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Don’t Believe Everything You Think November 25, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Meditation, Mindfulness.

Donald-DuckaThoughts we think oft times arise of their own accord . . . creating white noise which whispers through the brain’s back corridors like an endless stream of stock prices on a ticker tape parade.

Thoughts appear, disappear, and reappear again . . . like the endless bubbles in a flute of champagne.

Negative thoughts, unbidden black clouds presaging a coming storm, exert insidious control over us ~ even if, and perhaps especially when, we are not fully cognizant of their presence.

Donald-Duck-MadAllowing thoughts to wander-at-will adds to daily stress levels, causing blood pressures to rise.  Our angry thoughts resemble steam rising in roiling bubbles in a pot about to boil over.

Believing our thoughts to be true, we are quick to anger and slow to forgive. We waste time and energy dwelling on past hurts and future fears.

We suffer under the illusion that thoughts bubbling to the surface of our consciousness are real.  They aren’t.

The best way to break the cycle is to stop believing everything we think.

Meditation raises our awareness. We become conscious of the thoughts circulating, percolating, and bubbling through our brains.  We learn to manipulate our thoughts, instead of allowing them to manipulate us.

Just as a “watched pot never boils,” thoughts slow to a simmer as soon as we shine our awareness and attention on the rapidly rising bubbles.

Donald-DirectorWhen we close our eyes and see the “monkey chatter” cluttering Control Central, our heightened awareness causes unbidden thoughts to drift away as easily as  bubbles blown by children on a summer’s day.

Delighting in the silence, we relax into the moment.

Awareness that WE remain aware in that state of silent awareness causes us to realize, “I am not my thoughts. My thoughts are not me.”

Donald-Duck-LaughingWe are the silent observer of thoughts echoing, bouncing, bumbling, and bubbling through our minds.

We need not believe everything we think.

Freed of the insidious control of unwanted, unbidden, unwelcome, and untruthful thoughts, joy bubbles up and bliss fills our being.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts: Sidey’s Weekend Theme ~ Bubbles! * Spiritual MilestonesMaintaining Perspective * Attack of the Killer ANTs * The Serenity Principle * Meditation 101 * The Path to Enlightenment * A Warm Hug for a Sad Child


1. BrainRants - November 25, 2011

Nancy, are you trying to tell me Santa Claus isn’t real? If so, okay, but DO NOT mess with the Easter Bunny.

nrhatch - November 25, 2011

Of course Santa Claus is real . . . but he’s not as omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient as we’ve been led to believe. 😉

2. walterwsmith3rd - November 25, 2011

Our thoughts can be the most contrary to the many views of a truth.

Great post Nancy.

nrhatch - November 25, 2011

Exactly. Instead of stating the facts (e.g., someone cut me off in traffic), we allow thoughts about the past to intrude (e.g., people are terrible drivers ~ it’s not safe to drive anymore ~ road rage is so prevalent ~ that guy is a jerk) and then we carry them around with us for the rest of the day, creating a toxic wasteland instead of a serene landscape.

Thanks, Walter.

3. jakesprinter - November 25, 2011

Great Entry

nrhatch - November 25, 2011

Thanks, Jake. Sidey’s themes are FUN challenges each week.

4. Richard W Scott - November 25, 2011

Hmm… You might find: “You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself” by David McRaney. A most interesting book that seems to fit the topic. ))

nrhatch - November 25, 2011

Thanks, Rik! I had too many friends on Facebook. I unfriended many of them . . . because they weren’t very “friendly.” 😀

5. sufilight - November 25, 2011

It’s weird how random thoughts and images can pop up of a sudden; sometimes the images are not what is familiar to us. I believe we also pick up thoughts from the collective consciousness.

nrhatch - November 25, 2011

Each time we think “negative” thoughts . . . we drag the collective consciousness down another notch.

When we mindfully monitor our thoughts . . . we become more positive and help others to do the same.

6. Pocket Perspectives - November 25, 2011

Good ideas, Nancy…this is a helpful post.

I had posted the following a few months ago…and had made it a few years ago. I’m still learning to not believe what I think. http://pocketperspectives.wordpress.com/pull-weeds/dont-believe-it/
When the thinking goes past “just thinking” and gets to rambling…I call that mind mumbling, like boiling mud pots.
I guess one might look at those mud pots from a perspective of joy, as you suggest…and then they are so positive.

nrhatch - November 25, 2011

Before I started meditating, my mind had a mind of its own. It seldom quieted down for any length of time. And much of the monkey chatter running through it was NOT productive.

Now, my mind is still most of the time. It is ready for ME to put it to work on a task of MY choosing. It is seldom on “auto pilot” any more. And, when it is agitated about something, I tune in and LISTEN until it settles back down again.

Your analogy to mud pots is spot on ~ mud pots are messy and muddy, weighted down with extraneous recollections and particulate matter from past events. When joy bubbles up . . . it’s light and free and effervescent, adding to our energy levels rather than draining our reserves.

Aah . . . that’s better.

7. Patricia - November 25, 2011

There is a book I read many years ago, Telling Yourself the Truth, that was so helpful to me to get control of my thoughts. It is one of those books that has so many “aha” moments it takes a while to read because you keep slappin’ yourself up the side of the head saying “Of course, that make sense, why didn’t I know it already?”

nrhatch - November 25, 2011

Exactly! Most of the books that I’ve reviewed on SLTW have helped me to become more mindful:

The Serenity Principle
The Happiness Trap
The Art of Happiness (“will this thought bring me happiness?”)
Simplify Your Life
The Way of the Peaceful Warrior
Zen & The Art of Happiness
The Last Lecture
Power, Freedom, Grace

When we are more mindful of our thoughts . . . life improves. Master your thoughts . . . master your life! 😀

8. jeanne - November 25, 2011

i am ever mindful of the darker thoughts that bubble up from the recesses of my mind. I grab hold of them and send them packing willing to go down the dark road.

Great post!

nrhatch - November 25, 2011

Excellent . . . Kick Them To The Curb! 😀

9. souldipper - November 25, 2011

Who calls it “monkey mind”? That may be an insult to monkeys if they caught me having a brain bash of a bad driver.

I like your title alot, Nancy. When we want to believe our minds for a little while, how much time do you think we could give ourselves? 😀

nrhatch - November 25, 2011

These days, I encourage my mind to speak only when spoken to . . . unless it’s an emergency. 😛

10. viviankirkfield - November 25, 2011

Thank you for a great insightful post, Nancy! The mind is a busy little beaver…creating havoc if we let it. I love the idea of meditation, clearing the mind of EVERYTHING…cause most of what’s going on in there is disposable.

nrhatch - November 25, 2011

Thanks, Vivian! We tend to recycle the same stale information day after day unless and until we re-train ourselves to focus on THIS MOMENT and all that it offers.

The more we live in the NOW . . . the quieter our mind becomes.

Aah . . . that’s better!

11. SidevieW - November 26, 2011

joy bubbles up, wonderful!

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Bubbles of bliss are grand! Thanks for the theme, Sidey.

12. adeeyoyo - November 26, 2011

Your expression ‘Joy bubbles’ reminded me of Bubble and Squeak each time it cropped up! [Leftovers fried up together]

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

We LOVE Bubbles and Squeak. We tried Bubbles and Squeak for the first time at one of the Colonial Taverns in Williamsburg ~ little balls of mashed potatoes, onions, and cabbage FRIED up to golden deliciousness. YUMMY!

I think I shall make some tonight with the leftover Colcannon from Thanksgiving. Thanks, Denise!

13. Crowing Crone Joss - November 26, 2011

one of the greatest ah ha moments of my life was the moment I realized and integrated that I am not at the mercy of my thoughts. And then years later, I learned when my thoughts start going round and round like a hamster on the wheel, break the damn wheel! Excellent post!

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Exactly my experience, Joss. My first “A~Ha” moment involved a confrontation with a secretary (which had nothing to do with work). She came to my office and started ranting and raving about my “deficiencies” as a human being.

Instead of re-acting by defending myself . . . I stepped into the role of silent observer and LISTENED to what she had to say without interrupting her.

When she was done, I agreed that I could see why she would view things “from her vantage point” as she had. Then I calmly explained how her conclusions about my assumed motivations were not “correct.”

She left much calmer than she had arrived because she knew she had been heard.

14. Tinman - November 26, 2011

Thanks, Nancy, so much of this is really helpful, and it’s all so very true.

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Awesome! Glad that you got something out of it! 😀

15. Julie - November 26, 2011

This is one of my all-time favorite quotes. Love your analysis.

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Thanks, Julie. The more askance our thoughts . . . the more carefully we should scrutinize them for veracity. Or just sweep them away and FOCUS on the NOW. 😀

16. Cmsmith - November 26, 2011

This reminds me of something I recently read in the meditation book (can’t recall the author’s name and too lazy to get up to look for it). I think this idea is extremely helpful. Too bad I can’t remember it when I need it most.

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

When my thoughts are “agitated” and my emotions start to get the better of me . . . that’s when I know to really tune in and listen to what I am saying. Usually my thoughts at that moment are NOT productive thoughts.

If a thought is not adding something of benefit to my journey . . . I change “the channel” as soon as possible.

17. creatingreciprocity - November 26, 2011

You might like this –

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

I love everyone of the RSA Animate videos I’ve seen. I thought I had shared this one on SLTW, but maybe I overlooked it. It’s a good reminder that the “what is” is not the “what that must be.” We can change and evolve and grow.

18. Tahlia Newland - November 26, 2011

So true, we should look at all our thoughts with suspicion and remember that they are not real, merely thoughts about what is real.

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Exactly. They’re opinions and judgments we’ve formed over time . . . many of which are not adding to the quality of our lives.

19. Naomi - November 27, 2011

Thanks to you and Donald for the wisdom and entertainment, Nancy…definitely time for a meditation 🙂

nrhatch - November 27, 2011

Same here. Time to go within and replenish the “coffers.”

20. ElizOF - December 7, 2011

The mind does bubble with lots of thoughts… I chose which to keep and which to discard… 🙂

nrhatch - December 7, 2011

It’s always a good idea to wash off yesterday’s “junk.” 😉

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