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.

Talking To The Child Inside Of You

As I’ve been working on my thoughts around losing weight, I noticed that it’s kind of like I have a child and a parent inside of me. The parent plans ahead, and then when it comes time to follow the plan, the child takes over. This past week, the child has been more like a teenager. She’s mad that the parent planned out the meal. She tries to sneak food really fast before the parent intercedes. She reads the plan and then pretends that the parent meant something else.

When I was coaching a client, she brought up this same kind of situation going on in her own head. We talked about how we want to talk to that child in our heads. Usually we are quite mean to her. We say things like, “You’re bad for eating that food.” “There’s something wrong with you for wanting to eat that thing that’s not good for you.” When she says, “I really want a cookie.” We are ambiguous. Sometimes we say no, and try to ignore her. Sometimes we give her the whole bag.

How would you want to talk to a child inside of you who wanted to eat something you knew wouldn’t help her feel good? Probably something like, “I know you want that sweetie, and it’s fine to have a little bit sometimes, but we’re not going to today. We’ve already planned to eat ______. We’ll have a treat on Friday. I know you feel disappointed, but I also know you’ll be okay. How about we go cuddle on the couch and read instead.” If you were going to a party where you knew she usually ate more than was good for her, you might talk to her beforehand, “There’s going to be a lot of food at this party. Let’s plan out what you’re going to eat ahead of time so you can feel good when the party is over. What are other great things about the party besides the food? What can you do when you’re finished eating?”

We all have a child inside that desperately wants to be loved and cared for. No one can care for her except you. How do you want to care for the child inside of you?

Thursday Thought: A “Wrong” Decision Will Always Get You To Your Goal Faster Than No Decision

Sometimes we get stuck in doing the “right” thing. What if there isn’t one “right” way, or one “right” thing? What if the only way to figure out what works is by trial and error? What if I told you it was going to take you 100 times to figure out a way that works for you to lose weight, to stop yelling, to keep your house clean, to start making money on your side gig, whatever it is you want to do that seems to elude you? Would it be worth it to you to figure it out? What if I could guarantee on the 101st time it would work, and it would stick forever, that you’d never have to solve that problem again? But first you have to try 100 ways that don’t work.

Instead of feeling stuck and paralyzed because you can’t find the right way, you’d probably get going. The faster you try and fail 100 times, the faster you’d reach your goal.

You’d stop with the drama of, “I don’t want to waste my time on the wrong decision.” You’d just make a decision and know that if if doesn’t work, that doesn’t make it the wrong decision. It just gets you one step closer to the way to reach your goal. A “wrong” decision will always get you to your goal faster than no decision.

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: This Is Going To Be Fun

Last week I talked about not piling on extra negative emotion when you’re already feeling some negative emotion when things are hard. But what if you just decided it wasn’t going to be hard?  Jody Moore says this is her go-to thought. I’ve used this a lot, too, and it really does make a difference. Usually things start to feel hard for me when I take them too seriously and they become heavy. This thought helps lighten everything and take the weight off.

When you are thinking, “This is so hard.” Try changing your thought to, “This is going to be fun.” It just opens your mind to possibilities of how to make it fun or easier.

If you’ve been following, you know I recently started running again. Sometimes I don’t feel like running. Sometimes I just go anyway, and sometimes I try to change my thought to, “This is going to be fun.” I love it. It really is more enjoyable. I let go of my expectations of speed or time, and fun becomes my motivator.

I used this the other day when I needed to go grocery shopping, but was dreading it. I thought, “This is going to be fun.” I started thinking of ways to make it fun. I decided to listen to a podcast on the way, and to just take my time walking up and down the aisles. I didn’t try to get it done as quickly as possible, I just took my time, and enjoyed looking at everything. Seriously, so much better.

What do you want to be more fun?

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?

 

Thursday Thought: It’s Okay That This Is Hard

So often we feel mad, resentful, or upset about things feeling hard. We have thoughts like, “If this is good for me, it should feel good.”

One example is exercising. When you first start exercising, it does take some commitment, because you don’t get an immediate effect. You’re not all of a sudden strong because you work out one day. You get a little stronger each time you work out. So sometimes it might be hard to exercise. But if we have thoughts like, “This shouldn’t be hard. This should be easier.” Then we’re piling the feeling of anger on top of the feeling of resistance from the thought, “This is hard.”

Another example is in relationships. Any long-term relationship is going to experience conflict or disagreement. You will have to figure it out with the other person. This doesn’t always feel great. But if you have the thought, “This shouldn’t be this hard.” You’re just piling on the feeling of resentment on top of the feeling of disappointment from the thought, “This is hard.”

Next time you find yourself thinking, “This shouldn’t be that hard.” Try changing that thought to, “It’s okay that this is hard.” Then, even though it’s hard, at least you’re not piling on extra negative emotion.

What other thoughts help you when things are hard?

Zooming In

I love the blogger, HandsFreeMama. She wrote a great post entitled Be Here Now. It’s the concept that when something feels overwhelming or stressful, our brains like to go to the past or the future to escape what is happening. But if you can just zoom in and focus on what’s happening right in this moment, you’ll see that you can handle it.

I have been doing walking/running where you run for a few minutes, and then you walk a minute. The other day, I decided to just run for 15 minutes straight, then walk at the end. My brain kept wanting to think about how I couldn’t run the whole way, how I should just stop and try another day. The thing that kept me going was focusing on the ground right in front of me. I knew where I would start walking, so until I reached that point, I just focused on the step in front of me; I focused on my breathing, on just that moment. It got me through.

What feels daunting to you right now? Fifteen minutes of running straight might seem too hard but you can take the next step. Cleaning the entire house might be too overwhelming, but you can dust this one shelf, or vacuum this one room. Starting a business may seem like a dream that could never come true, but you can write one blog post, or teach one class. Raising kids to adulthood can feel scary, or not yelling at your husband can seem undoable, but you can love them in this moment. Losing 15, 30, or 100 pounds can seem impossible, but you can eat the best way you know how today.

So when it all seems like too much, Zoom In and Be Here Now.

Thursday Thought: Time Will Pass Anyway

When my sister was about 27 years old, she decided to go back to school to get a degree. When you’re that age, 4 years can seem like a really long time. She said to me, “Four years are going to pass anyway. I might as well have a degree at the end of it.” She didn’t say, “Well, I’ll be 31 by then, and that’s pretty old to be starting a career.” (Which at the time would have made sense to me, but now sounds so funny as I’m in the higher end of my 30’s.)

This thought has helped me in so many areas. A big area is exercising. Actually, I had forgotten this thought for awhile until the other night when I was considering whether to do a 20-minute yoga practice or not. Then it just popped into my head, “Twenty minutes are going to pass anyway.” How much time do we waste trying to decide whether or not to do something? I could have easily spent 20 minutes trying to decide whether or not to do the yoga.

This morning I woke up a little before my alarm. I had planned to go running today, but hadn’t decided when I was going to fit that in. I figured I would do it later in the day, but since I woke up early I thought, “Twenty minutes is going to pass anyway, might as well go run instead of lay awake in bed.”

Especially as we feel like we’re getting older, we have thoughts all of the time, “I’m too old to start now.” Well, time is going to pass anyway, might as well. What were you going to do instead?

Thursday Thought: Just Go

Hi Peeps, I thought I’d start a series called Thursday Thought where I’ll give you some thoughts that have been helpful to me.

I have always preferred exercising in the morning. Then I have less time to talk myself out of it. However, I still do have lots of thoughts right when I wake up about how this is a bad idea, and I should just stay in bed. I know in the big picture that’s not what I really want, but at that moment, it’s so convincing. I’ve been struggling with this for a few weeks as I’ve been trying to start a new habit of doing a 20 minute workout 3 times a week. I would still get it done, but it would be later, when my kids were awake, which pushes everything else behind, besides I don’t always get my 5 minute solitude (I just lay on my back for 5 minutes in silence and solitude) at the end, which is a huge motivator for me. Try it! It doesn’t sound like much, but I love it.

So, as I was contemplating what to do about this, I remembered my University experience. I would stay up later and get up earlier those days, and sometimes would try to talk myself out of going to class. At some point, I realized if I got in the shower, it was very unlikely that I would get back in bed. So when the alarm would go off, and all of those thoughts would start flooding me with reasons to stay in bed, I would redirect to this thought, “Just go. Just get in the shower.” I just focused on the one thing I needed to do to get going, and then I could get to the rest of my day. I just couldn’t handle the whole day at once. I decided to try this out with my new dilemma.

Now when I wake up and my mind starts thinking about how I’d rather lay in bed than workout, even if it is only 20 minutes, I redirect my thoughts to “Just go. Just get in your workout clothes.” Once I’m that far, it’s not hard to just do the workout, because then I realize, “Oh ya, it’s only 20 minutes, then I can get in a nice warm shower.” I also love to just lay on my back on the ground for 5 minutes of solitude at the end of my workout. Doesn’t sound like much, but I love it. Try it!

What helpful thoughts do you use to help you get out of bed in the morning?