"Whose Thought is That?"

It can be hard to know what we actually want. We have the echoes of years of commercials in us. Yesterday I actually had the thought, "Coke: Open Happiness." I don't drink soda or eat sugar. Yet, there was those words supported by some cheerful music.

I didn't go out and buy a coke. But it made me think which of my thoughts are personal and suited to me, and which are from TV, the internet, billboards and magazines.

Then there are the echoes of thoughts that are other people's ideas of what's great. These thoughts originally came from my parents, and teachers and friends over the years. They are integrated into me and are expressed with my inner voice. But many of them are not suited to me. For instance, a part of me sometimes says I need to listen to classical music. So occasionally I'll tune into a classical music radio station, or go to a symphony. Pretty quickly, I get the sense of "I don't belong here."

I've found that taking the time to curiously listen to my thoughts is a good clutter busting technique. It helps me learn to differentiate between an impulse to do something that won't serve me and an inspiration to do something that will make my life better.

For instance last night I was feeling antsy. One of my thoughts said I'd feel better if I went online and checked email. Another thought was I should watch a TV show. I had another thought to eat. But none of those thoughts clicked in with a "Yes" certainty behind it.

Then I thought of sitting on my bed and playing guitar and singing songs. That gave me a genuine feeling of peacefulness. So I sat down and played songs and felt satisfied.