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Time For Yourself and the Earth to Heal

podcast Mar 24, 2020

Can't listen? Here the transcript: 

Hey Dethroners!  It is unbelievable what has transpired in our world since I last recorded this podcast. I know there is so much that is changing in our world every single day. I am hearing from so many of you out there and I know that your thoughts are all over the place. 

I know that many of you are feeling powerless and out of control. Thoughts like, “When will this all be over? What if my parents get sick? How will this impact my business or my job?  What will happen to my finances? How am I going to work and homeschool my kids at the same time?”

So here’s the thing about all of these thoughts that we have when we are faced with the unknown: They are all thoughts that are based on the future. This is what our brains are hardwired for. Our physical brains release chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol when we sense danger.

But here is the thing--When you’re having all of these thoughts about how the future is going to go, you are fantasizing. Actually, you are creating a “worse case scenario” in your mind and your brain can’t tell the difference between the catastrophic thoughts you are having and actual real life danger. This is where our thoughts create brain chaos.

When we can’t distinguish between the actual facts of what is happening right now and the drama that our Inner Critic mind whips up when it is automatically going to that future based worry. And what I have been talking about with all of my clients, is that when you step back and observe your automatic thinking, you may come to realize that you are coping with this pandemic in the same way you have been coping with the unknown for your whole life...by trying to predict, control, manage, and force particular outcomes. 

And right now, we are all in the same boat. We are all staring in the face of the unknown, and it is making us extremely uncomfortable. And we want to do what we always have done with discomfort, and that is to run away, distract ourselves, or in some way numb ourselves with anything from work to exercise to staying busy, or with food and alcohol and binge watching TV.  

This Pandemic is a big pause. This forced quarantine is really forcing us to wake up big time.  Our entire planet needed to wake up to the automatic way of thinking in which we were looking to our external world to fuel our unending craving for gratification.  We are now forced to go within...to be still.

As human beings we need to wake up to how dependent we have become on distraction, numbing, over indulging, and stimulation. We needed to wake up to how self involved we have become and how disconnected we have been from ourselves and from each other. We need to wake up to the autopilot way we were thinking, feeling, acting and reacting to our selves and our lives.  

I want for all of us to use this collective pause as the wake up call it is intended to be.  Where can you get yourself and your life back to basics. As one of my wise clients said, “We are back to little house on the prairie.”  And we have no way of knowing what will be. So, how will you use this PAUSE as an opportunity for you to do some healing and growth?

Now more than ever, it is imperative that we know how to take back the power over our Inner Critic thinking.  In the face of the chaos, when we try to control our external circumstances so that we can feel better, we actually end up feeling way worse. And this, for now, is our new normal. So knowing how to think in a new way is the single most important thing you can do right now. 

You actually have a choice about how you are going to think and behave during this time of uncertainty. Even before this pandemic, it was always there that our lives were uncertain. We just lived like that wasn’t the case. Life is always like a river. The water keeps flowing. And we don’t know where it’s going to flow. It just flows. Sometimes life flows to places of calm and sometimes it flows to turbulent waters. It has always gone that way, and it will always go that way.

Half of life goes the way we want it to go and half doesn’t. And right now, we are all in the half of life that is not flowing the way we had planned or intended it to.  But you have all had these times before and you got through it. You came out the other side. And this will also be one of those times. The river will continue to flow. But you have a choice… either you are going to allow your Inner Critic to take over control of your mind or YOU are going to decide how you are going to think during this time of uncertainty.

Your Inner Critic is trained to grip onto the attachments and demands.  And right now, your Inner Critic is demanding predictability. Well, I am sorry to have to inform your Inner Critic...but that is not possible right now. And if you keep allowing your Inner Critic to be in control, you will watch the news nonstop, you will continue to go down the rabbit hole of worry thoughts and worse case scenarios, and life will be one big ball of chaos and stress and anxiety.

So instead of allowing your Inner Critic resist what already is and what already will be and fight against the current, I invite you to step into flow.  What can you choose to think right now? What can you choose to focus on? How can you use your mind to create the best version of yourself, even in the face of the unknown?

Our Inner Critic wants to use this pandemic as the perfect excuse to justify why you are entitled to feel anxiety and depression, and to eat more and drink more and keep yourself closed up in your home and disconnected from people. But you have a choice to do this differently. You have a choice to focus on what is already right here right now. You can bring your focus back to the basics.  You can use this time to strengthen love and connection with yourself and the people in your family. You can use this time for self reflection and self growth. You can take the time to meditate and examine the automatic habits of thinking that have kept you stuck in lack, scarcity and fear for so long, and maybe have kept you focusing on things you thought were important, but maybe can now see are not so important.

You can take time to do things that you said someday you would get around to doing. You can take long walks and get back in touch with nature, even if that means going outside for 15 minutes and watching a bird.  You can declutter your physical surroundings and you can also declutter your soul.

Everything starts in your mind. Don’t let your automatic mind do this pause the way it has done your life. Because your worry and anxiety and numbing is actually more dangerous than this virus or anything that will come from this collective pause. The best tools I have to offer is to give yourself time to connect with your mind and your thoughts every day. Meditate everyday. Write down your automatic thoughts every day. See the Inner Critic thoughts that are at the bottom of your fears. Keep asking yourself the question, “What is the worst thing that can happen?  And what if that happened? And what if that happened? Get to the bottom of your worst fears. And if that happened, what would you do?  

Uncertain times can be opportunities to get stronger with how we are managing our minds.  And for all of humanity, we have to learn how to think in a way that allows us to separate the thoughts in our minds from the actual facts of the circumstances right now.  Because the circumstances are only what they are in this very moment. The anxiety and fear is from the thoughts about the circumstances. It’s the thoughts that cause us to freak out.  We need to take back the power of our thinking, and use it as an opportunity to make our mental health stronger.

All over the world, we have collective emotions right now that are coming from our collective thinking.  Remember that old commercial with the fried egg back in the 80’s? This is your brain and then the egg cracked in a pan, this is your brain on drugs.  Any questions? Well, this is our brain on life! This is what we do when we are faced with the unknown and feel out of control. Our brain tries to control it by trying to predict and control the future.

That’s what worry is. Thoughts that you think over and over about your fantasy (or nightmare) about how it’s going to be.  Remember that your emotions are just a reflection of your thoughts.  So sit quietly with yourself, and ask yourself the question, “how am I feeling?”  Ask it over and over and really tap into your feelings. Let your mind say whatever it needs to say to you. If you really use the emotion to go all the way to the end of your thoughts, ask yourself “what are the thoughts creating this feeling?”

Take about 10 minutes to write down all of the thoughts.  Let your thoughts go all the way to the end, by letting your mind go to the worst case scenario. and then asking, “and what will that mean? And then what will that mean?” And keep going until you get down to the bottom of your worst fear. 

I have an interesting story to tell you about one of my clients.  For the early part of her adult life, she was very unhappy and drank alcohol excessively, which ended up costing her her job and almost cost her her relationship with her husband. And once the bottom dropped out, she began to do the work of managing her mind. And she came face to face with her insecurities about herself that she had struggled with for her whole life, in which she felt like she wasn’t good enough. 

When her mind was on autopilot, her fearful thoughts about being judged, rejected, criticized, and failing were ruling her mind. And those thoughts led to emotions, and those emotions led to new thoughts of fear, and actions to either control other people’s perceptions of her, or numb and buffer herself from all of those thoughts. So it was a vicious cycle that she was completely blind to.

So she and I worked together and she learned to distinguish her Inner Critic voice and rewire new thoughts, and she began to think very differently about herself, her life, her failures, her mistakes and what was possible moving forward. She stopped drinking, she lost 50 lbs, she literally became an entirely different person.

So, 4 weeks ago, her mom died suddenly of a heart attack.  And she is a brand new mom with a 2 month old baby. And my client told me that for most of her life, this was her worst fear. She lived in a perpetual state of anxiety about this possibility. And in our session, she said that she is actually more calm and more at peace than she has ever been. Because she is focusing her mind on feeling blessed and grateful for the amazing relationship she had with her mom and also knowing that she is completely good enough and capable to navigate life moving forward by using her own inner wisdom.

When her Inner Critic was in control of her mind, she believed that she needed her mom in order to navigate life.  She used to run every decision and every emotional difficulty by her mother. So the thoughts she was having about the fear that her mom would die, told her brain that there is a dangerous thing that might happen and kept her in a perpetual state of anxiety. Now that those thoughts are gone, she is at peace.

And many of her friends and family think she is not grieving, because she is so centered and balanced. They think that there is something wrong with how she is doing it, because they expect her to be an anxious mess and curled up in a ball. But she’s not! Her new thoughts that have her in touch with her own power and confidence in herself, has made her able to handle her worst fear with a sense of inner calm and stillness.  She is grieving while at the same time noticing how peaceful she is.

So that's what I want to leave you all with a poem I found on Facebook: 

And the people stayed home.  And read books, and listened and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still.  And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.  And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, and the earth began to heal.  And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

If anyone needs support, I have changed my structure to offer reduced-price pay as you go sessions. For support, you can DM me on the DYIC Facebook page or email me at [email protected]

Stay safe and be well everyone!

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