We know of the tiny voice in our head, the inner critic. We also know that this critic sometimes takes over our day-to-day moments of happiness and tranquility. But, how do we go beyond this little voice?
In my last blog, I suggested practicing mindfulness and words of compassion to befriend this inner critic.
The critic accompanies all kind of thoughts with it, mostly thoughts that are judgmental and self-deprecating in nature. These thoughts become part of our critical mind and sit in our heads like stubborn furniture that wouldn’t move.
A judgmental thought arises in the mind. It creates a critical dialogue in the head. The critical dialogue leads to emotions and feelings that are negative in nature. Ultimately, the critical thought sticks to the mind. This becomes a vicious cycle; the mind is overloaded with mental clutter that is not serving us in any way. Everything negative in nature thereafter tends to stick to this mass of judgments.
You may notice that as we become attuned to the practice of mindfulness, we tend to be more self-aware of the inner chatter in our heads. This is very crucial when dealing with the critic. Mindful awareness is learning to non-identify ourselves with the thoughts in our heads. What it means is to train our minds to no longer believe in the judgmental thoughts and the dialogue that they create. This practice allows us to detach ourselves from the thought and not get caught up in them.
And so, with time the mind develops a Teflon coating of its own. Nothing sticks to Teflon. If a thought of judgmental nature arises, let it come and simply slide through your Teflon mind.
Lets Practice Together!
- Gently close your eyes and imagine your mind as a vast blue ocean.
- Imagine your thoughts like waves in this ocean creating large currents in your still mind.
- Now picture one of your recurring judgmental thought as a wave in your mind’s ocean.
- Focus on the thought. See if you can feel any distress in your body as you pay attention to it.
- What kinds of effects does this thought have on you?
- Does it make you uncomfortable in any way?
- Further, notice how the vast ocean holds this tiny wave-like thought.
- Slowly and gradually shift your awareness from the thought to the vastness of the ocean with out being perturbed by its judgmental nature.
This is a space of awareness. A space of non-identification.
- Notice the wave that is carrying your judgmental thought gradually drift away. Bring your attention to the beauty and vastness of the ocean.
- When you feel ready, slowly open your eyes and come back to the now.