Hey everyone. First off, much kudos to all those here trying sooo hard to change unhealthy old habits. I think it might be one of hardest things there is. My support to those of us here in the struggle. Keep at it!
In today's post I wanted to share that a technique I am starting to use that Marnia mentioned before (and is also in the flavor or meditation/buddhist practices) is 'thought-watching' or being an observer of thoughts. I have been trying this to ease the self-reproach i lay on myself/anxiety when i experience my brain seemingly automatically leering at breasts, legs, etc and having inordinate sexual thoughts or overly objectifying. While other approaches also seem to bear fruit, this is one seems the easiest and drains much of the 'charge' out of the experience. When the thoughts come, I try to just detach a bit from the situation and notice the thinking from the 3rd person, like "wow, ,my brain is really at it today" or "huh, I seem to be doing this or that". It's just a bit of disconnection that seems to help reduce the self-judgements and intensity of it. It's my BRAIN that has these patterns, not necessarily ME, kind of thing.
Anyway, i just think trying to control/eliminate thoughts too much can be an exercise in futility. Even in meditation, if your thinking a lot you can't will it away but just kind of detach and observe and the thoughts will eventually run out of energy on their own. It seems a more compassionate approach maybe. There is an old zen koan something like, "If a clear mind comes let it come, if a cloudy mind comes let it come." With this in mind (no pun) I am trying to focus on behaviors (which one can control) instead of thoughts (largely out of one's control).
On a more day to day note, I find myself wanting so badly to leave this job. I am so unhappy here and my skills are not being used. I have the capacity to get another job with better conditions. However, the feelings of 'letting others down' and/or my incessant need for approval keeps me at non-growth jobs waaaay to long. I stayed at a job for 8 years once when i should have left after 4. I learned from that, but the feelings still come when I consider leaving somewhere (or someone - same feelings). I am trying to muster the courage to do what is best for me at the risk of disapproval or even maybe anger of my boss. It sounds silly, but for some reason that is the feeling that comes up. Anyway, I will leave since i have done it before and will just have to deal with it. They are just thoughts anyway, right? It's daily struggle this approval thing and it really sucks eggs...:P
Have a good day everyone