Rumination - the powerful snag holding you in the past

Updated: 6 days ago

Rumination is an incredibly powerful snag holding us in the past, especially when the present feels difficult. We do this because it feels nicer to reminisce about better times gone by than to deal with a difficult situation that is in front of us now in the present moment.

Presence required commitment to stay, whereas rumination is where we hold onto the past where we thought it was better. While we do this, we are not allowing ourselves the opportunity to create the future we desire.

The present moment is all that exists because it is unfolding right now. The past has gone, and the future is yet to be written. Our mind pulls us to the past through loops of comparison and over-thinking in an attempt to rationalise everything.

This desire to rationalise everything in the mind is an absolute learned behaviour. We are taught it through social and cultural conditioning in life. From our parents to our education it is literally everywhere.

Consider a perfect example. Frequently when I discuss mindfulness techniques, the standard response I get from people is to say 'I understand'. Understanding comes from the mind that is constantly trying to rationalise everything.

Whereas, in contrast, the concept of mindfulness is seeking you to learn to feel the emotions from within your heart space instead. Allowing yourself to lead with your heart in life instead of your mind is incredibly powerful, yet unfortunately uncommon in the modern world. We seem to be suffering an epidemic of emotional illiteracy.

When we get lost in rumination about the past, we lose our ability for awareness in the present moment, missing out on opportunities to learn, grow and expand, allowing us to create the future we desire.

We can frequently slip into rumination for short periods, which can be relatively harmless. However, we can also get lost in rumination for long extended periods of our life. This can happen in an attempt to avoid a difficult situation in the present. Particularly if there is something here in the present, that is triggering us, which we are trying to avoid, through fear.

So are you present? or are you ruminating on a past that felt better?

When you learn to release the snag of rumination holding you in the past, life opens up in beautiful ways. You suddenly get to experience life fully, in all its colour, texture and rich experiences. Most importantly, you get to build the future you desire. So when your future arrives, you are where you want to be, not still stuck in the past.

Leading with your heart helps you to remain present to what life is bringing you right now. Feeling instead of overthinking in endless loops of rationalising. It is easy to see where people are at in life when you observe both their behaviour and words. Through effective listening and observation techniques in the present moment, everything becomes clear.

When people say I feel, you know they are in their heart space. When they say I think I understand, you know they are in their head.

The left eye represents the heart, and the right eye the mind. Next time you talk to someone, see which eye you look at automatically. It is likely the right eye because we have been socially conditioned to accept this as the norm. Then observe their left eye and see if you can spot the difference. Is it gentler than the right? When someone gets angry and frustrated, try observing their eyes and see if you can spot whether they are in their heart space or their headspace. To see this you must be present where life is unfolding right before your very eyes.

Learning to lead with your heart, is not only possible, but it is also easier than you might think to undertake in life.

Would like to know more about how mindfulness can help you to let go of the snags of rumination?

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