I’ve got a really simple exercise to communicate to you today. It’s a powerful tool to give us a fresh start each day, to reveal calmness. In a moment I invite you to gently sit back, in a comfortable chair and close your eyes and count the thoughts. All I want you to do is count the thoughts numerically and when you become aware, assign a number 1, 2, 3. And all you’re going to be doing is watching and noticing and observing, and then count.
So if you’d just like to get comfortable and then gently close your eyes and imagine you’re sitting outside in your most comfortable chair on a summer’s evening, watching the night sky.
Begin observing and noticing, and then start counting the thoughts that come through. The thoughts keep moving.
So if you’d like to do that now, gently close your eyes for about 20 or 30 seconds and then slowly open them. (It doesn’t matter how long you do it for, it doesn’t need to be exact).
How many thoughts did you count 5 or 10 maybe a few more? It’s amazing the number of thoughts that move through but it really doesn’t matter what the number was. The important thing is that you’ve observed and watched and noticed, and you’ve assigned a number to those thoughts that move through.
By doing that, you’ve created space between you and the thoughts, and you’ve been able to observe them. Assigning the number diminishes the intensity of those thoughts. They have less power over us, even to the point of having no power.
And that which was observing is actually who we are. We’re not our thoughts. Our thoughts pass through. It’s just that our mind has a tendency to identify with those thoughts and become overpowered with the story of them.
So moving forward from here over the next few weeks or even months, if you find that things are speeding up for you or you’re getting a bit run down or caught up in some frustration, create the opportunity to sit down, just for a minute or so, close your eyes observe and watch and notice, and count your thoughts. What you’ll find is that you’ll create some space for your self, you’ll slow down and give your self an opportunity to have a fresh start at the day. It’s actually a really powerful thing to do even if you only do it once a day. Get into a routine, when you get to work, sit down for a minute or so, close your eyes and count your thoughts – and see what happens to your day.