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My Dad, the Lake, and My New Mind

podcast Aug 18, 2020

Can't listen? Here's the transcript: 

Hey Dethroners! I want to share an experience I had with my dad a couple of weeks ago, which illustrates what it looks like to operate from a rewired mind. So I will get to that in a few minutes.  I want to say that the first step to rewiring a new mind, is to wake up to the recognition that almost all of the thoughts that we have had for much of our lives, have really been our computer programmed thoughts from our Inner Critic.  

 And when we first wake up to this, it can feel very strange. It’s almost as though you are having an out of body experience because you are stepping outside of your mind and putting all of your thoughts in the palm of your hand and watching them, seeing those thoughts as separate from you, it’s like whoa….. I am not really sure who I am!  

Your Inner Critic feels threatened when you stop listening to it and taking guidance from it.  It will scream louder at you!  “You know you’re not good enough! Remember when you got fired from that job?  And remember when you got rejected by that guy or woman?  And you KNOW that you don’t have what it takes to start that business, to have that difficult conversation, to make that kind of money, to be that kind of leader in your life!”  So remember, these are the thoughts that we have thought for forever and ever. They feel natural. They feel real.  

So once you stop identifying with those thoughts, your Inner Critic is going to do a little freakout, until it gets more familiar with the new rules of the game.  And the new rules are, those thoughts are no longer going to determine the direction of your life.  

So let’s say, for example, you are starting a new business or you are going for a new job or you are beginning a new relationship. These are all things that will make your Inner Critic scream.   But you have stopped allowing your Inner Critic to hold you back. 

So for example, you’re on a sales call, a job interview,  a first date. And you have just said something to the potential customer, employer, or date, and they ask you to repeat what you said. Your Inner Critic will immediately have a field day with this. “If this person thought I was smarter or had something worthwhile to say, she would have heard me the first time.  This person must not respect me or like me enough to pay attention to what I am saying.”  And then you either get annoyed at this person, or get really quiet, or super uptight.  

Now, how do you think the rest of the interaction is going to go with this person? Are you going to get the sale, or the job, or the second date? Possibly not. Your automatic mind has created your automatic way of being, which has now put a wedge between you and this other person.  And then when you don’t get the results you want, your Inner Critic will use this as proof that it was right about you, you really aren’t good enough and don’t have what it takes. But what actually happened, is that someone asked you to repeat what you said. That is ALL that happened!  

And don’t we ALL ask someone to repeat what they said from time to time? Of course! Now, if we are using a rewired mind, we’re already in touch with our value and worthiness and we get irritated or quiet at all. We simply repeat what we said. But our Inner Critic has a lot of demands and expectations about how other people should act so that we can feel worthy, valued, and important. And if you don’t know that you are caught in your Inner Critic demands, you will continue to have the same thoughts over and over that produce the same emotions over and over, like irritation, anger, jealousy, tired, resentful, anxious, and then those emotions will create the same actions over and over.  

Every time someone else doesn’t fit your Inner Critic demands for how they should act, your automatic machinery will start. And this is exactly why so many people keep repeating the same patterns over and over in relationships, whether they are romantic relationships, partner relationships, family relationships, parent-child relationships, friendships. 

Now when you can stay grounded in your value and worthiness, you stop NEEDING other people to respond to you in the ways your Inner Critic demands them to. You don’t need to try to get other people to think or act differently. And you don’t get so reactive to their opinions, judgments or actions.  

So here’s the example in my relationship with my dad that happened just a few weeks ago. I love my dad dearly but he has a lot of opinions and judgments. Anyone else have a father like that?  So because our Inner Critic’s are formed in our childhood, my Inner Critic’s demand is wanting everyone to like me, value me, and think well of me. This is probably THE most common demand and attachment from our Inner Critic. 

So a few weeks ago, I was on vacation with my family and my parents and we were swimming in a beautiful lake together. All of a sudden, my dad’s mood took a turn and he became judgmental and critical about how I handled a situation with my twelve-year-old daughter. So instead of going down the rabbit hole of anger, defensiveness, blame, resentment, and then trying to convince him that his judgment of me is wrong, I just listened. 

I didn’t allow his judgment to rob me of my inner peace. I allowed him to have his judgment and I didn’t let my Inner Critic”s demand that he not judge me, knock me off-center. In other words, I accepted the fact that he had his judgment. I didn’t try to change it or prove him wrong. I let it be. And I stayed connected to my love for him, in spite of his judgment.  

And I said to him, “Dad, I hear that you think I should have handled it differently. I hear that you think my daughter should have handled herself differently. And this is who I am and this is who she is. And you can either continue to be upset or you can enjoy this beautiful lake and this beautiful day. And I love you.”  And I swam away. It became his choice to either stay in his anger and frustration or to enjoy the moment. But I wasn’t knocked out of my peace. 

 And because I didn’t react with anger, like my Inner Critic would have had me do in the past, I was able to stay at peace and enjoy the moment swimming in the lake. I didn’t go down the rabbit hole of Inner Critic thoughts like “How dare he judge me. He doesn’t know the first thing about parenting” and whatever other drama my Inner Critic would whip up. 

So when you can learn to stay in love and connection, even when the other person doesn’t match your Inner Critic demand, that is when you are free. And of course, my relationship with my dad is what started my Inner Critic demands when I was very young, so now those Inner Critic demands show up everywhere. But the more I practice unhooking from my Inner Critic demands, whether it is in the face of my dad’s judgments, my kids’ judgments, or anyone else’s judgments, I am continuing to rewire a new mind.  

I no longer NEED others to give me my sense of being good enough. I give it to myself. I don’t rely on anyone else for that. And that was NOT always the case. I spent years unaware that my inner drama was connected to my Inner Critic’s need for others to like me, not be disappointed, and see me as strong and powerful and accomplished.  

I am a different human now and I am living a different life and that is because I continue to unhook from my Inner Critic’s demands, and that is what has rewired my new mind. Now, don’t get me wrong--my Inner Critic still rears her head.  But I can immediately catch her getting triggered, see my attachment to her demand and unhook from her grip right then and there.   

When you are thinking in a new way, you understand that you already have all the self-love inside of you right now. You don’t need to get annoyed when someone is rude or self-focused.  You don’t need to get angry when someone is critical. You don’t need to get hurt when someone is thoughtless, or in some way lets you down. You can tell them you don’t like what they did or said. I certainly told my dad that I disagreed with his criticism of me. But I didn’t need to fix, change, manipulate or control his thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. 

When you identify with your Inner Critic mind, your automatic thoughts and emotions continue to get triggered by other people or by your made-up worst-case scenario fears. And you continue to experience the same emotional reactions day after day, like irritation, frustration, resentment, feeling unimportant or disregarded or disrespected.  

For your whole life, you have been trying to get the people in your life to think about you and act toward you in the way your Inner Critic demands. Think about how much manipulation we use.  We use anger, guilt, frustration, emotional withdrawal, passive-aggressiveness, or we just sit in silent seething. We try to figure out how we can get the power to control other people’s thoughts and behaviors. We people please, we overachieve, we over-analyze.  

And these attempts to find power over other people’s thoughts and behaviors are the very thing that prevents us from having the beautiful and fulfilling life we want. When we switch the location to a new mind, we can realize that every situation we are in, we have the opportunity to liberate ourselves from our Inner Critic demands, whenever someone or something doesn’t fit the way our Inner Critic says it needs to be. We can use all of the moments when we are triggered, like when I was floating in the lake with my dad and remember that we are actually NOT our Inner Critic mind. 

When he first started criticizing me, I watched myself down the rabbit hole.  I watched myself getting angry, hurt, defensive, resentful and wanting to attack him. But instead, I used the moment with him as the gift to help me strengthen my ability to stay centered and just accept what used to be unacceptable, which was judgments from other people.  

Our lives don’t work when our Inner Critic is directing us to find happiness by trying to change the people and circumstances around us. And we have put most of our attention and energy into trying to do this-- to change people and circumstances. It’s a tough habit to break because it has probably worked in the past. There has probably been a time in your life where you forced someone or something to change, using criticism or anger. 

But think about how much this costs you in your relationships and interactions with people, not to mention your own internal drama that gets whipped up! You can’t be happy in your life when you use force, anger, guilt, and manipulation to create change. When you are using a new mind, you communicate what you need to communicate from a place of calm centeredness. And truthfully, when you are using a newly rewired mind, you don’t get so triggered and worked up in the first place.  

So things that used to upset you, like someone else is rude, or critical, or self-focused, you can remain neutral, or even positive. Their thoughts and actions don’t impact your happiness the way they used to. It’s almost like you become invulnerable to suffering! And when you can stay positive or at least neutral, that begins to powerfully affect other people around you as well.  

I had a friend recently say to me that one of the reasons she likes spending time with me as opposed to some of her other friends is because there is very little drama in our relationship.  And I was NOT always this way! I used to be reactive--in particular to my kids, my husband, or my dad when I thought they were judging or criticizing. I am truly a different human being.  

My Inner Critic used to create so much suffering, unhappiness, fear.  I have created a completely different life---my business has skyrocketed to heights beyond my wildest dreams, I am able to stay happy and calm, even with the chaos and uncertainty of the world right now.  I am able to flow with the unknown staying calm and grounded.

Imagine if you could live your life where you are no longer an automatic reaction to the people and circumstances around you. It is like a miracle--and it truly is possible but only when you rewire a new mind. You can’t create this miracle from your Inner Critic mind. And your Inner Critic mind will always be there! You can’t change those old thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, because they come from your past pain!  

Only a new mind can create a beautiful, magnificent life. Your life is naturally good. It is your Inner Critic programming that has been your ONLY roadblock!  Either your old mind is creating unhappiness, or your new mind is creating happiness.  It really is that simple.  

As Marianne Williamson says, we are always only in one of two places-- either fear or love. If you are in fear, you are negatively reacting to people and situations around you. If you are grounded in love, you are responding to all of life in a way that CREATES peace, joy, and connection, and shifts the way other people are responding to you.  

Because the most effective way to impact other people is to become a happy, loving person.  And you can only create this with a new mind. I have created a completely different relationship with my 18-year-old son by learning to let go of my Inner Critic’s demands that he act differently.  When I let go of my attempts at his criticisms or judgments of me, he began to soften towards me. 

I still tell him I don’t like the way he is speaking to me. But I don’t get triggered into anger. I stay neutral. He now tells me “I love you” all the time. He even says “sorry” when he gets snarky! That did not happen in our relationship when my Inner Critic was in control.  

The only thing that has kept your life from working is that you have been identifying with your Inner Critic. You have paid the price for way too long in lost peace, lost happiness, lost love, lost serenity lost wisdom, and lost effectiveness. When you are ruled by your Inner Critic mind, and seeing yourself and your life through the lens of your Inner Critic’s eyes, you are not seeing clearly.  You are not seeing who you really are. Your Inner Critic only pays attention to what doesn’t match her demands. That is why you are so stuck and unhappy in certain areas of your life.  You aren’t seeing the true reality.  

When you are free from your Inner Critic mind, you are free to flow with every life situation without getting stuck in your old triggers. You actually have the power to create a peaceful life.  It takes two people to play a tennis match. When your Inner Critic isn’t in charge, you stop returning the ball that is served to you. 

You realize that you have ALL of the power to create peace and love. The other person can have their judgments and demands. He can be inflexible, critical, judgmental. But YOU can stay calm and centered. It’s only your Inner Critic mind that is separating you from experiencing a  beautiful life at any moment. Happiness is there waiting inside of you and it becomes more available to you every time you unhook from your Inner Critic mind. 

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