Today is a happy day! I received my life coaching certificate after having completed a training program offered by the Coaching Excellence Institute. In addition to life coaching, I’ve been trained in facilitating the Lefkoe Method. Plus, I facilitate The Work (of Byron Katie). The former is more about goal achievement in every area of life, and the latter two are more about emotional healing. And they are all interrelated. I want to do these things for a living, helping people become more fulfilled, happy, healed, getting what they want, and feeling good about life.
My independent study of how the brain works has been going well, too. I’ve learned a ton in just the past few months. This stuff inspires me – this is one of my true passions. That’s why I’m so giddy about this certification.
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Today’s topic: thought locations and triggers.
Have you ever noticed yourself having the same exact thought, or types of thoughts, whenever you do the same thing or you’re in the same place? I’ve noticed this a lot.
A while back I started noticing that most of my negative thoughts about the other people in my life would occur when I was in the kitchen. I’ve lived in several apartments, and it was the same in each apartment – always the kitchen. I’m not sure why this is or what Freud would have to say about it. Now, the kitchen is where I display most of my words of affirmation and truth. The kitchen is now a happier place.
There was this song I had memorized on piano, and every time I got to a certain point in the song, I would (seemingly) randomly remember the same person – someone I hadn’t even talked to in years. Again, I don’t know what’s up with that. The mind would just repeat itself.
Lastly, I come up with most of my blog post ideas when I’m walking around outdoors, which is a daily ritual that I do first thing in the morning. Walking gets my brain moving creatively. It’s almost as if my brain recognizes that I’m doing something that’s good for me and that I enjoy, so it rewards me with creative fuel. Sometimes I’ll be walking around a store and I pause, pull up Evernote on my phone, and write large portions of what will become a blog post. It’s almost always induced by walking.
So why am I talking about this? It’s just a noticing exercise. Take notice of what thoughts and feelings you’re having, and especially WHERE and WHEN you’re having them, and WHAT you’re doing. See if you can notice any patterns. Awareness is the beginning of transformation. Can’t hear yourself think? Try turning off the music or background noise, or moving to a quieter location. Noticing thoughts is very much a hearing exercise – hearing your own voice in your mind’s ear.
If you find yourself having some really similar, negative thoughts or feelings, one of the best things you can do is go somewhere new or make some kind of a change. An easy way is to just walk around somewhere you’ve never been – tons of new thoughts will come up. This could potentially help you out of a rut, or an unwanted state of mind, or other problems caused by having the mind on a loop. Take it off the loop by switching things up. Rearrange furniture, clear some clutter, get rid of some objects that trigger emotions you don’t want. This often has a snowball effect… once you get momentum on making one positive change, it’s more likely that you’ll change another.