Everyday can be a sparkly day, even the most mundane of days, and when its raining (literally or emotionally). It all begins with our thoughts. Those things that fly through our mind at light speed, often undetected by our consciousness.
We just begin to observe those mysterious little life controlling thoughts. Not in a struggling, critical way, like, “I will never be able to do this.” Because the moment we tell ourselves “we can’t”, guess what, we have just instructed our brain to make sure that no matter what we do, it is not to allow us to “do it”.
The brain is soooooo amazing.
But, science has proven that a huge chunk of what we think about comes from beliefs that were created before we were old enough to understand how to formulate our own opinions.
We are born these perfectly innocent, loveable creatures, a blank slate waiting for the world to write on. And it does, sometimes just not in the way we would want.
I grew up with a single mom. She worked three jobs and made our clothes out of necessity. Her time and energy were limited, and I had a younger sister. Our dad had moved 5 hours away and my maternal grandmother passed away when I was 4. My mom was my world. And she was mostly alone to fend for herself and the two of us.
My way of seeking her attention was to try to be “grown up”. But guess what? The easier I became, the less my mom had to worry about me. In some ways, it made me who I am today, independent and self-reliant. Those are good things.
In other ways however, I received the silent message that I could work and work and work, and much like my mom, I would make it. I would survive, but I wouldn’t thrive in the ways that I longed for.
I adored and admired my parents. I was loved and cared for. I had a wonderful life in so many ways. It was no one’s “fault” I received these messages, it was just a factor of being in an immature place. As children, these things can become the foundation of what guides us today. These are the wounds therapy works to help us uncover. Which is great. But what do we do once we uncover them?
As adults how do we use that information to change what we don’ want and move forward?
We choose. We choose which of those thoughts (that may now be beliefs) we want to hold on to. We decide what is working and what isn’t.
If, we are willing to be honest and “heartfully” open. Use compassion and curiosity and be still enough to “see” them.
Isn’t that like getting the keys to the castle? It the greatest gift we can receive, to know that we truly have the power to rewrite our story.
It is not about becoming Pollyanna, changing all our thoughts to positive ones, or repeating mantras until we are blue in the face.
It is about allowing our thoughts to come. And then watching them, like we are backstage at a play.
That is how we begin to rewrite the story of our lives, watching our thoughts from a neutral space, a distance. Asking why we think them and listening for the answers. Perhaps, like me, you will see that the thoughts you have are trying to protect you from a life that no longer exists. Which then affords you the golden gift of deciding what would better serve you in your current life.
Give it a try:
The next time you notice you an uncomfortable feeling stop for a few minutes. See if you can trace it back to a thought. Imagine you are watching your thoughts as if they are actors on stage. Ask them why they are there. Listen to what comes up. In a matter of seconds, if practiced often enough, you can change your world forever.
If you have something handy to jot down what comes up, wonderful!! I suggest to all my clients that they always keep a small notebook with them ready for whatever pops up.
Being able to notice, take notes and then let it go, allows you to take things off your plate. And bonus- it cuts down on overwhelm because you are not trying to keep everything in your head! Win-win.
Make it a game. Release any judgment of yourself or your beliefs. It will take practice at first, but if you persevere, you will find it easier and easier to “catch” those thoughts that hold you back or keep you stuck.
Until next time, Bisous!