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Stop the Waiting Game

podcast Apr 16, 2020

Can't listen? Here's the transcript:

Hey Dethroners! I want to talk with you all about this waiting game that we are all in right now. We are waiting for predictability.  We are waiting to see when we can return to the parts of life we miss. When we feel scared, anxious and uncertain, that is our go-to response. We wait for something or someone to change.  And until something changes, we continue to feel anxious, fearful, hopeless.  

We are all experiencing a ton of emotions right now. And when we feel emotions that make us uncomfortable--like sadness, anxiety, frustration, anger--we tend to get stuck there.  We become stagnant and the automatic thoughts in our minds go into overdrive from one negative thought to the next.

And then we wait until something outside of ourselves changes so that we can feel better.  We did this before this pandemic. But instead of staying stuck in our pre-pandemic thoughts that left us feeling uncomfortable emotions, we now have pandemic thoughts that whip up the same emotions--the same anxiety, fear, anger, frustration.   

We have always had the power within us to choose the thoughts we think to create emotions that make us feel better. Some of you who have been long time listeners or who have been working with me were doing that work already, of choosing to practice different thoughts.  And you were already seeing shifts in every aspect of your life when you were doing this.

But now, because we are in a crisis, some of you have lost sight of your superpower. You have forgotten how powerful you are in choosing how you are going to think. Because there are so many circumstances that are whipping up uncomfortable emotions.  I am hearing from so many of you! Not just fear and anxiety about future things like what’s going to happen to your health or other people’s health or your financial stability. 

But also triggers in your home: Messes around the house, kids having too much screen time, frustration with homeschooling. Some of you have been empty nesters and now finding yourselves with all of your grown children back in the home. You're having arguments with your spouse or people not following the rules.  

We want to feel better but we won’t be able to when we are letting our automatic minds think for us. We need to be willing to use our uncomfortable emotions as our greatest teacher, especially at a time like this. The road to feeling better starts with using emotions like fear, anger, sadness, as a way to access what the heck is floating around in our minds. 

We need to be willing to separate ourselves from our automatic mind and ask, “what am I thinking right now that is creating this emotion?” Actually visualize a space between you and your mind.  Your mind can either be a dangerous place or it can be your greatest gift. The choice always has and continues to lie with you.  

If you can just feel how you feel and to stay with it, you can actually  guide yourself into better feelings but only if you can first just feel it.  Not get stuck in the emotion or try to fix or change or solve how to not feel it. Just let the feeling be. This can be a day-to-day new practice that gives you a greater sense of power, groundedness and tapping into your inner wisdom.

I believe that this pandemic is causing us to re-examine a lot of things in our lives.  I think that many things will not be getting back to normal because the normal will have shifted.  There are good things that will be coming--there are good things that are already happening right now as a result of the pandemic.  

The fundamental shift begins with the difference within YOU: When you do the work to focus on your inner life, that is what has the power to change the world. When more and more people are waking up and staying awake, not falling back asleep into the old ways of thinking that have kept us stuck, anxious, angry, addicted, obese, sick and mentally toxic for so long.  

Your satisfaction in life is only about how you are feeling.  How you feel matters right now. It matters that you feel good right now.  You are not supposed to feel fear any longer than for the fear to inspire you towards action.  You are not supposed to stay stuck and stagnant in fear.  

You have a choice to focus on something in your environment that keeps you in a state of fear or focus on thoughts that keep you in a state of trust. If you are acting from a place of fear, anxiety, control and resistance, you can engage in actions that you think will make you feel better but that actually might make you feel worse. 

That can be anything from yelling at your kids for not fitting your expectations to yelling at your spouse for not washing his or her hands to watching the news. All of those behaviors are because you are on autopilot. Having thoughts that keep you in trust, well here is what we can trust: Life is going to go where it goes. That is it. All we can have trust in, is this very moment.  

Why are we all having so much trouble with all of these changes to our lives?  Because we are creatures of comfort. We crave a sense of predictability and control, so we have a whole lot of beliefs about how our lives should go so that we can feel comfortable. We are attached to life fitting our pictures and expectations. And these attachments to how life should go, is keeping us so stuck!

We’ve always had attachments. Now, the attachments have changed to things like- I need to get back to the life I had! I need to make sure I don’t get sick. I need to make sure my finances are ok-- these are all things we can’t control.   

Prior to the pandemic, we were taught from our parents, from our culture, from our religion who we were supposed to be. These were all the things we have been trying to control. These are our conditioned stories we inherited. We thought if we could control those things, we would feel safe and comfortable.  We pretended that we could predict and control how our lives would go.  

Back in caveman times, it was pretty easy to feel safe and to predict how life would go. We only had to pay attention to our little tribe. But now in our modern world, we created bubbles of safety….This is who I need to be to stay comfortable. And we have been convinced for a long time that who we need to be to feel safe and comfortable is that we work to the point of overwhelm or exhaustion, compare ourselves to an idealized version of ourselves, and then believe that we are always falling short and aren’t yet good enough. 

I’ve been a psychotherapist for 25 years and what I can tell you is that we have all been living in such denial about the toxic lives we have been living. 

Now we are really uncomfortable. We are no longer able to pretend like we can predict and control the future.  We need to be a part of the solution that creates a better life for all of us, not a part of the problem that perpetuates the collective fear, despair and automatic push to get us BACK to where we were before. 

Maybe there are parts of our lives that we don’t want to get back to where we were before. Let’s not go back to a life of busyness, overwhelm, distraction. Let’s not keep trying to feel good based on how much money we have or what other people think of us.  There is now major upheaval of our old thoughts that kept us stuck in fear, anxiety, control. There is major upheaval of our old ways of operating all over the planet. Do we really want to go back entirely? Many of you are reconnecting in your families, in your communities, in your souls.  

When a forest burns down, there is regrowth from the ashes. What in our minds, in the way we live our lives, needs to die so that we can create regrowth?  We have been so stuck in ego, scarcity and lack.   

All of us have wanted what we want in order to feel good.  Maybe the things that you thought you needed in order to feel good, you are realizing that you don’t need in order to feel good.  You can feel good right now. And yes, even in the face of possible death, we can feel at peace right now.  

Maybe it’s time to close the gap between how we currently feel and how we want to feel not by trying to reach some arrival point in our lives.  Our arrival point prior to the pandemic was…Once I lose weight, once I get married, once I get a divorce, once I become CEO, once I have the relationship that I really want, once I…. 

Now the once I is..Once we are able to leave our homes, once life returns to the way it was, once I know how the economy is going to fare, once we have a different president. We don’t need to look for what we need next in order to feel the way we want to feel. What we really want to perpetuate is strengthening the muscle to observe the things we already have around us right now--what already exists. When you look at what is right here, now, you can feel the reality you are currently living in. you can feel the love, the connection right now.  You can do the things right now that make you feel good.   

Right now, we need to learn to just be with what is right here, right now.  We need to stop resisting the unknown, by trying to control and predict our future. Because what creates kindness, compassion, love, and courage, is not resistance but resiliency.  

At every moment we have the opportunity to choose how we think, feel, act, and react to the people, circumstances, and situations in our lives.  We have the choice to practice being less of a victim to what life is right now, and more of a creator in our life by becoming aware of our choices of thought. 

How can you begin to gravitate towards having more loving thoughts, bringing more love and empathy to yourself first? Can you practice using your emotions to show you what are the thoughts all the way at the bottom of that emotion?  Use your feelings to transform the way you have been thinking.   

We’re so used to running away from our pain.  We’re taught to not feel-- Don’t cry. There is no reason to cry.  Don’t be angry. Don’t feel afraid. We were taught this as kids, we did this with our own kids and with ourselves. We have been taught not to feel feelings that make us feel vulnerable. So we learned to operate on top of our pain, to dump it, numb it, or discharge it onto someone else, but not feel it.

Vulnerability feels really unsafe. Feeling our feelings seems like it's not safe.  But in fact, learning how to sit with vulnerability is actually the only thing that can create internal calm and peace. We need to adapt to living only in the moment we are in.  

It is our way back to safety.

We automatically want to wait to get back to our old life. Instead, let’s envision a whole new world! Let’s not continue to use our old mind moving forward. Let’s change from within our own minds first. Let’s stop thinking in ways that keep us miserable, keep us angry, keep us victims and blaming other people. 

What thoughts can we shift, so that we are thinking in ways that strengthen our love of ourselves and the people around us? Let’s start living in our worthiness instead of our unworthiness.  Let’s continue to live in connection instead of separation. 

So my invitation to you all is to honor your thoughts and feelings-- feel your feelings all the way to the end. It’s not the current circumstance, or someone else’s fault you feel the way you feel.  Your feelings are created by your thoughts. 

We can use this time to rewire new minds. To create a new relationship with ourselves where we are searching for where we feel good about ourselves and the lives we are currently living. And when we feel good about the very moment we are in, we have the power to change the way we think, feel and act with ourselves and everyone in our lives.  The quality of our whole life begins in our mind. 

In order to truly change your life, you need to be willing to think differently from how you feel.

That's why I collected some of my favorite resources and trainings to create an owner's manual for your mind. Want access? Tell us where to send your log-in details! 


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