Did you know that we CAN actually feel happier in the moment even when life seems horrendously difficult by just consciously choosing to change your thoughts? After all, they are just thoughts. That being said, for ‘just thoughts’ they appear to have such a profound effect on our happiness and success in life don’t they?! Bearing so much weight on our lives, perhaps we might want to be a little more selective about what we let go on upstairs! I mean, WHO is running the show? Really? Who is in charge of your experience in life?
This article is about the 3rd M in the series of 3 Habits of Happiness (see earlier blog posts to read about Meditation and Movement). Each offering it’s own gift as we need it – and the one I find most overlooked for its value is Mindfulness. To me, Mindfulness is the art of being in charge of the thoughts that occupy the space between your ears.
What we think about, we bring about. My invitation to you is to start to notice what the thoughts are that you are buying into when you are feeling like life just isn’t working for you. What stories are you telling yourself about a situation that are making you feel worse? What are you ‘feeding’ inside your mind and do those thoughts bring you closer to being the person you want to become or further from it?
There is an old parable where a Cherokee talks to his grandson about the battle of the two wolves inside him. One wolf is full of light, positivity, love, hope, truth, trust and the other is full of anger, jealousy, resentment, blame, guilt and shame. When the grandson asks which wolf wins the battle, the Cherokee replies “the one that you FEED”.
Let that sink in for a moment. Do you tend to dwell on unsupportive thoughts? Do you beat yourself up about what you ‘should have said/done/been’? Do you constantly second guess yourself and your decisions – no longer trusting your own inner guidance because the voice in your head is so loud it drowns out that inner knowing?
Here’s a way to help put you back in to the driver’s seat of your life by being Mindful:
1)        Set the theme for the year
If you haven’t already done so, get really clear on your intention for this year. What do you want 2015 to be about for you? Consider even giving it a theme. For me, this year is about Expansion. For someone else it might be about Connection or Self Care or Adventure, Success, Love, Happiness etc. Whatever it is for you, decide what you want your theme to be for the year and then align your thoughts with that theme daily.
2)        Ask yourself better questions
Having the theme enables you to notice when you are having a shitty unsupportive thought, stop, ask yourself “Does that thought bring me closer to living my intention/goal/theme OR further from it?” and then consciously decide to change direction and pick a new thought.
If you want better results, you need to ask yourself better questions. Instead of asking “Why did this happen to me?” try asking “What is this an opportunity for? Or What is the learning in this?” and notice how just a little shift like how you word a question can give you back your power in a situation.
3)        Be kind to yourself
It’s not always easy to be mindful. Sometimes you’ll forget or you will actively choose to stay in unsupportive thinking and that’s ok because we are all learning. It’s not the falling off the wagon that matters, what matters most is how quickly you get back on it! I want you to know that you can actually bring awareness to your thinking and know that you can, at ANY MOMENT, take back control of your mind and CHOOSE more self supporting thoughts. The more you practice mindfulness, the easier it becomes to think in ways that bring about more joy and happiness.
If you are finding it difficult to take charge of your thoughts and are getting stuck in negative spirals of self doubt and indecision, my gift to you is a complimentary 40 minute clarity call. This call is designed to offer immediate support and to bring a sense of relief, focus and direction into your life today which will help you connect again to the hopeful part of your soul that holds the answers. For more information visit www.abalancedlifecoaching.com or call Kim on 0419 326 808