Round Up the Cattle

Jim:        Ah!  Bucking broncos.  Have you ever felt your thoughts were like that?  Have you ever tried to put a saddle on them?  Tame them?  So, quite often we think we’re riding the horse.  However, with our thoughts, they’re often riding us.  And, like horses, they can be quite heavy.  So, what are wild horses called?  They’re called mustangs.  And, they’re uncontrollable.  Have you ever felt that your thoughts were also uncontrollable?  Listen up, my friends.  I’m so glad you’re here today.  This is a podcast about Fishing Without Bait and full-impact mindfulness.  And, it’s also about dealing with your thoughts and feelings.  How to live a life out loud.  Separate yourself from the world of black and white – the dull and dreary.  To feel the tingle, as referred to in a previous podcast.  And, even if you’re completely satisfied with your life, I’m challenging you to go further and not leave anything on the playing field.  Rise up and follow us, and we’ll help you Fish Without Bait.  Emerge from your chrysalis – out of your comfort zone.  Explore.  Adventure.  Follow Alice and the white rabbit and meet us, your fellow sojourners along the way.  Smash through the barriers of mediocrity, dullness, and the grind and we’ll help you begin to have that beginner’s mind.  Today, as always, I’m joined by my good friend, co-host, and producer of this program – Mr. Mike.  Mr. Mike, we often talk about the Fishing Without Bait concept, do we not?

Mike:    It seems to be a trend, yes.

Jim:        Yes.  And, more often than not, we deal with thoughts.  So, let’s talk about thoughts.  Mike, you’ve heard of a panic button, have you not?

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:        Such as it’s time to push the panic button.

Mike:    Or the big red button in those Uber self-driving cars when things go wrong.

Jim:        And, what does that do?

Mike:    It lets the human take over.

Jim:        Let’s the human take over.  Well, we’re going to push that button inside of you much like in a previous podcast where we help people understand that they have a reset button.  So, we’re going to press that button when your thoughts become out of control and let you come back in charge – much like a self-driving car.  So, let me ask you a question, Mike.  Do you think that fish realize that they’re underwater?

Mike:    No, I don’t.

Jim:        Well, of course not.  However, it’s what they live in.  So, Mike, have you ever considered that we swim in our thoughts?

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:        And, that we’re so surrounded by them and immersed in them that we aren’t even aware that they’re there.  If you remember back to when we discussed comparing our brain to the inbox of an e-mail account, remember we have no issues not opening spam inside of our head, do we, Mike?

Mike:    Nope.

Jim:        Computers have become a staple of existence.  Could you imagine our world without having the use of those computing devices? 

Mike:    I think we do.  It’s called going out to the country. 

Jim:        So, try to imagine some of the things that would be difficult or impossible without those devices.  What are some of the things?

Mike:    For many, the way they communicate on a regular basis with family.  I think you would find that more family and friends would grow distant with distance.

Jim:        Sure.  So, let’s try to think of some things that most people don’t think about.  Think of all the airplanes and jets that come in and out of an airport every single day, and without that type of computing guidance system to make those planes go the right way – what would happen, Mike? 

Mike:    It would be very disorganized.

Jim:        It’d be catastrophe.  It’d be disaster.  Planes would be running into each other all the time.  And, what’s the difference between those airplanes without guidance and our thoughts?  Our thoughts are constantly colliding with each other.  They’re constantly trying to get on the same runway when the runway’s already overcrowded.  So, referring back to the inbox between our ears – and we insist on opening every single thought (spam or not).  And, again, Mike, you’re more familiar with this than I am – malicious people often put what into these e-mails?

Mike:    Tricks and scams.

Jim:        Tricks and scams and viruses.  And, Mike, once again – what does a virus do to your computer?

Mike:    Takes it over and often destroys things.

Jim:        It takes it over, often destroys things, makes it run slowly, sideways or in ways that we’re not completely comfortable with.  So, when that happens – when it’s really serious, when your computer gets really infected, what does one do normally? 

Mike:    You have to take it to get it fixed.

Jim:        You have to take it to get it fixed.  You call in a cyber expert.  And, sometimes your hard drive has to be wiped or completely replaced.  However, that’s not acceptable for a human being, is it?

Mike:    Nope.

Jim:        We’re not looking to wipe people’s hard drives or memories.  We’re not looking to wipe their minds.  So, let’s spend the rest of this podcast and some future ones by learning how to defrag, add RAM, processing speed and memory.  In other words – to make yourself your own technician.  So, keep this in mind above all – you are not your thoughts.  If you were, you could control them.  Mike, I could imagine that I’m a pink rhinoceros with wings.  Would that make me be able to fly?

Mike:    No.

Jim:        No.  Of course not.  I’m going to use a word now that I dislike.  However, it may be appropriate for this situation.  Mike, I know that that thought is crazy.  So, could you help me understand the reason we cannot recognize and label most of these thoughts that we have as just as untrue and false?

Mike:    Because we’re too close to the situation.  Because we’re surrounded by it. 

Jim:        We are surrounded.  We’re fish swimming in those thoughts, are we not? 

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:        So, our first issue in dealing with racing thoughts is to be aware.  Mike, how do you know when you become aware of your racing thoughts?  What are some of the symptoms that you have when you have racing thoughts?

Mike:    Getting exhausted and I realize my brain hasn’t had a break for a while. 

Jim:        Hmmm.  So, remember, when we have racing thoughts they are just a few.  And, it’s important to identify and label them.  So, we’re going to start out with a simple exercise.  And, it may be uncomfortable, frustrating, and unfamiliar.  We spend numerous podcasts on the importance of being able to label and describe.  The number one thing is to have awareness.  And, that means being able to step back and imagine that we are at the movies and we’re seeing these thoughts playing out on a screen.  There are so many mindfulness techniques about letting go – such as placing a thought on a leaf or a stream or a cloud, or placing it on a train and watching it go away.  And, these are wonderful techniques.  If they work for you, please keep doing them.  However, keeping in mind that this is not your normal mindfulness podcast – however, with our full-impact mindfulness techniques we ask you to embrace these thoughts and completely label and describe them.  Our suggestion is that you be alone and say the thoughts that you’re experiencing and say them out loud so you can hear your voice.  Mike, do you remember the first time you heard your voice being recorded?

Mike:    Yes, I do.  And, I still have problems hearing it when I edit these podcasts.

Jim:        And, when you hear those thoughts resonating through the air, it gives you a better understanding of those thoughts.  Veracity and truthfulness.  It’s awkward to hear your own voice, is it not?

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:        Because – Mike, what would you imagine your voice did sound like before you actually heard it?

Mike:    I don’t know if I had a perception of it, but maybe just because it’s been so long because I have that identified.  It was like oh, that’s what I sound like.

Jim:        Were you familiar with that person the first time you heard it?

Mike:    Absolutely not.

Jim:        And, this is what we’re helping people do through full-impact mindfulness.  We’re asking people to become acquainted with their authentic self.  This will truly allow you to become the observer behind the thinker.  We want to separate the “YOU” from the “I.”  The “I” is your authentic self.  When you identify your thoughts and feelings as such as I feel, I think.  The you is the imposter, the inner critic, or perhaps unrealistic expectations of yourself or from others.  Perhaps it’s a past trauma, a sadness, or an unfulfilled need.  Say these words and sentences and thoughts out loud.  Then write them down – not on a computer, not on a word processor, however with your own hand on a piece of paper so you have to mentally and physically make that hand move to write the words.  Then you will own them.  That makes them your own.  And, when you say them out loud, and you can refer back to our podcast, Mike, when we talked about the importance of saying my name.  Saying your name.  Labeling and identifying gives you ownership.  I’m challenging you to take ownership of your thoughts.  And, in our next podcast we’re going to further explore this concept and deal with those racing thoughts.  And, where do most of these thoughts come from?  From unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others.  About stripping our needs from the inner critic.  And, most often from our most constant companion – and that is fear.  So, in our world, as some sports coaches, life coaches and therapists would say – avoid living in your fears.  Let’s live outside them.  And, as we explained in our last podcast when we gave the philosophy of Fishing Without Bait, please refer to it.  Until the next time, my friends, let’s Fish Without Bait.  I’d love to hear from you and give you all a license to live.  Please contact us for it to be granted.  Namaste.