You know those days when the weight of your thoughts seems to take on a mass greater than metaphor?

Yeah, we all have them.

Days when the power of our thoughts becomes crystal clear.

Thoughts create real feelings and inspire real action (or in-action). Which means we need to respect the force in our lives that is thinking.

Next week, I'll get in to how to change or let go of thoughts you don't want. Before we go there, though, I want you to try just observing your thoughts.

Observing thoughts means not engaging with your thoughts. Adopt a third person perspective to help you play the part of an impartial outsider to your thoughts. And then, with all the cheekiness of someone with an ear to the door, listen in.

Listen not to judge, not to comment, not to inspire any sort of action. Not yet.

Listen purely to be aware.

Disinterested inaction is not the end goal, but it is a means to cultivating choice. Choice in your actions, thoughts, and even, sometimes, your feelings. (Emotions are devilishly hard to control, though.)

Shall we give it a try?

Observing Your Thoughts

First, choose to either set aside time to practice this or bring this observation into a task that isn't mentally taxing. Then try one or both of the following tactics.

Tactic #1: Internal play

    Start to pay attention to your thoughts. Yup, just dive in. But instead of getting involved with your thoughts, engage only enough to say to yourself "I am thinking ____" and "now I am thinking ____" 
  1. It's okay to have an initial opinion or a reaction:
    • "Well, that's an interesting thought to be having."
    • "I like this thought"
    • "I don't like this thought"
  2. But try not to take it further than that! Try with all your might not to follow up initial reactions with other thoughts that will pull you into a conversation with yourself. (Cuz that'd be thinking, right? And we're going for observing thought. Sticky distinction, I know, but it's in there, I promise!)


Tactic #2: Get some outside help

If the above sounds overwhelming or if you tend to "think out loud," try writing or reciting your thoughts:

  1. Think your thought
  2. Write it down or say it out loud
  3. Re-play the thought in your mind and "observe" it as if you were reading or speaking someone else's words

This may be your first step toward learning to respond rather than react to your thoughts, and to view them with generosity and patience.

And that could be the start of something big for every corner of your life. 

Let me know how it goes, and please feel comfortable sending in any questions you encounter!

Observing with you,
Esther

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