What is Conscious Thought?
It's a tricky concept - are we not conscious when we are awake? Well, yes we are. But the concept here is to be aware of our thoughts - maybe mindful - of our thoughts. Learning to drive a car is a great analogy to explain what I mean here.
When we first learn to drive a car we have to focus very very carefully on all the actions that we need to be doing. Turning on the car, accelerating, gear changing, indicating, watching for other cars, pedestrians, road rules. There is so much to be aware of that we focus on this activity and nothing else.
As we become more confident and practiced the action of driving a car becomes quite automatic. We don't have to think about every single component anymore. I often find myself arriving at a destination and becoming aware that I have arrived and haven't really been aware of much along the way. I can't get in a car without putting on a seat belt. All these actions have become automatic and somewhat unconscious.
It is this automated approach to live that the concept of Conscious Thought is looking to focus on. In the automated patterns that we have developed along the way we may have inadvertently started to build patterns that aren't working for us anymore (if ever). We automatically come home and turn on the TV rather than having a cup of tea with our partner and giving them our attention. Or we don't stop to play with the kids, or go to the gym, or do some study, or talk to our family about our dreams.... You see how this can happen.
Recently I challenged myself to do a daily vlog for 30 days to increase my focus on conscious thought. You can listen to the series at my YouTube channel. Each vlog is usually less than 5 minutes. I discovered so many things about myself and my behaviours during the 30 days.
The biggest observation for me is that it is the accumulation of the small things that ultimately create the change. For me, a change theme is about connecting with friends and family, feeling connected, taking action to be connected. Making small changes each day - checking in with a friend by sms, arranging to meet for a coffee - taking the time to take these actions, all contribute to a bigger change around living a more connected life. During my 30 days I was more mindful of spending a little extra time each day to connect with friends. The little time made a big difference.
This weeks challenge
Your challenge for this week - spend more time every day being more conscious of your behaviours and thoughts. If you feel inspired please send me an email and let me know how this feels for you as you practice it.
You are awesome,