While away last month, I “re-remembered” the importance of downtime (which in Europe included ample time for sitting and writing and eating croissants, pizza, pasta, gelato – which now means making ample time to put on the running shoes), so I’m now making a deliberate effort to meditate every morning.
During a yoga class this week, the instructor asked us to sit in silence for a few minutes and clear the mind of thoughts. ”When a thought comes up,” she explained, “try to view it as an outside observer would, separate from your own mind. Then let it go. Release it.” I’ve heard this advice many times in meditation sessions, but that day, the prompt resonated with me.
A month away from everything I knew meant a lot of time spent in my own brain. And while I was able to “get to know” myself on an entirely different level, I also learned that too much time in your own head can get you tangled up in a mess of thoughts that aren’t necessarily helpful.
That’s where the detachment comes in.
When a negative, stressful, or otherwise unpleasant thought pops into your head, it’s important not to identify with it. By this I mean don’t let it become a part of you or define who you are. Instead, acknowledge it – it’s real and it’s present – and deal with it if need be and the time is right. But remember that it’s just a thought. It doesn’t have a life of its own, and you have the power to bid it farewell.
We are separate from our thoughts. It sounds so obvious, but it’s one of the hardest truths out there to internalize.
How can you let go today?