Do you take your thoughts seriously?
by Fe Robinson
We have somewhere in the region of 70,000 thoughts a day. 70,000...that really is a lot of mental activity!
When you take a moment to absorb that enormous number, it becomes useful to reflect on your relationship to your thoughts. Do you believe them? Do you take them seriously? Do you try to pay attention to them all?!
Thoughts arise naturally in the mind. Some think of this process as like a sense organ, with the mind producing thoughts in the same way that the eyes produce pictures and the ears produce sound. All of our senses transmit messages to the brain and we then experience the effects. What we think affects us deeply, and impacts what else we do and don't notice.
Thinking can also be a deliberate act. A thought arises, and we then somehow get hold of it and add to it, multiplying it, replicating it, extending it, refuting it, pushing it away...we can be very busy in our minds.
Our cognitive ability is a wonderful gift. It makes it possible for us to set goals, to plan, to achieve and to be conscious of ourselves and our impact in the world. Like anything though, it has a shadow side. Thinking can be enabling, or disabling (or anywhere in between). For this reason, I believe having perspective on our thinking, noticing its nature and its effects, is very useful.
Perhaps you may experience yourself as the sky through which thoughts pass like clouds? Or as a mountain that the clouds of thoughts pass over, sometimes raining or producing thunder, and sometimes benignly passing. Maybe sometimes your mountain basks in glorious sunshine, with a cloudless sky above?
However it is you connect with the sense that you are more than your thinking, that thoughts are temporary, passing phenomenon that come, hang out a while and then pass by. do take some time to notice the nature of what fills your head. We all of us could write soap operas using solely the content of our own heads, so can you detach yourself and watch the drama unfold?