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Being Mindful
Swimming Above Growing Pains

by Janet Alston Jackson

Awareness is the perfect way to prevent growing pains. We don't have to suffer in life if we are vigilant of our thoughts and feelings. When we are not, we allow fear, lack, anger and other emotions, to grow into toxic energies which take over our body, mind and soul.

When we place our attention on our thoughts and emotions without clutching or trying to push them down, they evaporate on their own. Something beautiful then begins to happen. It's called love. This is the love each of us has inside of ourselves and we are trying to express. This love is the good feeling which was covered up by thoughts and emotions that don't serve us. We don't have to try to love, we have to let love surface from our true nature.

Many of us say we don't want to hold on to toxic emotions, but it's the subconscious resistance to these emotions which keeps us from growing and from living the life we deserve.

There is a story of three women in a fishing village who religiously carried baskets of fish which were caught to their home. One hot day they were feeling tired from the walk and the weight of the smelly fish. They spotted a beautiful field of flowers, so they put their baskets down on the roadside, and went over to lie down among the aromatic flowers. The women tossed and turned. They could not rest because they had become so used to the smell of rotting fish, they found they couldn't rest without the smell.

This is like us. We have carried our rotten thoughts and emotions around with us for so long, we have grown comfortable with them. But we can observe the thoughts like fish swimming in the water. The water is our subconscious. When we observe fish like our thoughts, eventually they swim away. We don't have to clutch a thought like catching a fish and drag it out of the water or our subconscious. Just let the thoughts come and go. Will there be more fish? Of course, but the art of awareness, or mindfulness will become pleasant, like watching fish in an aquarium. We'll also find our minds becoming peaceful.

Our ego wants us to hold on to negative thoughts that become smelly fish, and it doesn't want us to grow. So how do we deal with this ego who seemingly has it's fishhook in us and wont let go? Love. When those thoughts which seem so overwhelming come up, first find the courage to look at the disturbing thought or feeling. You'll find these types of thoughts surfacing: "I'll never get this right," "I'm fat," "I'm old," "I don't look good," "I'm broke," or "This person is smarter than me."

When you allow them to float up from the subconscious waters just observe and release.

You'll find underneath all of those smelly fish thoughts and emotions, is love. And the more we love, the more we grow.

Janet Alston Jackson is the author of "A Cry for Light: A Journey into Love," winner of the USA Book News Award for Christian Inspiration. Janet is a behavioural and personal growth consultant. She often teams with her husband Walter Jackson (author of "Sporting the Right Attitude"), facilitating effective communications trainings for better personal and professional relationships. The couple have been guests on numerous radio talk shows around the country, and have made appearances on public television. Visit their websites: Sporting the Right Attitude and JanetAJackson.com.

Be sure to read the reviews of her book in our January 2007 Issue.

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