Alternative MethodsConventional Methods


June 13

Noticing the Hassle-Maker

Reading time 4 min.

There’s a silly little voice in the head that distorts the Beauty of everything.
It can feel like a sour mood that taints our day just as a few drops of soured milk changes the taste of our coffee. This little voice is the Hassle-Maker, the one in the head that says, “I don’t like”, “I don’t want”, “If only I didn’t…”, “I wish that…”. It compares, judges, criticizes and rejects whatever is arising in the Present Moment as somehow less than. Ego mind is persistent, always ON and it tangles all that it interprets into a problem, a hassle, unless it’s recognized by conscious Awareness.

The Hassle-Maker works best in secret, operating just underneath our conscious attention.
This problem-spinner is attached to a “past/future” and identified with a “me”.
Watch for any images that arise in the mind based on something of the past.
Watch for the Hassle Maker to jump into “a future”. This is how the hassle-maker presents proof
that this moment pales in comparison for the past was “better” or “the future is going to be better”.
Every mental image it conjures can feel like a barb, a painful jab to the emotional body.

Perhaps those past times are images of “failures” and we innocently watch then get caught in this guilt-making film and become depressed. Maybe those past times were glorious so we feel disdain for what’s arising right now in our Present Moment. If the Hassle-Maker is turning this moment into a hassle, it will jump towards an imagined future and promise wondrous things “out there yet to come”. Find the negative judgment and criticism, they’re always hiding there. The Hassle-Maker must negate the Now. “This isn’t right, perfect, okay…in some way.”
It cannot be content right now. Its very existence depends on sliding into the “past” or jumping into a preferential “future”. Innocently, it cannot see the gifts and opportunities arising Now.

The Hassle-Maker needs to resist and reject. How else can its imagined outcome “live”?
Look for rejection, what arising is being pushed away, as if it could be separate? Is an emotion being repressed? Is a person being criticized? Is a situation being judged? Is an action being refused? Ego-mind is fearful, imagining itself to be separate from all of life. Its entire thought system is built on protection and defense. It cannot see blessings and gifts, it cannot recognize opportunities, for it is closed.

The Spaciousness of our Being is Life Itself. When Aware, we revel in opportunities, see blessings and give
and receive easily. This is openness, this is Freedom. This is the Present Moment where thinking mind is Still; where Life is embraced, welcomed, accepted, allowed, joined, no matter which form its energy takes.

So what can we do when the Hassle-Maker is front and center and ruining our day?
Notice, the constriction and find the tightness within the physical body. Breathe into this tightness and allow.
The Hassle-Maker must dissolve in the brightness of our Presence.
Watch thoughts as they bounce from past to future, just recognize hassling is happening.
If ego’s thoughts are so strongly believed that we can’t watch them without being swept in their current,
we can use The Work by Byron Katie to unwind each specific negative thought.
If we have enough distance to observe without being caught in thinking’s momentum, we can focus on the inner energy field of the body or the breath and just relax into our Beingness. It will pass.
Without resistance, this jagged energy stream will simply pass through.

Look for the ego’s ever-present “little me”, the personal sense of self that is identified with each negative thought. Who doesn’t like, who doesn’t want, if only who didn’t have to do…, who wishes?This is the egoic “I” that is upset, discontent, dissatisfied, unfulfilled, attached to negative emotion. It’s okay to see the egoic little me, just open
and allow it to be seen. No wrong/right, no guilt/shame, no blame, just a persistent point of view.

It might feel disheartening, “I got caught up in ego, again, I should be beyond this!”
Seeing ego is stepping out of its clutches. The Seeing is the waking up. “But I’m so tired of the ego!”
Watch ego circling back to blame even itself, who is the “I” who’s so tired, Hassle-Maker is trying to breathe
life into its own collapse. We Are That which can see this, That which includes all appearing.
Sleep, Waking, No Sleep, Never Having Slept.

If our emotional history has been one of repression, the allowance of any arising negative emotion will end the repressive patterning. Allow and accept that negative emotional energy is surfacing. Watch it with detached curiosity as one would watch a spider on the sidewalk. One might not like spiders but in that moment,
there is no danger. One needn’t stomp the spider for it is simply going about its life just as we are.
There’s no attack, no real risk, just an object sighted and an emotional reaction. It may not be pleasant
nor comfortable but it is temporary and moving on. Just as the spider, as a focal point of consciousness,
is not separate from the essence we are, the negative emotional energy as a vibration is not separate.
When we can welcome even this, we are open, willing, meeting the ego as a temporary part of the Oneness
we are without fear nor rejection.

If we’re truly desire Freedom, we might notice that Awareness wants to discover more about ego’s rejection
of What Is. Why is there rejection here, in this form? We may dive into the fear to find what’s causing a negative emotional reaction around this particular topic. We may contemplate in quiet Stillness, asking the Heart and waiting for revelation. We may laugh as we realize the Hassle-Maker’s obstinance and feel compassion for this, too. We cannot prevent the ego’s rejection but we can wake up to it and step out, disengage with ease without rejecting it. The Hassle-Maker loses all power and simply subsides. It has served a deeper purpose, to raise
Awareness, to awaken consciousness.

Even the Hassle-Maker is a gift, when seen clearly.

With You as Awakening Unfolds

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