The wonderful clarity of mind that comes in Wise Mind is a hard won ability. The human mind doesn’t make it easy. Our mental processes trip us up and drag us down to misery land with little effort.
One reason that clarity of mind is so hard to attain is that emotional mind and emotional mind instantly jumps to conclusions. Life happens and the human mind tries to keep up. A triggering event such as a knock at the door or a large unexpected bill and our minds are already reacting with predictions (worries) and rage or terror.
A second reason that clarity is so hard is that most of the time we think through the filters of memories and fears. While we may claim that we are open minded, the truth is that most of the time our minds are just repeating old conclusions that we’ve formed already.
The antidote to the mind traps of misery land is to slow our thinking down. This is the practice known as observe.
To observe is to reconsider a triggering event with as little personal interpretation as possible. In observe we look at an event as though we were someone else who has none of the agendas that we have.
This is used to non judgmentally observe one’s environment within or outside oneself. DBT recommends developing a “teflon mind,” the ability to let feelings and experiences pass without sticking in the mind.
Once we’ve observed without your preconceived opinions and emotional reactions we’re ready to describe anew what lays before us.