“Learning consists of daily accumulating. The practice of the Tao consists of daily diminishing”– Lao Tzu
The personality is wired to seek for things to add. More knowledge, more friends, more money, more security, more possessions, more stimulation.If you want to live a life more aligned with the nature of your Soul, you need to make a commitment to subtracting. Click To Tweet
The process of increasing in Soul realization is a process of increasing by decreasing, of addition by subtraction; of increasing my peace and joy by letting go and leaving behind that which burdens and clutters my space or my mind and gets in the way of my greater peace and joy.
This may include physical things that I no longer really need and could throw out or give away or donate. That’s a good place to start. But where I really want to subtract and lighten up is when it comes to old beliefs and habits that are not aligned with my Soul.
Just because my personality has picked up a belief, a judgment, a habit or a fixed opinion or preference, does not mean I have to continue to take it with me.
Thoughts are very fluid in nature, like air. But for my interfering by grabbing on and holding fast with my attention and belief, they would just flow in and out and have no effect on me.
When it really comes down to it, the heaviest things I carry around with me are the negative thoughts that I’ve given a lot of my attention and belief to, so they seem very real to me. But they are still just thoughts and without me continuing to feed them with my attention, they will drift away and out of my life.
What thoughts do I want to give an honorable discharge to and leave behind? That’s a great question to ask yourself on a regular basis. A good place to start is by looking at anything that makes you feel lousy. Feeling lousy could take many forms: worried, anxious, guilt ridden, resentful, angry, jealous, depressed, inadequate, etc.
Behind every lousy feeling is a stinky thought that I don't have to believe any more. Click To Tweet
An Exercise In Letting Go Of Negative Thoughts
Here’s a little exercise you can experiment with. Get a piece of paper or a small stack of blank cards and begin writing down those stinky, heavy thoughts that you’re tired of carrying around and don’t want to take with you anymore. Then say something like “Thank you for what you’ve taught me, but I no longer need you and hereby give you an honorable discharge. You no longer own a portion of my attention, and if you try to come back begging for it you will be denied.” Then tear up the paper and literally walk away, leaving them behind.