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Radical Happiness Blog

Unnecessary Thoughts

It's obvious that some thoughts are unnecessary. Many of our thoughts come out of nowhere and have nothing to do with what we're doing or experiencing. We are like radio stations, picking up signals that come from who knows where, and some thoughts are like that: They come out of nowhere and seem to have little relevance to us personally. But even thoughts about our past and future don't contribute to what we are doing. Even thoughts about what we are doing aren't necessary!

How many of the thoughts you are having right now, or in any other moment, actually contribute to what you are doing and experiencing? When you examine this, you will discover that most thoughts don't contribute to your life, and they aren't needed to function. Try to find an example of a thought that is necessary. Necessary thoughts are few and far between.

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Do What's in Front of You

Living from Essence is often a matter of doing what's in front of us: If something needs picking up, you naturally pick it up. If someone shows up who needs help, you offer it. If dishes need washing, you wash the dishes. If a job needs to be done, you do it, one step at a time. Or if you need to rest, you rest. Or if you need to eat, you eat. The mind complicates life with a lot of thoughts about how, when, why, and whether to do various things. It plans and thinks about doing things, when life is simpler than that.

Much of the time, living is just a matter of doing what arises to be done. Life calls on us to take action: Phones ring, children ask for assistance, dog's look at us longingly, email arrives, papers arrive on our desk, the refrigerator is empty, the laundry basket is full, ideas and inspiration arise. We may think that our ego and conditioning are responsible for accomplishing what we do in a day, but the ego doesn't actually do anything. (How can it, when it doesn't even exist?) The ego only thinks about doing things: It debates, pushes, resists, complains, and worries about whatever arises to be done. Meanwhile, we do what we do. We choose whether our doing is in response to the egoic mind or follows naturally from Essence.

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