By jennagriffiths | March 13, 2011
“Be still and allow the mud to settle.”
I had a lot of fun this week demonstrating a powerful exercise from Richard Moss
to two groups of ZIWA women in Zurich.
How does it go?
First you put some mud in a jar and then
you fill the rest of the jar with clear water.
The clear water is your mind on a calm day.
The mud is your old stuff that usually doesn’t blur your vision.
But what happens when your peace of mind gets disturbed?
The jar gets shaken up and you can’t see clearly any more.
Sometimes we do get bumped from outside.
But, when you stop and really think about it,
usually it’s each of us ourselves who does most, if not all, the shaking,
not the event or another person.
“It’s not really the situation that is the problem.
It’s what we tell ourselves about the situation.” Richard Moss
How does this work?
We tell ourselves a story.
An unsettling thought about whatever is happening
and that stirs up our mud.
Maybe we really did get bumped once. But that was a day, a week, a month,
or 60 years ago. Then we re-tell ourselves a painful story about this
(an interpretation of what happened or a fear of what could happen in the future)
and shake up all our mud all over again.
And then we feel awful and can’t see clearly
and react with pain
and possibly even lash out and say hurtful things to others in the process.
An example from my life?
A few months ago a friend invited me to lunch
but that morning her boyfriend got sick and she totally forgot about our appointment.
While sitting waiting for my friend I really shook myself up with some extremely dark thoughts.
To be honest, I got totally upset.
I couldn’t see this at the time but the pain was self inflicted and, I discovered later,
the dark painful thoughts I was having were totally untrue.
It’s hard to see clearly when your vision is blurred
by unsettled mud.
The mud? Usually pain from the past.
So how to use this yourself?
Here are some action exercises
Richard asks: Are you willing to sit with the feelings
long enough to allow your mud to settle?
Can you see it’s you that’s doing the shaking not someone else?
Make it a game.
Can you catch yourself in the act?
Whenever you feel unset or unhappy or blocked
simply ask yourself:
What’s the painful story I’m busy telling myself?
Is it a story about the past, or the future, or about what you believe about yourself
or about what you believe about someone else or something else?
Just labelling the story in this way helps.
Common stories people tell themselves?
“He doesn’t love/respect/appreciate/understand/see me”
“If only my mother had been more ….”
“I’m too late/too damaged/too unsupported/the wrong sex/the wrong colour……”
“My life is over”
I know of 3 powerful tools to help you.
1. One is Byron Katie’s 4 questions (this tool really helped me a few years ago when my husband and I separated).
2. Richard Moss’s Mandela of Being.
Just label each disturbing thought as it arises: this thought is about the past, this thought is about the future, this thought is about what I think another person is thinking…. (see demonstration of this above)
3. Richard Unger’s Lifeprint’s system of seeing what your hot topic is
(life lesson) in Earth School and being gentle with yourself when you catch yourself
writing another chapter of your life’s thesis. This is the core of the work I do.
You can learn this system here as a mindfulness tool.
This is what Eckard Tolle calls being the witness in your own life and standing next to your pain body and watching it in action.
The dynamics of your pain body. Surprisingly, exactly what triggers you, causing you to contract, is visible in your fingerprints.
These 3 tools can all be used together to support each other.
We’re exploring how in Earth School.
This month the topic dealing with the inner critic.
This is my hot topic in Earth School and I’ll be sharing tools I’ve learnt over the years
to deal with this inner predator.
Stay posted. Register in the free auditorium on the right of this page.
“When you can feel without a story, miracles happen.”
Arjuna and Chameli Ardagh