I was at Steve Chandler’s Reinventing Yourself weekend a couple of days ago and am still reeling from the insights I took away. An insight is a sense that something meaningful has shifted and can be hard to describe in words. The outer world is still the same but the inside feels totally different. Something has shifted or clicked internally.
I wish I could blurt out everything I learned in a blog post or share my insights so that you all could have them too. After staring at this screen for awhile, I realize I can’t. Insights don’t quite work that way but maybe you can have some of your own after reading this post.
You know, those voices in our heads that yammer at us throughout the day. The ones that are often judging us or shoulding on us or having conversations with other thoughts while we sit in the middle. At least that’s the way MY mind operates… perhaps you can relate.
Well guess what? Thoughts are just thoughts. They are what our minds do. The good news is, we don’t have to believe any of them. Our thinking is created BY us but IS NOTus. I know, I know, it feels like those voices are us, but they are simply the mind’s creation. We are much bigger and deeper and more amazing than our thoughts. Thank goodness :-)!
Event = thought = feeling
Event DOES NOT = feeling
Here’s the important thing about this awareness… it is our THOUGHTS that create our feelings. I know, I know, it may seem like outside events create those feelings because those thoughts happen so automatically and quickly and can be so powerful, our feelings “feel” like they must be an automatic response to something or somebody. (IE “He pissed me off!”)
Any thought we BELIEVE causes a feeling. And most people automatically believe every thought.
When I think “the sky is very blue today” I might just go on my merry way to the next thought without feeling anything.
When I think “the sky is grey today, followed by oh crap, it looks like rain, followed by my hike will be cancelled and I was really looking forward to it and it’s my only day off in a long time and wah wah wah”, pretty soon I’m feeling bad, or frustrated, or angry. Did the sky or weather make me angry? Raise your hand if you say, “yes, of course.” Well, then how come the blue sky didn’t make me angry? Hint: My thoughts assigned a different meaning to the grey sky. Grey sky meant my day is ruined. Blue sky meant nothing because it had no impact, therefore, not a lot of thoughts about it.
On a personal note, when I very suddenly lost my son’s daytime 1:1 assistant, I was angry and frustrated and a million other emotions. When I looked deeper, there were tons of thoughts fueling that anger. When I became aware of what they were, I got my power back. I was able to view them for what they were: thoughts. And standing in a place of power vs a place of anger, I was able to create new thoughts that served me better. New thoughts led me to take action to move things forward in a big way.
Cool… I have a choice. I can listen to the yammering of my thoughts and take them for what they are, yammering thoughts or I can believe them and keep repeating them until I am in an angry lather. But as long as I know they are just thoughts, I can step off the train at anytime. This doesn’t mean the train is never going to run anymore. It just means I know it’s just one train of many and I get to choose which one to ride.
The key is AWARENESS with some self compassion sprinkled on top.