you are not your thoughts.

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You are not your thoughts.

I repeat.

You are not your thoughts.

We’ve got billions of neurons, interconnected by trillions of synapses in our brains. Billions. Trillions. That’s what is happening in there. Ordered chaos that somehow produces our thoughts.

We aren’t even truly aware of whats happening, or when its happening, mostly life just seems to happen. Our thoughts simply seem to show up. And often times it feels like they are happening to us, rather than being created by us.

I find it easy to crumble under the weight of my own thoughts some days. I understand that may sound a bit melodramatic, but some days, ‘crumble’ really is the most appropriate descriptor.

I’ve had a few recent crumbles. A few disintegrations. Heaps and piles of Carling shaped puddles and thoughts strew about various hotel rooms and airport terminals.

Anxiety is a bitch. Self-doubt blows. And self-love can be hard. Really hard.

Our thoughts run our worlds. And sometimes they can ruin our worlds.

Swirling around, dive bombing us with ‘not good enoughs’, with comparisons, with past memories, grievances, or future yet-to-happen woes. You know, the kind I’m talking about, the ones we latch on to even as we try desperately to shoot them away.

But what if we understood, and what if for once we actually accepted, that we are not our thoughts. That we have the choice, the opportunity, to simply say no thank you. To rearrange our association with our consciousness.

We talk a lot about observation in yoga. About stilling the mind. Ceasing the rampant thoughts. Discerning.

Discernment. Now that’s the stuff of gold. That’s the winner-winner-chicken-(or tempeh)-dinner kinda stuff I’m talking about.

What do I need. What can I let go. Why do I keep circling around the same mess over and over again. Why won’t my brain just give me a break.

It took me a long time, forever, still working on it, to see that I needed to be the one to give myself a break.

Nope. We’re not doing that today random brain synapse. I see whats happening here and I’m not sure I’m interested. I see that you’ve been busy. That there is a lot going on up there. You’ve thrown about a billion (trillion) thoughts my way and I simply don’t need them all.

Not every pitch is going to be a strike. We have to choose when to swing and when to let that bottom corner curve ball zoom right past. Discerning the balls from the strikes. Finding the mindfulness, non-attachment, and ultimately the self-love and awareness to let some of that chitter chatter go. Just let it float on by. Resisting the urge to latch on. To let it drag us down an unnecessary, and quite frankly, often random and detrimental path.

It’s easy to latch on. To give every thought acknowledgement and credence. Our brain thought them, so they must matter right?! There must be a reason! A deeper meaning. A freudian slip, a subconscious underlying motive for our brain to send us this message. Our thoughts must matter. They simply must.

I’ve got news for you, they don’t. Certainly not all of them at least. They don’t necessarily mean anything. Our practice becomes discerning what is worth a closer look, and what is nothing more than a fly on the wall.  When we sit and observe, when we watch our thoughts float in, observe the patterns (if there even are any), we begin to notice which ones we can go ahead and let float right back out just as simply as they came in. With no story. No narrative. No drama.

My brain tends to flit those thoughts away quicker these days than it used to but it can be hard to shake them altogether. Practicing it helps. Practicing tends to do that. It's a crazy thing, practice. So once I hear that nonsense, that monkey mind, creeping in, that's when I practice.

It’s about changing your relationship with your thoughts. Because it’s not so much about getting rid of them or about hoping you’ll never have those thoughts again (spoiler-alert: you will.) It’s about what you allow them to mean to you. Your chitta vritti does not define you.

I repeat.

You are not your thoughts.

We’ve got billions of neurons, interconnected by trillions of synapses in our brains. Billions. Trillions. That’s what is happening in there. Ordered chaos that somehow produces our thoughts.

We aren’t even truly aware of whats happening, or when its happening, mostly life just seems to happen. Our thoughts simply seem to show up. And often times it feels like they are happening to us, rather than being created by us.

I find it easy to crumble under the weight of my own thoughts some days. I understand that may sound a bit melodramatic, but some days, ‘crumble’ really is the most appropriate descriptor.

I’ve had a few recent crumbles. A few disintegrations. Heaps and piles of Carling shaped puddles and thoughts strew about various hotel rooms and airport terminals.

Anxiety is a bitch. Self-doubt blows. And self-love can be hard. Really hard.

Our thoughts run our worlds. And sometimes they can ruin our worlds.

Swirling around, dive bombing us with ‘not good enoughs’, with comparisons, with past memories, grievances, or future yet-to-happen woes. You know, the kind I’m talking about, the ones we latch on to even as we try desperately to shoot them away.

But what if we understood, and what if for once we actually accepted, that we are not our thoughts. That we have the choice, the opportunity, to simply say no thank you. To rearrange our association with our consciousness.

We talk a lot about observation in yoga. About stilling the mind. Ceasing the rampant thoughts. Discerning.

Discernment. Now that’s the stuff of gold. That’s the winner-winner-chicken-(or tempeh)-dinner kinda stuff I’m talking about.

What do I need. What can I let go. Why do I keep circling around the same mess over and over again. Why won’t my brain just give me a break.

It took me a long time, forever, still working on it, to see that I needed to be the one to give myself a break.

Nope. We’re not doing that today random brain synapse. I see whats happening here and I’m not sure I’m interested. I see that you’ve been busy. That there is a lot going on up there. You’ve thrown about a billion (trillion) thoughts my way and I simply don’t need them all.

Not every pitch is going to be a strike. We have to choose when to swing and when to let that bottom corner curve ball zoom right past. Discerning the balls from the strikes. Finding the mindfulness, non-attachment, and ultimately the self-love and awareness to let some of that chitter chatter go. Just let it float on by. Resisting the urge to latch on. To let it drag us down an unnecessary, and quite frankly, often random and detrimental path.

It’s easy to latch on. To give every thought acknowledgement and credence. Our brain thought them, so they must matter right?! There must be a reason! A deeper meaning. A freudian slip, a subconscious underlying motive for our brain to send us this message. Our thoughts must matter. They simply must.

I’ve got news for you, they don’t. Certainly not all of them at least. They don’t necessarily mean anything. Our practice becomes discerning what is worth a closer look, and what is nothing more than a fly on the wall.  When we sit and observe, when we watch our thoughts float in, observe the patterns (if there even are any), we begin to notice which ones we can go ahead and let float right back out just as simply as they came in. With no story. No narrative. No drama.

My brain tends to flit those thoughts away quicker these days than it used to but it can be hard to shake them altogether. Practicing it helps. Practicing tends to do that. It's a crazy thing, practice. So once I hear that nonsense, that monkey mind, creeping in, that's when I practice.

It’s about changing your relationship with your thoughts. Because it’s not so much about getting rid of them or about hoping you’ll never have those thoughts again (spoiler-alert: you will.) It’s about what you allow them to mean to you. Your chitta vritti does not define you.

Carling Harps