For most of my life, I’ve been trained to pay attention to my actions, not my thoughts. It’s how I behave that really matters.
I never even knew I had any responsibility over my thoughts. My understanding was, they come and they go, that’s just how they are. And since I do have a lot of them (some of which are a little cray-cray), the best way to manage them is to ignore them. Then I got a real awakening on the power of my thoughts.
It was about 5 years ago and since my youngest was in school all day I had a decision to make; get a job or go back to school myself.
Of course, we’ve all heard the stories, “they went back to school at age ___ and not only became a lawyer, but also valedictorian!” Who doesn’t love that story? The underdog does it again! Would that be me? I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go back to school!
So I referred to my wise young niece who had just earned her master’s degree and she said, “Why don’t you take something fun to get your feet wet?”
Ding, ding, ding…..she had me at fun.
I excitedly/nervously signed up for a home décor class at our community college. Fun right? I love to decorate. Maybe it would be a great way to make a living?
Well by the second class I was already running into some trouble. Our instructor was explaining how to read the scale ruler and I just couldn’t get it. My brain started to snap, crackle and pop and I waved my hand swiftly to disperse the smoke coming out of my ears.
I stared at the wide open door and contemplated my escape, but my pride came to the rescue reminding me to stay and pretend I knew what I was doing. As the others began to fervently work on their projects, I held back my tears of frustration.
Of course the universe has always taken care of me and another back-to-school mom smiled from across the table and ask me if I was ok.
“No,” I admitted. “I don’t get it.”
She came around our shared drafting table with her ruler and showed me once again and for whatever reason, it clicked and I got it! I was elated! Maybe my brain was still functional!
I continued on with the class, stumbling here and there while thoughts of quitting flowed in and out like a sneaky burglar stealing my treasures. Eventually I vented this to a good friend of mine.
She asked me a simple question, “When you are in the class, looking at the clock, staring at the door, feeling all those feelings, what are you thinking?”
“I can’t do this. It’s too hard.”
My answer surprised me, but with it came a realization to an inner truth as previous life situations flashed through my head. I could not deny the strength of my negative thought patterns. I couldn’t deny the proof; my thoughts do matter.
My friend reminded me to try to catch those thoughts, accept that they are indeed there (resisting them is futile) and then adding some different ones like, “I am courageous taking a college class after all these years.”
Then I went even further with my new thoughts, “I am a college student and I’m here to learn. If I already knew how to do this, then why would I take this class?” (Ha ha ha, tee hee hee)
Since that time, I’ve had a heighten awareness about all thought and it has been an awesome, aggravating, powerful, depressing, enlightening, never-ending journey – and – a class I continue to sign up for.
Oh and by the way, I DID NOT go on to graduate and become an interior designer at the top of my class…. BUT…..I DID complete that class with a B+ and have enjoyed a few more continuing education classes since AND looking forward to more.
Change your thoughts, change your world. Today I THINK Life is Good!