These days, I wake up at 4am and savour the moments of bliss before watching, noticing, observing my Mind fill with noise.
When I had small babies, I would lie awake for hours worrying about getting enough sleep, raging against the lack of sleep I was able to get, fearing the daylight hours, fearing the night hours too. Getting up to a child in the night meant being awake at least 3 hours ... and it was making me sick. It wasn't the lack of sleep, it was my Mind keeping me awake and making me sick with worry, rage, frustration, fear.
By accepting my being awake in the early hours, I have come to treasure it as a moment when my Mind is clear and less noisy than "usual". I get up and write, or read or research or listen to the gentle silence in my mind.
Of course when the noise begins to take over my Mind, I notice I feel the need to get moving, do things, start on the list I want to get through for that day. That noise is what I now recognise as anxiety in my Mind.
Notice, I don't say "anxiety in me"?
My Mind and my Self are different: my Self is calm, centered, clear.
My Mind is full of noise: crazy stories, thoughts, judgements, ideas, fears, conversations had, conversations that need to happen, to-do list items, random sounds. That is what I observe... when I step back from my mind and notice.
This morning, for example, I noticed how I think about my ability to speak French as "intermediate", "it will never be more than that" and "I am intermediate or average at everything I do and have always been". I noticed these thoughts and wondered "Really? ... where does this stuff come from?".
These limiting thoughts are fairly benign: they relate to a skill that does not make or break my day - although has definitely led to all manner of frustration over the years!
But what if this kind of thinking is prevalent in other ways in my Mind ... and even more crucial, what if I am actually listening to it, believing it, holding it to be a truth, and living my life as if it's true?? What are the consequences of seeing that noise as a real part of me?
These days I notice the noise and see it as separate from Self. These days I label it as noise, acknowledge its connection to the anxiety I feel, and accept that it is something I carry with me that does not define me. It is NOT me (Self), it is my Mind - that is all.
Naming Mind and Self as different is a freedom we all have, if we choose.
Noticing the noise is a significant step to seeing the separation between Self and Mind and to reducing both anxiety and depression.
When you listen to your noise, what do you notice?