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The Emotional Map

Spam Filter For Your Brain - Episode 52

So, around about twelve months ago, I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to start a podcast.

If you go back to listen to episode one, you will see exactly why I procrastinated over this decision for such a long time. It's because I didn't want to be wrong. I didn't want to have it shoved in my face, and we're a year in. This is my 52nd episode of the podcast, which is quite wild to me. I've been doing this for a whole year because it's been so joyful, and actually, I put it off for so long because I thought it would be a complete drag. But creating these little sound bites and little thought bubbles and sending them off out into the world feels like it's been a real point of connection from my heart to many people, and I get lots of nice feedback about it. (You could leave me nice feedback, if you like, as a podcast review. That'd be a lovely thing. I'd be very grateful).

But I just kind of wanted to mark this moment, especially with a sort of magnifying glass over it, as sometimes the things that we're putting off can actually be really nice. That's always really good and really important to remember, and also just to possibly put out there a bit of homework alongside the podcast this week if you're down for the mission. If not, maybe you've got enough to do. But there is a little exercise which might just knit all of the messages and all of the missives that I've been putting together over the last year. And it is something for you to really investigate what's going on for you, what's going on in your life and what you would like to be going on.

And that is just to get a piece of paper and write on the piece of paper. Give yourself like 90 seconds to write as many emotions as you want on the piece of paper, as many different words for emotions as you can think of. Just cover the whole thing in emotions. And when you have that in front of you, I want you to, I invite you to, just try and imagine what sort of thought you might have that would lead you to that emotion, what thought would cause this emotion to come up for you.

And from this really basic exercise, you might have a whole load of things on that little emotion Rolodex, dating myself there, and there might be lots of things that are happy, joyful, fun emotions.

And there might be a whole load of other emotions, like frustration and boredom, and there might be a whole load of things that you classify to be negative, like anger and disappointment or sadness. And just notice when you are going through the range of things that you have put down what thoughts you have linked to these emotions, and you'll begin to map out a picture of which of these thoughts you actually have on quite a regular basis. Which are the thoughts that come up for you in your everyday life? Which are the ones that you think are facts rather than opinions? What are the ones that you go around telling yourself quite a lot more than you were expecting to? And possibly you thought you feeling that particular emotion all the time was just like some little puddle you fell into rather than it being linked to a thought that you're choosing to repeat to yourself.

And that really is the key to it is, I think, mostly we believe, and I think quite often we're taught, that our thoughts are things that just happen to us. And because it's coming from the inside of our brains and it's coming out in our voices, we quite often think that our thoughts are just facts. We're just observing the world in a very scientifically neutral way. But actually, we can change our thought patterns. We do have the ability to change our mind, much as political discourse would tell us otherwise. We have the capacity to learn new things. We have the capacity to think new things. It's just if you think of it as the way that we can learn a new language or we can learn to use our new phone or the way that we can find a new route when we're going somewhere can be really full of a whole load of concentration and confusion the first time we go there. And then, if we go there a lot, it just becomes a bit second nature. It's quite often why going somewhere feels like it takes a lot longer than coming back because we at least have some sort of sense of markers in our brain as to what's meant to be going on here.

And we can change the way that we think about things. And it is, I mean, the methodology of that is what I teach on the courses. But this first point of being able to take a step into control of your own life, agency over how you feel about the stuff going on around you, is noticing that these things are choices.

Just noticing.

Noticing what thoughts go with what emotions and which ones you want to have more of in your life.

And frankly, if there's some emotions on that sheet that you want to feel a bit less, maybe there's a thought going on there that you might want to shake around a little bit and see if you can get any dust off it and create a bit more space around it rather than thinking that it's an absolute truth out there in the world.

If you'd like to learn how to do any of that stuff, I'd love for you to join any of the courses that we're running. SelfCareSchool is just about to go over a big old overhaul. We are launching for 2024 a really exciting new phase of things that's going to be open and ready for anybody to look at any of the themes that they want to at any point. And we're going to be really refocusing on the glorious group calls that are so gorgeous in their supportive energy and the way that people hold and support each other and learn from each other and learn from people with really different life experiences. It's a really beautiful environment.

And I just wanted to take this moment to really thank you for listening to me in your ears, which is quite a wild concept of both technology and open-hearted commitment and connection. How beautiful. When my health is quite ropey, and I'm often at home, I still get to connect heart-to-heart with so many folk through the magic and wonders of the airwaves.

So, thank you for welcoming me into your world. I really genuinely appreciate the fact that you take the time to listen to these things, and I really hope to see you on the calls. I would love, love for you to leave a review for the podcast should you so wish to, and if there is anything that I can do to support your emotional mapping and come along for the ride of how we can decide these new thoughts in our world, I'd love to support you in that.

I look forward to getting you really curious about what the next twelve months are going to bring us. So I'll see you again in your ears next week.

See you in your ears. What nonsense.


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