Creating thoughts vs. Choosing thoughts

Hi Brooke!

Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.
I learned so much from you along the way! Still do ☺

While reading the Self Coaching 101 booklet (I read the book in 2014), from the Bonus Box, a few phrases made me stop and think for a while.

“Now I know that every thought we think can be a choice we make.
I know now that I can retrain my mind to think in ways that bring me positive emotion and therefore positive results.”

It used to totally resonate with me up to a few months ago when my perspective shifted a little, but it made a big difference.

While there is little doubt that thoughts appear in the mind, it’s highly unlikely that “I” generate them.
There is great amount of doubt that such thing, as “I” or “self” even exists. It seems to be a mental illusory construction.
Initially it felt disempowering, as “I” needed to always be in control.
But through a series of insights and “Aha! moments” it came to me that the only free will that “I” have is not to choose which thoughts to create (effort), but rather to choose which thoughts to believe (awareness).
It might seem like a little difference, but it had a huge impact for me.

Thoughts just appear and disappear in the mind. They are not “yours”.
You can take them, or can leave them.
Like at Sotheby’s auction, or X-factor.

By choosing to believe the good ones, which initially appear rarely, and dismiss the bad ones, which pour on you like pigeons in San Marco square, you will steadily increase the prime time for the good ones, and diminish the broadcast of the bad ones.

It was such a relieve to finally figure out that that horrible radio station that played nonstop nonsense chatter in my head was not founded by me, and I didn’t have to necessary listen to it, and that I could rotate a little the tuning wheel and see what else is playing.

Watching the mind freaking out and seeing how it always wants something “for your own good” (survival) is hilarious.

It’s like a form of meditation, but not just a steady (lazy), contemplative one.
“Doing nothing”, for me turned out to be the most productive thing ever.
It cleared the mind, and freed additional energy for all the daily activities.
Energy that was previously used for boiling the daily “thought potion”.

So, for me, it appears that we do retrain our minds, but not directly through the effort of generating a new thought, but through conscious choices about which thoughts, from the daily pool, to welcome in our lives, and to which to say “Next, please”.

When the mind calms down, as there is no more creative struggle, we are granted access to the unlimited wise power within us that already has all the right thoughts and answers.
Maybe not the ones that we want, but definitely the ones that we need…

Please, excuse the lengthy essay, but I want so much to have your reflections on this matter.

Thank you!

Kind regards,