Watch Your Thoughts

?There are always flowers for those who want to see them.?

--Henri Matisse

~*~ Topic of the Week - Watch Your Thoughts ~*~

While sitting in my sunroom this morning, I remembered a very interesting
dream. Here in the States, the police have a mechanism for checking how
fast people drive in busy neighborhoods by using something called a radar
speed sign -- a sign that flashes your speed as you drive by. In my
dream, I was driving down a neighborhood street when I came upon one of
these signs. However, as I drove toward it, the sign didn't flash my
speed, it flashed my thoughts -- the actual thoughts I was thinking in
that very moment (anxious thoughts about being late for an appointment).
I was so amazed by what I saw that I wondered if it was my imagination.
So I turned around to drive by again. Sure enough, as I pulled up, the
sign flashed my actual thoughts: "I can't believe what I'm seeing."

When I woke from the dream I laid in bed for a long time thinking about
what life would be like if each of us had a flashing "thought meter" on
our street. Just imagine. Each day, as we traveled to work or to and
from errands, we'd be able to catch a glimpse of what we're thinking. As
you consider this idea, what thoughts would you see on most days? Would a
majority of them be positive, life-enhancing thoughts, or worrisome ones
that steal your energy?

If you find yourself in the latter category, don't be alarmed. The truth
is most people live with a majority of less-than-desirable thoughts
running around in their heads. Rather than beat yourself up, better to
slow down and focus on getting a better reading on the meter :). This
plan begins with awareness.

Here's something to keep in mind: Awareness raises consciousness. Read
that last line again because it's important. Just becoming aware of your
typical thought patterns will actually stimulate a move toward emotional
health and balance. That's because the moment you notice a negative
thought, you then have the ability to shift to something more positive.
And then the fun begins. When you focus your mind on something good, it
creates a good feeling, and that good feeling fuels you to make better
choices. Better choices in turn, give you a better life. Let's look at
an example to see what I mean.

Let's imagine that you're worried about paying your bills, and once you
turn on your thought meter, you notice that your thoughts are focused on
how little money you have. If you make a choice to shift these thoughts
to something like "I have the power within me to improve my financial
health," and you keep returning to this thought, it automatically makes
you feel empowered to change your circumstances. This feeling of being
empowered -- a life-affirming feeling -- will lead you to find actions you
can take right now to improve your situation. Then, once you identify an
action and take it, you not only change the course of your life, you
reinforce your positive thoughts and the cycle starts all over again.

So, the first step toward success is to turn on your thought meter. To
that end, check out this week's Take Action Challenge for three ways to do
just that :-).


~*~ Take Action Challenge ~*~

Ready to monitor your thoughts? Here are three things you can do to
create your own thought meter right now:

1. Set an alarm on your computer, your wristwatch, or a nearby clock for
every 30 minutes, and when it goes off, notice what you're thinking.

2. Purchase a big sheet of colored stickers with fun images on them and
place these stickers around your home and office. Then, each time you see
one, stop and take note of your thoughts.

3. Place several check marks on your daily calendar (or in your PDA) at
various times throughout the day and when you come upon one, stop and
monitor your thoughts.

Once you become aware of any negative thoughts, choose one area that feels
most overwhelming and develop a simple phrase that will start to
counteract these unhelpful thinking patterns. Start with just one area of
your life and watch what happens.



http://www.cherylrichardson.com/


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