coaching,  Guest writer,  Life choices

A Thoughtful Reflection

This wonderful blog has been written by Ian Cousins from Australia. It is my pleasure to share my blog and I hope you enjoy his wonderful words.

Love Renee

A Thoughtful Reflection

As we near the end of 2011 and before we head into 2012, I am taking time to reflect on what I’ve learnt this year.  Without a doubt, the biggest impact on my quality of life; enjoyment, openness and my ability to connect to others, has been through the practice of disengaging from my thoughts; known in Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) as “defusion”.  Defusion involves watching thoughts without attachment which also bring greater awareness to each moment. This practice is truly bearing fruit for me; my relationships are deeper, my health has improved and the amount of joy I feel amazes me! I experience a fullness and a tranquillity that is less and less disturbed by daily activity. I am no longer bothered by much of which distresses others and have become more of the person I wish to be – more loving, accepting and present.

I would like to share some of the ideas that have worked very well for me and that I know can work for you too.  I can’t give you the experience of just how wonderful I feel a lot of the time; although I wish I could, even for an instant! My hope is that by this sharing I will encourage and provide you with some pointers to help you find your own WOW factor.

Please understand that you are already enough, that you have all the love you ever need inside you right now, all the joy, the peace, the skills and the abilities; they are already yours. You and your unique perception are a gift to the world!  Imagine how life would be if you didn’t just believe this but you actually experienced the knowing of these words for yourself?  Belief is not enough – it needs to be experienced.  This can be facilitated by bringing awareness to your thoughts, for thoughts are the clouds in your sky that bind you to an illusion. ~Practice awareness for that is what you are.

Non attachment to your thoughts is a key teaching of Mindfulness, some meditation practices, A Course in Miracles, Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie and Advaita proponents.  It is our attachment to thought along with an unconscious belief that thoughts are ‘reality’ itself that separate us from the real world.  Thoughts are merely interpretations, judgements and ideas about reality.  They tell us a story about what we are experiencing, they break up a seamless existence into what appears as separate chunks and they cut us off from the experience of our true nature.

Thoughts generate emotions which generate thoughts that continue through an endless cycle creating an illusory self and perpetuating the illusion of separateness.  (Emotions can be used as a feedback system to help us connect to our unconscious thoughts – what story {thoughts} would lead to feeling this way?  Change the story).  ~A good practice is to imagine how things would truly be if your thoughts weren’t constantly interpreting or providing meaning to everyday events. How would reality appear then?

Our beliefs, which are simply groups of thoughts, also separate us.  They provide us with ideas that limit our Love.  When we believe someone is ‘wrong’ or that someone has ‘caused’ us pain we choke the Love that naturally flows from our hearts.  Similarly, ideas of a ‘future’ or a ‘past’ are just thoughts that can strongly influence our ability to be present and live wholeheartedly. ~Stay in the moment.

Our thoughts and ideas are no more or no less important than anyone else’s. They are just one way, out of billions of ways, we may interpret an event. Seeing this has loosened me from my own thoughts and ideas, thus allowing me to be more open to the perceptions that better serve the person I want to be. ~Practice being mindful they are just thoughts.

Becoming aware of our thoughts and how they continually trip us up will undoubtedly lead to a better quality of life, one in which we see events clearly, making for a fuller, richer experience of life.

Detach from your thoughts and bring the gift of YOU into 2012 for all to benefit.

Much love and joy from Australia

Ian Cousins (http://www.facebook.com/icousins)


  • Tammy Routhier Sirois

    Our beliefs, which are simply groups of thoughts, also separate us. They provide us with ideas that limit our Love. When we believe someone is ‘wrong’ or that someone has ‘caused’ us pain we choke the Love that naturally flows from our hearts. Similarly, ideas of a ‘future’ or a ‘past’ are just thoughts that can strongly influence our ability to be present and live wholeheartedly. ~Stay in the moment.

    I ultimately agree with this segment, but feel that it is easier said than done … how do “erase” those thoughts from the past when they keep emerging and don’t allow you to “live in the moment”??


  • Ian Cousins

    Hi Tammy
    Thanks for your comment – i didn’t say anything about it being easy – it takes practice. By continually practicing we are continuously identifying with our ‘true nature’ which has cumulative benefits.

    As far as ‘erasing’ thoughts – we can’t do that of course. When a memory has not been fully ‘processed’ it has emotional charges attached and these are what draw you out of the moment. If you can imagine an atom (the memory) surrounded by numerous electrons (the emotions) whizzing around it that will give you a pretty good idea.

    To process the memory we need to feel the feelings fully (there is usually more than one emotion and all need to be dealt with in a similar manner). Begin by sitting comfortably, centre yourself with a couple of deep breaths and recall the memory. Scan your body to see where the emotions reside and what these are. Allow yourself to feel the emotion fully by making space for it to surface (we are the space). When the emotion has began to subside, understand what story you have told yourself about the incident to result in this emotion and then tell yourself a different story about the event – look for the positives and the growth in the incident, use your mind to ‘attach’ a beneficial story to the incident. Continue doing this for whatever emotion comes to the surface and whatever memory comes up also.

    I have found that one incident that may have occurred a few years ago is attached to other earlier memories. I use all memories in a similar way to that outlined above until all ’emotional charge’ is processed and only the memory remains. You can tell you have healed it fully by looking at what emotions come up when you recount the story to someone else or if you meet with any resistance to sharing the event with those closest to you.

    The trick is to ‘allow’ and ‘accept’ the emotions fully before bringing thought into the picture – be careful of justifying the event before the emotion has been fully felt.

    Allowing and acceptance are aspects of Pure Love which are the fruits of such an exercise. They are present when you are truly ‘in the moment’.

    Hope this helps, Love and Light – Ian

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