Word to the Why’s?

My friend told me about this concept called The 7 Layers of Why. It’s super helpful to figure out what you’re thinking. If you want to bring to light thoughts that you didn’t even know you had, that may be causing you problems, just ask, “Why?”.

Here’s an example from my experience:

  1. I don’t want to work on my program. Why?
  2. Because I don’t know where to start. Why?
  3. Because I’m waiting for someone to tell me how to do it. Why?
  4. Because I don’t want to waste time doing it wrong and then having to re-do it. Why?
  5. Because I don’t want to fail. Why?
  6. Because then I’ll feel bad about myself. Why?
  7. Because I’ll think that I should have known better.

Well, I can see that that last thought is ridiculous. I may have that thought, but it doesn’t even make sense. How would I know better if I’ve never written a program before and no one is telling me how to do it. The only reason I’ll feel bad is if I think that thought. I know thoughts are optional, and that was seems ridiculous to me, so I’ll just choose to think, “Good for me for trying!” If I know that’s the thought I’ll have no matter the result, then it’s easier to get started writing my program.

Give it a try! Let me know your 7 Layers of “Why?”.



Wanting Other People To Feel Better

When I was learning to speak Spanish, my trainer would correct me. every.single.time. That was her job right? One day I finally told her, “I want to learn Spanish. I want to know when I’m getting it wrong, but not all of the time. Sometimes I just want you to listen to my story.”

Can you relate? You know you have a problem, and you DO want to solve it, but sometimes you just want to talk about it. Sometimes you just want to complain about it. Sometimes you want to feel bad. You may not realize that you want to feel bad, because that’s crazy, right?? But we do. We WANT to feel all of the range of emotions. Talking about it can help us process the emotion, and understand the thoughts creating it.

However, sometimes we have a huge intolerance for negative emotion. We don’t even want other people to feel negative emotion. They’re crying and we say, “Don’t cry!” They’re mad and we say, “Don’t be mad!” We want to fix the “problem” that’s making them feel bad. We give advice so they can get over it.

We think we’re just trying to be kind and help them feel better, but what we’re saying is, “You’re feeling wrong.” What if they need to feel bad? What if the best thing for them is to feel a negative emotion? If we try to stop their pain instead of just listening to them talk about it, it could be like giving them a pain killer when something is really wrong. They won’t realize there’s something they need to pay attention to.

What if you were just there to help them feel their feelings instead of change them? What would that be like?

Thursday Thought: It’s Okay To Feel This Way

We receive messages everywhere telling us that we should always feel good. We can get the idea that it’s wrong to feel a certain way, or even that there’s something wrong with us to feel a certain. But the only reason we feel an emotion is because of a thought we’re having, and subconsciously or consciously we’re believing.

When I start to worry that there’s something wrong with me, or that I have done something wrong to feel the way I’m feeling, I like to remind myself: It’s okay to feel discouraged. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to feel angry. It’s okay to feel judgmental. It’s not harmful. I can just feel it. It may not be a helpful emotion, which I can figure out later, but for now it’s okay to just process it. It doesn’t mean I’m doing anything wrong, or that there’s something wrong with me.

Breathe. Feel.

Where’s Your Focus? (Movies Part 2)

When I’m having thoughts that make my life seem bleak, sometimes I like to pretend I’m in a movie. I love those movies of Ireland where they show the country side, or an old worn down castle and play beautiful music in the background. It’s all so romantic to me. We moved to Ontario about 7 years ago. I waffle between loving it and not loving it. This may sound weird, but one of the things that was hard to get used to is that there are growing things EVERYWHERE. I grew up in the desert, so if you wanted a plant, you had to plant it and take care of it or it would dry up. In Ontario, plants grow whether you want them to or not (unless they’re in my house, then they die ;)). I felt like nature was taking me over. Then one day I was driving down the road and there was a beautiful sunset in front of me, and I noticed the beautiful trees and plants and open space in front of me. I realized it was the kind of picturesque view they would show in a movie. However, in the movie they wouldn’t show the construction, and roads, and power lines around. They’d just show the beautiful part. Ever since then I can’t drive down that road without thinking about how I love having such a beautiful space so close to my house. I had missed it for several years because I focused on the less beautiful things around.

The Genre Of Your Life

Who doesn’t love a good movie? We love it because we know it’s not real. Even when we kind of think it’s real, we know it’s not really real. I love movies based on true stories. The stories they’re based on are ones that seem to be tragic at some point, but then it resolves to something grand in the end, and you get to see how all of the parts fit together.

If you were in a movie right now, what genre would it be? Would the kids crying and screaming on the way out the door be a comedy or a tragedy? Would your husband looking on as you make dinner be a romance or a comedy? Change the genre of what’s happening in your life and see how your perspective changes. It’s only your thoughts that make it that way, anyway, so choose it the way you want to. This helps your brain to see that what you’re thinking about your life is what’s creating the feel of it. It’s not necessarily real that you’re in a tragedy; it could just as well be a comedy, or a romance.

I Can Help You With Your Problem!

I am back from coach training at The Life Coach School.  As part of my practicum to become a Certified Life and Weight Coach, I am offering 5 free sessions of coaching to anyone interested. What problems would you like coaching on? Do you want to lose weight? Do you have a relationship that you want to improve? Do you want more money? Do you want to get started on a goal that you keep putting off? I can help you with that! Go to my website emergingbravely.com and sign-up for some free coaching.

Thursday Thought: Everyone Uses Every Minute Of Every Day

I remember a phone call from a woman repeatedly telling me how busy she was so she couldn’t help with a church assignment. Somewhat exasperated I said, “Yes, we’re all busy.” But don’t we all feel that way sometimes? “I’m so busy!” or “There’s not enough time.”

I heard Jody Moore say this, “Everyone uses every minute of every day.” Isn’t that so interesting? How do you use your minutes? Not your chunks of minutes, but each individual minute. If this thought stresses you out, then by all means drop it. For me, it has been very fascinating to think about how I use my minutes, and how I want to use them.

How do I use the minutes I have with my husband? Do I use them to argue and disapprove, or to appreciate and enjoy and love?

How do I use the minutes I have with my kids? Do I use them to yell and scold, or to teach and enjoy and love?

Of course, I like to use a lot of my minutes sleeping. 🙂 The thing I don’t like using my minutes on is worrying. Worrying about the future, worrying about the past. Did you know that worrying thoughts use your time? They distract you from the present. I don’t want to use any more minutes worrying about not having enough minutes.

Today I was sitting at the beach thinking about this, and it totally brought me to the present. “What am I using these minutes right now for?” At first, I was using my minutes to be on my phone looking at places to stay for an upcoming reunion. But then I decided I had used enough minutes on that, and that really I could use endless minutes on that, so I decided to use some on noticing what my kids and nieces and nephews were doing…right then…in that moment. I decided to notice the peace I felt inside watching them, and just stay in it for a few minutes. I decided that I like using my minutes to notice the present moment. I want to spend more of my minutes in the present.

How do you want to spend your minutes?

Pleasure vs. Well-being

I listened to this amazing podcast by Brooke Castillo about pleasure vs. well-being. She’s saying that false pleasure is a temporary high. It’s something that gives us a dopamine spike. Things like sugar, drugs, pornography, anything highly concentrated. The problem with this is two-fold. First, you have to use more and more of the false pleasure to get the same feeling. Second, most of these have negative long-term consequences.

I was teaching the children at church one time about short-term and long-term consequences. We had a stick and on one end had the word choices, on the other end had the word consequences. We talked about how when you pick up a stick, you pick up both ends. So often, we say things like, “You will be happy when you choose the right.” But sometimes you don’t feel that great when you choose the right…until later. What about when you tell the truth about breaking a lamp instead of lying? What about getting a bad score on your test because you didn’t study, instead of cheating? What about choosing to just feel bad instead of reaching for cookies? Or trying to see something from another perspective, instead of yelling at your husband? At first, it doesn’t feel that great to choose the right sometimes.

This is how I understand well-being vs. false pleasure. It’s making your choice based on how you want to feel in the future, not how you want to feel in this moment. When you choose false pleasure, you need more and more of it as time goes on to feel the same way. When you choose well-being, you get more and more true pleasure from it as time goes on. It feels great to not carry around lies, and to have the trust of other people. It feels great to have learned from a bad choice. It feels great to actually deal with your emotions rather than stuffing them down. It feels like such a relief to be able to disagree with someone without feeling so angry, or causing more harm.

In what ways do you choose well-being over pleasure?