Have you ever felt overloaded by your curriculum to the point where you feel ready to scream, ‘Enough! Turn it off already!’?
Everyone I’ve ever met on the spiritual journey has gotten to that place where they just wanted to turn off their own mind to get a bit of relief from the constant process of monitoring their own thoughts. It is normal to feel that way. The question is, how do you get a little rest without lapsing back into sleep?
Once you have awakened your neutral observer, I don’t recommend turning your awareness off. I did this once; I lapsed into unconscious behavior for several months and had a challenging time extricating myself because I had fallen totally asleep at the wheel! To awaken again, I had to crash painfully and observe the wreckage I’d created in my unconscious state. Remember, no one gets to skip or get out of their soul’s curriculum.
While I was napping, my lesson books began piling up behind me, just out of sight – I was quite astounded by the huge pile of homework that I had to catch up on the moment I reawakened my neutral observer. It was as if I’d turned off my mind-computer and forgotten about it for weeks on end; it took a really long time to reboot, and once it was up and running again, I had several thousand ‘red flagged’ notices from my neutral observer in my inbox to deal with. Talk about overload! What I thought would provide relief ended up creating tons of extra work and stress for me in the long-term.
So if it isn’t a good idea to turn your neutral observer to ‘off’, what can you do when it feels like too much to process? Not to worry! Just like college has semester breaks and summer vacation, you, too, can take time away from your spiritual curriculum whenever you need a breather.
When you choose to take a break from updating your irrational beliefs, you can imagine setting your neutral observer on a timer switch; I call this taking a ‘conscious break’. A conscious break is necessary when you have been observing your own thoughts, diligently identifying and updating your irrational beliefs to the point where you feel depleted or perhaps overwhelmed by the amount of attention this requires.
Rather than becoming stressed, depressed or down in any way about the beautiful process of enlightenment, simply take a break from your ‘stuff’ for awhile and relax. Maybe you want to watch a movie without observing your own reactions, lie on the beach or read a good book without getting distracted by your own thoughts for five minutes. Or you may just want to veg out, daydream and not think or do anything. Start your conscious break by setting an intention, and give yourself a time limit.
Here is an example: If I have been diligently and consistently updating my irrationality for days on end – mind you, this updating is happening on top of and concurrently with all of the other regular demands of a very full life, work, shopping, kids, etc. – I might just feel the need to take a break. I would call up my neutral observer and give him a two-hour break. It might sound something like this, ‘I call upon the part of myself that is in charge of neutrally observing my thoughts. I am giving myself a break to watch a movie. Please allow me to take a two hour break, starting now, and begin monitoring my thoughts again in two hours, at ___ (state time).’
Remember, the language you use is not the most important factor; it is your intention that is most vital. By giving your consciousness a time-limit, this ensures that your neutral observer will automatically turn back on so that you don’t have to worry about going unconscious.
Give yourself permission to take conscious breaks as needed, and you’ll never have a reason to feel that you cannot deal with all of the information that is coming your way. Say, “If my process becomes too intense, I now know that I can take a conscious break at any time.”
Many Blessings of Joy and Vibrant Freedom
Action Step ~ If you reach a point where you need a reprieve, instead of turning off your neutral observer, take a conscious break. Declaration: “I now give myself permission to take a conscious break at any time. I intentionally set my inner timer to restart my self-observation at the end of each break. I honor myself by balancing my diligence with my need for rest and relaxation.”
Additional Support: Listen to this 8-minute closed-eye process on taking a conscious break from your self-observation: please refrain from driving while listening.