Knowing the Thought: Shaila Catherine from “Focused and Fearless”

Banded iron: National Museum of Natural History



“You do not need to get rid of thoughts, just cease to believe them.

If you are not seduced by the story that they represent, the thoughts will not disturb your mind.

Tenzin Palmo, a nun in the Tibetan tradition wrote:

There is the thought, and then there is the knowing of the thought.

And the difference between being aware of the thought and just thinking is immense.

Normally we are so identified with our thoughts and emotions, that we are them.

We are the happiness, we are the anger, we are the fear.

We have to learn to step back and know our thoughts and emotions are just thoughts and emotions.

They’re just mental states. They’re not solid, they’re transparent.”




My two cents: We let the emotional storyline go, then explore the body sensations connected to the narrative.

I healed when I stopped thinking about my scary abusive thoughts and emotions.

Introduce yourself to your inner world, this is where we will find healing and wellbeing.



7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by rudid96 on February 27, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    I’ve a question – Daily, I’m practicing “let go of the storyline.” Some days are easier than others. Here’s my question. How does one drop the storyline if I’m sleeping? Most nights I’m jolted from a deep sleep with heart-pounding fear. I’ve lots of strategies to reclaim sleep which work inconsistently. This nightly episode leaves me bleary eyed in the morning and sometimes leaves me afraid to fall asleep.

  2. Thanks for participating and sharing. I too had horrible nightmares. In fact I would wake up drenched, triggered out of my mind, feeling the nightmares were real.

    We can not change our sleep inside our sleep.

    My changes were made in waking time and in due time my sleep was free of those nightmares as I healed.

    Our goal is to let the nightmares go, do not fuel them or give them energy with thought or judgment.

    Accept that you are stirring the demons as you heal.

    Remember healing is not easy or calm at times.

    Our trauma and ego are used to having control of our life

    We are changing that and the ego is pissed

    That means you are healing and taking back your life

    This is the road less traveled, not easy but very rewarding

    Keep going, keep letting the noise go as you come back to now.

  3. Accept the ego wants you to fear sleep because it has control

    You not fearing sleep promotes healing

    You are doing the work and this seems like a setback but it is moving forward and doing the work

    Congratulate yourself,you are going right at your trauma in a mindful way

  4. You would think I run this blog responding this much

    Ideas and answers arrive for me so here goes

    Our healing has to go thru our trauma
    We have to face and integrate it

    So first of all we have choices how we react

    Ptsd and nightmares do not ask permission and damn sure do not need it

    If we try to escape, avoid in an anxious state Ptsd grows

    We just gave it power and fear and cloudiness

    The more we run the less we know about healing

    If you can be thankful, that is welcome your nightmare for showing itself

    Accept, be thankful then release it

    Focus on the breath then go to the body sensations these nightmares ignite

    Become friends with the body sensations

    Be curious about them
    Know how they feel
    How long they last
    How they leave
    What is left after they exit
    Assess any physical damage

    Mental damage

    None and none

    You are healing

    Surrender to your nightmares. Know they can not hurt you

    You are always secure alone with your focus

  5. You’re so helpful. Thank you.

  6. Posted by rudid96 on February 27, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    Thank you very much for the reply. Right now, in the sunshine of a cold day the child’s part of me breathes in a sigh of relief. The words are my CareBear. They tell me “You’re Not Alone”. The suggestion to befriend and then name the sensations offer a balm for the terror these demons create. My pressing fear, the nightmares have free rein over my psyche is counter balanced with action. That mindful questioning will be my shield for weathering the next storm to come.

  7. You are safe

    Breathe and focus surround yourself with a blanket of kindness

    The terror is a mirage

    Withstand the bluff and the bully will recede

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