Today I wanted to share a thought with you that has helped me and many in this community. I like to talk about the realness of life: the difficulties as well as the successes. There are days when your life is humming along and everything feels good and you are thinking, “Yeah, I got this!” And then there are days where the breakdown is so extreme you can’t even breathe. You know these days: they are filled with fear and utter lack of possibility. These are the days when you want to hide under the covers and shut.it.all.down.
Here’s a powerful distinction to help you handle those breakdown days: Don’t Believe Everything You Think.
What’s Real? Your mind is not your reality. Your reality is your reality. Look around you, what’s actually going on in your physical reality right now? Does it match the doomsday scenario in your head? Usually not. Staying present moment to moment enables you to deal with what’s in front of you. That way, you can be honest about what needs to get solved, and what is just a terrible fantasy.
You’re Not Fighting the Bear The body’s stress response is an ancient response in our modern day. The stressors in our life are usually not life threatening, yet the body gears up to protect us as though they are. On a bad day when you believe the doomsday scenario in your head, your body thinks it’s real, and steadily releases stress hormones. Because you are not fighting off a bear, this adrenaline and cortisol never get used or flushed through the system – this can lead to pain, tension, illness or disease.
Small = Safe in the Mind’s World Bad days come around when I’m playing a bigger game and up leveling some aspect of myself or my business. True for you too? The ego HATES playing a bigger game. Why? It remembers a time in your life when you stuck your neck out, and got hurt – seriously hurt, maybe even abused. It promised you in that moment that it would never let that happen again, and put a program in place to ensure that. The problem with this safety device? It keeps you from having what you actually want.
So…How do you keep your mind from running the show? I have a simple, distinct tool for you that will turn these hard days around in a flash.
Power of Presence It’s a bad day. Your mind is trying to take you down. How do you stop the incessant cycle of negative thoughts? Get out of your mind. How do you do that? By giving the mind the job of telling you, moment to moment, what’s happening right now.
Here’s the exercise:
There are three elements here, three players – the question, the answer, and the witness. You are all of them.
- Sit comfortably, close your eyes, breathe. Notice where you are gripping in your body – let go
- Bring your vision to the inside of your eyelids. This brings you into your body and releases any “future think”
- Ask yourself: “What’s Here Now?” Then answer.
The answer is whatever is actually true for you in the moment: “My breath, I feel tight, I feel scared, I’m sitting in my office, I’m hungry, I’m bored, I think this is stupid.” There are no wrong answers. Just answer. And then ask again.
“What’s Here Now?” And just keep answering and asking the same question.
The magic of this question is its simplicity. And in the simplicity, you become present – to what’s actually going on in the present moment.
Then you can assess – what are the real dangers, what are the real threats, what am I actually afraid of?
When you are clear, you are in your power, and you can take the right action.
I could say so much more on many aspects of this, but for the sake of relative brevity, I’ll stop here. Question? Comments? I love to hear from you, post below!