The Observer

You can’t fire him; you better make it work for you and not against you. 

Some people call it our consciousness, some people call it internal dialogue, I call it the observer. There is a part of our brain, the animal non-cognitive brain that without command or as a reaction to sensorial perceptions starts superfast processes and in less than a second can create an emotional reaction and a chemical cocktail in our bodies.  This reaction mainly occurs when we feel threatened. Nowadays, the threat tends to be more of an intellectual danger rather than a physical one, such as “what are they going to think about me?”. 

The threat is to our identity ego and its associated knowledge, experience, credibility and status. 

I believe as humans we have this wonderful gift which is our capacity to observe our thoughts, words, emotions, and behaviors. But many of us go through life and through our days just thinking, doing, talking, feeling without any conscious observation about it. Seems that this gift is hard to use, and we don’t think about what we think, or think about what we feel, or think about what we say or how we behave.  

For some people this is introspection, reflection or having a conscience. For me it has worked to think about this entity in my brain, like another me, a wiser me that has the ability to observe for example what I am feeling when I am feeling it. The observer in action is capable of slowing down the process and as if watching a slow-motion scene, catch the triggers, ideas and emotions as they arise. By being able to watch them, we improve our thought process. First that awareness transforms what is being observed and some things may become less intense. Secondly, a stronger cognitive brain kicks in to look at facts and data, makes an analysis and decides the best course of action in a better way. 

I believe this observer has always been there and we cannot get rid of him. However, when it’s working unconsciously and untamedit’s feeding us trash instead of transformation. It’s that little and annoying voice telling us we are not good at something, we are worthless, or we don’t deserve something. And once we notice that it’s right there, actively feeding us information, we can work on taming it. We can make it look at the right things in the right way to feed us empowerment, gratitude and abundance instead of trash. 

The big obstacle to having stronger and healthy observer that works for us, is that our brain is constantly distracted with things, people, notifications and time travel, either memories from the past or preoccupations about the future. The observer can only be grown and improved to become an ally through full attention, mindfulness. 

If you want your observer to work for you and start telling you the right things, making better observations and transforming your reactions and actions what you need to do is to cultivate your brain’s attention capacity. Being able to observe something in an intentional way, in a focused way and in a continuous way for a longer period of time is what unlocks this potential and that is exactly what you do when you practice meditation.   

Give yourself the gift of a high-performance observer by training your mind to consciously observe. Start with 5 minutes a day of relaxing meditation where you instruct your brain to just watch your breathing, pay attention to nothing but air coming in and out of your body and by gently bringing your focus back to only that each time you’re distracted with anything else. Little by little you will make your observer your ally, working for you and not against you. 

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