Checking in on Week 36′s Task of 50 Weeks to a Lighter More Loving You.
Your task is to SIT and BE CURIOUS about one of your thoughts that is causing “suffering”.
This can be done in your journal, through meditation, or by talking with a trusted friend, coach, or counselor.
How is that going?
Do you ever wonder why the things you don’t like in your life don’t change?
One reason might be TIME.
Life seems too busy and I have to keep going.
Who has time to SIT?
Sitting seems like a luxury.
The spouse, the kids, the job, the house, the dogs, the yard, and on and on….how can I possibly take time to SIT!!
Another reason we don’t SIT and BE CURIOUS is FEAR.
Fear will stop us from sitting and being curious because if we actually do see what is going on, we will have to change. No one likes change. The status quo, the well-worn trail, SEEMS much easier, familiar, comforting. And, yes, it can be, yet what risks might you face a year or years from now if you don’t alter that thought that is causing you discomfort and dis-contentment?
Then there is the combo of the TIME and FEAR.
“I don’t have time to delve into my suffering thoughts. I might become a basket case and not function well.”
“Looking into my thoughts will make me feel worse about myself because I’ll see how “ugly” my thought life actually is. I just don’t have time to feel worse about myself.”
“I delve into my thoughts I might have to deal with unpleasant past experiences.”
I totally get all of those.
Here are some thoughts on those:
When you are really ready to change and have a better life, you will find the time. Hopefully this will be before something falls apart, like your health or marriage or relationships or finances. Time is only an excuse. So many things are out of our control in life, how you spend your time is not one of them.
What if I told you it will be EASY to change if you keep SITTING and BEING CURIOUS? What can happen when we do sit and be curious is what some call a miracle, a break through, a giant AHA. What that really means is a CHANGE IN PERCEPTION, a CHANGE OF MIND. In the bible it’s called REPENTANCE which actually means a change of mind/thought. When that happens all of a sudden it is easier to choose differently, to think differently, to be different, and thus, a change in your life. Those “miracles” help us see more clearly, expand our awareness, and open our hearts.
When you sit and be curious, the idea is to not beat yourself up over those “ugly” thoughts. You are allowed to have thoughts and those feelings that might accompany them. You are not a thought or a feeling. You are the “being” that is having them. If you didn’t have that thought who would you be? The answer to that question is closer to who you really are than that thought or feeling. (Any time I’ve asked my self that question about a thought or feeling, the answer is usually, more at peace, more compassionate, more loving. I’m actually a great human being….as are you!)
A definition of LOVING-KINDNESS is returning someone or something to its loveliness. As you are curious about your thoughts, meet them with loving-kindness. Meet your self with loving-kindness. Loving-kindness includes compassion, understanding, patience, gentleness, acceptance, and non-judgment. No need to become a basket case or throw yourself into despair. As you do this, watch your thoughts and your self become more lovely. A side benefit is you may notice your energy increases. Fear and effort to change will not be an issue. It just starts to happen.
Will you have to meet and deal with a PAST experience? No one will escape life without experiencing someone’s inability to love well or love you the way you needed. Nor will we escape hurting someone due to unloving behaviors or not loving someone the way they needed. Unless you’ve already done some forgiveness work, (and do so on a daily basis, because encountering and handing out unloving behaviors, known and unknown, happen daily), I dare say, YES, you might have to deal with a past issue that has caused a suffering trail in your thinking life. Even a natural disaster or accident can leave a “suffering thought trails,” like anxiety or anger. In those incidences, we try to find someone to blame. Sometimes it ends up being our self or God. Again, forgiveness is going to play a part here. Check out Week 6 for more info on forgiveness.
If we could have a totally vulnerable SIT with a group of people, where everyone is being totally honest and real, we would discover everyone has “ugly” and “suffering thoughts.” No need to beat your self up about this. Welcome to the HUMAN RACE CLUB! I club that is more exclusive, but wide open to everyone, is the SIT AND BE CURIOUS CLUB!
Will you ever be FREE of those kind of thoughts? I believe it is possible. Eventually, they stop appearing altogether because they have been brought into the LIGHT…into awareness. You will be able to catch them, see them for what they are and where they came from, then choose a different way to act when they are present. Their power has been reduced and thwarted as a force in your behavior and choices. One day you may just notice that you haven’t gone down that thought trail in a long time.
Lastly, a word about being CURIOUS. Being curious means one is open to learning. Be open to learn about your trails and how your particular mind is working. Be open to learn how all our minds work in general (check out THIS LIST).
Being open to learning will provide you with opportunities for those “miracles”, those shift in perspectives that can start you down different trails, different ways of being and choosing, to a better life of more peace, joy, and love.
Cheering You on to a Whole Miracle Experienced Heart, Barbara
Task 36 of 50 Weeks to a Lighter More Loving You is an extension of Week 35: BUSHWACK…Part Deux (two).
(If you are just joining this or missed last week, click here.)
Now that we have written out and become more aware of our thoughts, how does one go about BUSHWACKing a new trail in our mind…especially the thoughts that cause suffering?
Any thought that causes pain and often manifesting as guilt, shame, sadness, anxiety, depression, anger, tension, stress, fear, self-hate.
A thought that leads to or is full of blaming another, justifying a behavior, and/or defending your self.
Thoughts that cause us to act un-lovingly towards our self or others.
If you came to me and said something to the effect of wanting more peace, joy, and love in your life, we would spend the majority of our time looking at what you are thinking and believing.
Our thought life creates the life we live. What we think we will bring about because what we think effects our choices and our behaviors.
If you did last week’s task, you’ve done the first step, which is AWARENESS of the thought.
Journaling is a great way to see and be aware of your thoughts.
Meditation is a wonderful way to watch your thoughts.
AWARENESS is the first step.
STOP and SIT!
I know you will be in conversations and situations where you just can’t plop down for a SIT. But you can recognize you are on the a “suffering trail” and halt yourself before doing something unloving towards another or yourself. Then go sit.
Your job while sitting is to be curious.
Did something trigger me to go down that trail?
What am I feeling?
Is that a past feeling?
Is there fear? And about what?
What am I believing that might not be true?
Your task for this week is to SIT with one of your “suffering trails”…one of your thoughts that are causing you to live or act in a way other than you desire.
Bring your journal to your SIT, write it all out.
OR find a loving, non-judgmental friend who asks really good questions, and talk through it.
OR contact me and we will explore your trail together.
Cheering You on to a Whole Sit and Be Curious Heart, Barbara
This week, before we bushwack, your task is to write out your 70-80 thoughts.
How is that going?
This is part ONE of the BUSHWACK process.
It will be important for you to list your thoughts.
Writing them out will automatically reduce their power providing you a chance to BUSHWACK a new thought.
More importantly, you will have spent some time paying attention to the thoughts going through your head. Once again, an extremely important step in changing your thoughts and thus becoming a lighter, more loving you.
Maybe you are noticing categories , such as…
Take note of your categories.
The thing is….DON’T SKIP THIS STEP!
Sit down and write out your 70-80 thoughts!
Cheering You on to a Whole List Before Forging Ahead Heart,
Week 35’s task of 50 Weeks to a Lighter More Loving You is to BUSHWACK!
(v): traveling/hiking through dense growth by cutting throughbranches and bushes;(n): it is also a term used by hikers to describe a very strenuous, obstacle ridden trail with brush, branches and/or bushes etc.
I’m not going to send you hiking, though that would be an awesome activity to do this week!
We are going to do a bit of hiking in our minds.
I like to hike. I like to follow trails. I like trails because they are
easier…already trampled and free of obstacles,
less stress filled...no extra equipment needed to traverse a well-worn trail,
well-marked…also making it easier, and
safer…hopefully, as most trails have been planned/created and been proven worthy by many travelers.
Bushwacking, on the other hand,
takes courage to go off the beaten trail in order to forge a new path,
takes extra equipment like a knife or hatchet to cut down brush and branches,
takes bravery to face uncertainties and the potential to get lost, and
takes extra effort to keep one’s self safe and “whack” one’s way through brush and bushes.
If you are like me, the well-worn trail is more relaxing, peaceful, and, basically, pain-free.
What does this have to do with our minds?
Out thoughts cut “trails” in our mind. These are often WELL WORN! Not all our thought trails are fun or nice BUT they are easy, safe, and well-worn. They are familiar to us and take no extra effort to travel down.
We think over 60,000 thoughts a day. 85% of them are negative in nature, and so many of them are well-worn trails.
If you could catch just 5% of those negative thoughts, and BUSHWACK a new trail (a new thought), you could have a more positive and different life.
The key here is to CATCH THEM!
Studies have shown that we think the same 70-80 thoughts everyday just in different ways. These would make up our 60,000 thoughts.
Before the BUSHWACKING, comes AWARENESS.
This week, before we bushwack, your task is to write out your 70-80 thoughts.
YES…get out those journals and write out your 70-80 thoughts! (At least I didn’t say 60,000.) You might notice that they tend to fit in certain categories, which is why the 60,000 turns in to 70-80, just thought in different ways. This is similar to WEEK 4 where the task was to GIVE NOTICE to your thoughts. This time, however, write them out.
Feel free to share how it was to list your 70-80 thoughts in the comments.
Cheering You on to a Whole Aware Before Whacking Heart, Barbara