Thoughts and feelings

When a thought is being thought can a feeling be felt at the same time?
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Yes.

When a feeling is being felt can a thought be thought at the same time?
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No.

Thoughts are like clouds and they pass through the mind according to the weather sometimes coming fast and furious like a storm and other days they are like a summer’s day with hardly a cloud in the sky.

Hang on a minute though, what is a feeling and what is a thought? A thought is an idea or an opinion. A feeling is an emotion or a reaction.

I am ashamed. FEELING

I am an idiot. THOUGHT, a NEGATIVE THOUGHT

So if you think that you are an idiot first you can also feel ashamed at the same time. However if you feel ashamed the feeling takes over

Not all thoughts are created equal. Negative thoughts are not to be trusted. Despite the fact you might have thought something, it doesn’t make it true. Just because you thought: “I am ugly and stupid.” It doesn’t make it true. A thought is fleeting. Or it should be. If you do not release the thought it will bang about inside and create havoc. You might start to believe the negative thoughts. Thinking something a thousand times doesn’t make it true either. It just means you are stuck and don’t know how to find the window to release the thoughts.

Back up a bit there.
When you are feeling something you cannot think at the same time?
Really?
Think mindfulness.
When you are experiencing touch, taste, sound, sight or smell and paying attention you cannot have thoughts at the same time. Your attention is on feelings and the present. During that space and time there is no room for thought. You are in the moment. While you are in that moment you cannot be distracted by negative thoughts. You are in the present.

Your attention probably won’t last long but the moment of being in the present will give your mind a rest from thought. Your concentration will improve and your day will be brighter from paying attention. Quite something isn’t it.

Take time out of your day and hone your attention on something that catches your interest. Really notice. The mundane can become something wonderful with a little bit of guided attention. A simple cup of tea can become so much more.

If you have hardly given yourself a thought over the last few years perhaps don’t try mindfulness. Sitting alone with your thoughts might be a bit much for you. Take it slow. Listen you music alone first and build up to mindfulness. It might not be for everyone. It might freak you out paying attention to your surroundings. Our society spends a fortune on distraction. Films, commercials, advertising, music, books, sport, alcohol, drugs, travel, social media, the internet. Society doesn’t want you to get to know yourself. It takes effort and the natural state of human nature is laziness. Effort requires exertion and conscious thought. You may come up with an original thought. Give yourself some attention today.

The unexamined life is not worth living. – Socrates

Single Tasking

Multi-tasking is a myth.

You might be able to drive, text and have an ice cream all at the same time. Completely illegal. Not the ice cream bit, mind you. You might be able to complete tasks at the same time but are you actually aware of what you are doing or are you merely gliding through life but not really living.

To be present in what you are doing, to being there is quite different from doing it thinking of something else. To be present while say eating a hamburger, means that you notice the texture, the taste, the smell. You take your time to chew. You notice what you feel. And you enjoy each moment until the last morsel is gone. And you sit and let that feeling last a while longer as you think about who made the bun, where the lettuce came from and how much garlic was in the alioli. It’s an experience.

You might have eaten the burger before and you know the taste so that’s why you keep going back to the same place. It tastes good. The price fits your budget. Need we say more. Think again of the same burger and meanwhile you have email to read. So you do both at once. Eating and reading. One does not do the other justice. The same burger now is eaten just the same as the prior burger but the experience is not the same. Autopilot is on and the burger is gone and the email is read but if I asked you about it ten minutes later you might have trouble remembering. If I asked you the next day what did you have for lunch yesterday you probably won’t remember.

Which meal is more appealing? Obvious right? The first one where you were present at the meal. But I have no time, you say. I’m too busy to sit down and do just one thing, you protest. What is all the busy-ness about? Do you know why you run yourself ragged? Perhaps you have legitimate reasons like children and mortgage payments and/or more.

Fair enough I say. Does your life need to be complicated? How can you make it simpler? Simpler doesn’t mean boring. I mean how can you make it easier on yourself? Are you doing what you want to be doing? Do you know what you want to be doing? Have you stopped and thought about it lately? Do you still have the excitement you had when you were a child when you did something new?

Try doing the same thing tomorrow as you intended but this time with intention, to be present in the moment. You might find a completely new experience in something mundane.

If we do something while we are thinking or worrying about something else we aren’t giving ourselves the time of day. We are disrespecting ourselves. If we focus on one thing at a time we will find better clarity and our thoughts will have better focus. Concentration will improve and we will enjoy our time more. Our memory may even improve too.

Do all the tasks on your do-to list really need to get done? Today? Tomorrow? Are they important? Are they urgent? No? Walk away. Have a rest. Maybe your list needs adjusting. Less on it. Give yourself time to yourself. Doing nothing.

Single tasking is the start of mindfulness.

Mindfulness is in my sober toolbox.

Mrs D is Going Within

Mrs D is Going Within by Lotta Dann

I’ve gone from an alcohol addiction to a reading addiction. I have finished Lotta Dann’s second book Mrs D is Going Within. One book per day. I wonder if I have an addictive personality? I would, wouldn’t you say so? I love reading and when you have a good book it is hard to put it down. Substitute reading/book for wine and it could be the same thing.

A reading obsession is healthy, isn’t it? Healthier than a sugar binge. But I tend to indulge in that occasionally too. That used to be with wine. Now the sweet tooth is going it alone.

Loved both books. Read them round the right way. Such an easy style to read. Great substance and ideas of how to proceed in the journey in sober land. I made the decision not to drink for Christmas after reading these books. It will be my first sober Christmas ever. Two years ago I started off Christmas Day with the roast meat and vegetables in the oven and champagne in the bath for me. Subsequently after a few drinks I fell asleep in the bath and ended up burning the lunch. It was edible just. Will not be repeating that again.

I tidied up the backyard today. I felt good with the results. I had help too. Many hands make light work. Gosh the weeds were high. All gone now. And with them gone I felt a lightness that made me realise that it was bothering me that the garden was a mess. I had sober issues and was concentrating on not drinking or so I told myself. Stepping into the garden was a tonic. Sitting outside for lunch was fantastic. The reed shade blocked out the sun enough to enjoy the warmth but not be burnt to a crisp.

Quitting alcohol is the easy bit. Or it is so far for me. I’m on Day 13. A newbie. Humour me. Living sober is the journey.
One which needs a toolbox for the ride.
The tools inside my bag are:

Regular Exercise (Walking, Pokemon Go, Weights)
Unconditional Love from my Two Cats (Not a tool per-say but imagine an adorable photo)
Mindfulness
Acceptance
Compassion
Sober Treats (None sweet tooth variety)
Morning Pages (3 pages of writing, Gratitude is part of this)
Internet Out of the Bedroom Habit

I am a work in progress. I don’t do everything perfectly. I make an effort most of the time. Sometimes I have time off. This week I’ve taken time off regular exercise because I cannot sleep. Insomnia is still with me. Two hours sleep last night. I hope that I can re-calibrate my sleeping habit tonight. I am hopeful. My sober treat today was a soak in the bath, with a book and bath salts and an iced glass of sparkling water. I’m trying to gather sober treats to pat myself on the back and say well done me. Morning pages were done at 1:30am. I made use of my time. My smart phone is in the hall charging instead of in the bedroom. Tonight will be the first night without my computer in the bedroom. Books will be on my bedside table instead.

Mindfulness. I think I have been doing a version of this without knowing since i was young. I didn’t know what it was. Observing while in the moment. My mind will wander away from the chatter and I will be in the moment, miss the question or the conversation and upset those around me. Perhaps this is just absentmindedness instead?