Taking oneself too seriously leads to a very unhappy mind. It is better to take a playful approach to self observation giving some leeway to our thoughts and perceptions. They aren’t so important and they won’t last very long. Before grasping on to one and placing it as a high priority, give it some room. Watch it from a distance and observe how it transforms. Most likely, it will continue on its merry way without you having to engage with it at all.
Let me give you a more solid example. This week I kept having thoughts about how important it was for me to have people come to a mindfulness class that I was hosting. When I would engage with the thought believing that it was valid and in need of attention, I could feel my stress rising. I could see it start to latch onto my ego telling me stories about my self worth dropping if no one came. It took me down a very negative rabbit hole in which I thoroughly believed that I had to have people attend my class.
I was the only one giving validity to this idea and making it important. As soon as I released the idea and observed it with indifference, I was able to see how trivial it was. I didn’t need to take myself or this idea so seriously. And then every time the thought came up I chuckled a little at my own concept of self importance, “silly me this is not that big of a deal.” Having this thought did nothing to improve my situation. It did not attract more people to my class or make me more confident. It simply gave me an unhappy mind.
-Find a comfortable position and follow your breath for as long as it takes to become grounded
-Scan your body and observe how it is feeling today
-Scan your mind and identify your current mental state
-Ask yourself what idea you are prioritizing right now
-Ask yourself if you taking that thought or idea seriously is helping or harming you
-Ask yourself what validity the thought actually has
-See if you can create some space from the thought
-See how the thought transforms once you allow it room to breathe
-Observe how you feel when you don’t give that thought so much importance
-Once you come out of meditation be aware of how often that thought comes up. See if you can observe it with a playful attitude allowing it to lose some of its power.