Mind & Body

Catch and Release

 | June 28, 2012

Those of you who fish know all too well the concept of “catch and release.” As I was pondering the fact that we all, from time to time get “hooked” by thinking that doesn’t serve us, it seemed as if the idea of letting a thought go could be synonymous with a catch and release philosophy.

It’s true that the less we hold onto a thought and do battle with it, the more likely it is that we can release it with relative ease and with fewer side effects. The longer we hang on to it, and literally are hooked by its content, the more damage is done to our feeling of well-being.

The ability to catch a thought is part of the gift of our innate mental health. If we are unaware of our role as a thinker, ergo as the creator of our moment to moment experience of life, we don’t recognize those thoughts that sabotage our potential for living in a good feeling. We seem to be simply at the whim of every thought that pops up. We also seem to be at the mercy of the outside world whether through other peoples’ moods and reactions or the inevitably occurring events of daily life.

As we become more tuned in to our “norm” those thoughts that hook us and detract from our ability to take life less seriously and personally can be seen with some perspective. They can be seen for what they are—clouds passing across the sun of our innate wisdom and common sense, habitual patterns that don’t serve us.

It’s the most freeing aha moment when we actually see where our thinking takes us. It’s a lifetime of self discovery as we move towards living in well being, in the moment. It’s as if we were on an endless archeological dig, uncovering hidden clues to the “why” of our experience. Whether our habit is worry or fear, anxiety or self-doubt, its only power is what we give it through our personal thinking.

It may seem too simple an explanation of our dearly held beliefs about the world around us. However, as Sydney Banks discovered, it is truly “The Missing Link.” There’s such beauty in its simplicity if we can only give up our attachment to the past.

It’s a thought that interprets the events in our life and thus creates our personal experience. It’s how seriously we take that thought that creates our personal movie.

The miracle of catching ourselves before we become entangled in a web of emotions is truly one of our greatest gifts. Equally miraculous is our ability to choose to release those thoughts that are detracting from our well being.

While there may be different opinions about “catch and release” in the world of fishing, there can surely be little argument about its amazing benefits in our search for a richer more rewarding experience, moment to moment.