Follow Your Bliss

By: Ashley Dane

Follow Your Bliss is the blog of Ashley Webb Dane, a mother of two teenagers who has been in recovery for five years. She is committed to carrying the message of the spiritual aspect of recovery and the empowerment of women in recovery. She is a certified hypnotherapist, and is currently Director of Communications at ONE80CENTER, a drug and alcohol treatment facility in Beverly Hills.

I Have No Neutral Thoughts. Huh? Read on …

Jun 22, 2012

I have no neutral thoughts.

This morning I read my lesson for the day in Course In Miracles, which I highly suggest to anyone who is interested in taking their sobriety to another level. Today’s lesson was “I have no neutral thoughts.” I read it, was not impressed, and took a picture of the page so I could remember what it said later in the day, when my Ego conveniently allowed me to forget.

I constantly have to outsmart my Ego, which was the mechanism of not being impressed upon reading of it. And there, right there, is the lesson fully articulated — my not being impressed IS NOT a neutral thought. Inside of that blasé impression of it was already a little bit of a judgment. There are some lessons I will read and think, “Oh, this is a GOOD one!” Even when I think that, it isn’t neutral. NO matter what I think inside, inhabiting that thought is an already established foot hold of judgment — it is already either good or bad. It is never neutral.

So, you might say, what’s the big deal?

Well, I can’t claim to know, truly. The point of the lesson is to discover and to have a direct experience of it. What I am finding though is that the judgments that are already behind every thought are really more indicative of how my mind works than my actual thoughts are. I watch my thoughts all day long, like watching a train going by. Sometimes I jump on the train and am carried away, and sometimes I just watch in amazement. But even if I don’t jump on the train, there is the judgment, which is like the conductor, fueling the train with coal to make it go. My judgments are the coal, the fuel, without which the thoughts are obviously not going to get very far.

I’ve been very aware of the crazy train of my thoughts and that I have a choice about being swept away or not — it’s my choice, and that is a powerful thing and a huge part of my recovery. But only just now, today, did I really understand that it is my judgments that fuel the crazy train. I don’t know how to stop judging, yet. That is what the Course In Miracles is for — to teach us to understand ourselves and look at things we assume are automatic. It gives us the ability to master ourselves. I couldn’t really address the constant judging if I couldn’t see it because it was hiding behind my thoughts that I was busy not attaching myself to. But now that I know they are there, sneaky, hiding, I can now do something about them.

This morning, when I wasn’t impressed with today’s lesson, my intellect could have told you that whenever I am underwhelmed with something, that is sure to be the thing that will create a profound shift for me. I was too tired to have this thought this morning, being before coffee, so my intellect wasn’t empowered to speak up and the Ego was louder.

Whenever I cringe or refuse something, say no to something or decide that I absolutely do not like something, these are the very things that will track me down. I will literally be hunted by these things until I am able to see that I was wrong. My Ego is that knee jerk reaction telling me to avoid that thing of value, or to refuse to see it as valuable, to reject it as hum drum or blasé. Like this morning— “Oh, hmm, boring lesson today.” Ha! Take that, Ego! Foiled again!

Here is the other piece that I still need to figure out. Even GOOD judgments are judgments.

By declaring something as good, better than other things, then I immediately judge all those other things as “less than” the good thing. I don’t know how to work with this information yet, but I do know that in the realm of working on judgmental-ness, it’s counterintuitive to say there is good judgmental- ness, and there is bad judgmental-ness. Somehow the goal is true neutrality, but I suspect the kind of neutrality where one really is in a state of choice about things, rather than programmed to hold things in a positive or negative light, automatically and without hesitation. It doesn’t mean being flat, it means being aware, it means allowing things to be just as they are, not forcing them to be good or bad as we may be programmed to behold it.

In many of my blogs here, I have stated that my goal is to not be a robot, to not live as I and society and my upbringing have programmed me to be. I want to be free, and organic and authentic. This is a process! But it’s the only thing worth doing; it really is NEXT LEVEL SOBRIETY. I believe there is abstinence from drugs and alcohol and living by principles, which is the recipe for a great life, and never ever to be knocked. But then there is the Next Level of sobriety, and that is what interests me most. This blog is me on my training wheels. I am learning as I go, and I am happy to be in good company.

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Diane C  2788 days ago

This is so true--I have to keep laughing at this puppy of an ego of mine. "Down Girl" I say ten times a day!

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