The dog has run away, the children are sick, elderly parents need to be looked after or transported to appointments. Whilst this might not be happening at the same time, different challenges can be going on at the same time. Life will throw us some curly numbers from time to time and often we can get thrown into a stress laden mindset. Things become too much, the challenges seem larger than they really are and we can spiral out of control. It’s uncomfortable, inconvenient, frustrating and can be heart breaking at times. However, life goes on, therefore we find the best way forward.
“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life”
– Mark Twain
In the day to day running of our life things come up and we can think they are getting in the way of us achieving all we want. Things like the dog running away or a rental being damaged. Do these stop us from fulfilling our passion and/or our dreams? They will if we let them, if we crumble under the pressure of our negative thinking we will certainly let go of our dreams. To rise above the negative thoughts is a continual job, it’s something we become practiced at. Just like riding a bike. How often have we noticed our inner critic coming out to play, and how often do we listen to it?
Overcoming the negative voice is to practice, to notice when it comes out to play and to acknowledge it. Notice how it stops us or what behaviour we have around the voice. Feel how we react and what it changes. It’s in this moment we can choose to do something else. We can ask a question to the voice, “What purpose are you serving?”. “How are you supporting me to be the best I can be?”. We can then answer this question ourself, if it’s stopping us from achieving what we want we can simply tell the voice to go back to where it came from. We could take it into the back yard and throw it away, put it in the swimming pool or down the toilet and flush it. These physical actions are helpful in releasing the negative thoughts. For example, go into the bathroom, stand in front of the toilet and shout it out then flush! Practice makes perfect as they say, so continuing to acknowledge and notice the ‘negative inner critic’ is important.
Our life is a journey and allowing ourselves to grow and live along the journey is essential to a fulfilling life. Following our heart and doing what makes it sing is essential to our happiness along the journey. A great video by Elizabeth Gilbert author of Eat, Prey, Love is an inspiring message supporting the essence of our journey.
Examples of dealing with negative thoughts…
- Invite the thought to come sit on the table and have a chat with it, ask it ‘What its purpose is?”.
- Take it for a ride in the car to the rubbish tip – get out of the car and mime throwing it away (remembering it might be heavy so we might have to drag it – do whatever it takes to discard),
- Row it out to sea in a boat and throw over the side,
- Package up in a beautiful gift box and throw over a water fall, or into a river with an anchor tied to it (these are all metaphors and in our imagination – which is a powerful place to play),
- Have it jump out onto our shoulder and talk to it whilst doing something it’s challenging us on,
- Write a letter to it wishing it well and thanking it for getting us this far in life, however it’s time for a change now – rip up and put into the rubbish bin or burn,
- Visualise cleansing our brain (similar to a dish washing cycle), do this before going to sleep noticing positive uplifting thoughts in the morning to start the day,
- Accept the challenges in life, for example the dog running away – Say to ourself, I needed to get out in the fresh air. Retrieve the dog and enjoy the walk (remember everything comes along for a reason),
- Elderly parents needing support – say to self, “I enjoy the time I spend with you, thank you for supporting me through my childhood”.
A note from Debbie: A favourite one of mine I’ve been using for years for my negative voice (which can be my dads, mums, teacher from childhood, grandmother etc) is, ‘Go away, you are not invited to this party’! (the go away may be stronger depending on the situation and the voice) I have been practicing it for so long now it’s automatic and I am able to instantly see the good side, bright side, positive side which reflects permanently on my life and way of being. This stuff really works if we are prepared to put in the work. The more we do anything the easier it becomes – for me it is now permanently embedded.
“Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.”
– St. Catherine of Siena