This post is a selected excerpt from my interview with Ora Nadrich. I read the whole transcript and highlighted the important sections that I personally want to read and revisit. For my own convenience, I decided to put the highlighted sections in this post so that you can also learn something new or remind yourself of the things you already know.
Check out her new book Mindfulness and Mysticism: Connecting Present Moment Awareness with the Higher States of Consciousness.
You can find the full details about the interview Ora Nadrich — Questioning your Thoughts, Transformational Thinking, Cultivating Calm and Relaxed State, Mindfulness in Motion, Dream Work, Live True, and More. Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite platform
Dream Interpretation Work:
Upon awakening, I try and retrieve a dream. I’ve done a lot of dreamwork over the years. I love to dream catch. I love to not hurry out of bed but to try and remember the journey that I took in a dream state, which is your unconscious. And, I love to spend some time in bed doing that. I never jump out of bed quickly, or I do a bit of meditation in the morning — a breathing meditation, and it’s really more of a meditation of gratitude. I really acknowledge that I’m one more day alive and connected to the breath. So it’s a mindfulness-awareness meditation upon awakening.
My dream work has been very extensive and there’s something called dream interpretation or dream amplification. And really what I encourage people to do with the work that I do, which is in the area of mindfulness, which is the practice of being aware. And I say, take a couple of minutes just to see if you can retrieve a dream because it might have a very special message for you that your unconscious presented to you in a dream state and and it can be really very illuminating
Cultivating a calm state of being:
I think each of us has our own true nature which is the essence or perhaps what can also be called one’s Buddha-nature. It’s just really maybe who we are and I think that if we accept who we are and we allow for our true essence to come forward, we can discover that it is probably much calmer than when we are engaged in life. French philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, which says we are spiritual beings having a human experience. And it’s our human experiences that really sometimes take us out of those calm states.
Advice to some to cultivate a calm state of being:
Sit quietly — whether you meditate or not, sit quietly somewhere, and just “be”. We spend so much time doing and such little time being. I think it is about being comfortable with yourself in the non-doing state. It doesn’t really require really very much of anybody, nor do you have to be a seasoned meditator.
Life gazing practice:
The concept of life gazing for me really represents — whether you’re indoors or outdoors. Let’s say you’re working on your computer — stop and look out the window, watch the sky and look at the clouds. Look at the birds, maybe flying off of a branch of a tree and then going off into the sky to their next destination. Better than that — go outside, go outside in life gate. Look at the sunrise, look at the sunset, find time in your day when you can. It really takes very little time to do these things.
Mindfulness in motion:
This is what I teach about practicing mindfulness is having the awareness showing up in a moment, being fully present, having the awareness of self, which means having an awareness of your thoughts, your feelings, your bodily sensations, your environment, having an awareness of others. When we start to heighten our awareness, we do begin to live life more mindfully.
I think we have to know when to turn off our devices. Knowing really when we allow ourselves to take the time that we need for ourselves, and I call it sacred time. It’s really creating a sacred space for yourself and that you allow yourself to go into that space and give that gift to yourself in a time of quietude and serenity.
Thoughts on Trauma:
When we look upon trauma and suffering, any misfortune and is an opportunity to go deeper into life. It’s an opportunity to learn more about life. It’s an opportunity not to turn away from the suffering, but to go towards it and to know that there are great, great learnings, great teachings that come of that. The Buddha talked about suffering —that life is full of suffering, and it’s also full of great joy. It’s a contradiction, it’s very much a dualistic dance — there’s a great joy to live and there’s also suffering as we know.
So I feel that when one is in the grips of trauma or one is in the grips of suffering, you might not know. Think of it as a gift and the time that you’re experiencing it because it’s extremely difficult. But I do think that it can bring us tremendous learning, and some of the greatest teachings in life have come from our greatest pain. We all face obstacles and negative thoughts in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we have to let them keep us from achieving our goals and dreams.
Transformational Thinking: “SAYS WHO” method?
SAYS WHO is the first question we ask ourselves when a thought appears in our mind that is either negative or fear-based or troubling. Asking SAYS WHO means “who is saying this thought in my mind”. Asking that very first question is taking responsibility for the thoughts that we have.
We need to take responsibility for the thoughts we have. We need to be able to understand that there needs to be a disconnection from the thoughts that we have, but we must come closer to knowing the thoughts that we have and why we have them. To familiarize ourselves with our thoughts, not to brush them away, not to deny them, not to pretend that we don’t have them, but to move closer to them so that our thoughts can tell us more about why we are having the thoughts that are troubling us.
A lot of people don’t really acknowledge their thoughts. Thousands of people have said to me over the years since I’ve had SAYS WHO published. I never thought to question my thoughts before. I can’t tell you how many people have said, oh I never thought to question or challenge one of my negative or fear-based thoughts.
So what do we do? We readily accept them. Oh, a thought comes into the mind that tells us we’re not good enough that we’re never going to be successful. That we’re not lovable, that we’re never going to achieve our goals. And what do we do? We accept them as true, without challenging them.
Why am I believing this thought so readily? If you believe that your mind is controlled by your thoughts, rather than the other way around, we control the thoughts in your mind. I believe that’s my personal theory. Then we have the opportunity to change them.
Beliefs can be changed in a second. What we want to be mindfully aware of are the thoughts that we tell ourselves. Because if we don’t challenge the thoughts, they become part of our core beliefs and we actually store those core beliefs deep within ourselves. And the next thing is you’re living your life with these core beliefs that you’re not enough, you’re not good enough, you’re not going to be successful, you not worthy of this, you’re not worthy of that. What we know about beliefs is that you really create your life based on your beliefs. That’s really the connection of the manifestation theory that if you hold negative thoughts about yourself and believe them to be true, you will manifest that outside of yourself.
As Byron Katie says, don’t believe everything you think. If you don’t examine and don’t question your thoughts — if you just readily accept every single thought that you tell yourself to be true, or I might add what other people tell you, then you’re just going to believe everything that you believe is true when in fact they might not be true at all. Some of the questions in the SAYS WHO Method are “Do I like this thought?”, “Does this thought make me feel better?”,
“Does this thought work for me?”
Thoughts create feelings, emotions, behaviors, actions, reality. Any thoughts that you have will produce an emotion for sure. Sometimes people come to me and they are so mired in their emotion that we have to go searching for the thought that’s connected to it because a lot of the time people are so taken over by emotions. They don’t even know the thought that’s triggered that emotion. I always say there’s a thought connected to that emotion. Some people know what the thought is. Some people need to dig a little bit deeper to find out why. So at the effect of that thought that is producing that particular emotion.
You can espouse wisdom to people, you can share words of wisdom. You can do all of that. And it’s those that are really ready to hear it, ready to receive it, or really ready to change within themselves. When we’re ready to change within ourselves, we will open ourselves up to receiving that which can help us grow and evolve. Everybody is capable of doing it. All you have to want to do is to want desire to do that. Nobody can really help you change. Nobody can help you grow and evolve. You have to want that for yourself. It’s something that must come from within.
Do you feel that receiving can be hard for a lot of people — receiving gifts, receiving abundance, receiving the gift of life?
We have so much around us that we can receive — whether it’s in books or movies or storytelling or sitting quietly. When one sits quietly, that’s the beauty of contemplation. Contemplation is really being in a quiet state to receive — receive what it is you want to hear, and receive it from whatever source you want to hear it from. It could be coming from your own inner wisdom. It could be coming from the divine source — whatever that means for you. It could be from the unity consciousness that maybe we share together as a collective and the whole concept of oneness that we are not separate from anyone or anything. We really can receive information that can be very profound and can really start to make the mystery of life more understandable.
Fear can block us from receiving. Fear of the unknown can be frightening to people. Sitting quietly and just being with oneself can be frightening to people. What I ask them is what are you most afraid of? What is it you think you’re afraid that you will come to know about yourself? You might be very pleasantly surprised — there’s a great quote “There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself”. When you get on the other side of fear, you realize there’s less and less to be afraid of.
Sometimes I go back and I read what I’ve written and I really see the progression of my journey and where I’ve come from and where I’ve taken myself to. And I think that the life journey is all about “being” and continuing to “become”. We are constantly evolving. We are constantly changing and there is something really lovely about looking at that reflectively in a journal to really see where you’ve come.
You can find the full details about the interview Ora Nadrich — Questioning your Thoughts, Transformational Thinking, Cultivating Calm and Relaxed State, Mindfulness in Motion, Dream Work, Live True, and More
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