It started as a week long Mind Chatter exercise for the Creativity & Personal Mastery class, where I wrote down the thoughts in my head periodically during the day, and the emotional tenor that I felt at the time (and whether they felt positive or negative).
At the end of the week, I gathered the half-dozen pages of thoughts I had managed to capture, and categorized them. What I discovered is that I tend think about the same thing, over and over and over. Or if not the same thing, the same type of thing. Often like a broken record. It pointed out how insanely redundant, pointless, and often negative my thoughts are.
This was the beginning to becoming aware of my thoughts. Over time, this exercise has transformed into a check when I’m feeling frustrated or annoyed. I survey what thoughts I have been having, what the intent is behind them, and what the emotional undertone is (irritation, frustration, fear, thoughtfulness, grace, loving kindness…)