In today’s post, I want to share a simple shift in perspective that you can make right now that can be very helpful as you try to stay objective and in control of yourself in the market.
It starts with a simple teaching that says that in every moment in life, there are two things happening:
There’s what’s actually happening – the object.
And then, there’s that which is knowing what’s happening or knowing the object.
What’s happening – the object – can be anything on the outside (the market, people, specific events, circumstances…), but the object can also be anything on the inside (your own thoughts and perceptions, your emotions…)
Without a quality of mindfulness in the mind, it’s very common that all of our attention goes directly to the object.
We get lost in it.
And very little, if any, goes to the fact that the object is being known, that there’s actually something in us that’s not of the object but that’s knowing and is aware of the object.
And that awareness and knowing function in you may not have any objective qualities of its own, but in it, all qualities become known. It’s sort of an empty space within which all experiences arise and are known.
What’s more, it isn’t caught up or entangled in anything it notices. It’s simply aware…aware of things external, aware of things internal… and if you observe your experience so precisely and vigilantly, you will see there’s never a moment when this awareness isn’t there.
Awareness is ever-present, despite it being undetected by your senses most of the time.
And if you can train yourself to detect it more often (and you absolutely can), you’ll see that it’s a wonderful place to reside especially when things get difficult.
Because, again, awareness isn’t affected or altered by anything it notices.
To use an analogy, there are clouds and then there’s the sky behind.
The sky is never really tainted or altered by clouds.
Clouds are simply appearing below the sky. And the sky above is always pristine, peaceful, untainted…
You can think of awareness as the sky and any other objects appearing within awareness as clouds.
Awareness is not the body, it’s not even the mind. It is not personal, but it is what makes you you because, without it, you wouldn’t be.
But at the same time, it’s not you (the ego you).
I hope this is not too confusing.
I’ll give you an example and this can maybe help us both, me in explaining it to you and you in understanding it better.
For those of you that know, I trade two strategies in two trading accounts, a small one and a rather large one.
And currently, I have a total of 13 trades on.
Before that, I had 22 trades on, but a few days ago, my risk management parameter triggered and I had to close 9 of those trades – all losses.
I had to eat those losses. It’s never easy, but I had to.
It wasn’t pleasant.
But that was the experience.
Upon feeling what I was feeling, I became aware of the whole situation, I became aware of my perception of the situation and my emotions.
I felt crappy, yes, but the awareness in me that was aware of feeling crappy didn’t feel crappy at all. It was simply aware of this feeling.
So, I tuned into it, and suddenly, I felt a little bit better. It kind of took the edges off.
As you see, you can get lost in the object, or you can step back and connect to this awareness function in your mind and rest your attention there for a while and just observe what’s arising.
Awareness is a place of objectivity and impartiality. It’s really an easeful place to be because you’re experiencing everything from a place of freedom.
But when you lose yourself in the object, by default you’re losing yourself in your emotions and thoughts. You’re not seeing these as merely attributes within awareness. In the moment, you are identical to your emotions, you are identical to your thoughts, and by default, they control you and determine what you express in the market.
As you can see, losing yourself in the object and stepping back and witnessing the object, those are two very different paradigms.
So, work on arresting this very strong habit of the mind to overly focus on the object and, I promise, you’ll have an easier time as a trader.
Let’s practice this a little bit.