Can We Transform Our Experience of Any Situation?

This is part of a 20 minute regular writing practice. I put the timer on. Write whatever comes to me, until the timer goes off. I check it for typos and any major sentence errors! And then I post it. It feels brave… 

And today – well it’s full of rubbish…

(If you would like to know more about this then you can check out my post from  the 4th of March when it all began…)

Ok, timer is on…

“Pause.

As I haven’t thought much about what I might write today. So I am pausing and listening to what might come up……

……Something that is coming to mind – is my mind! The thoughts that occur all. the. time. Those I focus on affect my experience of any given moment. If you have coached with me you will know that ‘Noticing’ is a practice I have worked on – sometimes consistently – sometimes not! Recently I have. And it always pays off. I remember there is the possibility to improve my experience of any given moment. 

This morning is a good example…..

Perhaps a slightly mundane one (!warning!). Seagulls had pulled apart the rubbish bag we had put out for collection last night. Pretty much the whole bag strewn across our driveway. At 7am our daughter comes into our room tell us this has happened. Yawn.

And, I think (yes…my thinking) “oh no, I’m sleepy still, I’m warm in bed, I’m going to get dirty, it’s a hard job, it’s cold outside, I want to ignore it, why did they have to do it to our rubbish not someone else’s?” etc. …and begin feel a bit miserable about it …. 

Then I caught that initial (and perfectly natural) response in the beginning of my thinking. 

I caught those thoughts. I noticed them and their impact. 

At that point I could have then easily criticised myself – “why are you so hopeless at being positive, why haven’t you learned to embrace everything yet?” yet more thoughts…. blah bla bla ….and still felt would have felt miserable.

But, a third option – In the moment I could choose thoughts to focus on respond I imagined how I would feel once it was done, – pretty good. Then I suggested to myself to think of 2 things positive about the rubbish all over our driveway. 

“Wow! We live by the sea, this is a small price to pay for living by the sea and seagulls are amazing (if they’re called Jonathan ;0)) AND (bearing in mind I have worked in Nepal and India a lot and carried rubbish to a hole by the river) – “Thank goodness we have rubbish collection here that is pretty efficient, and they haven’t come yet so we have time to collect it up.” A little forced thoughts… but a little more positive too… and a possibility of improving the experience.

But this is the key part: In reality either way we were going to do it anyway – and quickly before the bin van came. So either I do it and be grumpy or I do it and enjoy it. I did the latter – LITERALLY CHANGING THE EXPERIENCE of a situation that is exactly the same – however I experience it.  

In reality – it was good! It was early morning teamwork with my husband – together. We got outside in the fresh air early (lovely) we were more awake and had achieved something before we’d sipped our morning coffee in bed. And we laughed at the sheer amount of mess a small creature can make!

I have had a similar situation where I continued to feel negative. My thinking? it was pretty much  “Bloody hell, mouldy muck on my fingers, this is rubbish, flipping seagulls, so much work always, too much to do for this”….etc and felt miserable and it was a rubbish (excuse the pun) start to my day. 

But today – I just changed my thinking, so changed the experience, and as a result the whole outset of the day. And it’s been a good’n!

The experience of my life, every moment, is completely tied into my thoughts. As are your experiences.

You can literally change the experience of any given situation, whatever the experience might be” 

With all the difficulties that are happening right now in the world, if you know of anyone who could benefit from coaching, anywhere, I offer pro-bono coaching engagements with charities, or with those who need it as part of my practice. Please get in touch to talk it through.

If you’d like to read a few more of these, then please sign up at the very bottom of this webpage. And if you would like to experience coaching with me I always offer a free 1 hour coaching session, with no sales, just coaching. You can book it here.

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