Welcome to Day 4 of The Elements of Transformation!
If you want to feel better than you do, you need to become more aware of things you may not have paid attention to so you can make different choices and create new habits.
Your mind can work against you or for you, pointing you away fromor towardswhat you want. Choose to bring more awareness and attention to your mental habits. Create new habits that keep you focused where you want to go!
Now let's breathe a bit deeper and soar a little higher!
1. There might be a narrative spinning a little web under the surface of your thinking right now - an assumption or belief or interpretation about your experience in this moment. Can you catch a whiff of it? Where is it leading you? Is that where you want to go? Be light about this but be curious!
2. We make sense of the world by telling stories about it, it's just what human brains do. Some stories are woven into the fabric of our families and cultures and we adopt them without much thought. Others are created from our own mix of experience and vibration (our personal energy signature). All of them are interpretations of direct embodied experience.
Many of us get trapped in stories that don't serve, for example: “Worthiness has to be proved” or “It happened before so it's going to happen again” or "I have no control over what happens to me.” But even though they may not serve us, we cling to them, citing truckloads of evidence proving their truth.
But here's the thing: what we normally think of as evidenceis more often an effect of the stories we tell and the vibration we hold than a cause. The world we see is a reflection of the sum of our beliefs, expectations, assumptions and vibration, not the other way around.
You get to decide what things mean. You already do! You might as well assign meaning that empowers and moves you in a direction you want to go.
What worn-out stories are you ready to let go of? Get curious over the next few days about beliefs and assumptions you may not have ever questioned before. Start questioning them! "Does this serve me? Is it pointing me where I want to go? What could life look like with a fresh, new, lighter-feeling story?"
3. What better-feeling stories are you ready to tell? How about this one to start with (simply because it's true, even if you can't feel it from where you currently are): I am worthy.
How does worthiness feel in your body?How does worthiness stand and hold its shoulders and head? How does it breathe and move? Can you stand and move that way, for even a minute? (Watch this popular Ted Talk on body language to inspire your brain andbody!)
Can you find the feeling undercurrent of worthiness and let yourself soar there?
Start looking for evidence of your worthiness. I guarantee, if you look for it, you'll find it. That's how it works! (Read that sentence again...)
4. Interrupt a downward spiral: When you get stuck in story that's spiraling you downwards, you're headed awayfrom feeling better (check out the Divine Openings Instrument Panel again) - and away from an easier solution (see 5 below). We all know how hard it can be hard to just stoptelling a story that's hijacked our brain, so give your brain something else do on instead:
If you're making something wrong,reach for acceptance and remind yourself: "I don't have to like this, I just need to accept that it is happening." Acceptance loosens and creates space so things can move.
If a story is spiraling you into a dark, familiar feeling, consider it an invitation to let that feeling flow andmove! Then get out of your head and into your body and make some space so the feeling can move! (Day 3 helps with this.)
You can ask yourself: "Is this story true? Do I know this for sure?" Get curious! Become willing to start looking for evidence of a different truth. Try on a new story and play with looking at life through a different lens!
You can also ask: "Am I focused on the problem or on the solution?" If you're focused on the problem, you're focused away from the solution. (More on that below...)
You can always remember that everything is temporary!
It doesn't serve to get caught up in a story that's leading you away from where you want to go. Your focus is powerful! Choose the direction its pointed!
Here's a personal example fresh out of the oven: For folks who signed up for this program before the new website went live, the email they received saying "The site is finally up and your program begins tomorrow!" had a typo - in the very first word of the subject line! Goodness - even though I tried to tell myself it wasn't a big deal, my brain had other ideas! To be honest, the well-practiced, rather prideful story that things have to be perfect or I'll be judged had been running in the background as I prepared to launch the website and this program, and it hadn't felt good - which is always a sign that something wants our attention. But I'd avoided looking at it or feeling the feelings underneath it, so it's not surprising that it showed up in my physical world in such an attention-grabbing way. The story really sunk its claws into me for an hour or so until I realized I has to take control of my thinking.
I felt around for a story that felt better and landed on something like this: "I'm tired of walking a tightrope and giving my power away to this habitual expectation of judgment, and I'm grateful this experience is helping me see this. I really want my inner world to be an even warmer, safer haven." That felt empowering and true! And it turned me towards what I wanted with more clarity and purpose and helped soften the old paralyzing story.
Not surprisingly, when I checked with some folks to ask if my story was true (being judged for a typo), none of them had even noticed the typo! What a great example of how we give power away to stories that aren't even true!
Life really does give us every opportunity to see what we need to see and be with what we need to be with right here and now!
5. Turn a problem-focus into a solution-focus: As you get interested in your thinking, you'll notice how much of the time you spend focusing on problems.
Our minds are hard-wired to look for all the things that aren't going right, and we get stuck there - thinking about them, talking about them, rehearsing talking about them, blaming ourselves for them, blaming other people for them, imagining all the bad things that will happen as because of them, and working really hard to fix them. Or else we get angry or scared or overwhelmed or guilty or frustrated or sad or ashamed or depressed, and instead of feeling that, we run away from all of it.
Butavoiding problems makes them worse, focusing on them keeps us inproblem-thinking (aka: stuck), and trying to solve themfrom the same thinking that created them isalmost impossible. (Einstein said that last bit.)
In Days 1, 2 and 3 we've been exploring how not to run away - how to show up for ourselves with more warmth and steadiness so we can be with whatever is going on around and inside us, no matter what.
When our inner world is a little safer, it becomes easier to slow down and notice what our thoughts are doing. Being more purposeful about where our attention is focused is what we're exploring today. So when a problem arises, acknowledge it first: "Well this stinks. I definitely don't like this!" Face it but try not to make it wrong. When you make it wrong, you make it more solid and difficult to change. Then turn away from the problem and ask: "What do I want instead? How do I want to feelon the other side of this? How can I move in that direction?" Rather than focusing on fixing the old experience, take what you've learned and create anew.You are a creator: this is what you're made for!
Maybe hard changes need to happen for things to be different. Just know that change unfolds more easilywhen you're focused on what you want than when you're focused on what you don't.
6. Grab a blanket and go watch the clouds for a few minutes. Or, if you can’t do that, watch them here.
7. Now consider that thoughts, beliefs, assumptions and stories are not solid: They seem solid, they feel solid, but they’re quite fluid, and changeable - like clouds, actually.
It's the nature of the game to use our beautiful minds to create and give meaning to things. But if there's something you've created or are giving your attention to that isn't working, change your mind and create anew! Thoughts, beliefs, assumptions and stories are fluid and changeable. Use this to your advantage!
Can you recall the last time you changed your mind? If it's been a while, try it and remember how freeing it is!
8. Take 6 minutes and learn Ujjayi Breathingfrom my favorite yoga teacher. It’s worth it, I promise. By tuning into the breath, you can easily shift your focus, settle your mind, and deepen your experience into the spaciousness of this moment. (If you missed it on Day 2, there are hundreds of free yoga videos on the Yoga with Adriene YouTube channel.)
9. You are not your thoughts, you are the one thinking them. Who or what is that?
10. Listen, dream, play and soar! There are some high energy songs in this list!