Here’s a quick look at this episode:
Do your thoughts pass the test?
In this episode, I’m giving you a test to hold your thoughts up to. I’m sharing what I think about thoughts and how I have come to the place where I have almost total control over them.
Well hello there! Welcome back to the redefining Bold podcast. You're listening to episode number 32 and I'm your host Gwen Whitfield from theboldabode.com, where I help warm-hearted women take small steps toward positive lasting change!
What do you think about your thoughts?
It took me some time to realize that I actually have the ability to be aware of them.
One of the things that I’ve learned from the Enneagram and understanding the traits and tendencies of being a 9, is that I’m in my head a LOT.
In fact, I talk to myself ALLLLLL day long. Years ago, like years and years, I found yoga. I started doing a Kathy Smith Yoga DVD not long after my oldest son, Morgan was born. He’s almost 22, so yeah. It’s been a while.
If you don’t know who Kathy Smith is, she is an exercise queen from the 90’s. Blonde hair, leotards, pink tights… the whole works!
I had several of her VHS tapes. Everything from basic aerobics and ab work to kickboxing and when I saw that she released a yoga video, I had to try it. I loved her so much and if she was doing yoga, I wanted to check it out.
And I fell in love with it. My body just took to yoga, I think because I’m super flexible, mostly. I’ve never been “athletic” so my hamstrings are relatively long. Though I can tell, since I’ve been doing Couch to 5K off and on for a few years, that they have shortened somewhat.
But, in addition to my body loving yoga, my mind loves it as well. It’s probably the only time my mind stops talking. It just slows down, and, for the most part, I find myself really connecting with my body. It takes my mind of my mind! haha
And that is very, very important for us 9’s. Exercise and connecting to our bodies is one of the main ways we can move toward health. And it really does work. I can tell now, as I’m practicing yoga and working out almost daily, and when I look back over my life, at the times when I’ve been very consistent with moving my body, I’ve been in a much healthier place.
It’s weird. But not weird. Because it makes so much more sense now.
But when yoga is over, what happens?
Even though my mind is slower than it was before, the voice turns back on. It starts talking to me almost immediately. It’s like I literally tell myself, Ok, it's time to get up and go take a shower now.
Ok. Let’s see. What’s next. do I need to use my purple shampoo? Yes, I think today is the day, because I haven’t done it this week yet.
Ok. What then? I need to vacuum and dust for sure. And before I know it, I’m mentally going through all the things I need to do for the day.
It just goes on and on and on.
I always laugh at myself when I go to the store because I’ll sometimes catch myself talking to myself under my breath. Or sometimes, even, out loud!
I was talking to a friend about this years ago, and she said, “its a fact that intelligent people do that. They talk to themselves out loud!”
I’m not sure if that’s true, but I’ll take it.
So, I love doing Clicklist grocery pick up y’all! And, now, when I pass someone in the store, who’s talking to themselves about what kind of soap to buy… I smile. Because some people might think they’re looney, but I know we’re kindred spirits.
Those kinds of chats are very neutral, I think.
But there used to be a lot of other kinds of thoughts rolling around in my head every minute of the day.
Very judgmental thoughts. Thoughts that I didn’t realize I was having, but were wrecking my life.
Thoughts about my appearance and my how my house looked and how I wasn’t good enough to do this or that. Or how, when I’d make a simple mistake, how I was stupid or dumb.
I’d talk about how I hated my life and I wish I could do this or be that.
Or why didn’t I do this or be that.
Why did I make this choice or that choice and if I had, my life would have turned out soooooooo differently.
Why did I not get to have this or that? Why did I have to struggle so much?
I mean, it was bad y’all. Very bad. I was pretty mean to myself.
All the while, maintaining this calm composure on the outside. I don’t think anyone would have believed how much turmoil was going on within me. I had this ability to hide it all, even from those closest to me.
It was a horrible existence and one that I hope you cannot relate to. But if you do, that’s why I’m here talking about it. Because I felt so alone in this. And now, I know I’m not. And I never was.
So, how did I go from that deep pit where I trashed myself all the time, to living a life that I love. To loving myself?
I mean, when I first started really seeing social media posts about self-love, and saying things like “I’m worthy”, I was like, yeah. I wish that could be me. I wish I could feel that.
And I’d hear other podcasters and such say things like, “If you want to get here, you just have to believe in yourself. Like really believe”
And it all felt like some sort of mystical religious type thing.
Like, if I hate myself, how can I believe in myself. If I don't believe in myself, how can I believe in myself? How is that even possible?
How do you get from where I am to that? There’s just no way.
It felt unreachable. Unattainable. Out of my league and I never thought I could feel that way about myself.
In episode number 30, I talked about my yoga teacher Leesa and how, when we were in a tough yin yoga pose one day, she gave us a mantra. She told us to say, "my darling I'm here for you." And that was my first experience with really saying something truly kind to myself.
That was sometime ago but it started me on this journey. What really happened in that moment was an awareness came to me. An awareness of my thoughts. It was like the fog around the question, who am I? Started to lift.
Eckhart Tolle says and I'm paraphrasing here,
“you are not your thoughts. You are that which is aware of your thoughts.”
You can create space around your thoughts and and be aware of them. I mean, that was revolutionary to me. It didn't happen overnight, but with some practice, it got easier and easier.
And so now I have a test. I have a test that I put my thoughts up against. And this test is simple:
I look at a particular thought, especially if it makes a negative, or insecure feeling begin to arise in me. Like, I can feel it in my body, in the pit of my stomach. So when I start to feel that in me, I stop and I ask myself:
Is this thought…
When I first started on this journey, I was determined to live a radically positive life. I wanted all of my thoughts to be rah, rah cheerleadery, happy and positive. But now I realize that sometimes I need to acknowledge pain. I need to feel my emotions, and emotions are not always positive. That is real. And so I've come to wiser place, maybe? Maybe a place where I can hold these emotions and yet also see things with some perspective.
When I have a thought that is not kind or helpful, I'm able to recognize it and know that it does not pass my test. And when I have a thought that doesn't pass this test, I'll take a moment and find a way to reframe it. Or dismiss it. The other day, I had some hormones going on now. And hormones will affect your mood. And I had to take some time and argue with myself. You can hear more about that in episode number __.
I simply refuse to have thoughts that make me feel bad. Or judge me in someway. Or are not helpful or productive.
Ok, now pause this episode, and get a pen and a paper piece of paper and write this down. If you're driving or just can’t write right at this moment, just come back when you can. I'm going to repeat the test here: write it down and tape it to your mirror or your computer monitor or to a place on the wall that you will see.
Take a moment each day to ask yourself this question because it will help you to be more aware of the thoughts that come into your head. And that's where you can really start to develop the awareness that can lead to positive lasting change. Here they are again:
Is this thought…
Kind? Encouraging? Uplifting? Helpful? Supportive? Empowering? Useful? Comforting? Appreciative?
That’s it. That’s the test.
I don't have time for thoughts that aren't going to help me. I don't have time for thoughts that are going to hold me back. I don't have time for thoughts that are going to feed my insecurities and my hangups. Or judge me lacking.
I only have time for thoughts that are going to support my emotional well being and help me be a healthier and more integrated person. I only have time for thoughts that are going to propel me forward and help me be a kinder, more appreciative person. I only have time for thoughts that are going to lead me to being a stronger, more resilient woman. I only have time for thoughts that are going to help me work through challenges and see myself for who I really am.
Because I am.
And now, I do believe in myself, because I watch my thoughts and tell myself encouraging and uplifting and compassionate things.
Because the thoughts we think over and over and over and over. They become our beliefs.
I believe in myself. And I am here with the sole purpose of helping you do the same.
If you have any questions, you can hit me up over on instagram. My bio is @theboldabode.
Or email me at [email protected]
Thanks so much for listening and I’ll catch you in the next episode!
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