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Thoughts on Intentional Living
Brady Mikusko, Life Coach 
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Read these questions, answer honestly, and note your internal reactions. If any of them hit the mark, now may be the right time to engage a Coach.

Do you feel dissatisfied with your life?

 

Do you ever ask yourself, "Is this all there is?"

 

Are you filled with wants that are not being expressed or needs that are not being met?

 

Are you overwhelmed much of the time?

 

Do you live your day according to your "To Do" list?

 

Do you feel stuck in certain areas of your life?

 

Are you at a possible crossroads in your life? Are you hesitant or afraid?

 

Are you doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results?

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Issue: #6
November 2011
WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? Part 1
Greetings!

Thoughts are boomerangs, returning with precision to their source. Choose wisely which ones you throw.
--author unknown
 
I have given quite a lot of thought to this topic. Yes, the pun is intentional. In my work with my clients, in my ever-growing library of books on self development, and in my own personal work, the power of one's thoughts--intentional and unintentional--is becoming more and more clear to me. The purpose behind this newsletter is to sound the alarm, but also to ring the bell of freedom. Thought is a choice. The more conscious you are in choosing, the greater your freedom. Sources for this newsletter are too numerous to cite, but include: Dr. Rick Hanson, Katie Byron, Alexander R. Lees, Fernando Flores, and Jeddah Mali. 
 

60,000 Thoughts 

Some sources postulate that human beings have approximately 60,000 thoughts a day. Who knows whether that is true, but almost all sources agree that most of our thoughts are repetitive and old, based on past experiences/memories which led to conclusions, assumptions and beliefs about life--many of which we began to choose when we were 3-4 years old! 

Examples: I have to be good or else. Conflict is bad. I have to have all my ducks in a row before I do anything. No matter how hard I try, I just can't get it right. Life is scary. I can't say no. Things are hard for me and always have been. I am not good at that. I just get by in life. My family doesn't do things that way. Why is it that no one supports me when I need it? I can only play after I get all my work done.

And the list goes on.

What are the thoughts you have had today?

Exercise #1

 

Briefly jot down the thoughts that passed through your head today. This could be in the last five minutes, an hour ago, or when you first woke up and thought about your day and your week. 

 

Now briefly jot down the thoughts you tend to have about (a) yourself, (b) your life, (c) the world. Try not to judge or edit these, simply write them down

 

Take a moment now and consciously look at your "thoughts." Investigate them. What kind of thoughts are they? What kind of experience (including body sensation) did those thoughts create for you? The following checklist may assist you in your investigation. Feel free to add your own words. 

 

My thoughts were:  

Useful
Depressing
Loving/Supportive
Isolating
Fun
Awful
Expansive
Critical
New 
Blah
Encouraging
Same old same old
Respectful (of Self)
Contracting
Refreshing
Heavy

 

Take one last moment to reflect on your experience.

  

Exercise #2

 

Please read the following aloud, with feeling. Think of it as a role play.

Life seems hopeless, bleak even. I have nowhere to turn. No one to turn to. I feel alone. What is more ominous still is that I fear this will never change. Nothing has helped so far and I don't believe anything can really work at this point. Times are hard. I don't know if they will ever get better. They may even get worse, although this is beyond imagination. I dread every day, but what can I do? Life is so hard.

How do you feel after reading those thoughts? Take a moment to reflect on this experience, too. What was your mood? Your sense of possibility? How did your body react to those thoughts/words? 

Hot Piece of Coal

The main point of this newsletter is that thought is one of the gifts of being a human being. Birds and lions and cats and other creatures on Earth do not have this gift. (And you may also note that birds do not fly around thinking such thoughts as: "I'm not a good enough bird.") 

 

So it behooves us to acknowledge the gift--and especially the power of the gift--and begin to be more discerning about which thoughts we bring into form. Why? Because as you might have noticed from the brief exercises above, certain thoughts weigh us down, cause contraction, and create other not-so-good experiences.  

 

A current teacher of mine explained this concept like this.  "Brady: If I handed you a hot piece of coal, would you take it?" I thought she was crazy. I said, "No, of course not." She replied, "Then why do you keep taking that thought (hot piece of coal) and not only grab it, but hold onto it?"  

Mapping Your Thoughts

If these ideas interest you, consider the following practice over the course of your upcoming week.  

Buy a small notebook and keep it conveniently accessible--in your purse, briefcase, car, or next to your bed. For the next seven days, monitor your  thoughts, and jot down the ones that seem negative, problematic, repetitive. Notice any patterns. Notice themes.

Each day, as you track your regular thoughts, select a new one that is not in your usual repertoire. Try it on like a new dress or shirt or pair of shoes. Choose something innovative, fun, inspiring, juicy, expansive.  Notice how this new thought feels. Who knows, you may decide to keep it and use it. You are the thinker, after all and you get to choose. That is freedom.

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This newsletter comes from a deep commitment to share my skills, ideas and practices with whoever expresses interest and need. I truly believe that they can lead and support persons to live their best and most intentional lives. If what you've read has served you, please pass on the newsletter to others. If they like it, they can sign up to receive it directly.

Wishing you well,

 

Brady Mikusko, ACC, Life Coach
author of Be Smart: Prepare Yourself for Divorce Mediation


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