Am I My Thoughts?

Sounds crazy, right?

You are not your thoughts. Thoughts arise from the depths of the primitive brain. And you are not your brain. Your brain is simply another organ in your body which is there to do its job - to regulate autonomic nervous system responses like breathing and heart rate. It is when we get involved with it’s doing that things get messy.

As much as your heart unconsciously pumps blood around your body without needing instruction to do so, your lungs inflate and deflate without demanding permission, and your stomach digests food autonomously - your brain churns out thought and speculation. But it is just that, speculation. The brain is simply doing what it has been primitively programmed to do - think.

So when thoughts arise, most of the time - especially if they are fear-driven, they are being constructed by the most primitive part of the brain, oftentimes called the lizard brain. The lizard brain is irrational. It makes speculations and concrete assumptions based upon its bank of previous experiences and accountings. In other words, everything you have been exposed to since birth up till now: conversations, experiences, sights, sounds, you name it and your brain will have subconsciously kept a record. From these records the brain constructs a per-conceived idea of the world which it believes to be the truth. Anything that does not align with this truth, is dismissed. The singular intention of the brain is to keep you safe. And safe does not mean happy, it just means... safe, free from harm. That you survive from day to day.

So the question is - if you are not your thoughts... WHO ARE YOU?!

Give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
— Reinhold Niebuhr

You're the perfect, beautiful you that was born happy. Before Life happened to you, or for you. Before the negative and limiting thinking started to cloud your pure unbounded potential. This is the real you.

Don’t be fooled. You are not the thinker of your thoughts, you are merely the one who hears them. And as such, you are the one who can choose whether to listen or how you react to them.

Let that settle. Let that sink in. Look for it in your life and you'll see the truth. Create the space and time to discover that you are not who you think you are. Yes, your thoughts are your own, but they do not describe you. Just because you think or feel anxious, it does not mean that you are anxious. It simply means that you are experiencing the symptoms of the thoughts of anxiety.

When you become aware of these symptoms and observe how they make you feel and react on a physical level - for example, maybe they elevate your heart rate, dry your mouth, plant invasive thoughts in your mind, or push you towards a “fight or flight” response.

By noticing these sensations, you become an observer of the thoughts and find that you are no longer a slave to them. You can choose to identify with them and give the thoughts a name, or you can simply acknowledge them for what they are - bubbles of thoughts.

Self-awareness and mindfulness of behaviour, gives you the power to choose how to respond. Noticing is key. If you don’t recognize what’s happening, then it is merely impossible to catch the mind out and choose how to respond.


Pause before you act. Consciously choose your behaviour based upon your awareness of both the situation and what matters to you the most.

Let go of trying to change the way you feel, and of always trying to become something or someone else. Regardless of your thoughts and speculations, your behavior shapes your destiny. Become aware of how you are tempted to behave, and, in doing so you will be living your life with purpose.

Grace MooreComment