James Marshall’s Story Of Depression and Suicide
What are you thinking about right now as you read this? You’re probably hearing the words in your head as you read this blog post.
But what else are you thinking? Are you having thoughts about getting back to work? Or what you’re going to eat next? Maybe wondering if you should have approached that cute girl you saw today.
That voice in your head, that sounds like you constantly running commentary on your day, worrying about the future, mulling over the past, clammering to the next idea, desire, or fear.
Seeing The Self
Have you ever stopped for a moment and considered that you are not your thoughts?
It’s crazy I know. If you have a narrative going on inside of your head, and they’re your thoughts, how can it not be you?
Well, the truth is that your thoughts are just small aspect of your psyche – an internal dialogue created from your experiences, upbringing, socialization, exposure to media and other random elements. Although it’s the most obvious representation of yourself you usually notice, these thoughts don’t actually define you as a person.
If you’re someone who always thinks negative thoughts, who always beats himself up and can’t escape the constant overthinking, getting entangled in your thinking leads to ineffective behaviours and general unhappiness in life.
However by learning to step back and observe your thoughts as merely brief manifestations passing through your mind, you can learn to become relaxed and objective, allowing thoughts to come and go while keeping a more balanced peaceful internal position.
In meditation we call this awareness or mindfulness. This is the foundation of the meditation system I teach in the Marshall Meditation Method, which I’ve packed into a 6 week online video course designed to teach you mindfulness, whether you’ve never meditated before or have tried it but found it didn’t work.
You can hear more about the origins of my meditation method in the epic hour long video about in this article which tells the story of how I traveled through India and China to learn from the greatest masters, studying many forms of spirituality, martial arts and philosophy.
Awareness meditation gives you the ability to disconnect from the internal dialogue and just observe your thoughts, kind of like watching cars go by on the street. If you’re interested in learning more about the online course, the Marshall Meditation Method, click here for full details.
A Practical Approach
So if you’re out walking the streets for example and you see a beautiful girl, the thoughts you have in that moment like “she probably has a boyfriend” or “she’s probably really busy”, “This will never work” aren’t actually the truth. Those opinions don’t define you. They’re just thoughts. And if you stall and choke and can’t approach and think “I have approach anxiety”, again that’s just another thought.
When you learn to just observe and allow your thoughts to pass, you’ll be able to regain control of your state and intent and take positive action despite doubts and excuses passing through you.
This is the power of being able to meditate. Being able to disconnect from the thoughts you’re having and thinking they’re true, and instead just observing them for what they are.
Next time you think a negative thought like “I can’t approach her because I don’t know what to say”, notice the thought, then ask yourself “is it true? Is this the objective truth or just my nervous internal reaction to the situation”. Then take a deep breath, feel your feet, then all the way up to your head, breathe out and go and find out.