On Running and the thought-feeling connection

How many times a day do we have thoughts? Perhaps hundreds? Thoughts pop into our minds and then we may feel something related to that thought, and sometimes we act on that feeling. 

It’s just how we role. 

The fact is we have no real control over our thought process. This can make thoughts somewhat arbitrary. Sometime we think good thoughts, about a person for example, which will fill us with a feeling of warmth. Or we’ll have a thought about an achievement we’ve gained, which makes us feel confident about ourselves. 

Thoughts have an uncanny ability of being able to influence the way we feel. They have the power to create a strong feeling of uneasiness, insecurity, or lack of confidence in us. 

Lets rest on the idea again that thoughts are unreliable things. They bear no resemblance or accuracy as to how we really are. You could be practicing for your next performance, doing all the things you know will forward your development to a roaring success, and the thought pops into your head ‘I suck’. 

Was this thought really telling us anything at all about ourselves, or our chosen career? 

We may believe  that that thought was based on circumstances, and that its legitimate, and we’ll try to substantiate the claim and think of reasons why it’s true. The feeling of insecurity or indecisiveness it can create is intense, and the more we think about it the more uneasy and nervous we become. 

But actually the feeling here is a very important indicator for us. If we really knew we were no good at what we are doing, and there was no point in carrying on, we probably would have discovered that a long time before, not having made any progress or achievements. The choice then would have been made, with no feelings of insecurity or undue uneasiness. 

So, that initial thought was baseless, but we let our feelings take over our clarity nevertheless.

This is the moment to acknowledge perhaps that what feeling this thought generates is fickle, it’s in the moment and bares no impact on your chosen path and practice. This is the moment to look inward to your intuition and ask yourself is this really where I stop? The answer usually will be no, lets carry on.

I tend to believe we are by nature intuitive  beings. When we have a thought that makes us feel insecure or unconfident, we momentarily break the flow of being in the moment. The notion of being creative and starting on any type of creative journey indicates our intuitive nature. It did not start from questioning ourselves at all. But we are also by nature reactionary beings, with intellect that will get in the way of our creative flow! 

The mere fact of feeling uneasy, raises the quintessential question for us, but at the same time points us inwards to the real reason we’re doing what we’re doing. Those feelings that arise are there not to stop us, but to guide us back to clarity, and intuity.

Running for me is a lifeline. Not least because it has taught me to acknowledge feelings as passing tides. Maybe because of the meditative affect of pounding feet and incessant motion forwards, I have grown to learn that feelings that arise will pass if left unattended. As soon as I start attending to thoughts and feelings that, given nourishment will manifest themselves as worries, they tend to become omnipresent. Worries are assumptions of a future we know nothing of anyway. 

Running has taught me to acknowledge that those random thoughts and feeling are just that, random. They are not there to stop play, they are there to remind me why I’m in the game.