Letting go: hyper vigilance

I’m envious of my wife because she can lose herself completely in a book or game or movie to the point where I’d have to shout her name if I need her attention.

I’d love to forget where I am, forget what’s going on. Because in the Abraham-Hicks teaching, our focus on continuity in our experience is an obstacle to change.

What this means is that if we keep focusing on “what is” we reinforce it in our thoughts and feelings, whether we like it or not.

We might believe in theory that life is full of possibilities, that nothing is impossible for God, and that miraculous things can happen at any moment…but then we keep one eye on our circumstances with the expectation that nothing will really change.

A watched pot never boils, and you have to wonder what motivates the watching.

For me it is definitely anxiety related. Hyper vigilance to our surroundings is a basic survival strategy. Paying close attention to what is going on around us gives a sense of preparedness and control.

I don’t just hear sounds, I create a mental model of the thing behind the sound. When the bus rumbles by I “see” it in my mind’s eye. When my wife coughs in bed I “see” that too, and my mind turns to whether she might be sick and will that effect our plans for the day. When my daughter bangs her milk bottle on the high-chair my mind sees the possibilities of spilt-milk, or her needing a refill.

To me it feels like I’m expanding my conscious mind to fill the space I’m in. But that space is defined by all the things in it, the circumstances around me, and my expectations of what might unfold and how it involves me.

That’s why I always struggled with meditation. I’d try to quiet my mind but it was still full of the whole world around me. I’d try to empty my mind but I didn’t know I’d already made it so big.

Really letting go would feel like shrinking my mind back to just me. Really letting go would feel like ignoring everything, in the deepest sense of not knowing, which is where “ignore” comes from.

The benefits are twofold: first, the effort to keep my awareness so big is exhausting and provokes anxiety and control. Second, letting go of things, no longer keeping track of them, allows things to change in unexpected and refreshing ways. Miracles can’t happen when you’re fixated on what is.

And it’s just sad being always aware of what’s going on around you. When you start letting go you allow yourself to be surprised by life. Even the small surprise of realising your coffee cup is still half-full of coffee!

Letting go means I can hear a sound and let it be just a sound, let the sounds that reach my ears be like ripples in a pond, let myself be unknowing of what is, and allow what is to surprise me!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s