Experiment: Expecting Everything II
In efforts to listen more to my heart and live happily in the now, I am learning that life is richer when one journeys more inwards and learns to be open to everything by learning to expect everything of body, mind, and environs. If you tried out the first part of this experiment, I hope you found it entertaining and that you were able to observe your mind and notice how your imagination feeds it. And perhaps there were instances when you also noticed your imagination's effects on your heart. I would be very impressed, though, if you were consistently able to imagine the possible difficulties your body could be enduring while existing in its comfortable actuality. I am very bad at this experiment. I live in my head a lot and I am almost always making fun of myself. So first of all it is quite hard to focus and when I do manage to focus it is actually hard to take my imaginations seriously. For instance while enjoying a favorite meal, should I successfully imagine my teeth aching or my tongue in pain, I start to think oh don’t be ridiculous! This is not the time to ruin things! Then I get really amused and distracted by the humor.
Perhaps you observed that one of the significant aspects of imagining yourself worse off than you actually are is how it constantly encourages an awareness of how beautiful and lucky your now is. By reminding yourself constantly the ways in which you could be suffering but are not, you are better able to appreciate more of what you actually have to work with. As simple as it sounds the first experiment is not easy, and if you are like me, it will probably take more than a week of practice to be able to continuously zoom into your daily activities from the perspective of an imaginary pessimistic landscape.
In the process of this experiment, perhaps you also observed that it is quite easy to complain even when there really is nothing to complain about, and that it easy to create excuses where there are none, thus so much energy is unconsciously invested into being displeased about what is not worth being upset about and therefore, often unconsciously, electing consistently to be unhappy when there is everything to be happy about. One of the points of expecting everything is to understand that life is change and just because one finds consciousness in good health now does not mean that it would be so tomorrow; and vice versa. But if one were to be true in the good health of the now, should the next now bring one pain, one can live that moment truthfully, too, without being impatient with the state. Also perhaps, in your efforts to imagine the negative of your current state, you succeeded in mining consciousness to your present, and whether you were aware or not, managed to live more in the now.
The second part of this experiment is similar to the first but a little more challenging. Experiment II requires that you observe yourself from an alien angle. This means that you are going to try, somehow, to distance yourself from yourself. Be creative! Given a good chance, this experiment is a lot of fun, that is if you do not take it too seriously and do not get too defensive. Here is what you need:
+ Consciousness (super self-awareness)
+ Imagination (to separate consciousness from body and mind)
+ Good spying/observation skills
+ Willingness to be uncomfortable
+ Hunger to become better acquainted with your state(s) of self
Rules: Because things might get a little frustrating, here are a few rules to break when you feel the urge to smash something:
+ Do try and keep this little experiment a little secret.
+ If you decide to observe yourself, do try and keep your word; even if you keep failing, do keep trying for the whole seven days.
+ Expect to fail! And Expect to Succeed. But before you embark on your little journey of self-observation, you should try to define what you think success and failure would look/feel like.
+ Also prior to starting the experiment, try to sketch your idea of who you think you are, and what you think would be the result of your week long self-stalking.
+ Think the experiment ridiculously impossible and also very possible, then approach it with an I'm-just-giving-this-a-try attitude. And keep trying until the week is over.
+ The experiment should not feel like a self-punishment but a way to discover where your presence is rather than what you imagine or hope it to be. So try taking things easy and having some fun.
+ Every morning, for about three to five minutes, you are to strip in front of a floor length mirror or a good size mirror which would give you a full reflection of your body. Say hello to this body by name, so for instance, I would say “Oi Jane!” Then examine it as though it was someone else. So as you study your body in the mirror, you also try distancing yourself from it by convincing yourself that this body is not you, nor is its thoughts and feelings yours.
Who are you then? Well, you are merely a nameless nonjudgemental consciousness visiting with this body and its mind. And all that is required of you is to pay attention to the thoughts and habits of this body and its mind. That is all.
+ For the rest of the day you are suppose to keep paying attention to the thoughts and feelings that engulf this body and its mind. Try and keep reminding yourself that you are the consciousness outside the body and mind and you have been merely assigned the task of learning of this body and its mind.
+ Make frequent unbiased recordings of your observation of the body and its mind.
+ Remember to not judge, criticize, or insult. And do try going easy and making your experience fun!
P.S. If you haven't already read them, here's part I and III