbles (or kittens), but then I find myself not really focusing on what my words mean or whatever, because I'm still aware of my manifested sensation or how I'm not yet feeling better etc, I'm not really focusing on what I want to focus on, and then I begin to second-guess myself and whether or not I'm able to steer my thoughts in the way I want to (in this example to thinking about kittens). It doesn't help that everything in this Abe work is dependant on my ability to deliberately steer my focus, so it kind of seem like a big deal to me.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by EaseAndFlow View Post
    Thank you PoE, for sharing those quotes.



    I think "second-guessing" maybe wasn't the best word. I meant when I intend to think about kittens for example, I feel unsure of whether I'm actually thinking about kittens or not. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what "thinking" means, but I've tried to write down words on paper that are about bubbles (or kittens), but then I find myself not really focusing on what my words mean or whatever, because I'm still aware of my manifested sensation or how I'm not yet feeling better etc, I'm not really focusing on what I want to focus on, and then I begin to second-guess myself and whether or not I'm able to steer my thoughts in the way I want to (in this example to thinking about kittens). It doesn't help that everything in this Abe work is dependant on my ability to deliberately steer my focus, so it kind of seem like a big deal to me.
    It is only because you are not reaching for relief, but for a big jump. You don't let the power of the Stream show you its power. You are, as Abe says, trying to put a motor on your boat and rrrrrrrrrrrr, instantly beam yourself to the top of the Scale. You don't believe in the power of the Stream, you try to do something which will not be allowed by the LoA, and then of course you feel the way you feel. What you don't understand is finding only a tiny little bit of relief is enough. It is not only enough, but it is the work. Let's say you are thinking thoughts of Overwhelment. Then the call of Source will sound like Pessimism or Irritation or Frustration or Impatience. Go for them and you will understand what I mean: you will feel the RELIEF of those thoughts. Enjoy that relief, enjoy that relief. And when they no longer give you relief, you can easily move to thoughts of Boredom. You see? This is the work.

  3. #33
    Super Moderator WellBeing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EaseAndFlow View Post
    I think "second-guessing" maybe wasn't the best word. I meant when I intend to think about kittens for example, I feel unsure of whether I'm actually thinking about kittens or not. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what "thinking" means, but I've tried to write down words on paper that are about bubbles (or kittens), but then I find myself not really focusing on what my words mean or whatever,...

    Are you telling us that you can’t think about kittens and why you like them and how soft their fur is and how playful they are and how they like to snuggle against you when you let them and how you love to feel the soft vibration of the purr that they have against your hand or your chest and how you saw that kitten with the beautiful blue eyes and...?

    (You know what the word “thinking” means.)

    Quote Originally Posted by EaseAndFlow View Post
    ... because I'm still aware of my manifested sensation or how I'm not yet feeling better etc, I'm not really focusing on what I want to focus on, and then I begin to second-guess myself and whether or not I'm able to steer my thoughts in the way I want to (in this example to thinking about kittens).

    As I understand the term, I too would call this “second-guessing.” And you’re correct: these thoughts aren’t about kittens any more. They’re about this “work,” your ability to do this “work” and about fixing your problem. My previous answer to you still applies. You know when you’re doing this. You know what you’re doing when you’re doing this (because you’re telling us here about it). And you know that this feels less “good” than the thoughts I’d offered above. So, focus back on kittens, because focusing on kittens feels better than all these crappy thoughts about how you can’t do this work and how you can’t fix your issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by EaseAndFlow View Post
    It doesn't help that everything in this Abe work is dependant on my ability to deliberately steer my focus, so it kind of seem like a big deal to me.

    You can steer your focus back to kittens if you want. You can. If you start to do it--even for a split second--that tells you that you can. After all, you had been thinking about something else beforehand.

    So, if you were able to focus from that prior topic to your kittens once, you can do it again. And when you find yourself thinking about this “work” and your abilities and your issues, you can focus back to kittens (or whatever) again. You can.

  4. #34
    I feel unsure of whether I'm actually thinking about kittens or not.
    ' Oh should I think about kittens. Or should I not? Maybe there is a better topic, perhaps bubbles. No bubbles are not my topic. But I should think about something, perhaps even kittens. No,kittens are not my topic, too. And I don"t know a kitten. So yet bubbles. No, I should think about kittens, this would be better. Perhaps I should think about my problem. No, I should think about kittens. ....
    And I feel worse and worse and worse and guilty, because I should think something and I don't. Because I hold and excuse where I am by thinking about what I should think and do not think and the LoA brings more of them.'

    Perhaps You start directly: oh you little kitten, you are black with white ...

  5. #35
    What about the old way of counting breaths (in+out) from 1 to 10 and then begin again?
    maybe I'm weird but I'd rather do that than think of bubbles or kittens, and the result is the same. Counting makes concentration easy. That's why they use this method in zen, to learn meditation. When the ability to focus is acquired, they move on to other forms of meditation.
    E&F I am rooting for you!

  6. #36
    Super Moderator WellBeing's Avatar
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    And I'd like to add: Don't bother coming back here and trying to tell us "I can't focus" or "I can't hold my focus onto a topic," because you can. In fact, that's what part of the challenge of talking with you is: your relentless, stubborn willingness to focus on thoughts which do not feel good to you as you focus upon them.

    So, you can think. You've shown you and us that. You can translate your thoughts into words, otherwise we would not be having this conversation. You can direct your focus. You do already. You focus clearly on your story about doing this "work." And you can feel the discomfort of doing all of that because you've been reporting that to us as well.

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by rose essence View Post
    What about the old way of counting breaths (in+out) from 1 to 10 and then begin again?
    maybe I'm weird but I'd rather do that than think of bubbles or kittens, and the result is the same. Counting makes concentration easy. That's why they use this method in zen, to learn meditation. When the ability to focus is acquired, they move on to other forms of meditation.
    E&F I am rooting for you!
    I like using numbers too. Like RE, I too think they make concentrating easy. I use them as a focusing mechanism especially when I feel like a chicken without its head!

    I like adding Fibonacci series in my head. Or counting nos. in alternate sequencing—1, 100, 2, 99, 3, 98, and so on. Doing tables in my head. Picking some grandiose sounding number and trying to figure out if its prime or not, etc. etc.

    E&F, I’m really glad you’ve given up on the thought that feeling better is only worth it if it’s achieved through some “active” process. I think that in itself is an achievement, and I definitely cheer you for that.

    I also love Summerdream’s example above. Here’s hoping that you find it helpful!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by EaseAndFlow View Post
    I meant when I intend to think about kittens for example, I feel unsure of whether I'm actually thinking about kittens or not.
    If you're thinking about what they look like, or what they feel like, either physically -- as in, they're really furry and soft except for their needle-like claws, or emotionally, as in they're so playful and I feel playful too when I watch and interact them -- or remembering fun kitten videos you've seen, or times when you've interacted with actual kittens, then you're thinking about kittens.
    Quote Originally Posted by EaseAndFlow View Post
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding what "thinking" means, but I've tried to write down words on paper that are about bubbles (or kittens), but then I find myself not really focusing on what my words mean or whatever
    It doesn't require you to "focus on what your words mean." That's turning this into a chore to try to get something done. It doesn't require analysis, and the fact that you're trying to ANALYZE shows you that you're trying WAY too hard. Please explain how it's possible to "not focus on what my words mean or whatever" and "misunderstand what thinking means" in this context. Furry. Soft. Playful. Small. Purring. Jumping. Sleeping. Mammals. Felines. Striped. Spotted. Brown. Grey. Orange. White. Black. These are all words that describe kittens and it requires only a basic level of focus to pop those words out. Please explain how you can possibly "misunderstand" any of that. Now it's not NECESSARY that you use words or write them down, but you certainly can. You could also try to picture a kitten in your mind, you could imagine a kitten playing, you could draw a picture of a kitten, even if it's a little stick figure. You could color that drawing, like a coloring book. NONE OF THIS REQUIRES ANY SORT OF ANALYSIS. Rather, it's simply FOCUS.
    Quote Originally Posted by EaseAndFlow View Post
    because I'm still aware of my manifested sensation or how I'm not yet feeling better etc, I'm not really focusing on what I want to focus on, and then I begin to second-guess myself and whether or not I'm able to steer my thoughts in the way I want to (in this example to thinking about kittens).
    There's no second-guessing necessary here. You're focusing on one or the other. If you're focusing on "I don't know how to steer my thoughts," you're obviously not focusing kittens' pointy ears or how their noses are sometimes kind of wet and a little cold. Again, that doesn't require analysis, it's obvious. The thing is, you don't have to analyze WHY you're not focusing on the kitten's tail weaving in the air. All you have to do is TURN YOUR ATTENTION BACK TO THE KITTEN'S CUTE LITTLE TAIL AND HOW THIS ADORABLE BALL OF FUR PLAYFULLY LEAPS ONTO A TOY MOUSE. It's not hard, it simply isn't. As I've said before, if you're finding that it IS hard, then you're not doing what I'm describing. You're trying to use this to FIX how you feel, which isn't going to work because HOW YOU FEEL ISN'T BROKEN. You just need to FOCUS ON SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T BOTHER YOU.

    Quote Originally Posted by EaseAndFlow View Post
    It doesn't help that everything in this Abe work is dependant on my ability to deliberately steer my focus, so it kind of seem like a big deal to me.
    And herein lies the issue. You keep trying to justify the way you're currently focusing by telling yourself and us how IMPORTANT it is to focus on this unpleasant thing, when we're trying to persuade you take your attention OFF of any subject that doesn't feel good. Until you're willing to actually turn your attention to another subject because focusing on this IMPORTANT subject doesn't feel good, you're going to be stuck.

    It really isn't anywhere near as hard or complicated as you're making it. All we're telling you is to keep focusing on another subject long enough to distract yourself from how you feel. Tell a little story, if you have to, because that may be a little more compelling than simply focusing on a single subject. "There was a little puppy named Joe that lived on a farm. Joe lived with Ma, Pa, and their four kids, Amy-Sue, Goober, Jake and Randy. Joe liked playing with Randy and helping him with his chores. Randy was the youngest and he loved playing with Joe too! Joe had lots of other animal friends, including the chickens and cows and pigs. One time Joe was playing with the piglets and had lots of fun, but when he tried to come in the house, Ma got real mad because Joe had gotten all muddy from playing with the piglets."

    See? That's not hard. I didn't spend time analyzing, wondering what words mean or what "thoughts" are, I didn't spend time trying to get anything "right" or accomplishing anything, it was simply a matter of using my focus and imagination on a subject. There just isn't any "effort" necessary, it's just pointing in a direction and going. Use your mind to AMUSE and PLEASE yourself rather than trying to FIX what isn't broken.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by The LoA-Man View Post
    It is only because you are not reaching for relief, but for a big jump. You don't let the power of the Stream show you its power. You are, as Abe says, trying to put a motor on your boat and rrrrrrrrrrrr, instantly beam yourself to the top of the Scale. You don't believe in the power of the Stream, you try to do something which will not be allowed by the LoA, and then of course you feel the way you feel. What you don't understand is finding only a tiny little bit of relief is enough. It is not only enough, but it is the work. Let's say you are thinking thoughts of Overwhelment. Then the call of Source will sound like Pessimism or Irritation or Frustration or Impatience. Go for them and you will understand what I mean: you will feel the RELIEF of those thoughts. Enjoy that relief, enjoy that relief. And when they no longer give you relief, you can easily move to thoughts of Boredom. You see? This is the work.
    Thank you so much for your post, The LoA-Man!

    Quote Originally Posted by WellBeing View Post
    As I understand the term, I too would call this “second-guessing.” And you’re correct: these thoughts aren’t about kittens any more. They’re about this “work,” your ability to do this “work” and about fixing your problem. My previous answer to you still applies. You know when you’re doing this. You know what you’re doing when you’re doing this (because you’re telling us here about it). And you know that this feels less “good” than the thoughts I’d offered above. So, focus back on kittens, because focusing on kittens feels better than all these crappy thoughts about how you can’t do this work and how you can’t fix your issues.
    This does make a lot of sense. If I begin to think about how I'm not yet feeling better and that it's an unwanted thing that I feel this way, already there I'm making myself feel worse and worse because my inner being is never going to agree with that way of viewing my emotions (altough sometimes I think it might be manifested sensations I feel inside my stomach, or not) but my IB isn't viewing my uncomfortable manifested sensations as something going "wrong", either.

    Quote Originally Posted by WellBeing View Post
    You can steer your focus back to kittens if you want. You can. If you start to do it--even for a split second--that tells you that you can. After all, you had been thinking about something else beforehand.

    So, if you were able to focus from that prior topic to your kittens once, you can do it again. And when you find yourself thinking about this “work” and your abilities and your issues, you can focus back to kittens (or whatever) again. You can.
    Okay. Thanks so much for your posts, WellBeing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Summerdream View Post
    ' Oh should I think about kittens. Or should I not? Maybe there is a better topic, perhaps bubbles. No bubbles are not my topic. But I should think about something, perhaps even kittens. No,kittens are not my topic, too. And I don"t know a kitten. So yet bubbles. No, I should think about kittens, this would be better. Perhaps I should think about my problem. No, I should think about kittens. ....
    And I feel worse and worse and worse and guilty, because I should think something and I don't. Because I hold and excuse where I am by thinking about what I should think and do not think and the LoA brings more of them.'

    Perhaps You start directly: oh you little kitten, you are black with white ...
    Ohh, I see what you mean. Thanks Summerdream for your helpful advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by rose essence View Post
    What about the old way of counting breaths (in+out) from 1 to 10 and then begin again?
    maybe I'm weird but I'd rather do that than think of bubbles or kittens, and the result is the same. Counting makes concentration easy. That's why they use this method in zen, to learn meditation. When the ability to focus is acquired, they move on to other forms of meditation.
    E&F I am rooting for you!
    Thanks a lot, rose. It feels quite easy for me to concentrate when doing that, too. I'm definitely going to try that out some more.

    Quote Originally Posted by WellBeing View Post
    And I'd like to add: Don't bother coming back here and trying to tell us "I can't focus" or "I can't hold my focus onto a topic," because you can. In fact, that's what part of the challenge of talking with you is: your relentless, stubborn willingness to focus on thoughts which do not feel good to you as you focus upon them.

    So, you can think. You've shown you and us that. You can translate your thoughts into words, otherwise we would not be having this conversation. You can direct your focus. You do already. You focus clearly on your story about doing this "work." And you can feel the discomfort of doing all of that because you've been reporting that to us as well.
    Yes, I can see that now.. I'm not going to continue to tell that story anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by skylark View Post
    I like using numbers too. Like RE, I too think they make concentrating easy. I use them as a focusing mechanism especially when I feel like a chicken without its head!

    I like adding Fibonacci series in my head. Or counting nos. in alternate sequencing—1, 100, 2, 99, 3, 98, and so on. Doing tables in my head. Picking some grandiose sounding number and trying to figure out if its prime or not, etc. etc.
    I can see how that would take some focus! Thanks skylark.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    If you're thinking about what they look like, or what they feel like, either physically -- as in, they're really furry and soft except for their needle-like claws, or emotionally, as in they're so playful and I feel playful too when I watch and interact them -- or remembering fun kitten videos you've seen, or times when you've interacted with actual kittens, then you're thinking about kittens.
    And if I notice my uneasy feeling in my gut for one second, then I'm not thinking about kittens that one second. And I've heard Abraham talk about how we can only think about one thing at the time. Ok, I understand how it works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    It doesn't require you to "focus on what your words mean." That's turning this into a chore to try to get something done. It doesn't require analysis, and the fact that you're trying to ANALYZE shows you that you're trying WAY too hard.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    It really isn't anywhere near as hard or complicated as you're making it. All we're telling you is to keep focusing on another subject long enough to distract yourself from how you feel. Tell a little story, if you have to, because that may be a little more compelling than simply focusing on a single subject.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    See? That's not hard. I didn't spend time analyzing, wondering what words mean or what "thoughts" are, I didn't spend time trying to get anything "right" or accomplishing anything, it was simply a matter of using my focus and imagination on a subject. There just isn't any "effort" necessary, it's just pointing in a direction and going. Use your mind to AMUSE and PLEASE yourself rather than trying to FIX what isn't broken.
    Thank you so much, Marc! I'm so thankful for your post because it's so helpful to me right now! It's time for me to put this into practice now.

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