Today while swimming I had the opportunity to practice choosing my thoughts. I wish I could have tapped at the time, but swimming and tapping at the same time exceeds my coordination skills. I went to the gym today, expecting it to be empty since it was July 4th. I was quite surprised to see that it was packed, but then relieved that the pool wasn’t.
I swam in one lane for a while, and when the person in the lane next to me left, I moved over to the middle lane (my favorite). I was on lap 22 when I saw another woman swimming in MY LANE. I’m used to sharing, don’t really enjoy it, but usually swimmers at least let you know that they are joining your lane. It seems like a safety and courtesy thing to me but I didn’t know she was there until we almost crashed.
That started a cascade of negative thinking about why she had to pick my lane when there was room to join a different lane, how rude she was, and then it got really personal like she did it just to make me miserable. Then I remembered something my friend Zach said to me once. He told me that not everything was about me. Remembering that comment caused me to re-evaluate how I was thinking about this situation.
I started with a statement of gratitude (in my head because I still had my face in the water swimming) that I had been given the opportunity to swim 22 laps without needing to share my lane. Then I chose another statement of gratitude that I am able to swim 22 laps and general gratitude for my health. I chose another gratitude statement about being able to afford to go to a gym that has a pool where I can swim.
As soon as I started feeling good about myself that I was able to turn my thoughts around, those other negative thoughts popped back in. This pattern continued for all 33 laps. When I was purposely engaged in the positive thoughts I enjoyed my swim but when I allowed the negative thoughts to linger I did not. While I wish that the negative thoughts didn’t even occur, I am pretty excited to have had the experience of feeling good when I choose my thoughts wisely. Just imagine how effective it would have been if I was also tapping while choosing my thoughts. Mind Blowing!
What thoughts will you choose today?
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