This exercise is meant to increase your awareness about your thoughts which will ultimately lead to detachment from your thoughts. (If you’re jumping up and down in excitement right now then this exercise is definitely for you!!!) This means that your thoughts will become less and less believable (more like a fictional story) because that is all they are anyways: a fictional story!
Your mind will often get lost in fictional thoughts and stories when your mind and body are not functioning as a cohesive team. This means that the mind and body are disconnected and aren’t able to communicate properly with each other. This could go on for hours, days, weeks, or even years without you being aware of what’s really going on. These stories seem so believable that you actually think it’s important to think and worry about them constantly. But that’s just a little mind trick that happens when you are disconnected from your body and your body’s wisdom; the mind thinks it is helping you by doing this but it is actually not.
So let’s go ahead and nip this misbehaving mind trick in the bud by noticing what’s happening and then making a conscious effort to stop the misbehaviour.
Here it goes:
- Notice The Music - Stop and become aware of what you are thinking throughout the day = the music in your mind!! When you first start this awareness activity you’ll have to consciously remind yourself to do this. Some examples of ways to remind yourself:
- Setting a timer on your phone or watch to remind yourself to check in
- Carrying something special in your pocket (a rock, an inspirational coin, etc.) that reminds you to check in each time you touch it
- Wearing something special (a bracelet, necklace, etc.) that reminds you to check in each time you touch it/think of it
- Journaling at specific times of the day to see what you’re thinking
- Checking in with your thoughts at each red light as your driving
- Checking in with your thoughts after each meal
- Name That Tune –Now that you are aware that a CD is playing in your head, ask yourself what thoughts are spinning around and around in your head right now, as if the thoughts were a disc that was on repeat or shuffle.
Pretend your thoughts are tracks on a CD (or an iPod playlist for the younger generation)! Say the playlist had 15 tracks on it: Which track is playing now? Can you think of some other tracks that might be on this playlist?
For example, if you are thinking all about how you shouldn’t have acted that way, how you should have acted more intelligent in that situation, or how you should have been more funny, kind, and interesting, you might name your track:
“The Tale About The Girl Who Sucks” or “Sucky, Stupid Me”
Be as creative or as straight-shooter as you want to be. Go with whatever resonates and maybe something that makes you laugh. You can even picture yourself pressing “Track X”, the CD spinning in your head, and the Sucky Song (or whatever song you are listening to) starting to play.
Doing this exercise creates space from you and your thoughts and you no longer become the victim of your thoughts but instead you become the watcher of your thoughts.
- Notice How the Song Makes You Feel – Does that track make you feel happy, peaceful and free, or does it make you feel squashed, tight, and little? In other words, does it make you feel shackled to a wall like a prisoner or unshackled and free as a bird?
If the track makes you feel unshackled, bubbly, and free as a bird, then the track is definitely serving you and helping guide you closer to your right life. If this is the case you can stop this exercise right now and enjoy!
If the track is making you feel shackled, it is NOT serving you and it would be in your best interest to push STOP! If this is the case, carry on with step 4!
- Press Stop – Deliberately press STOP. You can visualize you finger pressing the stop button in your mind to help create that space between you and your thoughts. Is it really helpful to listen to the same old untruthful, awful-feeling song over and over? It’s no different listening to a band you dislike over and over and over. If you don’t like the Backstreet Boys I have a hunch you’ll start to feel agitated, angry, and lifeless after “As Long As You Love Me” plays for the 15th time. Playing those awful tracks (thoughts) in your mind over and over and over again is no different!
- Choose a New Tune – Think about what you’d rather spend your time doing. Do you want to create a new tune that feels better and even truer? Maybe instead of singing “The Tale about the Girl Who Sucks” you start singing “The Tale about the Girl Who Knows a Teensy Weensy Bit about Everything”. Does that feel any truer? Any freer? More peaceful?
This might be a good time to create a 2nd CD that has tracks that you LIKE on it; tracks that make you feel happy, empowered, healthy, and unstoppable!
Or maybe you decide you are kind of sick of listening to a CD altogether and would rather practice:
- Total body awareness and living in the present moment
- Listing the Facts ONLY
- Or any other combination of life coaching tools that you have in your trusty pocket!
I want to know all about your tunes and CDs! Share your most played tracks in the comments below!