It is estimated we experience approximately 3000 thoughts per hour which is a total of 50 thoughts per minute. Wow that makes it difficult to figure it all out. I found this beautiful quote:
“You are not your thoughts, and you are not the product of your thoughts.“
In a world where we are inundated constantly with information on our cell phones, radio and TV and expectations of who we are and what we do is constantly pressed upon us it is very difficult to slow the thoughts in the mind.
When I think about the idea that I am my thoughts I begin to ask the age old question: who am I?
We move through life at such a high rate of speed it is difficult to take the time to disconnect from thoughts and bear witness to what is moving through our minds. Those thoughts that speed through turn into words or into actions and the snowballing begins to roll and grow. Soon we may feel out of control.
For me discovering one of life‘s secrets that we are not our thoughts was profound and yet still is a practice for me as many things in life are a practice for me.
So what does this really mean? For mean it is saying we are our own reality. It is very personal. Each of sees the world differently and will attach our own thoughts. Break it down further it means to me in reality there is no good or bad it is how we frame it from our own perception.
My understanding is when I want to disconnect from a thought I have to become fully aware of the thought to understand where it is coming from. It the thought truly my own belief or is it a download I carry from childhood or is it someone else’s belief that I have adopted as my own.
From the moment that we are born we are imprinted by people closest to us. These imprints are shared with us through words, observing and exposure to our family members. It is said that we begin imprinting our experiences from birth. So taking time to decipher what is truly your belief means to understand who you truly are underneath it all. NOT EASY!
We all have a voice in our head. This is our mind. The mind is a beautiful thing. It is a part of us and protects us which is why it is generating so many thoughts. We listen to these thoughts and make decisions from these thoughts. This does not mean that it is who we are.
I invite you in this moment to pause reading, close your eyes and say out loud
I AM… and list three things you believe you are.
Well how did it go? Pause and write these down and think about what came to mind immediately. Perhaps you noticed in this moment what came up for you..was it disempowering, empowering, did it reflect who you are at your core. Become curious with what is present for you in this moment.
To be honest with the chaos that has been brewing in my head as I did this exercise the first thought that crept in was I AM A FAILURE…
And trust me I know I am NOT a failure but it is the thought that was present and I know the thought is from years of patterning for me as to what I believe success should look like. So whether it is the full moon or I am just moving through something those words trigger me to slow my thoughts down and breathe.
This is not an easy concept but the chatter that is constantly in our head are actually thoughts trying to protect us from choices we make in life.
With all the imprints that we have from childhood we unconsciously make decisions based upon what our past experiences. It is what we have learned and it is how we move forward.
We are in reality unconsciously listening to the voice and it is a recording of these experiences.
When will take time to become aware of our thoughts and to slow down we can begin to make conscious choices, not from someone else’s belief system or from a past experience but rather from the present moment.
YOU have the power to change your thoughts and choices.
If all of this sounds hokey or difficult to grasp an example may be if you look in the mirror and have a thought I look fat, I look tired, I am pale. Pause for a moment and think where did this thought come from because sometimes it will flash before you even know it. Pause and ask is this thought empowering to me or disempowering? Where I have learned what I am “suppose” to look like and what does looking good really mean?
When you have a strong reaction to a thought and notice its impact taking a moment to see does this thought empower me or bring me down. Do you really need this thought?
Our thoughts do not hurt us it’s when we identify with the thoughts. For example as I noted above my thought I am a failure, in reality no one is a failure. Judge Victoria Pratt said “failure is an event, not a characteristic”. I was identifying with the failure and became the thought.
The ideas that we are not our thoughts feelings or emotions but they are part of who we are in the moment and then the next moment it will all be different.
The founder of the Sedona method Hale Dwoskin has an a great analogy that illustrates our relationship with the mind.
Check it out below!
✨ Take a pen and roll it back-and-forth in the palm of your hand. The pen represent any thoughts feelings or emotions that are present right now. Your hand represents your awareness. Note the pen isn’t attached to your hand. The passing thoughts, feelings and emotions are not who you are. They are temporary events arising in awareness.
✨ Now grip the pen tightly. This is what we do when we grab onto our thoughts – when we are identifying with with them, believe they are who we are and struggle against them.
✨Now turn your hand to face the floor, unclench your fist fast and allow the pan to fall. Because the pen is not a part of your hand, you can choose to drop it at any moment.
This is analogy shows you are not your thoughts feelings and emotions. They are part of who you are in the moment and again it can all change
NOW don’t get me wrong I do not go around and analyze every thought nor am I am saying that is what you should do.
That my friends would be EXHAUSTING.
I am inviting you to notice when big things are coming up for you to check in with your thoughts, notice when your thoughts are taking you away on the crazy train. Bringing awareness around your thoughts create an opportunity for you to choose whether or not to listen.
When we ruminate on our thoughts we are not in the present moment.
Eckhart Tolle said “To realize that you are not your thoughts is when you begin to awaken spiritually”.
It may be a radical concept when you begin to explore the idea that you are not your thoughts. As I said earlier it is still a practice for me!
So you may ask how can I slow my thoughts down.
Well you all know I am a yoga teacher so of course I am going to offer insight from a yogic perspective. Meditation and breathwork are a great place to start. I find when sharing both they are tied together. Awareness of the breath is very meditative for me.
Sometimes meditation has received a bad rap as people think to meditate you have to clear your mind. I believe meditation is an opportunity for you to bear witness to your mind and thoughts. An opportunity to disconnect from the thoughts.
I found this beautiful meditation through Gaiam and am so excited to share find it here: MEDITATION GIFT. Follow the link to download your copy today and take a moment to explore and play.
I would love to hear from you and your experience with the MEDITATION or even your ideas on how your thoughts impact your life.
Much love & peace,