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Living in Your Head

It's a dangerous thing to live in one's head. Your thoughts can run in circles like hamsters on a wheel. Nothing counters them from outside the cage. But that, too, is a tricky conundrum. While we don't want reality to control us, don't want it to trigger us reactively, we also cannot deny the corollary. We need reality to mirror us, frame us, ground us. Otherwise, we are fearfully lost inside the universe of our minds.

With the explosion of focus in the world on meditation, we have come to believe thinking is inherently bad. But thinking is incredible, it is our fuel for advancement. Thinking is the highest form of human creation, and thoughts as a reactive energy to events are actually healthy. It is a delicate balance to attempt to think well, that is to say, to enjoy the wanderings of the mind without being inexorably attached to them. It is with meditation that we create the safe space of the mind to observe our thoughts. But it is with effective communication that the thoughts which we recognize are troublesome and destructive to the psyche are definitively released.

Effective communication, the linguistic verbalization or "aeration" of these thoughts, especially when they perturb our psyche like a burrowing parasite, is essential to their definitive release. By authentically speaking our shame, our pain, our fear, we give these paralyzing amorphous entities shape to be exhaled out like a restorative breath. It is amazing how often one sees the change of release once someone has been able to speak his or her burden of truth without conditionality or judgment. What was churning within furiously, sometimes for years, has now been rendered less effective, even powerless, when released from the cage of the mind.

Communication is key to not living in one's head. When we live in our head, we create our own narrative, our own thoughts about a subject which may easily run counter to the true existence of the situation. It is by revealing what we think, opening up authentically and courageously about what our actual thoughts are, that we have a chance at refining them by healthy countering. While much of the world struggles equally itself with effective communication, we do run the risk with every aeration of our soul of not being understood, of being grossly misunderstood, or of having our thoughts used against us. But as long as our expression is authentic, attempting to be balanced but real, it is worthwhile for us to speak. The danger, really, is not in thinking and recognizing what about our thought needs to be aerated; it is in being stuck, without awareness, in cyclical thought patterns of the mind, which cannot find an outlet until it is too late.


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