In my last blog post I wrote about the value of being thoughtful, no matter the outcome of the intention. Over the past few weeks I’ve come to realize that, for sustainable emotional and relational strength, I’ve got to actively practice (i.e. do the homework for) thought managementâ€”which is another kind of â€œthoughtfulness.â€
So, my thoughtful intention today is to plan for and practice better thinking and better thought-filtering. Here goes . . .
A moment ago I realized that I don’t like the term management. It feels boring, formal, and somewhat harsh. I am not inspired by the phrase â€œthought management,â€ so I’ll start my better thinking practice by playing with terms that would suit me better. [Management is still on the brain, apparently.]
Let’s see. Having to work at filtering my thoughts . . . Maybe wrestling with my thoughts? No, too much â€œfightâ€ in it. Playing with my thoughts? Hmmm. Sounds fun, but would I spend too much time with my negative thoughts? Another possibility: Cooking my thoughtsâ€”meaning, selecting only healthy ingredients [thoughts] to stir and simmer together for my mental stew, being very careful to dispose of toxic additives [fear for the future] and preservatives [limiting beliefs based on past perceived failures]. That might work, but is it a fitting metaphor? Why would I have additives and preservatives in hand [in mind] in my kitchen? Maybe that’s the pointâ€”to realize what’s in the ingredients I’ve been cooking [thinking] with! But talking about the presence of toxins is â€œscary.â€ I want something more inspiring, elevating, encouraging.
I know I’m a visual learner, so maybe thought mapping would inspire me. I think I’ll work at designing flow charts to map my thoughts after an upsetting situationâ€”so that I don’t spiral down into an emotional abyss. Watch for them soon!