Stop Thinking and Be Present

I’ll keep this short because I don’t want you to think too much about what I’m sharing with you. That’s the point of this short article, to suggest you think less.

I’ve been a therapist for twenty-five years, worked with hundreds of people, and seriously thought about life for fifty years. Only now do I see the limitations to thinking too much. I’ll explain . . .

Life is life; it unfolds in all its various forms. Births, injuries, ecstatic moments, beauty, trauma, connection, love, conflict, disconnection, aloneness, anxiety, curiosity, and death. It’s all life.

Everything is an expression of life

Everything that happens is an expression of life. If we choose to be present for whatever is happening, without resistance, we move from moment to moment—without suffering. Yes, there may be times of sadness or despair, but if we don’t resist them, they don’t last, they change into something else as life continues to unfold.

It is the mental process of thinking that seems to be the source of much of our frustration and suffering. What do we usually do when we are frustrated or suffering? We think harder. But, there comes a time in our lives when it is possible, and helpful, to stop thinking. When I do stop thinking I am no longer trying to work out the problem, think my way through it, use a technique, or even try to change the meaning. Instead, I am choosing to show up for life. To be present with whatever is happening.

Giving Up

Hannah and I both remember key moments in our lives that were turning points. What happened, for each of us in different situations, is that we gave up. We had been trying really hard to work out a problem, to find a solution. Eventually, we wore ourselves out and literally gave up. In that moment, we found a different kind of answer—not a mental answer, something much more profound.

I could explain it, but that would just be an invitation for you to think about it. Instead, what I want to suggest is that you stop thinking about whatever it is you are struggling with, acknowledge whatever is going on, be with that and then expand your awareness—go beyond your thinking self.

If you don’t know how, join our next retreat and learn how to navigate different levels of consciousness. Most of us live in safety consciousness, which is why we think so much. As we shift into heart consciousness and spacious consciousness, we think less and are more present. If you want to learn to do this for yourself, or with a partner or a friend, we have two places still available for our retreat that starts September 14th.


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2 Responses to Stop Thinking and Be Present

  1. Anne July 23, 2018 at 10:20 am #

    I loved this article because I recently figured out that the more I thought and ruminated over situations and problems, the more tangled up they became in my mind. I literally went into “paralysis by analysis.” I felt like I was in a feed-back loop.
    I decided to put up a sign to remind myself to stop doing this. I wrote the word CANCEL on a piece of paper and placed it on my wall to remind myself to cancel those thoughts in the “cluttered room of my mind.” (I loved your analogy).
    I had to stop the thoughts in my head concerning my problems and to do that I started thinking about the most joyful experience of my life. In doing so, that took me on a new trajectory of appreciation and peace. Every day I have to catch myself when I open the door to the cluttered room in my mind and close it. I hope one day I will be able to lock that room and lose the key.

  2. Jake Eagle July 23, 2018 at 11:28 am #

    Hi Anne, thanks for your comment. I encourage you to start every day with a brief meditation that sets the tone for the day. I find this very helpful. If you are interested, consider joining one of the next Thrilled To Be Alive groups that I teach. It’s a 21-day course, taught online. You can find more info if you look here: Meanwhile, I hope you continue to CANCEL those thoughts that clutter your mind and come back to NOW.

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