15 Seconds of Pure Thought

I started reading a few chapters of a book about debugging the mind last night and one of the first exercises he has readers do is to think of something from our past – something that makes us feel great whenever we think of it – and hold that thought/feeling for at least 15 seconds. He elaborates on both how difficult this is and how challenging it can be. Mostly he insists upon the importance of stopping everything you are doing until you can do this – hold this thought/feeling for at least 15 seconds.

Now, 15 seconds doesn’t seem like a very long time. But I challenge you to stop reading right now and see if you can do it. My biggest obstacle, however, has been finding something that isn’t also tainted with a subsequent sad or unhappy memory. How did I get to be 51 years old without having not one, but numerous, memories of times I felt absolutely wonderful? I was eager to do the exercise – and he convinced me of the importance – but I can’t seem to identify a really strong memory of feeling GREAT that I can use as a reference or spring board.

One might assume that I therefore have had a difficult or un-joyful life. This however, isn’t the case. I’ve had a pretty good life and I’ve been incredibly blessed in many, many ways. It’s just that when I remember one moment, then there is the a future memory of how that, say – new relationship – fell apart. So, I can’t hold onto just the good feeling of the beginning.

I spent most the night sifting through memories looking for something I can use for this exercise and I’ve felt pretty frustrated on not coming up with something. Surely there is has been at least one or two times in my life that I’ve felt unbridled joy that wasn’t related to a subsequent painful ending. And even remembering the joy of being on personal retreat and how good I have felt when I’ve been in the flow doesn’t seem to evoke that deeply happy joy that he is talking about.

So, one might wonder what that’s all about? Is this just my minds way of fighting back from me taking control? Because taking 15 seconds to focus on a positive memory or thought is taking back control of our minds. 15 seconds at a time. The author of the book goes on to say we should do this 15 second exercise several times throughout the day.

As I type this, my cat Mystic jumps up and insists on sitting on my lap – almost blocking my access to the keyboard. She is purring and looking up at me with a “give me your undivided attention” stare. “Those hands should be petting me and not on the keyboard!” So, I stop typing long enough to scratch her neck and chin and just allow the good feeling of loving her to be my exercise.

All of a sudden, 15 seconds seems like a long time. Being fully present with her for a few seconds is hard enough. Especially when I want to finish my thoughts here and get this blog posted. This seems to be a great example of how I rush from one thing to another and don’t stop to allow the pure bliss that is present right here, right now.

Maybe this is partly why I’ve been struggling to come up with a memory I can use to create my 15 seconds of vibrational joy … because I’ve spent so much of my life not being fully present in the moment that those experiences have slipped by unnoticed. However, I’m pretty sure that’s just an excuse my mind is using to keep me from taking back control. And, like a lot of things, it’s not really black or white as there is some truth to it as well.

By now if you’ve been following my blogs, you know that I believe our thoughts and words create our reality. And subsequently, this means I understand and believe in the Law of Attraction. Consequently, I believe if I can get myself to focus on a positive thought/feeling for 15 seconds many times a day (let’s say, a total of 15 minutes per day), then I will attract more of that good feeling into my life. So, I totally get how important this first exercise is to my creating a life I love.

I will continue to sift through my memories and find one that gives me this good feeling. Who knows, maybe it will be sitting with my cats as they are purring. Or, segmenting one of the memories I have that feels subsequently tainted. I’m curious for now, however, as to if anyone else has this issue of finding it difficult to identify an event or memory that you can use to tap into? And if you have one, are you able to hold it for 15 seconds?

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