When I first heard in a yoga class that we are not our thoughts, I could not fathom how that could be true? My thoughts directed my actions, for better or worse. I listened intently to them, letting the words bounce around my head: bad, good, angry, hurtful to myself & others, but also loving and full of compassion at times. The good and loving thoughts led me to a state of calm and acceptance, while the negative thoughts stirred anxiety and depression. I had always felt there was a reason to every thought I had. But, stepping back and taking full measure of what came flying through my head made me realize how much nonsense I was processing!
Your brain tosses out all kinds of random thoughts at any given moment. The trick is to notice them but not react or act on them. Give them space for contemplation. Does that thought make any sense? For example: "What if my boss decides she hates me and I can lose my job, because maybe I'm not good at what I do anyway." Well, really? Why not allow for you to be great at what you do? Step back and look at the thought. More than likely you are a good person, putting your heart and soul in to what you do and are the best person they ever had for the job. Why let that thought make you feel that's not true!
Thoughts are just words traveling through your mind. To separate what's meaningful to you and what is arbitrary, you really need to look at them and sort out the noise. When I said my thoughts directed my actions for better or worse, I learned I could focus on the thoughts that drove me to better actions and let go of the ones that led me to worse actions. Let your thoughts just be what they are, thoughts. Live from your heart.