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A thought is just a thought!

Thoughts are just thoughts! They are not tangible, you can’t touch them, you can’t even see them, ultimately, they are not real. They only exist in your head...

The last few days I have been all up in my head. I’ve been whinging and moaning to myself, mostly about having to cook and clean and run around after the whole family while they sit back and enjoy themselves, barely lifting a finger to help out. I’ve been wishing that they do this and hoping they do that. All the while my thoughts have been getting louder and angrier. “Why should I have to do all of this by myself?”. “Why can’t they get off their butts and give me a hand?”. I’ve been working most of the day too!! Whoa is me – I’m having my own little pity party.

Unhelpful thoughts bombarding my mind creating feelings of jealousy, anger, resentment – I’ve even been plotting my own revenge – planning how I’m going to lose my “sh*t” and let rip – giving them all a piece of my mind.

Oh, I see you…. unhelpful thoughts!

Then I remembered – my number one tool – the tool that I bring out on occasions just like this one. 

So I STOP and take a breath!

Once I stop, I can see that none of this thinking is my reality. Thoughts are just thoughts!  They are not tangible, you can’t touch them, you can’t even see them, ultimately, they are not real. They only exist in my head! And when I pay attention to them I find I attach more thoughts to them – then I end up playing out this whole scenario – directing this whole story – and from just one tiny thought comes a whole heap of tiny thoughts that then turn into feelings – no one else Is thinking what I’m thinking – they’re all thinking their own thoughts, living their own reality – just minding their own business.

So now I employ my tool number two - AWARENESS. And I start to notice these thoughts are mostly unhelpful thoughts and I see them for what they really are. Just plain old ‘thoughts’ not good thoughts, or bad thoughts, just thoughts and each time I notice them I just say – I see you thought – you are not my reality – thank you for visiting – but I choose to let you go now – I won’t be distracted by you today.

Ahhhh the freedom – my mind had been so congested by all this unhelpful thinking that I was having trouble concentrating, I wasn’t able to work effectively because my mind was so busy being distracted by all this mindless thinking.

Finally it is time to engage tool number three – THE POWER OF CHOICE. Now that my mind is calmer and my thoughts less cluttered, I can think with more clarity.

When those unhelpful thoughts pop up I employ step 1: I stop and take a breath, then do step 2: become aware - I notice that a thought is just a thought, and here’s the magic of step number 3: I make a choice – now that I am aware of the thoughts I can choose the reality I want to create. I can continue to wallow in my own self-pity and feel grumpy and sad or I can let the thought go and continue going about my day with peace, joy and equanimity - engaging fully in whatever it is I was doing – before the unhelpful thoughts invaded my mind.

Personally, I’m done with feeling crappy – so I’m choosing peace and joy – especially because my kids are only at home for a little while and then they’ll be gone, back to their own lives in the city and I’d much rather spend every minute of every day enjoying their company and spending my days in awe of their amazingness.

Thank you for the ability to recognise that a thought is just a thought and in every single moment I have the power to create my own reality.

And so, it is. Awareness creates choice. 

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    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

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