The Weight of Thoughts

meditation, yogaSometimes I can feel my bones straining under the weight of my thoughts. And that’s wrong, all wrong, so I strain more in the down dog position, where my arms and wrists and shoulders take on the weight of my trunk.

My trunk. What a word for my body, which is pack full of multi-grain toast now at 9 in the morning, as well as three cups of hot green tea that have not found a way to warm my fingers, cold down to the bone.

My bones. I imagine my bones are light as a skeleton, while the rest of me – my muscles, my blood, my skin – is too heavy for what lies within.

But the heaviest weight is definitely the thoughts.no-knead bread, baking, bread

Is there such a thing as light thoughts? 

A light thought – um what’s for dinner tonight, is that light enough? But then I worry about going to the grocery store and wearing my winter gloves as I clinch the shopping cart with one hand while clasping a small bottle of sanitizer with the other, trying to stay six feet away from all the other harried shoppers.      

See? Weighty worrisome thoughts.

Light, light, ummm,

It’s impossible.

As light as my earlobes are, and as light as my soul as it flits about daintily at times when I’m happy (like walking in the hot sun, or hugging a warm grandbaby), my thoughts seem to never be light.

child's pose, yoga, thoughts, meditationI collapse into child’s pose.

Even here, I wonder heavily. Is child’s pose a giving up? Or is child’s pose a giving in to gravity?

And is gravity the reason our thoughts are so heavy?

So I give up and just sit. Release my thoughts to “the cloud.” Not that cloud. An imaginative cloud that lightly floats away with the heavy thoughts and replaces them with a light sparkly shower of glimmering thoughts: Golden retriever puppy, puppy, happiness is a warm puppy

“The sun is out.” My new grandpuppy is as sweet as hope.” “The bread I’m baking smells divine.” “Flowers are blooming yellow, pink, purple!”

Ah, yes. That’s better I decide as I float toward a happier, less weighty space.

147 thoughts on “The Weight of Thoughts

  1. Pam, how I relate to your heavy thoughts and that they are the biggest weight. It’s not easy to escape them and nowadays need a conscious effort to disconnect them and live truly in the now. I love that you replace them with a “light sparkly shower of glimmering thoughts”. We are surrounded by the purest of treasures … becoming aware of these are a true gift to ourselves and others. Wishing you and your family well, keep safe, my dear friend! Xx ❤️

    Liked by 6 people

    • My sis-in-law and I were just saying this to each other. She had scary eye surgery yesterday, but today she’s only talking about how grateful she is – to the surgeon, to my brother for taking such good care of her, to her family for being so supportive, to her work managers for being understanding of the time she needs to take off, to the flowers booming out of her window that she can still see. #gratefulness lightens us up!

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  2. It’s true, our thoughts can change our sense of well-being, and so affect our health, both physical and mental. But when it’s not always easy to find the right thoughts. I play music, watch comedies, and try to stay away from grim news. And I have a mantra. EWOP: Everything is working out perfectly… it’s just at the moment, it mightn’t seem like it. 🙂

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  3. thoughts can be incredibly heavy, and when they begin to weight to much, i try to replace them with light as a feather thoughts of simple pleasures and things and people i am grateful for.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. “Where the mind goes, the man follows” is a constant reminder for me to keep my thoughts in control, otherwise we travel down the rabbit hole of gloom and doom. I refuse to live my life that way. I’ve been trying to stay more focused on the good that’s going on right now. Seeing people and communities come together is inspiring. Stay well. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • So amazing, Jill. My guy and I were talking to a “best friend” couple in CA late this morning, and as they discussed worries about elderly parents and infections and such, suddenly the woman in the couple exclaimed, “We can’t go down that rabbit hole!” She (and you) are so right. To lightness of being (and thinking).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pam, I just looked out the window to see the clouds moving–and literally carrying the light of sunrise with them! I guess sometimes nature gifts you with a metaphor. 😀
    Enjoy that bread and the thought of grandchildren and puppies, and the sight of spring in bloom. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well said. I think you speak for all of us here with your awareness of how heavy thoughts can hold you down, but we must resist. Enjoy what is in front of you, I figure. Like that photo of the grandpuppy with his handler. Cute.

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  7. Light thoughts, like the simple pleasures you mention – we need to keep a full inventory of them so the heavy ones don’t take us down. Great post, Pam – time for a shrimp cocktail, then some shrimp scampi! 😉

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  8. Dear Pam, you stay as long as you can with these light, shimmering thoughts. It isn’t so easy now but life is so very precious.

    “The sun is out.” My new grandpuppy is as sweet as hope.” “The bread I’m baking smells divine.” “Flowers are blooming yellow, pink, purple!”
    Take care 🤗.

    miriam

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I just laughed out loud, because I just wrote a note that kind of approached this all from the opposite direction of feeling more into the weightiness. Not that those light, shimmering thoughts aren’t a life rope to help us from drowning! Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Warrior trunk indeed, Billy Ray. 🙂 I just saw a photo of the campus (on Linked In) empty and lonely-looking. Hope your “trunk” is well and that you and yours are safely sequestered at home.

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  10. It’s so challenging right now to keep our thoughts happy and light so I thank you for stating this. My prayer list is long these days for people I don’t know on the frontlines of many sectors, from grocery stores to hospitals. My gratitude list follows when I pray and it helps calm my mind because, as in your case, these are happy thoughts. Among other things, I realize how fortunate I am.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I read your post some time during the night. Lots of insomnia lately. I wonder why? Of course “weight of my thoughts” fit perfectly.

    “But the heaviest weight is definitely the thoughts.” Tears……I feel this in the pit of my stomach.

    Light thoughts? I try to visualize thoughts as clouds, ephemeral, just passing through me and not staying. It doesn’t always work.

    OMgosh, Pamela, I just now kept reading and you speak of “that cloud.” Goosebumps! Thank you for the message I needed to hear. Especially your last sentence.

    Hugs. We will get through this together. xo 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • All puppies and little boys with freckled faces put smiles on people’s faces. Thus, I included my grandson Neville here with little Charlotte – the “runt” of a Golden litter. Still only 9 pounds, she has the personality of a sassy sprite and helps us all realize that love still holds the key to lighter thoughts and expanding hearts. ❤

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    • The Earth, and Mother Nature, are challenging us to stop. Listen. Realize that the small stuff is what is really important. Sun. Rain. Flowers on the trees. Quiet moments. Loving texts and emails (even snail mail!) and thoughts full of love. These all lighten our load. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. xo

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  12. I’m sorry you’re weighed down by such heavy thoughts Pam. And I’m heartened that you found some hope and maybe more from this outpouring of love for you and your writing. Take good care of yourself. Breathe in, breath out…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s interesting that you sent us this post today. I was just thinking about how life has suddenly become both simpler and more complicated. I find that taking my dog for a walk usually fills me with light thoughts about nature and keeps the heavy thoughts at bay. And as much as I don’t like to rely on things outside of me to bring lightness to my thoughts, I have to say that I watched “I Love Lucy” yesterday and laughed out loud.

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    • When I was a child and home sick from school (which happened rarely because my mom always said, “well, you don’t have a fever” and sent me off to school no matter what…) I watched black and white I Love Lucy shows from the TV in my parents’ bedroom. How I loved that show. So whenever I see them now, I feel comforted and cuddled in a blanket of wellness.
      So, good for you for watching I Love Lucy reruns! And taking your dog for walks in the woods. Neither of these things are complicated, and they’re good for lightening heavy thoughts. xo

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  14. It’s easy to let our thoughts get heavy at this time in the world, Pam. I fall into that weight quite a bit as I worry about the future. But really, my thoughts change very little beyond my experience of the moment. Your post is a good reminder to look for the light in the darkness, especially in the darkness. Sending love and lightness your way. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, a friend recently sent me a quote about how worry just makes the load heavier and keeps us from feeling daily joy. And it’s so true. So, I am feeling so much joy at reading others here explain how their thoughts get heavy also, but in the end, we all find ways to smile and enjoy every day. I think that should be part of our daily to do list. XO

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  15. Your writing is light and airy, even if your thoughts are heavy these days. I like the comments too, especially EWOP Everything Is Working Out Perfectly, a fun rewording of Romans 8:28, which I happen to believe.

    Your blog attracts the right people I like to hang out with during our state’s first day in lockdown. Thanks for being YOU, Pam! ((( )))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marian, you just made me feel as light as a feather! Thank you so much. And you’re right, on my blog as well as on yours we all are similar souls who love to share our thoughts – light or heavy – and support each other. EWOP, my friend! 😘

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  16. Today I dabbled in giving my thoughts expression and my anxiety was off the charts afterward.

    Yeah, a bad idea. I get the importance of venting and all, but as you suggest, I’d rather keep the thoughts light and focus on the good things around me.

    be safe

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I think many of us can relate to your words and emotions here, Pam. Some thoughts surely do feel heavy. This reminded me of something I texted my bff yesterday. With all the dire news, I texted her, “Everyone’s going to die. Run for your lives. Well, at least the sun is coming out.” Haha. I meant it to be funny. It’s difficult to stay on those light thoughts…which I think of as positive thoughts. I miss the days when I used to have lots of dreams of flying. I don’t have them anymore, and I’d love to feel that lightness of being right now. I’m sure many would.

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  18. It is hard to out run those thoughts. We can only accept them and then move past them into where our light is. Thanks for the post and reminder xo

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  19. I vacillate between light(ish) and heavy thoughts throughout the day (and night). I don’t have a puppy to keep my mind off the heavy thoughts of the day, but I do have a deck with a beautiful view, neighbors that I can chat with (from a very safe distance) over the fence, and a husband who adds sparkles to my day. Things like that are my raft in the sea of sadness and worry we all are swimming in.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. What else can we do but go to that place that gives us some happiness and releases the frustrations of today. The alternative, I don’t believe, is an option for any of us. Great advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am reading your comment on a dreary and drizzly day. And yet, if I stare up at the gray sky I realize that it actually glows with a filmy light. Light is everywhere. We just have to be more aware of it. 🌤🌈

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  21. It is good to have a light thought now and then.”Should I wear a green t-shirt with these olive shorts?” Wait if I do then I’ll look like I’m in uniform. So how about the cranberry shorts with a white t-shirt? Oops, makes me look like I’m in PJs. Kaikki shorts, blue t-shirt. NAH. Look like a cop. White and white. Nope, medical worker. Wait a minute. Who’s going to see me anyway. I’ll just wear what I slept in. There done. Hmmm. I get it now. Light thoughts? Never.

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  22. You hit the nail on the head with this. We are all carrying around weighty thoughts that are just not helpful. All they do is increase the weight. No puppies or grand babies here to lift the cloud but a good walk and a visit here sure helps. Those yoga poses will help too. I may drop to the floor later this afternoon. My backside is making quite the impression in this recliner as I read and write. Movement always helps. So true that changing our thoughts change our world and the outcome of our day. Perfect. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the way you write about your thoughts. I kind of laughed when I read that you might “ Drop to the floor” for some yoga exercises. In my mind, I was thinking I would probably never get up 😙. And getting our backside out of the recliner to make ourselves walk around the neighborhood is not always easy but it does lighten the mood. 💙

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  23. Yes, it is a strange combination of delight and relaxation at home and then stress and fear when one has to go out for supplies! Thankfulness helps, appreciation of the kindness of others. Hang in there! Thanks for writing and posting!

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    • I see that kind of kindness around every day! When we’re driving people kind of nod at each other in the cars. When I go for walks in the neighborhood people from far away smile and we all laugh at each other like-we’re in this together. These are definitely ways to lighten our thoughts. Take care!

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  24. Pam, this issue of how to lighten one’s thoughts actually has some interesting historic grounding. It is generally considered that some of the best Jewish humor emerged out of the concentration camps where one had to lighten the overbearing weight of reality, with humor, to live another day. Gallows humor.
    This is why I am enjoying some of the lighter cartoons that find their way around during times of Corona. Another strategy that works to lighten the thoughts is meditation. Even a few minutes a day makes a difference in terms of the benefits the body/mind receives.

    ben

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Ben. I did not know this about the gallows humor during life in the concentration camps. I can’t imagine how the prisoners found the energy for humor, but I can imagine how it would help them.
      I receive at least 2 to 3 funny cartoons about the virus from friends these days. And they do make me laugh out loud, which helps. Meditation is a must.

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    • That’s a good point. I think many of us try to ignore the heavy feelings we can get while listening to the news or hearing about friends or friends of friends who have gotten sick. But it’s better to talk about it and then learn ways to lighten up and appreciate the good moments. Because there are a lot of good moments.

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  25. A good question, Pam. I don’t think light thoughts exist. I’m envious of bubbly people or ignorant people, at times. Yet, our thoughts help us in so many ways as well.

    Good memories… they might help more than anything right now. And taking pleasure in the small things. Child’s Pose has always been my favorite yoga posture. Heavy thoughts might shoot up your back and eject into space like a skier using the jumping board. Take care and stay sane!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Heavy thoughts do have a way of creeping in and I suppose they are necessary – for a while. Step outside with Zeke, my dog, listen to the birds chirping and let the breeze take them away. They will inevitably return to be dealt with but cannot reside full time.

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  27. I suppose I’m fortunate. My thoughts are rarely heavy, especially away from the world of work. Even in times of trouble and stress I’ve been able to sideline those issues and relax. Which is easier for me than assuming those yoga poses 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha. You’d be surprised at how yoga helps us “sideline” issues and relax. The point is to have to concentrate so much on the pose (Warrior. Fish. Down dog. Pigeon) that a yoga practitioner can think of nothing else but to stay upright and breathe.
      However, I’ll admit that running is a fabulous de-stressor. Stay chill, Roy. 🙂

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  28. Hi Pam,
    I thought I’d pop into the world I left over a year ago. As always, you write a wonderful post, and thoughts can be way too heavy, especially nowadays. In the midst of this crisis, I’m enjoying the beautiful spring blooms in our garden and all around the neighborhood. They give me hope that life will soon return to what it once was. Until then, take care of yourself, stay well, my friend. Sending virtual hugs and elbow bumps, Lauren xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • SO great to see you here, Baydreamer. You know how much I wish you’d continue with your blog. But in the meantime, I’m happy we’ve re-connected via a mutual friend who had no idea we “knew” each other thanks to the blogosphere. Here’s to Spring and humming into lighter thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Pam, and I’m still contemplating a post. 🙂 Wishing you a lovely Easter in spite of these uncertain times. And yes, Cheers to Spring and “humming into lighter thoughts.” Love that! And Cheers to the beautiful blooms where Hope blossoms. Hugs!

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  29. Thoughts can feel weighty and heavy at times like these. The down dog and mindfulness – staying in the present is all there really is. The past and the future are not real, just constructs of the mind.
    Breathe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My meditation teachers keep stressing that idea – there is no past or future. Just live in the present. Each moment. And I think that’s the answer to getting rid of those heavy thoughts. Breathe into the present. Thanks for stopping by here! Namaste.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Actually, long ago at one of my first forays into yoga, the instructor encouraged us to create a lovely safe spot where we can always visit to breathe and meditate. My place does include a stream – is that the stream analogy? ;-0

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          • It a visualisation that involves sitting on the bank of a stream and watching twigs or branches float by along a stream. You imagine the twig or branch or leaf, if you prefer, is your thought: you watch these thoughts approach, acknowledge their presence, and then watch the current take them away – you watch them disappear from view, on their way downstream. Occasionally they get stuck on the side of the bank until the current comes along and washes them along. In this way your mind allows thoughts to come, pause and then pass along the way and leave. I will write about it tomorrow, I think as a lot of folks have asked about this analogy. Good luck with that and I do hope it helps you.

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  30. Here, here on the weighing thoughts. I think we are all in our own thought bubbles. And I’m glad you’re arming yourself on grocery days. May I suggest placing a plastic produce bag on each gloved hand or when you don’t have gloves. 🙂

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  31. Pam, so much truth here. Our thoughts influence our moods, our behaviours, our entire lives. Gaining control of them before they control us is half the battle.
    I finished Twin Desires last night. Thoroughly enjoyable and page-turning read! Just the sort of distraction I need right now. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, wow. Thanks to you my mood (and thoughts) just lifted higher than the clouds spitting down rain right now. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed Twin Desires. Thanks for the review – I’ll go check it out. I agree (obviously, since I like to write them). Page-turners with some romance, lots of suspense, and a good ending help us dispel the heavy thoughts. Nothing wrong with a good distraction! ❤

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  32. Oh Pam, so beautiful and relateable! These really are difficult times aren’t they, but light thoughts – like the delightful ones you list at the end – are still available to us if we’re willing to notice. I pass many new born lambs on my one walk for exercise each day, and they never fail to make me smile. Light thoughts, like clouds that paint the sky without bring rain. Love and blessings…xx

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    • I’m imagining those lamb, and the walk in your beautiful country, and my smile widens. Just as it did when I listened to you recite your poem on your blog. The small, ordinary de-LIGHT-ful things in life, bring in the light.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Great post. Seems the older I get, the heavier my thoughts get. Of course it could just be me losing the battle with gravity. As you mention, thankfully there are children’s smiles, puppies and kittens to lighten our thoughts.

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  34. I always love that quote, and I see it said in various ways by different people. I think Buddha said it, too. But I get your struggle … just getting that weight off our shoulders and out of our heads … it’s a challenge. Luckily, there are ways, as you said. I could definitely go for puppies. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • So many of the readers here agree that sometimes these thoughts are just way.too.heavy. for our health. I think it’s good to remind each other that there’s so much beauty (and cuteness) out there. Breathe it all in! xo

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  35. It is amazing how quickly we start adjusting to change, Pam. When this lockdown first started over a month ago, I couldn’t concentrate well on work or reading or anything like that. Now, it is business as usual and I push the worrisome thoughts away and hardly check the news [only once a day to get the new stats].

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  36. My thoughts are very heavy these days… my BFF and her hubby probably have COVID. He got sick last week and when he went to the doctor, they DID NOT test him because he wasn’t running a fever anymore. Nevermind that he had EVERY other symptom! NOW, his wife, my BFF with a compromised immune system is sick and her husband is on his way to the ER per Dr’s orders. I have a friend in AZ whose mother is on a ventilator from COVID. I am done with school and I can’t even celebrate my accomplishment because of all of this going on. Yep… heavy thoughts today. Maybe I need to bake some bread and find a puppy to squeeze?
    I hope you and yours continue to be healthy and safe. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • SO sorry to hear this news, Kim. Testing seems so haphazard that it’s not helpful (particularly if they don’t test someone who shows symptoms, even if not every one!). Please know I’m thinking and praying for your BFF and her husband. And the friend’s mom on a ventilator. Sad and scary.
      Hang on to your fabulous schooling accomplishments. At some point, we will all celebrate graduates like you! But yes, in the meantime, fresh bread and sweet puppies do help. ❤

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