I think, therefore I’m Not Aware: How My Mind Keeps Me Locked in the Past
So in the latest chapter in Living Enlightenment, Nithyananda writes about thoughts and how they are random and illogical. He explains that the pain and joy we felt two years ago is different from the pain and joy we felt yesterday, but we interpret them as connected although they are not. He writes about “unclutching,” which I think is disconnecting from the emotions and thoughts we experience and viewing them as isolated incidents and nothing more. I interpret this as viewing each of our experiences as experiences that are unique and self contained and not connected in any way.
Nithyananda defines “unclutching” as a state of consciousness. He uses the analogy of driving a car. Being conscious or aware is like a car in neutral. As with driving a car and changing gears, being in neutral is being aware, and being aware is understanding that all experiences are new and unrelated. It is the mind that takes the experiences of the past and connects them creating a narrative of our lives and our identities. To be aware is to be completely present and to realize that thoughts and the emotions evoked by those thoughts are random, unique that do not speak to our natures. Our thoughts and our identities, and other attachments are illusions. So, when we think, when we use our minds to perceive reality, we are actually unaware and we are not conscious. Our minds provide us with interpretations of our experiences and those thoughts are a source of suffering.
I spend a lot of time lost in thought so much so that at times I find myself in the middle of conversations or in situations in which I have no idea what is going on. I also base a lot of my idea of who I am and where I am going on what I have done and where I have been as if that determines what I am capable of and where I can go. This has been a source of suffering for me, and it wasn’t until I forgave myself for things I did or did not do and gave myself permission to move on that I have been able to open myself up to other possibilities for myself. So the idea of “unclutching” and becoming aware resonates with me. It feels like liberation.
Since I have begun to practice being present, I am suddenly more open to the unknown because now everything is unknown. I am committed to doing everything as if it is the first time because this prepares me for other new situations and experiences. I commute to work using the same route, but I look at things differently each time. I concentrate on my five senses to keep myself out of my own thoughts, and when I find myself thinking about other things, I gently remind myself to concentrate on the sounds, scents, sights, and textures around me. When I do this, I experience things differently, and I am much more relaxed and I feel happier.
This has not only transformed my perception of daily experiences, but it has also altered my perception of the future. For example, for several years, I have wanted to work with my mother in her non-profit organization. Some of my fondest childhood memories are from my time spent there and I love it there, and I’m drawn to it. When I think about the prospect of working there, I feel blissful. However, I did not trust it because it was my mother’s thing. So I ignored my desire to pursue that path. I believed it was my inner child seeking approval from my mother. I did not trust it. However, once I ignored those thoughts that were tied to my past and opened my heart to the idea, I realized that working with my mother was in alignment with my path, and I no longer doubted the motivation behind my desire to work at my mother’s organization.
I also changed my perspective of the situation. Once I adopted the idea that “Everything is possible for me,” I realized that all paths were open, I just needed to choose one. I also realized that choosing one path could lead me to something beyond my expectations. I read about desires in Living Enlightenment and Nithyananda explains that true desires do not evoke anxiety. One does not feel anxious about one’s desires. True desires are in alignment with our paths, and therefore everything we do every choice we make will lead us to our desires. I’ve meditated on that idea, and I realize that what is attracting me to the prospect of working with my mother may be leading me to something beyond that perceived goal.
Although I am compelled to work with my mother, there may be something else I am meant to do and that working with my mother and the steps I must take to prepare myself for that possibility will reveal something else of which I am not aware. At this point, I am trusting my higher self. I am trusting that the part of me that is pure energy and that is connected to something bigger than myself is leading me in the direction I am meant to go. This is a decision based on faith, and I am exhilarated by it.
So now despite the fear that I might be doing the wrong thing, I move forward taking a new direction. As I move down this path, I am committed to keeping an open mind, unclutching and remaining present. Although I have a history with my mother, I will approach every encounter as if I am seeing her for the first time. I will acknowledge any emotions that arise as I embark on this leg of my journey while staying true to my decision to approach this with a learner’s mind. I am excited to see what this reveals.
May you find your path, and if you are on your path, may you find bliss there.