I've been working with an amazing young woman who has EVERYTHING GOING FOR HER.
Great job, family, romantic relationship, and friends.
And as I type, I hear my mother (who's never met my client!) saying, don't forget her health!
So let's throw that in because despite never discussing her health, it's safe to say she's got that goin' for her too, as it's so easy for us not to mention such a gift when we have it.
OK-- this chick needs a life coach becaauusssee....???
Because she's a bad ass warrior woman who wants to clean up some shite going on in her brain, OK?!
(Sorry--I get defensive and passionate about the vital need for ALL of us to consciously manage our minds with some kind of trusted life coach or therapist!)
Deep breaths. Everyone is on her own journey, Claire. Everyone is on her. own. JOURNEY.
BACK TO BUSINESS:
REMINDER: OUR BRAINS ARE DESIGNED TO FREAK OUT ABOUT SOMETHING. Always.
The amygdala is where the fight or flight response occurs in the brain, but cannot differentiate between an actual threat and a PERCEIVED threat.
This does not bode well for most of us today who are inundated with external stimuli at our literal fingertips which evoke unexpected, fearful responses at ANY time.
You get a nasty text from your ex. You get an alert about another scandal the president of your country is involved in. You see a picture on social media of a guy you really like with another woman who you "think" is way hotter than you.
Your heart rate rises. You break into a sweat. Your breath gets shorter.
But the truth is, you're no where near death despite FEELING LIKE YOU ARE.
Stop reading this if you can't relate.
No seriously. Stop and Godspeed.
But for the REST of you, who I imagine are a majority of my readers, THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THIS LITTLE KNOW FACT MAKES YOU NOT CRAZY!
How bout THEM apples for your MONDAY?!?!
But this DOES mean you've got to learn to manage your mind so that when these smaller triggers occur, you don't have to let your body go into a panicked response.
Which was exactly what was happening with my kick-ass client when we first start working together.
Despite having it all on paper, her monkey brain couldn't help but worry about what others thought of her.
After a solid five sessions and her dedication to daily thought work, she made HUGE strides with her work relationships and friendships.
We were psyched about her rapid progress to say the least, but the tricky part about this work for both myself and ALL my clients is that life will still throw us unexpected curveballs...
ESPECIALLY at times when we think we've FINALLY GOT IT ALL FIGURED OUT.
A social media post sent her spiraling...(again if none of you can relate, BYYYYEEE!) which lead to a bummer of a trip on the shame train.
Not only was she feeling shame based on fearful thoughts about what these people in the photo MAY or may not think of her, she was feeling SHAME FOR FEELING THE SHAME!
Why do I care? We barely know each other anymore! And if they don't like me, that's ok because I'm honestly not a huge fan of THEM!
I pointed out that her judgment of herself for feeling shame was creating MORE shame, and she asked a perfectly reasonable question:
"How do I stop THAT?!"
My instinct was to guide her to stop talking, start breathing and check in with the body.
Instead of indulging the STORY that was causing panic, could she just BEFRIEND the PHYSICAL SENSATIONS THAT WERE AT THE EFFECT OF THE SHAME?
A sense of calm and relief came over her as she imagined a figurine version of herself investigating what she described as a dark pole of light moving through the center of her chest out the back.
That pole became lighter as she breathed with it, and said a friendly "hello" to it.
From this childlike space of curiosity versus judgment, she was able to compassionately allow herself to feel whatever it is she wanted to feel, versus berate herself for it.
Sometimes we feel so triggered that rewriting a new thought is too ambitious for where we're at.
SLOW DOWN, my loves.
Shame for the shame only perpetuates the shame.
We ALL think thoughts that don't serve us. Yes, yours truly included.
As I mentioned last week, it's OK to put off the thought work and just BE with the physical discomfort when the overwhelm seems too....well... overwhelming.
The key is to not be scared of it or judge it-- but to allow yourself to experience and WELCOME ALL aspects of being HUMAN.
From that place of self-compassion and awareness, you have the ability to see that the story you've created (YES YOU CREATED IT!) not only doesn't serve you, but isn't going to KILL YOU!
It's a practice that works and is OH SO WORTH DOING on the reg.
Happy Claire Your Mind Monday
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