Allowing your thinking some space and time
Using my desire to become the best version of myself via some self-coaching activities I have started to develop a morning routine whereby I do some reading from the assorted pile of books on coaching related topics that sit on my bedside table. (I’ve realised that just having these books near to me will not mean that the knowledge they contain will automatically transfer to my brain!)
I am currently working my way through ‘Gestalt Therapy’ and I am challenging myself to conduct and reflect on the suggested experiments within the book. Today’s experiment was about deepening awareness and the text from a page that jumped out and came into my awareness was: “The notion that ‘thoughts’ on their own initiative and without any help from you ‘enter your mind’ must give place to the insight that you are thinking the thoughts. (p85)
I decided to work with this idea of where do my thoughts come from and notice the content of my thoughts. As I went out for my morning walk today, near Cambridge, I tried to empty my mind and be aware of my body and the contact I was making with the external environment. All my effort and awareness was focused on the physical contact I was making and then I became aware that my thoughts, for no apparent reason, shifted to my nephews, one of whom I saw at the weekend and is about to move house. Without too much effort I just allowed this line of thinking to emerge, to have some fun with the experiment and to be curious where the thoughts would go.
The interconnectedness of my thinking went something like this: my nephews are very dear to me. I have had all the fun of being an Aunt, encouraging my nephews to experience things that their parents might otherwise be cautious about. According to an e-card that someone sent to me, apparently 9 out of 10 children get their awesomeness from their Aunt. A sentiment I wholeheartedly support and shared with my nephews for validation. They naturally agreed! The experience of being an Aunt has taught me about a different type of responsibility, courage and risk taking; all things I value in and about myself and what I value in my approach to coaching. It has been a timely opportunity for me to reflect on these values and how they can support me in my current situation.
The insight I take away from this experience and experiment is that whilst thoughts may appear to be random and sometimes seem to come out of nowhere, they seem to serve a purpose. Working with your thoughts as they emerge rather than trying to censor them or rationalise them can provide a fruitful and enriching experience.
I would be interested to know what resonates with you, please get in touch at email@example.com
5 June 2019
 Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth into Human Personality. Frederick Perls, Ralph F. Hefferline & Paul Goodman.