Welcome to Insights and Implications!
We’ve all had nights where we tossed and turn just couldn’t shut off our thinking. Below, Sandy shares her insights about what helps (and what doesn’t help).
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All the best,
All of us at Insight Principles
I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about work or some problem. I know it’s my thinking and I know I’m doing it to myself. How come I can’t shut it off and get back to sleep?
Sound familiar? I asked myself this question many times. Here’s what I eventually had to realize:
# 1: I expected my knowledge of how the mind works to come to my rescue. But alas, there is a difference between knowledge and insight in the moment. I can know how something works and still not be able to fix a problem. Have you ever tried to set-up a finicky piece of software or program a digital watch or fitness device? You think you are following the directions and you try repeatedly before giving up. Later, while walking the dog or maybe in the shower, something pops into your mind. “Maybe I forgot to… Oh, I see what I missed…” You try again, and voila, problem solved. Why didn’t you see this earlier? You needed an insight.
#2: The thinking we do lying in our beds at night can be relentless. This is because the principles that govern how the mind works are like forces of nature. If I can paddle my kayak at 4 knots and the current is flowing at 5 knots, I won’t be able to paddle against that current no matter how hard I try. The principles of thought and consciousness are the same. They are working through me to create my experience in the moment, but I cannot control them, just like I cannot control the ocean current. Sometimes thinking just shows up in my mind, unbidden by me. I can accept this or try to fight it.
When I accept that I cannot control all of my thinking, a feeling of serenity comes because my mind seems to eventually quiet on its own. Quieting my mind is not something I do. It’s something that happens because of what I understand: that I am experiencing thinking in the moment and nothing else, that I can’t control it, that it just is, and that it will pass at some point.
©Insight Principles, Inc.