The habitual thoughts we entertain become like our own personal internal soundtrack. Just like we can't help but dance to match the style of music that is playing, we can't help but act in accordance with the thoughts in our heads. If death metal was on you would dance very differently than if classical music was playing. If the common thoughts we entertain are judgmental, negative and cynical then the way we move, speak and even the decisions we make can't NOT match this. Similarly, if the thoughts we most commonly have are ones of harmony, peace and love then our bodies will move the way love moves and our lips will utter harmonious words and our decisions will have peace as a foundation. The key here is to KNOW that we can be our own dj's. That WE are in charge of the decks, the fade and the drop. Ok, once in a while you may lose focus and mess up your beat match or accidentally slip in a track that chases people off the dance floor, such is life.. ha! But if you make it your "thing" to curate what mood of music you allow to come through your speakers, you will find yourself dancing in a new direction. A direction you CHOOSE rather than what chose you. Now that's something I would dance all night to ;)
The point here is don't expect to be able to change your habits or general flavor of your life if you are rehashing old crappy thoughts that don't match your goals and vision. Doesn't mean you have to smash and burn your old records... I mean thoughts (ok, so I'm milking this metaphor.. ha!), just pick new ones.
Here is an interesting and informative practice. I didn't make this up, though I did make it my own, and I don't remember where I heard it... probably because it's one of those you hear about from lots of different sources.
- For 15 minutes sit down and write down every thought that comes into your head. NO EDITING. Closing your eyes helps.
- When the time is up read it out loud to yourself (or others if you are really brave). Hearing your internal thoughts out loud can make some big shifts in of itself. Some will immediately lose their power.
- If you had to imagine what kind of life those sets of thoughts would create, what would it be? Do you want that life? Do you want to dance to that song?
- If the answer was NO, go through your list and first pick out the thoughts that seemed to repeat or you felt the strongest emotional response to. These are likely the "biggies" that are effecting you the most. Then, get creative with reframing. example; If one of the thoughts was "Why do I always f*ck everything up??" you could reframe with "I am actively exploring every possible way to reach my goal and that will make me an expert in my field!". Ha! You get the point ;)
- Having first seen your habitual script and coming up with some reframes, you will more easily catch them as you are going about your day and be able to flip your script.
**note** don't get obsessive about this. If you let some less than optimal thoughts slip in, the world will not end and neither will your positive momentum. Just notice, take a breath and redirect. Also, like any new thing it will feel super awkward at first. Give yourself a finite time period to experiment with this. Maybe one week (or whatever feels good). In that time give 100%. At the end of your trial period, don't hesitate to throw the technique out if it didn't accomplish shifts that were worth the effort. There are so many ways to play with being at cause in our internal landscape. I have found the more open I am to just trying things on, and letting them go if I am not jiving, the more fun tools I have gathered in my tool belt.
as always, we are all in this together :)