Riding the Thermal or Circling the Drain?

Have you ever had the sensation of thoughts speeding around the inside of your skull like a motorcycle in a cage at a county fair? This usually happens at 3 am when some mosquito thought buzzing around your mind wakes you. You can’t stop thinking, and you get wound up in your circle of thoughts.

You do have a choice.

You can ride the thermal like a hawk on a sunny day, or you can circle the drain. “Circling the drain” is dark jargon used to describe terminal patients, those who are just at the edge of death. Like dishwater spiraling in the sink as it goes down the drain, you can bring your thoughts and emotions into where you feel trapped and in the dark about what to do next.

Or you can change directions and float upward by changing the content of your thoughts.

It takes practice. But that is why “the secret” is a secret. The law of attraction works on your emotional state, not on the thoughts, the words that your mind uses to make meaning of your physical sensations.

If your fantasy of having a new carrera, mulitple streams of residual income and a hot date every Friday night does not make you feel warm and fuzzy, then it isn’t likely to happen. Even if you work hard to get there, you are circling the drain of failure if you don’t change your thoughts to those that make you feel good.

A simple distraction from the downward spiral is to count your breaths. It’s a form of meditation. Breathe in, hold for a bit, breathe out, count one. Repeat 25 times, if you can. You’ll likely be asleep before you get to 15. If not, keep counting. Breathing is good for you, and less stress-producing than counting sheep.

If appropriate, go outside and sense any living thing–a tree, a flower, a bush, a bird. By sense, I mean smell, touch, listen to, view, taste it physically or in your imagination. Of course you can’t really touch a living bird chirping in a tree high above your head, but you can imagine the feel of it in your hand, its tiny heart beating, its soft feathers, its beak pecking you to get away. You can taste the air and know that it supports the bird. You can listen to the sound of the leaves in the tree and caress its bark as it cleans the air.

Your feelings are affected by your thoughts, and your thoughts are explanations of why you feel the way you do. Today’s depression may only be a backlash from yesterday’s sugar high, chemical rather than some archetypal hangup about your childhood. Even with chemical imbalances, you can choose to think of things that you can appreciate, even if it’s your ballpoint pen, your keyboard, your favorite t-shirt. It helps you get back in balance to find a bright spot, physically or psychically.

You do control what you think. So are you going to ride the thermal? You can see so much better from up there what to do as the next logical step.

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