Sometimes, if you look closely at what actually feel, you won’t like what’s there. Sometimes it’s just too much. Here are some tips on what to do when you get up close and personal with your elephant, and this
may be what you find.
- Start with whatever is present in the moment. See if you can notice and allow for what is there vs. actively trying to ignore or push away.
- See if you can get yourself to willingly tolerate all sensations, discomfort, or urges associated with the emotion. Noticing if there is anything holding you back from doing so.
- Bear in mind that the better able you are to tolerate, you will be better equipped to survive the moment. Redirect your attention back to your elephant and practice the gentle yet curious gaze.
- Tolerating sensation does not mean that you have to approve of reality, take action, or fail to take action.
- An unwillingness to tolerate what is there will not make cartoon elephants disappear. (You can’t have a life without cartoon elephants!) A refusal to tolerate can actually create more problems later.
- What you pay attention to= what your life is about. Do you want your entire life to be characterized by the struggle of not looking at your cartoon elephants?