Thought Catching

Many years ago I made Dream Catchers with my students. Borrowed from the Native American tradition, they were a beautiful way to remind ourselves to dream, that dreams matter. As we made them together, we talked about our dreams. Then we hung them near out beds, jotted down our dreams upon awaking, and made them into poems or art.

The other day, as I was coaching a client by listening for a painful thought to question, the words “thought catching” came to mind. Since then I’ve been turning over those words.  Thought Catching is a lot of what I do with clients.  I listen for thoughts that they can’t hear, thoughts that keep them in locked in a story that hurts them. Once I hear a belief , we can usually get traction and find something truer and kinder.  The result is nothing short of freedom.

I’ve been wondering, what would a Thought Catcher look like? It would have to be selective, since neurosciences have estimated that we think 60,000 of them a day.  They come and they go, like dreams.  Some stick with us and cause us pain. Those are the ones I’d like to catch, before they do any more damage than they’ve already done.

I haven’t yet come up with a new invention, but I already know of one that works incredibly well for the purpose.  It’s a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet, a foundation of The Work of Byron Katie. Katie refers to it as “flypaper for the ego.”  When we judge someone else (or something else), we catch our own thoughts.  It’s a thought catcher. Try it out.  You can find it at thework.com. Click on Resources.  Then look on the left-hand side under “Downloads.”  Once you get the thoughts, use the One Belief at a Time Worksheet to question each one.  Or call me and we’ll see what thoughts we can catch together.  One at a time.

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