Train Your Thoughts and Hold Them Lightly

Let go of the thoughts that don’t make you strong.
— Unknown

I used to think of my thoughts as me. I am seeing more all the time how my thoughts are simply that, thoughts. They stem from the machinery of my body and brain, and they pass through my field of awareness. They are indicative of what I have conditioned to think about, and how I have conditioned to think. They can be signposts of what I direct my thought and effort toward, and sometimes seem to come from nowhere. It can seem overwhelming, at times, especially with an active brain. This is why it's important (and fun!) to (1) train your thoughts, and (2) hold them lightly.

Train Your Thoughts

To cultivate a mindset is to train your thoughts. Gratitude is a practice. Joy is a practice. Positivity is a practice. It can seem as though we are hardwired for negativity. Complaining, taking things personally, whether "natural" to us or not are certainly cultural norms we are steeped in. Is this who and how we wish to be? Is this what we want to cultivate internally and what we hope to express to others? If not, it's training time. My body listens to my thoughts, so all the more incentive to guide my thoughts to the best of my ability. One of the key ways I train my thoughts is in seeing the goodness within people. I don't have to ignore eccentricities, I can treasure what is unique and special about people. I look with curiosity and goodwill, I see through eyes of love toward myself and toward others. The more I am able to filter my thoughts through the current of love, the more I remain open. This is one element of training. Another element of training is a matter of presence. I've observed that it is very easy for me to retreat from the present moment and be "somewhere else." Practicing presence is a training of my attention to be in what I am doing. Training my thoughts to be directed outward in awareness of others while also aware of myself instead of only one or the other, this is another element of training. 

Hold them Lightly

With each passing moment, each thought, each event, there will be the spontaneous eruption of other thoughts and feelings.  Rather than latching onto each thought or judging myself or others because of them, holding them lightly helps me to let them go. Rather than being discouraged when I feel sad, angry, I can be with them and let them go. I've shared before my acronym ACT: Acknowledge, Choose, Thank. This helps me to be with and face my thoughts, rather than covering over them. Part of seeing myself and others with loving eyes is compassion for our fragile egos. Rather than acting out of the fears that could so easily drive me, holding them lightly helps me to take the next intentional step forward. 

Intentional thought training and compassionate lightness with Self are two sides of the same coin. They are in a symbiotic relationship with one another, each an aspect of relentless forward progress in a barefoot way to beTrain your thoughts and hold them lightly; these are two actions from one posture of a mindful YOU.