Circles of Attention
Circles of Attention. There are three places our thoughts can be: Present (2nd Circle), Past (1st Circle), and Future (3rd Circle). The Circles of Attention offers a fun visual to remind us of when our thoughts wander...and how to bring them back to 2nd Circle. The Past is behind us, we can learn from what we've done ("Should Have...Shouldn't Have), but needn't dwell on it. The Future is only conjecture at this point ("What if...), and while we can plan a bit, we needn't fixate on those things we over which we likely have no control. Print this! Share this!
The Thought Train
All Aboard! Or Not! While we literally have thousands of thoughts each day, we have the benefit of choosing which ones we entertain, which ones we let go. Much like the cars on a long freight train, our thoughts roll (seemingly) endlessly down the track. 1st Circle thoughts. 2nd Circle thoughts. 3rd Circle thoughts. We decide which cars to jump on...which ones just to let go. The Thought Train is a great exercise to do with students (and yourself!) to identify which thoughts are present, to write them down...then decide if the "cars" are worth getting aboard. Then, have the students put their Thought Train sheets away...and resist them in a couple of weeks, or a couple of months. It's illuminating to discover how many of our pressing thought "cars" seem minor and inconsequential in retrospect...underscoring how often we needlessly board the Thought Train.
What is good about today? There's always something, right? We are masters at finding problems, laser focusing on what's wrong. We often don't take time to capture what is going well...and that certainly affects the way we think and feel.
Pocket Goodness is a simple, quick exercise that lasts throughout the day. On your Pocket Goodness piece of paper write down one thing (or two or three!) that's good about today. The weather? Sure. Your lunch with a friend? Absolutely. Your good hair day? Why not?
After you have written down what is good about today, fold up the paper, and put it in your pocket (or purse, or planner or...) and occasionally throughout the day, take it out, look at it, and enjoy what is good about today.
Mobile Gratitude takes Pocket Goodness to another level. Gratitude is powerful, affecting not only ourselves, but those around us. When we are grateful, we are healthier and happier...and when we share that gratitude, we positively impact every sentient being (this is the humanistic domino theory at it's best!).
You can work with Mobile Gratitude in one of two ways: Keep it personal, or share the love!
On your Mobile Gratitude slip of paper, write down something which, or someone for whom, you are grateful. Just that expression alone is powerful. But, to turn up the power level, why not share that gratitude with the person you wrote about?!! Give them the Mobile Gratitude slip in person...and just watch how you make their day. You both will directly experience the power of gratitude.