I’ll give it away right away: You don’t have to believe in your own thoughts!
I don’t really know when I learned this but I do know when I forget. Yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed (it’s happened a lot lately, I know!) and completely lost in my own mind. Then someone asked me how I was and I stopped to actually reflect on her question. As I realized the truth my answer came: I’m really great, but my mind is really busy and overwhelmed.
She looked at me funny as if that was a weird way of answering a very common question. But for me that was the truth in that moment. And as I write to you now I think it still might be. I’m really great, I am. And, my mind is really spinning with ideas and to-do’s and what if’s and questions which is, at times, really uncomfortable and so tiring. Both can exist at the same time. I am not my mind.
Our minds are amazing. They can come up with really advanced fantasies, store so much information and analyze and dissect almost any situation. But we need to remember that it’s not the master of us and we can learn to master it. It’s a tool. An amazing tool. But that’s not to say it’s all that we are.
Just before our lunch meditation yesterday, at the co-working space where I spend most of my time, we all reflected on our experience of meditation. A brand new meditator was joining us and she was interested in hearing about what she could expect. My friend said: It’s simple, you just shut off your thoughts in sit in “blankness” for 15 minutes. I just laughed because I was sure he was kidding. Turns out he wasn’t. He could actually turn off his thoughts like that. That’s never ever been the case for me.
But I do know that I can be the witness of my thoughts. Sort of like an anthropologist just observing. Sometimes I actually say it out loud to myself: Hah, that’s a funny thought! Or, wow, that’s a strong reaction to that persons behavior!
I just want to tell you this: You are more than just your thoughts. And you can choose which ones to follow and build upon and which ones to drop. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I know it’s possible.
The greatest tool for the practice of witnessing my thoughts has always been meditation. If you’re a Swede and what some support in getting started you can download my guide here.
What are your best tools for remembering to not believe in everything going on in your head?
With all my love,