Have you heard the research that 98% of the thoughts we had today, we had yesterday? It turns out that we have 65,000 – 90,000 thoughts each day and most of those thoughts are recycled. The same thoughts again and again, day after day. When I tried to verify this, I could not, and yet, when I notice my own thoughts, I am inclined to believe that most of our thoughts are recycled. During challenging times, the same thought may be repeated for hours or days or longer at a time.
If you are like me, you are setting intentions and writing resolutions. What are the chances that we will recycle the very same goals and intentions, that were set last year?
Let’s try for something new. Here are 3 methods I use to create new thoughts and ideas. Before you practice any of these three methods, I encourage you to grab writing or drawing tools, a journal, piece of paper, or create a blank document on your computer.
Listen to the Sounds
I invite you to put on your headphones, turn the volume up and listen. Close your eyes and listen all the way to the end.
Notice how the sounds vibrate in your body.
Notice the lyrics on which your mind rests.
Notice emotions that arise. Allow yourself to simply be present to the music.
Music has the power to transport you. The power to hold you in the present moment with complete attention and connection to physical sensation and emotion. Find music that moves you. Your choice may be Mozart, Fleetwood Mac, Vedic chanting or gospel. Allow the music to move you out of your regular thought patterns and into the silent sounds of your body/spirit connection. Write, draw, or doodle whatever comes to you.
“The questions you ask shape the story you live”, Jennifer Louden from her book The Life Organizer.
Let’s get curious. Here are some deep inquiry questions that can help you create your best story.
Before you begin, take a deep breath. Feel the breath as it fills your chest and belly. Take another deep breath. Place your attention on the sounds in the room. Take another deep breath. Notice the places where your body touches your clothes, or a surface (hands on the keyboard or arm touching the chair), or the air (on your cheeks, the back of your hands). Allow yourself to become very present in your body at this moment and in this space and time. Take another deep breath.
Here are some questions to ask yourself. Write, draw, or doodle whatever comes to you.
What am I most passionate about?
What can I do to my physical environment to have it nurture/relax/empower me?
What is it to be awed?
What am I unwilling to change?
Do Something New
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”, Mark Twain. Forging a new road and creating new thoughts takes opening your life to new experiences.
What do you intend to create for yourself in 2017?
Happy New Year!
Annamarie Fernyak is the founder and CEO of Mind Body Align LLC based in Mansfield, Ohio. She is a certified life coach, mindfulness meditation teacher, and serial entrepreneur. The development of the MBAwareness Education Program was conceived while Annamarie was volunteering to teach mindfulness in a local middle school and found that the teachers and students were struggling to grow calm for their guest teacher, students seemed unable to pay focused attention, and the teachers were growing frustrated.
Annamarie’s focus was to create a program that would transform the lives of the students. She focused on hiring a licensed teacher to create and instruct the mindfulness-based social and emotional learning curriculums to elementary and secondary school students and teachers. Due to the challenges associated with global health concerns, Annamarie’s mindfulness education program is further now evolving into online mindfulness education focusing on teaching tools that reduce stress and support a life where people can feel more at ease. We also teach as a part of corporate wellness programs.
In 2017, Annamarie launched Align Mindfulness which is a FREE app downloadable from your app store that sends prompts a few times a day, bringing attention to what’s happening in your world. Intentionally simple, these reflections help you build a well-rounded “mindfulness” muscle by offering variety in where you place your awareness.