TinaO Give Your Mind a Shower

photo credit Jacqueline Ryan

 

No doubt about it, my work this year is all around mindset. Okay, so I have more than just that to do: catch up on my taxes (oh gawd again?), sleep more (still), let my guard down (melt melt melt), keep listening, write my books, grow my network marketing business by 20% each month, make love a lot, oh yeah and train for a triathlon.   How did taxes, business, sex and a triathlon all end up on the same to do list?  Life.  It’s awkward isn’t it?

Integration is my thannnnng and so as not to muddle you up, I don’t mean that I throw everything all in together and call it the same. I’m not saying that all roads are the same road and that every path leads to Rome.  I’m not suggesting that integration is about being a big pot of stew with old carrots mixed with new potatoes tossed with reaching stalks of celery, rounded bumps of barley, organic garlic and crowned with a dumpling.   No. That would suggest that I think our brain is a soft mushy floury globby topping to our perfect mess.   Hardly a way to represent the control centre that it is.  No, integration to me is identification, puzzle clicking, communication, implementation and then flow.  Ultimately, it’s an exercise of living trust.

Why do I say mindset?  Because in our four engines of alignment:  Mindset, Soulset, Skillset and Body, I tend to lead with the soul which means I follow my instincts. I ask quesitons to the powers that be and then follow what is peaceful.  My gut leads instead when my brain thinks it knows the answer (it never does by the way) and I tend to let decisions make me and not the other way around.  I certainly haven’t lived most of my life this way, but over the last three to four years I’ve realized that the best steps I’ve ever taken I’ve done this way, and that living by my soul-story is what brought me home to myself again.  All that said, when my mindset is locked into some old pattern of fear, let’s be honest, for me it’s wayyyyy bigger than that, it’s more like sheer panic most of the time, my soul story, or what I call my ‘living story’ stumbles.  I get bruised.  I have to pick myself up more times than is probably necessary and why lay face down in the mud more often that I need to right?

The mind is the control centre of the body. While I am not a brain doctor or specialist and I’m not a master of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and re-processing connecting the right hemisphere and left hemisphere of the brain for re-patterning thoughts and reactions) like my good friend Dr. Carolyn Nesbitt and by no means am I an expert on neuroplasticity like Shad Helmstetter, I have personally experienced the difference that adopting a possibility mindset can make.

I’m a leader in a network marketing business and as my husband says, I’m also become one of this life’s ‘social leaders’ which means that what I say and do matters greatly if only to me – because I bare some responsibility (frankly I think we all do) for how the way I live affects the world. Here’s the thing, while I’m not wired to think ‘negatively’ – truly, I’m probably as deeply, and authentically positive as they come, my life’s experiences have developed a ‘seek and prepare’ or ‘stay alert and rely on no one’ neuropathway that I habitually walk when my auto-pilot runs the show.

The mindset is all about your auto-pilot.

The mindset is the thinking you do when you’re not actually thinking.

The mindset is the tape that you hear to without knowing you’re listening.

When I was going for my final promotion in my network marketing business I had one simple rule in my house:  No negative talk – period.  No Debbie Downer moaning, I wouldn’t even let Todd tell me that it was raining, or that the toilet was plugged.  Oh boy, I was a sunshine and lollipops drill sergeant back then. While putting a taught shiny bubble around my thinking may have been effective for reaching my goals, it drove a wedge between my soul and my expression of it, plus it alienated me from my family – the very people I claim to be myself with.  This to the very circle I love and want only for them to be who they fully are.

Positive mindset = good.

Positive mindset at all costs = bad.

Positive mindset that doesn’t have to protect itself from itself = healthy.

I had a nasty reaction to all the sunshine and rainbow messages I lived by because it sliced away my underbelly, my vulnerability and my deep connection to people and to myself.  Truly… how could my children feel ‘heard’ or ‘known’ by me if I wasn’t willing to listen to the darker shades of their stories.  All the years of attachment parenting just got thrown out the window for a few months of working towards a goal.

I had a positive mindset hangover.  I felt guilt and shame and even embarrassment for having shadowy thoughts.  I didn’t connect with my circle of achievement based, goal centred happiness friends anymore.  I was sick with positivitis.

My mindset needed a shower.  And showers are neither positive or negative – just wet and wonderful.

I do my best realizing when I’m in the shower. Truly.  There’s something about just hanging out in hot water gushing over my head that wakes me up somehow.  It sets me to neutral.  It opens up space for my next ‘aha moment’ and connects me back home too.

I’m giving my mindset a shower these days because I know that all the panic driven, alarm bell ringing neuropathways that I habitually walk are of my own making.  I can create new ones that are honest, unthreatened by the truth, and serve me as real until that’s not so anymore.

Take a shower.  It’s a delicious thing to have clean water and a safe place to reset the control room that runs our auto-pilot.  We’re blessed no?

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xxT