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A Road Map for Becoming Mindfully Aware of How You Operate—Step 3

photo credit: dragonflysky via photopin cc

Step 3: Recognize the Clues That Help You Disengage from Your Acts

It’s challenging to recognize and dis-identify with the mental chatter associated with our acts. We’re so used to the voice in our head talking to us in certain ways—the ways that it is wired to—that we may succumb to the programmed message that the voice is telling us as if it’s the truth. But if we stay mindful, we’ll be in the moment, and instead of believing what our mind is saying, we’ll hear it sim­ply as chatter, the content of which can give us clues to the distinc­tive nature and purpose of our acts, and to the particular behavior that the voice is attempting to cue us to go into.


Generally, we go into our acts so mindlessly that we’re not even aware of the accompanying chatter that cues it; we’re so used to that particular kind of talk going on in our head that we accept it without question. A situation occurs and we automatically go into our act. When you’re mindful, however, you can start hearing this chatter and recognizing it as a clue that informs you that you’re about to go into your act or that you’re already in it.


As with the chatter, your feelings are another major clue. You may discover that you have very specific feelings associated with an act. These are always past-based feelings (and thus are not authentic feelings), and they are triggered by your programming, most often in response to a perceived danger. You need to be in the present to experience authentic feelings.


For example, the feelings associated with my poor-me act come in like an invisible cloud of anxiety that stems from self-doubt; they are the handiwork of my machinery’s favorite tools, the self-critic (who is sometimes a terrorist in the degree of self-criticism he spews). I start feeling bad about myself, isolated, and I want to close down. I feel desperate to throw off these feelings that come from my perception that I’m being shamed and blamed. I became aware of this through mindfully looking at what I was feeling as my mind’s chatter started to cue the act. You might notice that the same old feelings and images you had as a child are associated with some of your acts too.



An excerpt from my recent book, Your Mind Is What Your Brain Does for a Living, now available at Amazon (

photo credit: dragonflysky via photopin cc

  • 2 Oct, 2014
  • Posted by Steve Fogel
  • 1 Tags

CATEGORIES Blog Personal Growth


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