My favorite example of this is the story of a break up.. the mind says "He left me, it's terrible, I'm all alone, he never loved me, no one will ever love me.. " Another perspective is "man walking out door".
It is such a gift to start to notice the difference between what's actually happening and the commentary of the mind..
It can happen while driving.. a car is going slow, not turning right on a red light, or maybe you get cut off, the mind starts up, "that jerk, what is he doing, get out of my way, etc.. what is actually happening? cars driving, stopping, changing lanes... what is happening internally, perhaps there is agitation, frustration, anger as a result of the mental commentary... you could just notice the commentary and the internal reactivity to it..
It can happen with kids.. your child refuses to ________ (brush his teeth, buckle his seat belt, do her homework, stop fighting with a sibling, stop crying, listen and comply with a request, stop doing drugs, etc ). The mind chimes in... I hate this, I can't bare it anymore, this can not be, it's too hard, too painful, too scary... it must stop! There can be huge internal agitation that results from believing these thoughts, it is almost impossible to even be aware of what is actually happening with the mind screaming objection so loudly..
It can happen with your partner or with your family.. they won't do what they said they would do, won't show up, won't be affectionate, won't accept us, won't love us the way we want, won't make money or support us, treat us poorly, won't listen, won't talk, etc.. again the mind objects! This is unacceptable, this must change, this makes me feel very badly and I don't want that, I deserve better.
It can happen in business.. things don't work out, we lose money, respect, waste time, don't get promoted or raises, we get fired, we are treated poorly, people lie to us, rip us off, etc..
We complain, we tell our stories and others agree with us, that this is wrong, we fight back, we feel victimized, self pity sets in, this is bad the mind says, we feel bad, we think others are wrong.
Another perspective.. things work out as they do, we have the amount of money that we have, we are where we are, we don't work at that job anymore, people act as they do, they say what they say, etc..
It can happen with yourself, you make a mistake, you hurt someone, you commit a crime, you destroy your life with addiction, you cheat on your spouse and ruin your marriage, you abuse or neglect your children, you are riddled with fear and avoid or destroy your own life. Again the mind will say it would be better if _________ (this did not happen, we did not get caught, we had not done this or that). Another perspective is that this is what is, we face what we face, we avoid what we do, we show up as we do, don't as we don't..
It truth, we don' t really know what is good or bad (without the commentary of the mind, ideas of good and bad are merely a conditioned idea from the past).
In all of these situations, the mind sounds like a lawyer in a courtroom.. I object!! This should not be this way, this person should not be doing this, something else should be happening, that would be better, this is bad, I am bad, they are bad, this is wrong.
So often we don't even seem to notice that our reaction to people or situations is so beyond the current situation, our kids keep us awake at night, someone in our life won't comply with our request, our boss is critical or maybe not complimentary, we lose our job, our marriage ends, we feel like it is unbearable, like our very survival is in question.. it's so good to begin to see that we are reacting 'to our story about what is happening' not to 'what is actually happening'.
I fact we can't even see what is actually happening, cause our view is blocked by our story and our objection. The stories are like a roller coaster that we never get off of, until we do.
Then we think, wow that was crazy, what an insane ride, this ride of believing thoughts and following them, reacting, never really taking the time to sit quietly and pause and just notice what's actually happening a opposed to what the mind says about what is happening..
So the practice is to pause and look.. whenever that is available to us, as it is occurring, or as soon as you can. Stop and get off the roller coaster, sit in silence, pray and ask, show me the truth about what is actually here, can I be here, now with myself, can i just look? Once we can begin to see what is actually happening, we can notice that internally there is a quietness, we are not creating internal drama and crisis. This internal stillness and peacefulness is the space that we want to be informed from, where our guidance comes from, our sane responsiveness as opposed to the insane reactivity that flows from the fight/flight protective survival mind.
So what do you want? To continue to perpetuate the drama, to fight, protect yourself, make up stories, let them drag you around like a dog on a leash, to listen to the mind and it's craziness.. OR to rest in the heart, to observe the mental commentary but not believe it or follow it, to stop and pause and come back to yourself, to the awareness of the stillness, the warmth within, to be able to be here, to access calmness and clarity, to be present for yourself and for another, to love and be loved, to be an instrument of peace?
Love to hear your feedback about how this is working for you.. much love JoAnne