The esteemed Brene Brown once said:
‘Our thoughts have the ability to shape our reality. As I often say, “What we think, we become.” Our thoughts influence our emotions, behaviors, and ultimately the outcomes we experience in life. They can either empower us or hold us back’.
This week I had a coaching client who really want to stop drinking. She know its time but she doubts herself, and in our conversation she kept saying, ‘But the thoughts are so strong, even though I have the logic, I know alcohol is terrible for me, when I get anxious,….when I want to stop the noise for a bit, I just reach for the drink …I don’t trust myself not to just give in’
That’s exactly how I used to feel too, especially when it came to alcohol, my thoughts controlled me, I didn’t seem to have jurisdiction over them.
In the realm of our minds, thoughts weave a complex tapestry that often dictates how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. but there is that profound truth that transcends this intricate web of thoughts: We are not our thoughts. This realization can be transformation, offering us the freedom to break free from the grip of our mind and discover our true essence.
Unveiling the Illusion
For most of our lives, we’ve been conditioned to identify with the ceaseless chatter of our minds, believing our thoughts to be an integral part of who we are. We get entangled in the narratives and judgments that stream through our consciousness, often losing sight of our authentic selves amidst the chaos. However, the truth is that thoughts are mere passing clouds in the vast sky of our awareness. They arise, evolve, and dissipate, but they do not define us.
I didn’t realise my thoughts were separate from me! I thought I WAS my thoughts, (which told me to continue to drink by the way) Over time I learnt its about recognising that we need to ‘Observe the Mind’
Becoming aware of the distinction between our true self and the thoughts that arise within us is really ‘free-ing’. It requires cultivating a state of mindfulness, a gentle witnessing of our thoughts without attachment or judgment. By observing our thoughts as an impartial observer, we begin to untangle ourselves from their grip. We realize that thoughts come and go, but our core essence remains unchanged.
You may have heard of the ‘monkey mind’ The monkey mind refers to the constant chatter of thoughts that occupy our minds. It’s that relentless inner critic, the voice that tells us we’re not good enough or that we don’t deserve success. This monkey mind can be a significant obstacle to living our best life and making positive behavior changes. It keeps us stuck in a cycle of self-doubt and even self-sabotage
Discovering Inner Stillness:
As we detach from our thoughts, we uncover a space of inner stillness that resides within us. In this serene sanctuary, we connect with a deeper wisdom, intuition, and authenticity that extends beyond the limitations of our minds. It is here that our true self thrives, untouched by the fluctuations and judgments of our thoughts. Embracing this stillness, we tap into a wellspring of clarity, creativity, and inner peace.
Embracing Personal Transformation:
Recognizing that we are not our thoughts opens up a world of possibilities for personal transformation. It allows us to challenge the limiting beliefs and negative self-talk that hold us back from reaching our full potential. We can consciously choose empowering thoughts and reframe our perspectives, fostering a mindset that nurtures growth and resilience. By letting go of the illusion of our thoughts, we step into our personal power and shape our reality from a place of authenticity.
Living in Alignment:
When we disentangle ourselves from the web of thoughts and align with our true essence, we embark on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. We recognize our innate worthiness and embrace our unique gifts and passions. From this space of inner alignment, we make choices that resonate with our authentic selves, leading to a life filled with fulfillment, joy, and purpose.
To sum up then, the realization that we are not our thoughts marks a pivotal moment of self-realization. It liberates us from the confines of our mind and enables us to live in harmony with our true essence.
When we embrace this truth, we can embark on a transformative journey, redefining our relationship with thoughts, and opening doors to self-discovery, personal growth, and the boundless possibilities that await us.
Remember, you are not your thoughts; you are the expansive awareness that observes them.
Marianne Williamson, a spiritual teacher and author is a profound wisdom on this topic
Marianne Williamson says ‘Our thoughts are like magnets that attract experiences, people, and circumstances into our lives. When we dwell on negative thoughts, our perception becomes clouded, and it becomes difficult to see beyond our limitations. The key is to detach from our thoughts and observe them without attaching our self-worth to them. Many people turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol to numb those negative thoughts’.
‘When we feel burdened by our thoughts and overwhelmed by our emotions, it’s natural to seek relief. Unfortunately, reaching for substances like alcohol only provides temporary escape, perpetuating the cycle of self-judgment. To break free, we must learn to face our thoughts head-on and develop healthier coping strategies’.
So here’s a few tips to help you begin to make friends with your thoughts.
Tip 1: Cultivate Mindfulness – Practice being present in the moment, observing your thoughts without judgment. This helps create distance between yourself and your thoughts.
Ask yourself …in this moment am I safe ? if not get out, if so, be fully present in the moment.
Tip 2: Question Your Thoughts – Challenge the validity of your negative thoughts. Ask yourself, “Is this thought helping or hindering me?”Is it true? As Cheryl rickman says…take your thoughts to the courtroom or the shitty committee – many of our thoughts are simply ingrained limiting beliefs
Tip 3: Practice Self-Compassion – Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Offer yourself the same compassion you would extend to a close friend. Most of us are very kind to others, but we speak quite unkindly to ourselves
Tip 4: Reframe Your Thoughts – Shift negative thoughts into more positive and empowering ones. Look for evidence that contradicts your negative beliefs. Practice reframing a negative
When my client says…’I know I will fail’…how about switching that up…‘I wonder how great I am going to feel when I am 200 days sober?’ Focus on the good stuff, focus only on what you’re gaining
Tip 5: Seek Support – Get connected. Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, mentors, or therapists who can help you navigate your thoughts and provide guidance on your journey.
Connection really is key, one client admitted that she feels isolated, and when you’re lonely and isolated there is no accountability, by committing to posting on the sober club, you know you will be supported, love bombed encouraged and ‘held’
Join us in The Sober Club for that connection, support and accountability.