Last week I had a chance to participate in a very interesting lecture, which was based on the Buddhist wisdom.
There were a lot of interesting ideas about what our mind is, how limitless it is and I was pleased to see that those ideas are the core ones for our well being. At the core of every idea is the importance of becoming conscious about our lives and who we are. Why we do what we do.
I was pleased that speaker mentioned coaching as well, as part of the tools that we have nowadays in order to live fulfilled life and to connect with ourselves.
You probably all aware about the common Buddhism wisdom:
Our thoughts convert to our words. And our words convert to actions.
Exactly. This is what we made of.
Our thoughts. Then words. And after – actions.
The metaphor that the speaker mentioned was:
“Imagine you have a heavy bag, which you are carrying anywhere you go. In this bag you have your beliefs, your negative emotions, criticism, complaints and prejudice. We carry this anywhere we go. In this way, everything we see is influenced by this “heavy bag”. On the contrary, imagine we have a plastic card, which contains our essence and anywhere we go, we see opportunities. In every person and in ourselves as well”.
But lets come back to our thoughts.
I invite you to become a personal observer and make an effort to analyse your thoughts. This is the first step towards conscious life.
What are you thinking about when you wake up? What are your thoughts when you start you day? And during your day? What is that? How often during your day do you criticize internally yourself? Maybe your family members? Maybe your colleagues? Your boss? (I will stop here the list ;))
Now, this is what I always say to my clients – ¨let´s forget about good and bad, there is not any good or bad¨, this might help you to become conscious observer, but not an internal judge and critic. The idea is to become aware about what our mind is constantly working on?
Our thoughts are converting to our words.
Another exercise is to observe what language and tone do you use while speaking with others. Is it harsh? Is it generous? How often do you shout? How do you speak with yourself? How often do you complain about your life and criticize others?
Again, this is not about judging ourselves, this is about becoming conscious of how do we communicate with ourselves and others.
And why all the above is important?
Because thoughts and words makes who we are. These covert into our daily life, into our experience, into our emotions and into the way we see others and ourselves. Thoughts and words will lead to actions and decisions that we make every day.
So here is a one week challenge for you, my dear readers:
Observe your thoughts, write them down, become really conscious about what is happening in your mind. Try to write it down and review it later. What do you see in this list? What thoughts predominate?
Observe your words, see what and how do you speak with others and with yourself. Again, you can write them down and revise the list at the end of the week.
Finally the action – choose one action that you will do in order to change any of the above? What would be the stretch for you here?
I invite you to connect with your internal “appreciator” and every time when your critic appears, give the word to your “appreciator” instead, since you are very aware what your internal critic will say, but lets give a chance to see the other perspective. Simply asking, how can I see this from different angle? What do I choose to learn and appreciate out if this situation?
To give you a personal example, last week I had a conversation with my friend, and somehow I received the comment that I did not like. It was very personal and the fact that someone is giving the opinion on this, did not feel right. Of course I communicate this to my friend, but my internal “critic” was working hard! “How can he ever say this, if I did not even ask his opinion? He is not invited to give an opinion on this!”…
And then I realized that there is simply too much of negative emotions and thoughts. And the way I changed it was: What can I appreciate out of my friend’s comment? I found a lot! I realized that my friend is actually worried about the current situation, and that he wants only the best for me! This was clear! And yes, his intent was positive, but I received it negatively at first, since it did not coincide with my personal opinion.
Do you see the difference? The same experience, the same opinion, but my internal emotions were completely different! Let’s start searching for the positive intent, for the value and opportunities, instead of enriching our “heavy bags”.
You will be surprised how our mind is used to criticism, this is the common theme that I see during my practice course, it is very easy for us to see negative part. I invite you to change that pattern!
Wishing you a nice week ahead and leaving you with another Buddha quote:
Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.