**disclaimer** Sorry, if this may come across as preachy. Really I am talking to myself here, as I am newly in action.. like for really-real in action, not just thinking about it.. haha!
I re-read my notes from a live stream I did the other day and this phrase jumped out at me. "I'm freakin out because of what I'm thinkin about!". Not only does it rhyme (who doesn't love a good rhyme??), but it serves as an easy reminder that so often the suffering we are experiencing, which we place blame on the external world for creating, is really due to the thoughts we are entertaining in our heads. Certainly situations or people can trigger us. I get triggered (mostly by a certain man) all the time and it seems SO real! But if you really took a pause and backed up far enough to look at where the source of the actual feelings are, there are always in YOU. Of course there are situations of real abuse and atrocity, but I am talking about the ordinary day to day. It is telling that no matter what your circumstances are in life, you can experience incredible suffering OR incredible happiness. There can be two people with identical circumstances, whether rich or poor, "POC" or "white", and one person can be happy most of the time and the other, miserable most of the time. What is the difference between the two? I would bet all the money I don't have, that it is the habitual attitudes they hold and practice, which determines who they are in the world. This tells us that the internal game is incredibly important.
How much of every day are we consciously choosing our thoughts? How much of the day are we on automatic, simply rehearsing old thoughts and emotions over and over again and mistake them for who we are? Whatever you practice you get good at. If you practice anger, judgement and anxiety all day long, you are going to get so good at those that there won't even have to be an external source... It's like driving you car. You don't even think about it... totally on autopilot. In a sense what we think of as "ourselves" is really just a set of thoughts, emotions and behaviors that have created a personality that we can depend on. Even if that personality is an asshole, we can count on it, so its comfortable and feels like safety. What if we decided to memorize a new set of thoughts, emotions and behaviors? What if we practiced enthusiasm, trust and peace? Does that seem like you would be acting or faking it? Do you think that what we most commonly do now ISN'T acting? I think that we all have an essential Self, with a big S that is unchangeable and eternal. This Self is the part of us that is really all the same. Every one has an essence that feels like oneness-with-all-that-is if you tap into it. But the other self, with small "s" is absolutely moldable and changeable. If you love your life and everything is exactly how you wish it could be, of course... don't change a thing. If not, like most of us, take heart! You CAN change. You CAN be happy. You CAN do things you wouldn't have thought possible from the old perspective. So, how? PRACTICE. Literally, take note of what thoughts you find yourself engaged in. If they feel good and cause you to act in ways that are beneficial to your life, keep those thoughts. If they feel bad or cause you to act in ways that are detrimental to your life or relationships, replace them with other thoughts. You don't have to waste energy tracing where these negative thoughts came from or try to make them stop. You can only focus on one that at once so if you change gears and invent some thoughts that feel better, then act on them (it's been hard to accept it can be that simple. It's like on of those face palm moments... doh!), then you are on your way to a different experience all together.
You can read all the books and go to all the seminars, but if you don't actually practice replacing your thoughts with better ones, respond differently in the face of your old triggers and ground your knowledge into being, then nothing will change. You will just be the same old person with enough knowledge to pretend to know more than your friends and have an impressive bookcase. SO, yes read all the books (I am currently reading "breaking the habit of being yourself" by Dr. Joe Dispenza) and go to all the seminars, but for crying out loud PRACTICE! Only when you can feel the feelings associated with being that new person (only coming from experience, not thinking) will the new you become grounded in reality and the new default automatic setting. This is real stuff, people! Not just woo-woo. It's grounded in neuroscience and needless to say, I am super duper excited about it. ;)
Not to say any of this is easy. I am currently reprogramming my automatic pattern of judgment and attempt to control the man in my life. It's like a real physical effort sometimes but I am excited enough about what may lay on the other side that I am keeping at it. I am practicing allowing, respect and joy no matter what the other people around me are doing. Whew. Good stuff! So next time you find yourself freaking out, ask yourself, "what am I thinking about?" The gold is inside you and so is ALL the power.
Tally Ho, my friends!!