A Clean Mind

Blogging about a less stressful way to live…

A Thousand Problems Or Just Three?

Howdy, folks! I went out of town for a while over the holidays, came back to a busy schedule, and then like six weeks passed. What happened?? Time flies, that’s for sure… But we have lots of good stuff to talk about here, so it’s time to get back in the swing. Also being busy for me is good, because I can help more people and continue to hone this craft. I sure do learn from my clients, too, like I’ve learned from the one we’ll talk about today. And always know that if I write about someone (always anonymously, of course), it means they were thrilled to have their story told. The reason is that if their story can help anyone else, even one other person, then it’s worth it to them. So here we go…

A client has been having some troubles at work lately, and it’s been disturbing her peace. And the situation has been lingering, so that “blah” feeling has gotten worse. When this happens, the sneaky chatterbox tends to start exaggerating – and it might even tell some lies. Well, that’s exactly what happened here. Before she knew it, she noticed thoughts in her head questioning her overall competence. And of course this has the effect of making her feel even worse. Then the voice in the head gets louder, we feel even worse, the voice gets louder, etc. It’s a feedback loop, and we’re learning to nail it early and thus avoid a bunch of unnecessary, self-inflicted pain.

And you know what? She really kicked ass in handling things exactly how she has learned! She told me, “I felt like there were a thousand problems I had to deal with. But when I checked in and really looked, there were just three. One can be handled in two hours and the other two will take more time.” Wow! That’s exactly how our wisdom or common sense would handle it – by sticking to the facts and seeing things more clearly. Because the feelings exaggerate, the feelings lie. So great job to her.

The next thing that popped into my head when I heard this was, “What’s the worst case scenario for the other two issues, the ones that will take a bit longer to get worked out?” So she thought about this, slowly and calmly of course, with as relaxed a body as possible (SO important!). After a few moments, she realized that the worst case for each was really not that bad. So her body and mind were able to let this stuff go, and she felt much better. Before this was all thought through, though, her body had been carrying the feeling of, “There are a thousand things wrong with my life, which really sucks. And oh yeah, I’m also incompetent.” Can you feel the difference, people??

I love this tale, because it’s sugh a classic example of how the chatterbox exaggerates and lies, while our wisdom is still always right there to tell the truth. And how our body will always faithfully feel whatever we’re believing in that moment. And how the feedback loop works – we feel bad, so the chatterbox gets louder, which makes us feel worse, which makes the chatterbox gets louder, etc. And we learn how to nail it early on. Had her body not told her, she would not have known to check and see what the mind was up to. So she took a look and saw that she was believing stuff that simply was not true. And it caused unnecessary pain. And when she saw this and asked what really was true, the feeling shifted. Bam! This is such cool stuff…

So be on the lookout for what the mind is up to, and make sure it’s telling the truth. And if not, it sure is nice to know that thoughts are just thoughts. You are the only one that hears them and you are the only one that can give them any power at all. It’s just that there’s been an unconscious habit of giving them power for so long that it appears they have their own power built in. Nope… For most people, it’s a gradual process of choosing in any moment to de-power these thoughts. You can even learn to look at them with amusement, too. And after a while of this, Future You won’t even believe how much Past You listened to that conditioned crap. This is pretty freeing, and you’ll feel more and more at peace with each passing year. Good stuff, and it feels good to be back. And I’ll have to work on my non-existent time management skills…

All anybody really wants is peace. The good news is that peace can be learned. I’m serious. This should be taught in middle school, but it’s not. So I’m teaching it now.


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