"If I think you’re my problem, I’m insane.”
…So damn true!...
* Thinking about that quote, it’s funny (or maybe totally frustrating) how something that somebody else says or does can derail us – it may take a bit but eventu“ally I notice myself becoming more easily irritated or more defensive, and this is my Red Flag telling me to step back and take a look at ‘what’s up’. Plenty of us struggle with these ‘dark clouds’ making it hard in that moment, to see the good in who & what’s around us.But there’s evidence out there that identifying and further, ‘naming’ the thoughts that arise, can really help loosen their grip on our emotions. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shyness-is-nice/201305/stop-fighting-your-negative-thoughts
While it’s not about “working with our thoughts & changing them” in any way, it is about awareness & taking inventory of what otherwise go un-noticed and on the periphery of our awareness - It might be a phone call that comes unexpectedly, putting us in a mood or a glance in the mirror that causes us to feel worn out & unattractive when we first wake up. Unfortunately, it seems to happen most often when we have a lot going on and once derailed, it takes even more of our time and energy to find our balance again?
If you’re interested in changing the dynamics at play, these 2 steps will help shift things.
#1 First, pick one hour in your day – any hour – this practice is best done during your everyday life. You can be at work, with family, doing chores, homework or out for a bike ride – the only thing that matters is that you start this hour in a positive and happy frame of mind and then pay attention to your thoughts and make note any time you find yourself slipping into negative self-talk, getting irritated, feeling some emotion come up … essentially getting derailed.
Notice even subtle degrees of this - it can be as little as a 2 second negative self-judgment or brief moment of anxiety and it doesn’t have to be a major ‘thing’ to make it valid.
#2 Next, use this metaphor for this practice: Imagine yourself to be like a child sitting on a porch, watching the clouds go by.
Then, interchange those clouds with your thoughts, noticing them with a curious yet unattached attitude, then give them names – It may sound silly but like most of us, you’ll find that the same underlying “stories & thoughts show up over and over. By naming them, you’ll loosen the grip they have on your emotions. If the issue is around another person, once you’ve identified what’s triggering you, find a way to go speak with them directly to clear the air.
… There goes the thought “I’m too fat” again – I’ll call that one Chubby Cloud
… Or “I don't really know what I'm doing” thought (cloud) – I’ll call it my Incompetent Cloud
… Or when you can’t quit thinking about how so-n-so broke your heart – Broken Hearted Cloud
Again, loosening the grip of our thoughts on our emotions, is liberating and can free us up, making us more effective and able to enjoy what’s going on around us.
* I’ve been on a cleaning it up, cleaning it out roll. Recently, I’ve been asking myself – why do I have this? (example : a gorgeous very costly guitar that has sat in its case for some insane amount of years) Am I keeping it because it give me value in somebody else’s eyes? Or am I imagining that I’m still a musician, even though I have played a note in years? Or am I holding onto it because it’s beautiful to look at (rarely)? None of these are good enough reasons for me to hang onto this sweet instrument which was created to be played, to be a vehicle for the magic of creativity & music.
So, this line of thinking has hit me square between the eyes this week, at times leveling me with the degree of self-honesty that comes up as well as the subsequent action that begs to be taken. End result – I’m feeling lighter, freer by the day and that’s pretty awesome.
* “All you need to do is understand that you can program your own mind in completely the opposite ways. You can build habits, you can eliminate most of your irrational fears, and you can even eliminate most of your irrational desires. The idea of programming your own mind is extremely powerful, it has been practiced since even before the ancient Greeks (check out Stoicism - It’s a super interesting subject to give some thought to),and it’s relatively easy to do. Yet it’s a practice so rare that the standard Joe Consumer type will think you are a magical superhero if you have the ability to do it.”
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
~ H.D. Thoreau, 1817-1862
did you catch that? WOW!
* There's still have room for 1 (maybe 2) more people for the Awakening Creativity workshop that starts up July 8th.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
Have a safe weekend & Fourth of July! xoxo Welmoet
Image by Lily Seika Jones