After finishing the first draft of my book I have had much less to do than usual; I am waiting for my initial round of feedback…. Although the prospect of feedback is incredibly exciting for me, I believe Tom Petty put it best when he said, “The waiting is the hardest part.”

I’m a doer! One of the hardest things for me to do in my life is… drum roll please… nothing! I struggle to do nothing. If I have free moments, my programming is shouting, “Be productive!” And that programming is loud.

Through many different practices I have learned to quiet my mind, make the voices quieter, but the real practice for me has been what I call thought investment. This has proven to be the tool that has changed my life the most.

In any given day thousands of thoughts come and go from my consciousness. Much of the time my automation selected the thought to which I will give my attention. But there were times when I did not like my reaction, so I needed to hire a new investor, one who was better at choosing the thoughts that align with who I want to be in this world. And I love my new hire!

For example, this morning, after a long discussion with my beautiful teenagers about balancing independence and support, with them leaning more toward independence, I chose to wake both children, make breakfast, encourage eating, pack bags for the day, round up coats and shoes, and then ride in the car so my daughter could drive to school. Even with all that parental support, we still left 20 minutes later than intended.

The thoughts in my head were:

Didn’t you just ask for greater independence?
Could you put in a little more effort? Please?
How am I supposed to create space for greater independence if you can’t even get yourself ready in a timely way in the morning?

Now my previous thought investor would have picked a similar thought with a whole series of expletives which would have resulted in a raised heart rate, disappointment, irritation, anger, and would have come out as relationally destructive. But my new employee chose the thought, “I get to be the parent of these incredible people who are learning to do their best in the world. I’m curious how I can support them to achieve their goals?”

Investing in that thought led to a great discussion about who and how they want to be in the world.

To help me be who I want to be my new investor chooses: “The waiting is an incredible part!”

Who and how do you want to be in the world?

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