• Dr Jodie Bradnam

Hold your thoughts lightly.

If we let them, our thoughts can really push us about. They tell unsettling stories that send a shudder through our bones, anchoring us in a past that is well behind us. Other times they tell frightening stories of an unpredictable future, filling us with anxiety about what lies ahead. We can’t go back and change the past and we certainly can’t predict the future. Holding our thoughts too tightly invites judgement, criticism, regret, and fear. It prevents us from grounding ourselves and living in present - the only space we really have.

When we see our thoughts, as they are - as thoughts, not facts - we can choose to hold them lightly, and let them go. Thoughts change like the weather and move like clouds across the sky. Using our breath as an anchor we can breath in, notice the thought - breathe out and let it go. With practice, the thoughts that once triggered and immobilised us, move like clouds across the sky or like leaves gently floating along a stream. We don’t need to tightly hold every thought, just as we don’t need to follow every cloud or reach for every leaf. We can notice the thought, name it, breathe out and let it go.

This was a difficult practice for me at first. For a very long while, I lived as a slave to my thoughts, attending to each and every one. Consequently, I was pushed and pulled from the past to the future, constantly haunted by a critical inner dialogue that I could not silence. With practice, I’ve learned to hold my thoughts lightly. To notice them, name them, and let them go. The leaves on a stream meditation tis a practice that changed my relationship to my thoughts. I'll be adding this meditation to my website this week, so if you would like to try it for yourself, it’s on my website under resources/meditations on Friday.

Ease with today x