When we’re bogged down by overthinking, we often get the advice to settle down or calm down. But down where?
We all know what it’s like when our thinking is so dense and contradictory that it sounds like lots of people talking all at once. It’s impossible to distinguish what to pay attention to.
Most of us rely so heavily on our capacity to reason and analyze, that it’s no wonder we have such busy minds. And when we’re caught up in our thinking, our thoughts are often driven by lack, limitation or insecurity.
The most authentic and organic responses we can have to all our mental confusion can easily be found when we know that ‘down’ means ‘within’.
We can drop our energy and attention from our busy minds into the quiet space of inner knowing. Some refer to that place as the heart or gut instinct or inner GPS. It doesn’t really matter what you call it.
What matters is that you know it’s available. All the time. To all of us.
This kind of knowing is simple and uncomplicated. There’s no drama, the way there is when we’re overthinking, but often that drama in our heads is so loud that it distracts us from recognizing this knowing.
Sometimes when I‘m trying to figure out too many things at once, I metaphorically become the DJ of my own mind: turning down the volume, eliminating certain tracks and getting rid of the sounds that are jarring and unpleasant.
That’s one of the ways I’m able to settle down into a quieter place in myself.
In that quieter place within us, the content of our minds isn’t in the forefront of our awareness, and our bodies get a much-needed break. Those pesky stress hormones stop being produced, our breathing slows down and deepens, and our muscles start to soften and relax.
You don’t have to do anything to your thinking — you just put it aside and stop paying attention to it. You notice your thoughts but you don’t grab onto any of them. That’s when you’re able to slip into that deeper place.
That quiet place beneath the noise never goes anywhere. It’s always reliable. Why? Because it’s who you are — your essence.
But as I mentioned, it can be overlooked. And for most of us, it often is. Especially when our outer circumstances look scary or overwhelming or confusing.
When I let myself become still, even for a moment, I’m aware of being aware. There’s a presence I can feel that’s been with me my whole life, so close to me that I take it for granted. (Maybe that’s why we all feel that somehow, who we are on the inside has never aged.)
And when I’m present to this presence, I can sense it. Quiet, really quiet. It feels like it’s animating me, breathing me, holding me. Not just a witness to what is but what actually is. Peaceful. Welcoming. Clear.
When we let go of our preoccupation with external drama, we can access this deeper intelligence so we know the right next step for us. It can actually be so simple that we might want to dismiss it.
Next time your thinking lacks clarity, set yourself free from the tyranny of the mind by dropping into that space of essential knowing so you can do whatever it is you need to do.
Nina Lockwood is a Conscious Living coach, writer, artist and creator of Redesign Your Life: an Invitation to Live from Your True Nature and the ecourse, Be Stress Free. Visit her at ninalockwood.com, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram (@ninalockwood.nilo).