There’s a lot of talk about ridding ourselves of thoughts, and I want to start here: I GET IT. I mean, I REALLY get it. For most of my life I felt like I was under attack by my own thoughts. They felt out of control and I desperately wanted to stop them, so yes, I get it. It’s easy to follow a lot of spiritual teachings that are, in a way, demonizing thought itself. Or, just saying they don’t matter, pay them no attention, “you’re just overthinking,” etc.
What I’m about to share with you is not theory, it’s my direct experience. This is for those of you who have exhausted the possibility that you’re not just going to stop your thoughts anytime soon and you’re looking for another option. If you can stop your thoughts or you’re still working on that, I bless your journey and encourage you to find and live your own truth.
I TRIED so hard to stop my thoughts, even going so far as to do a 30-day silence back in 2008. I was listening to a lot of Eckart Tolle at the time and was sure that I’d find a way to shut those monkeys OFF if I sat there in silence for 30 days.
Nope. That didn’t work. And that was HARD, btw. But I do love a challenge, apparently.
So then I tried to consciously change them. Think positively. And you know what? I can do that. But it takes an extreme amount of effort. The minute a trigger hits, or the weather is bad, I get my period, or that son-of-a… cuts me off in traffic, or god forbid I try something new or get uncomfortable in any way--well all that positivity goes right down the toilet.
Ok so I can’t stop them, can’t keep them all nice so I get to feel good all the time. Bummer.
After all this work, I’m back at square one. Literally. I could look at my journaling from 10 years ago and find the same thoughts in there that I was having currently. Again, huge bummer.
HERE’S WHAT FINALLY WORKED…
I asked a question once: “What IS a thought, exactly?” The answer I got was marvelous…
A thought is crystalized consciousness.
That began a shift for me, right there. I realized that it wasn’t just the thought (sometimes it was) but the nature of the thoughts, the feelings that accompanied them (as well as the actions), that were reflecting back to me my current consciousness. Which is another way to say: What I’m aware of that’s going on inside of me, and how aware I am to the deeper truths of life.
When I began to give attention to my thoughts, observe them, and track where they were coming from, I began to find beliefs, unhealed wounds, and perceptions of myself, life, and reality. THE MOMENT I brought my attention and awareness to that, and I do mean the MOMENT I did, a healing process began, and life led me to the exact places, people, teachings, etc. that would help me to heal: which is another way of saying “coming back to truth.”
Now, what astounded me was that when these deeper things shifted, my thoughts changed AUTOMATICALLY. I didn’t have to remember to change them, they just were different. On their own.
My thoughts went from mostly horrible to mostly loving, supportive, even interesting. My thoughts don’t beat me up anymore, and here’s why: I learned that thoughts are reflecting what you ACTUALLY BELIEVE. When I believe that I have value, my thoughts reflect that. My thoughts have become fascinating to me. I think about ways to contribute. I think about my clients and how to guide them based on what I’m seeing in them. I think about how I can paint a flower or what colors will look nice put together. I think about ways to figure things out, teach, cook, or how I like to exercise. I think about the interactions with my friends and how cool and interesting they are.
And of course, yes, sometimes there’s just something in there that feels unsupportive or horrible! And you know what? I sit and offer attention to it, because it’s always pointing to something that needs cleaning up.
When I learned that my thoughts are AMAZING and that they’re showing me something, and leaned into what that was, they led me to their source. When I tried to get rid of them, they always found their way back to their default.
Just wanted to offer this to you today. I’ve been working with this nearly daily now for 6 years, and it’s paying off, which is lovely. I had to learn that all the hurrying I was doing to rid myself of thoughts was not only taking years, but I wasn’t getting anywhere. 6 years of attention in the right areas have turned into real growth, progress, and fulfillment.
Now this is what I do my best to help others to realize: Your thoughts have value. Everything has value. You have value. And you’re worth it. You’re worth discovering. What you’ll find will blow your mind. Not to mention: change your thoughts.
Sending you love today!