Have you ever found yourself thinking in a way that felt like a jinx? You hear a thought and quickly try to plug it? For me, it was usually inappropriate things. Like, suddenly imagining my music teacher naked, or saying things to people in my head whilst in a real conversation with them.
If we train the brain to have contrary thoughts, and accept those contrary thoughts, we will continue to have contrary thoughts.
‘I want to be successful,’ a part of you will say, desperately trying to plug the other part that says, ‘but, wait, you don’t believe in yourself!’
Thoughts come, sometimes in a way that feels unstoppable, because that’s how it’s always been. In my mid-twenties, my thoughts reached such a pace that it got to the point I couldn’t just brush my teeth and go to bed. I was questioning the way I brushed my teeth, coming into the bathroom, approaching the task as if I was getting it wrong and probably doing myself damage as a result. This feeling was so clearly out of whack with the reality of brushing my teeth that I thought, this needs to stop!
At the first meditation retreat I went on, I was introduced to the idea of an altar, and who the figure on this particular altar was. I was trying to listen, nodding in the way that someone who was serious about learning meditation would nod, yet in my mind I was greeting the figure on the altar with a ‘Yo, dude! What’s up? Nice outfit!’
I told you my thoughts can be inappropriate!
Back then, I felt like a very crude student – though, I love this part of me now: she’s my voice!
Back then, I thought: these are the kinds of thoughts we get into trouble for.’
I was trying to meditate, whilst in this state of constant tension, grief and shame. I would dread the content of my mind, even though I couldn’t stop it. What was I going to come up with next?! I had a sense of powerlessness. All I felt able to do was sit and cringe, all the while thinking I was a really bad student.
Until the moment I realised that I was doing it, meditating, just watching all this shit go by.
I’m grateful for all of this now. I’ve navigated so many of those back corridors of my mind that I have a much clearer idea of what lurks in my brain. It’s mostly hilarious back there now.
I’ve learnt that it’s not about trying to close the door on a thought that runs contrary to what I want, or the kind of person I think I am. There’s also no specific, set way to get to a place of peace, enlightenment, or inspiration. I’m not here to tell you, put your left foot forward first, then sniff three times and spin in a circle. I’m here to tell you, here’s what happened when I did.
So, in this specific example – having thoughts that run contrary to your dreams – first, I got to a place where I could simply note my reaction. This is where I begin with my clients. A place of total fact. This takes time to learn, and it’s extremely empowering when you do.
So, we note our reaction. Perhaps it’s a sense of, ‘oh, no, not this thought again!’ Maybe it’s a feeling of sadness, or futility, or anger. It might be a belief that ‘it will never happen’.
Just note it.
Now, imagine that all of this is like receiving the post, which comes every day, like clockwork. What if you were to look forward to that postcard, which always arrives, to see what it says today?
Does that sound crazy; looking forward to the almost illegible scrawl that says, ‘ha, yeah, buddy, dream on.!’
Do you know what’s really crazy?
Doing the same thing, over and over and over, and expecting a different result. Creative Coaching enables you to break the cycle, to do something you haven’t done before and therefore change your life.
When that postcard comes, what it’s really saying is: Are You Sure?
If we freak out to read that question, every time, over and over, then the question has a right to keep asking. Wouldn’t you say?
Just note it.
Acknowledge that you have a dream, and that it’s okay for a part of you to wonder if you are sure. Give thanks for receiving your mail and the opportunity it gives you to check over the situation, find some honesty about the challenges that you are facing.
And then, give your answer – the answer that will define the rest of your life.