I am never upset for the reason I think I am
This is a line originally from a course in miracles but is something Eckhart Tolle repeatedly mentions in his most recent book New Earth.I decided to choose this quote because it helped me immeasurably yesterday.
I am nearing the end of the semester while simultaneously ramping up my track training, which usually results in a lot of bumps along the way. However, up until yesterday it was pretty much smooth sailing. I was training super hard and seeing great results, and my body was feeling healthly. Everything was going well in the classroom as well. I finished one of my hardest workouts of the year on Tuesday and felt on top of the world.
However, as the day went on I started to feel worse and worse. I felt extremely tired, but my mind was racing. As a result I had a terrible night of sleep, and when I woke up Wednesday morning at 5:30am I felt terrible. Wednesday was an extremely busy day, and I was NOT present at all, which made me feel even worse.
To top it off, I had received my mark back for my final paper for my qualitative research methodologies course. I did receive an okay grade (A-) but I was disappointed that the reason I lost marks was not because of poor writing, but poor grammar and tense agreement. The professor actually thought I had wonderful writing, but my grammar and tense errors hampered the readability of the paper. I was extremely bothered by the fact that something that could have been 100% fixable was holding me back from doing the best that I could.
In past years my resiliency and mental toughness would not have been developed enough to deal with the stress I was under yesterday and I would have spiraled uncontrollably into a state of negativity. However, recently I have been making it a practice that whenever I do feel bad I listen to Eckhart Tolle‘s work. He repeated the phrase above and it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Being unhappy is a mental state, that has NOTHING to do with the external circumstances. The ego is always looking for excuses to be unhappy because that way it can strengthen its false sense of an unhappy self. Your mind is always searching for reasons to explain the feelings that arise so that you do not experience cognitive dissonance. The “reasons” your mind so elaborately constructs are never the problem, what is the problem is that you have lost touch with life itself, which is here and now.
Everything I have said is all great, but very abstract. What is something that YOU can do when you are experiencing negative emotions and want to cut through all noise with a knife and end creating your own pain? Inner Body Awareness.
What is inner body awareness you may ask? Check out the video below by Eckhart Tolle for a more complete description. However, essentially it is drawing conscious energy away from your mind. After you finished reading this, actually try it! Sit down comfortably and close your eyes (do NOT try while driving or operating some sort of heavy machinery), and focus your attention on your body. Can you feel the aliveness within? Can you feel a tingling sensation in your hands? Feet? Arms? Legs? Do not worry if there is no sensation immediately. This is not something you think about, just relax and be aware. Slowly over time with continued practice your awareness will grown and deepen.
Be Happy and Chase your Dreams,
PS Here are a couple of ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.