My #ThinkingEveryDayInMay experiment has ended. Obviously, I’ll keep thinking, hopefully less often at 2 a.m., but now that I’m changing my thinking habits, I’ve got more to work on.
This little exercise (which you can still do on your own) showed me how frequently I stifle my thoughts. Too many times I found myself saying “I’ll think about that later”, because I didn’t have time or it wasn’t the right moment to really ponder something. Once I recognized how I deflected that deeper thought I was taken aback at how often it happened. I haven’t fully broken that pattern yet, but I am much more likely to try to embrace those early thoughts because I also discovered…
…that I frequently don’t remember what I believed I would. I knew this happened, but again, grasping how much I did it was unnerving. Many times I knew there was something I wanted to remember and for the life of me, could not. Hopefully it wasn’t the cure for cancer (likely not) or the key to my life’s purpose (totally possible). In hindsight these missing ideas feel like a tangible loss. Even if the ideas never went anywhere I missed out on the opportunity to explore them and potentially use them to leap to something else. Maple helps with this, though I now know that a few words may not be enough to recapture a train of thought. This was apparent when I got a Maple Reminder for a Thought that said: “thin chain with energy types”. Yea, no clue…. I’ve learned to jot down enough to give myself context but not so much as to be disruptive in the moment.
I now understand some Thoughts don’t get my attention because I don’t want to deal with them. Ironically these are the ones that most need my focus and conscious consideration. Without giving you the details, I can say these are things that feel scary or painful or unknown. So when I started to give them time and energy the results often hit close to home and that’s when I shut them down. Now I could just hide these away and never come back to them, but chances are this is stuff relevant to my life’s journey, happiness and goals. Once I had the insight that I was avoiding the deep thinking it became easier to formulate a strategy on how I was going to deal with this not-so-good-for-me habit.
The other “oh wow” revelation is: I sometimes structure my thinking to force a certain outcome – which means I’m not doing my own thinking. This was a little hard to take in when I first recognized it, but then it made total sense: I was not being honest with myself about how and what I thought, I was trying to conform with what I was supposed to think or what I was willing to deal with. After reading Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection earlier this year, I could see I needed to be comfortable being vulnerable with myself so I could be authentic in my thinking. Strangely seeing my Thoughts in Maple made it easier to call bullshit. I repeatedly said to myself: “That’s not what you really think about that so cut the crap and let’s do this.” That may be the biggest lesson of all, sometimes we are so busy being and doing and saying what we are supposed to that we don’t even realize we are losing the connection to our real selves in the process.
Which brings us to my next adventure: authenticity. Not that I am inauthentic, but I do regularly stop to consider “How much of the real Christine can this person take?” A fair question to be sure, but one that also lets me hide from that version of myself, and I’m thinking that is no way to fully live a life.
I’m using the month of June to be genuine and share my Maple Stories. I’ll give you the real deal (aka getting vulnerable) on why I got here, what I’m feeling about it, and how it’s impacting my goals and aspirations. And I’m not the only one who is going to share!
Plus, we’d love to hear your Maple Story. Reach out to me using the Contact form. If you’re feeling brave enough to share with the Maple Insider community we’ll help make that happen. Somehow when we share our stories we feel less alone and much more connected and empowered. So here we go, Onward!
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