Okay, I’m going to try to keep these short so you don’t have to spend your whole day ‘self-helping’…today, a bit longer-winded…again, experiment.
So, 2 out of 3 for day 1. Five-minute journal, check (although, didn’t realize there was an ‘end of the day’ part. Did it this morning..took less than 2 minutes).
No Drinking: Okay, I did, however, have a glass of wine. Okay, a glass ½. I’m going to call it a success. I did, however, read some and watched two my favorite Utube videos that feed my soul (See below)
NOTE: I want to emphasize, baby steps here. If you try to do too much at once, you will get overwhelmed or burn out and quit. Find out what ‘ritual’ works for you and stick with that. Again, this is a big experiment. I’m going to try different things and do the same. I just want to share various options so you can apply to you as you see fit.
Metaphor: I recently bought a bike, which at present is my main mode of transportation. It’s been a rough start. After 6 months of being at sea level and doing virtually no exercise, I am ridiculously out of shape and feel it every time I hop on my bike. It’s super frustrating, seeing as I was in possibly the best shape of my life prior to moving. First day I thought, now I can go run some errands and get some shit done. Well, this meant going on a 5-mile trek. I was sweating and completely out of breath the whole time, which for me, was humiliating. I’m simply not there and nearly killed myself. Point is, baby steps. For now, I will stick to my 1-mile ride to the coffee shop and take an Uber when I need to take an Uber. I’ll get there, but thinking I need to cover the city of Denver month one is just not realistic.
So, I am going to try to do 2-3 things a day to cleanse/reprogram. And, I’m going to only focus on 2 areas of my life that I want to change. It is just too easy to try to completely reinvent yourself all at once, not immediately see the results you want, and think nothing you are doing is working. If you don’t do anything or keep doing what you are doing that is not working for you, nothing is going to change.
NOTE II: For any of your men out there interested in ‘cleansing/reprogramming’, this whole thing is not gender exclusive. Some of the resources are targeting women, but I will also be referencing ones that are not gender specific (Tim Ferriss, Wayne Dyer, etc.)
Takeaways: (references/resources below)
Five-minute journal: so effortless and just helps plant some seeds for the day, reminding you of the things you have to be thankful for, which can be very hard to do when you feel like all has been taken from you. As cliché as this is, if nothing else, I have my health. I have a place to sleep and food to eat. I have friends that love me and a new bike. I mean, at the very least, and this is a lot to be thankful for.
Again, very easy one to implement. I just listen to my phone while I’m getting ready. Right now, this is just way more helpful than music.
I didn’t listen to Brene Brown yesterday, but did this morning, Creativity, Courageous, Vulnerability and Wholehearted living. (Kinda have a crush- super smart, articulate, enlightened but practical.)
Yesterday I listened to Go Boldly in the Direction of Your Dreams, with Karen Motekaitas, featured on the “Women Wanting More Podcast”. Probably not my absolute favorite, but very short and a good overall message.
NUTSHELL: She basically is saying, figure out what you really want, your dreams, and take ‘baby steps’. Maybe just figuring out what those dreams are is a first step. She also emphasized the danger in putting our dreams on hold, or not pursuing them at all, because we feel like we need to sacrifice them for our kids, our spouse, a paycheck, etc. Of course, sometimes in our lives, we have to make sacrifices. But, we can still identify what we really want to do, accomplish, or have and take little steps to get there. Again, even if it is just getting very clear of what those dreams are, writing them down, and brainstorming ideas or steps you could take to set the stage.
I truly believe that if/when our loved ones realize that we gave up a dream or put off being truly happy for them, they will be very sad and wish you would not have. Even if it is down the road, I think they would have wished you would have done whatever it was to be happy and fulfilled.
What I did not agree with was her claim that we have to ‘become someone else’. I don’t want to be someone else. I like me. I don’t like some things that I am doing/have done and definitely some aspects of my present situation, but I think the essence of me is pretty incredible and a great place to build from.
I think, instead, we should become a ‘better’ version of ourselves. I.e., identify the things that are not working, that are self-destructive or self-defeating. I believe this is our journey and what we should always strive to do. But, ‘we’, our core/essence, is perfect just exactly the way it is.
‘Be Unapologetically You”. A new mantra I adopted after being in relationships with people who wanted me to be someone other than who I am and nearly convinced me that there were things wrong with me that I needed to change. Perhaps there are some behaviors I need to work on changing, but ‘me’, no I do not need to change one thing about who I am at the core, my essence.
A different but relevant theme. Basically about connecting with others and working to eliminate shame- feeling like you are not worthy- of a relationship, of your dream career, of friendships, etc. This is my biggest struggle. The self-talk that goes on in my head can be on the verge of cruel. I really try to monitor and think, “Is this how I would talk to my best friend”? The answer is more times than not, absolutely not.
I have said this before, I just try to be very cognisant of what follows the words ‘I am’. Try to pay attention to that. Some of my norms, “I am crazy”. “I am broke”, “I am too dramatic”, “I am cursed”…just to name a few. So I just try to pay attention and internally say, “Nope, ‘I am” not that, “I am crazy adventurous, daring, etc”, or “I am authentic”, or “I am attracting my highest good”, etc. Just find whatever positive thing you can to replace the negative.
There is actually scientific proof of how damaging and self-defeating negative talk is. I learned a lot from this article by Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Waldman, The Most Dangerous Word in the World.
“Negative thinking is also self-perpetuating, and the more you engage in negative dialogue—at home or at work—the more difficult it becomes to stop. Fear-provoking words—like poverty, illness, and death—also stimulate the brain in negative ways… parts of your brain (like the thalamus and amygdala) react to negative fantasies as though they were actual threats…
After you have identified the negative thought, you can reframe it by choosing to focus on positive words and images. The result: anxiety and depression decreases and the number of unconscious negative thoughts decline… You’ll also reduce the possibility of burning a permanent negative memory into our brain.
The Power of Yes
When doctors and therapists teach patients to turn negative thoughts and worries into positive affirmations, the communication process improves and the patient regains self-control and confidence. But there’s a problem: the brain barely responds to our positive words and thoughts. They’re not a threat to our survival, so the brain doesn’t need to respond as rapidly as it does to negative thoughts and words.
To overcome this neural bias for negativity, we must repetitiously and consciously generate as many positive thoughts as we can… we need to generate at least three positive thoughts and feelings for each expression of negativity.
It doesn’t even matter if your positive thoughts are irrational; they’ll still enhance your sense of happiness, well-being, and life satisfaction. Positive words and thoughts propel the motivational centers of the brain into action and they help us build resilience when we are faced with life’s problems.”
The whole ‘replace with three positives’ is something new to me..a bit overwhelming, but good to know. Again, I’m going to try to focus on things relative to the 2 areas in my life that I am focusing on, that way I’m not paralyzed with the time requirements and effort I have to spend!
Okay, I will leave it there for today. I hope you got something positive and helpful out of this..again, will try to keep these brief and concise…
The Most Dangerous Word in the World
The Psychology Podcast.: Creativity, Courageous, Vulnerability and Wholehearted living, Brene Brown
Women Wanting More Podcast: Go Boldly in the Direction of Your Dreams, Karen Motekaitas
Everybody Dies, not everybody lives:
Paul Potts Audition for “Britain’s Got Talent”(cry every time)