Letting Thoughts Go
One of the things that some experts in the field of happiness talk about a lot is the power to let your thoughts go. To let go of repetitive and often negative thought patterns that keep you trapped in a cycle of thinking unhappy thoughts, which then lead to feeling unhappy feelings.
Having been caught in this unhappy cycle myself on uncountable occasions, I agree wholeheartedly with the principle of this strategy. The more you can let your thoughts go, the happier you’ll be.
But how do you actually do it? How do you let negative thoughts go? In The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle talks about dropping negative thoughts like you would drop a hot stone – you just do it. He doesn’t offer any concrete steps or instructions to dropping negative thoughts, and I recall reading his obvious-but-somehow-difficult-to-do directive with some frustration.
Here’s what I’ve discovered. The hard thing, the difficult action to take, is not to let your thoughts go, but to hang onto them. There is actually almost zero effort required to let your thoughts drift away. To me, it is like watching clouds drift this way and that – my thoughts drift this way and that if I don’t try to stop them.
And that’s when things become, and stay, difficult: trying to stop your thoughts. Trying to over-manage them, to change them, to manipulate them, to make them more positive. This is why all that exertion to manage your thoughts is unnecessary, and is so often fatiguing. Because your thoughts will, of their own accord (aha – there’s the gold), move along on their own. All you have to do is let them. What could be easier than that?
I am happiest when (#49)
I am in San Francisco. You know there are some places that you visit that you just feel at home there. You just love. You can imagine yourself moving there, living there. Well, San Francisco is one such place for me. I just love it here, and am so fortunate to be here now.