I have been working on video recordings to promote The Soul-Centered Series coming up in the fall. I am used to doing weekly Vlogs with my husband Angus, but I am less used to recording video when it is just me. I noticed my increased level of preparation and reticence to speak off the cuff. Of course, the feedback I got was to speak more from my heart.
I am so grateful that my insecure thinking and behavior amuses me now. I see that I got caught up in a layer of thought that was saying I am not enough. Even though I know I am, more than I ever have before, I still forget. And what I forgot is that “I” don’t matter. Some would say “I” don’t exist. I get this conceptually, but what I know experientially is that I am not important in the best and most freeing way possible.
That is why I find my insecure thinking amusing because I see it only gets me when I start to think that I do matter and that I am important. This is not me being self-effacing. It is me seeing the freedom in being self-erasing. When I forget about me. I don’t exist at these times because I am not thinking about myself. I drop my self-evaluation and self-absorption. When it falls away, I live in the present moment. This is freedom. And this is our natural state.
The understanding of the Three Principles has been so valuable for me because it helped me to wake up more fully to the role of thought in my life. Previously, I knew thought created my experience, but I took this to mean that my job was to change and improve my thinking so I could have a better experience. I was still attached to the kind of experience I was having as meaning something about me. Now I see the real freedom is in understanding the transitory nature of thought and how experience shifts with it. Seeing how thought works, has me less attached to feeling a certain way. I am much less bothered when I am having feelings I don’t particularly like. This is the freedom I was looking for.
I experienced the practical benefits when I was at the movies last week with my family. We arrived at the theatre early which is very uncharacteristic for us. Angus is usually complaining because we are getting there last minute and the trailers have already started. He has a lot of thinking about missing the beginning of films.
This time, however, we got there with more than fifteen minutes to spare before the trailers even started. And as would be expected the seats were mostly empty. Sometime during the trailers, I noticed the theatre had completely filled up and I was near the end of a row next to a wall. All of a sudden the feeling of claustrophobia came over me. I felt the panic attack starting. The racing heart, tingling in my hands, shortness of breath, and feeling like I was going to lose control. I’ve been there before. One of the most memorable times is when I had to do the walk of shame off the Disneyland Submarine Voyage. Luckily I was willing to face mortification before the submarine left the dock.
This time was different, however. I noticed all of my physical symptoms, but I wasn’t afraid of them. I did tell Angus I was starting to have a panic attack so he wouldn’t be concerned if I got up and left. He acknowledged what I said, but was very nonchalant about the whole thing. I continued to have the symptoms, but then I noticed if I thought about how many people were in the row next to me. How much of an inconvenience it would be to disturb them if I needed to leave, and how embarrassing that would be, I felt worse. So it simply made sense not to think about those things.
I know this is really common sense, but I was able to see this real time while I was having the experience. This was new for me. My body was freaking out, but I wasn’t. And because my mind was neutral, I wasn’t particularly impacted by what my body was doing. So I just went back to watching the trailers. About five minutes later Angus asked me how I was doing. I told him I was fine because all of the symptoms had passed, and I felt normal again.
This is how practical it is to have an understanding of how we create our experience. I did not need to use a technique to cope with my experience because I understood where my experience was coming from. This allowed me to not be scared by it. As Sydney Banks said, “If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world.” It certainly has changed my world.
And it is not just helpful in the more extreme situations like panic attacks, it also helps me day-to-day. I no longer take my insecure thinking so seriously. This was a much more habitual and pervasive habit of mine. As a result, it has much less impact in my life. Even if I do get caught up in it from time to time. I don’t see it as a big deal, and I certainly don’t start trying to improve myself. I have more room for my humanity. I am so grateful for this understanding that has allowed me to accept my humanness more fully and in the process allowed me to experience what is behind it with such richness and depth that I feel compelled to point you in the same direction so that you too can experience greater freedom from suffering and a deeper experience of all of who you are.
Sending you love as you navigate your experience of being human. May you look in the direction of your source and feel the comfort and certainty of the wisdom that resides within you that is beyond the shifting ebb and flow of thoughts. Remember to see all of who you beyond your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical form. See that you are also the source from which all those beautiful facets of you arise. When you see all of yourself, your life reflects this and suffering disappears, until you forget. But once seen, you will always eventually remember.
Rohini Ross is co-founder of “The Rewilders.” Listen to her podcast, with her partner Angus Ross, Rewilding Love. They believe too many good relationships fall apart because couples give up thinking their relationship problems can’t be solved. In this season of the Rewilding Love Podcast, Rohini and Angus help a couple on the brink of divorce due to conflict. Angus and Rohini also co-facilitate private couples' intensives that rewild relationships back to their natural state of love. Rohini is also the author of the ebook Marriage, and she and Angus are co-founders of The 29-Day Rewilding Experience and The Rewilding Community. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To learn more about her work and subscribe to her blog visit: TheRewilders.org.