DAY 3: #NAJOWRIMOPROMPT: Write to your mental critic

Continuing on the theme of “Unleashing Your Creative Mind Through Journal Writing” write a letter to your inner critic, that voice that whispers to you when you think about wanting to do something creative or different. Think about when you heard the voice before and what it said to you. Talk back to it the form of a letter or a dialogue between you and the critic.

Oh. That voice. I am lucky that the voice of my inner critic today is much less harsh than just five years ago. When I talk to clients about their inner voice/mental critic, I usually tell them that I used to have a combo of Hitler/Mao/Stalin living inside my head. Not so today though.

So. A letter. To my mental critic. Ok.
Here goes:

Hi there.

You know. I kind of like you nowadays. I used to really really dislike you, because you made me feel soooo bad about myself. Now, you’re more polite than before, and have a much nicer tone. I thank you for that change. It’s done wonders with my self-esteem.

Sometimes you do have a point, dear mental critic, but honestly, quite often you don’t. It’s like you are more like the echo of my Ego speaking, stuck in the ways of my personality, insisting I stick to the limits you put upon me, and don’t you dare venture outside those boundaries, dear self… 

But I do. Sometimes. Venture outside the boundaries placed there by you, Mental Critic. I actually pay so much less attention to you today than ever before. And perhaps that’s why you’ve actually changed your language of communication from being predominantly verbal to being much more physical, something which I noticed quite recently

In a sense that just makes it more interesting though, since I am a very verbal person, and much less of a physical person. But it’s good for me that you’ve changed your form of communication, because I am on a journey of discovery of me, all of me, all parts of me, and most definitely the physical part of me is a huge part of that. 

wickedAnyway. Sometimes you might be making a valid point, and sometimes you’re just trying to wield your power over me, and the challenge for me is to be able to tell the difference. The easiest way for me to discern whether or not your message can be in service to me or not, is to ask myself just that: Is this serving me right now? 

That has two effects for me. First it can actually help me escape from underneath your spell, I become not only the person experiencing your communication, but I also become an observer of said conversation. And secondly, it opens up for a choice, a neutral choice, providing me with an opportunity to actively chose my next action, with less of a story attached to it. That question ”Is this serving me?” has probably been the most helpful prompt I’ve been able to give myself over these past 4-5 years or so. 

Perhaps you, Mental Critic, should start to ask yourself that very same question once in a while?

Kind regards,
Helena

I just love this:
Here’s an assignment that when I first read it, it really didn’t tickle me in any way… but once I started, I was really happy I did. And in a sense, isn’t that perhaps the perfect illustration to what the assignment centered around?

Moderation or All-or-Nothing?

Today I pushed myself beyond my normal routine of doing a #Seven in the morning (Seven is an app – using the hashtag #SevenApp – which gives me 12 exercises to do, 30 seconds each, with 10 seconds of rest in between each), and did Seven times five instead of just one time around.

I did the workouts that have unlocked in my app (every second month of daily Sevens, a new workout with 12 new exercises gets unlocked):Seven times five
Full body
Upper body
Lower body
Random (random picks of the unlocked exercises, my favorite workout!)
Stretch

And I have to tell you – that was really nice. I’m gonna try to do a round of Seven times five on a weekly basis, if nothing else for the wonderful feeling I have in my body right now. Arms, legs, chest, stomach and back, well, really my entire body has that heavy feel to it, from being utilized and stretched a bit beyond its normal use.

Doing a little bit of exercise on a daily habit works really well for me. And after 219 days of daily Seven’s I can feel the difference. So much so that today, I was able to do Seven times five, which I would have been hard pressed to accomplish 220 days ago.

Goes to show that a little bit, done in moderation, really does make a difference in the long run. Even though we often fool ourselves into thinking it’s All or Nothing. And I know for myself, that when I set very ambitious goals, and then one day fall through, based on my belief in the All or nothing-scenario, I usually become a drop out from my own goal. And doing these smaller, more moderate habits, have really helped me come to terms with my faulty thinking around All or Nothing, which generally, doesn’t serve me. So, I simply shrug my shoulders at those thoughts, when they come sneaking in, which they do from time to time. But I generally don’t entertain them.

What about you? Moderation rings a bell, or you’re an All or Nothing-kind of person? What usually serves you better?

I’m so sorry

I am so sorry, so very very sorry.
For the way it has become.
For my part in it.
For whatever it is that made it this way.

I’m also very tired. Tired of carrying the feeling that there is something to be on the look out for, and that something doesn’t contain any niceties. On the contrary. In something there lies harsh words, needles causing tiny pin pricks, at times just one or two, other times loads of them; sometimes very general, othertimes oh so easy to tell that I’m at bull’s eye and the dart arrow hits right smack in the middle of it, or at least that what it feels like.

Perhaps more than anything, I feel sad about the entire situation. Because I just don’t see the sense in it. And perhaps that affects me more than the rest?

I used to want to make sense of the world, order and structure it to suit my liking, because that made me feel safe and good. I’ve let a lot of that go, but in this instance, at least right now, within my current state of mind while writing this (and who knows if I’ll ever publish it?), I would like to make sense of it.

Won’t you please tell me? Why the animosity? What’s with the pin pricks? What within you makes you believe that’s the way forward? What value do you get from this behaviour? How does this serve you?

I know it doesn’t serve me, at least not in a glaringly obvious way. Perhaps deep down on an unconcious level it does somehow…. what do I know? But it sure doesn’t feel like it does me much good. It drains me of energy. And it’s made me go off one of my favourite pastimes. And that’s a shame, because I really liked hanging around there. Not so much nowadays.

I struggle to make sense of it, and cannot. I uncover a fear or two, that I think can be contributing causes, but, seriously, this has gone on for too long, there has to be more behind it, than just a small fear or two.

coming close

So maybe I did get really close? I certainly let you in, and perhaps, in my loving, I did touch you? Maybe I came close enough to make you see something within you, that perhaps scares you even more? Can that be it?

Well, what do I know?
I don’t. And it’s really not for me to find out either.
I just wish it would stop. I would like to be friends, but barring that, friendly or at least civil would be a great start. More than anything I would like to prove this isn’t how it has to be:

“People want to be loved; failing that admired; failing that feared; failing that hated and despised. They want to evoke some sort of sentiment. The soul shudders before oblivion and seeks connection at any price.”
― Hjalmar Söderberg, Doctor Glas

So what do you say, won’t you please take my outstreched hand and together we can turn a new leaf, start afresh from here, forget what has been and be in the now?

Be gentle with yourself

I do a lot of coaching sessions right now, and one of the things that almost always seems to come up in the conversations, is the general tone of the inner voice we all carry with us. Mine used to be a dictator, lashing out at me with a leather whip, and being real nasty, on a daily basis. But not anymore. Not a lot, at least. I’ve become gentle with myself, and I cannot even begin to describe the difference it’s made in my everyday life.

Being gentle with myself, for me, means that I don’t beat myself over the head with a shovel anymore, whenever I do, say, or even think, something ”bad”. Because I’ve come to understand that ”bad” is a construction. My thoughts and the resulting feelings are neutral. They just are. But we have, as a society I guess, placed a whole lot of meaning on them, giving them a value.

If I ask you to name three good feelings, I’m certain it’s not a problem for you. Perhaps emotions such as love, joy, happiness, generosity, care come to mind? Now if I ask you to name three bad feelings, perhaps you’ll come up with emotions such as hatred, anger, anxiety, vengence, desire, jealousy and so on?

Well. What I’ve realized is that this is nonsense. It’s not true. There is no such thing as a good or bad feeling. That’s all make belief. We’ve invented it. And I think the reason we’ve made up all these stories around these feelings, is because when acting upon the ”good” feelings, generally there is value to that action. It serves us in some way, that is more easily understood and felt than when acting upon the ”bad” feelings. Acting on hatred rarely serve us, and generally speaking there is less apparent value to acting on these feelings. And I agree with that. But, that still doesn’t mean the feeling and the thought it came from, are good or bad. They still just are. They exist. Period.

And I even venture as far as stating, that believing in the story of good and bad thoughts and feelings, is actually causing much more harm to us, than shedding that belief, and seeing the thoughts and feelings for what they are. A thought. And a feeling. Nothing more, nothing less. Just that.

For me, this makes it much more easy to feel what I feel without beating myself up over it. I can be nervous without being nervous about it. I can be angry without being angry at myself for it. And so on. This is what I mean with being gentle with myself. I feel what I feel, and that’s ok. I’m ok with that. Most of the time, that is… because sometimes I’m at a low state of consiousness and then perhaps I’m not ok with being angry and upset. And you know what? That’s ok too!

Now, what this ok-ness doesn’t mean, is that I give myself permission to act on whatever feeling I’m experiencing in the moment. No. That’s another ball game. I’m ok with feeling whatever I feel, but I now know I don’t have to act on every feeling I experience. I can just sit with it. If I’m angry, that’s ok. But that doesn’t mean I have to scream and shout. Sometimes I do, because I feel that’s what will be of service to me in the moment. Sometimes I don’t, because I don’t feel it will be of service to me in the moment. There is no right or wrong that is always right or wrong. It varies. (Barring actually inflicting harm upon another being. Does that really ever serve anyone?)

Knowing this, really really knowing it in my heart, means that I am no longer a slave to my feelings. I don’t have that urge to lash out, when I’m angry, at least not at all as frequent as it used to be. I have a choice to act on my feelings, and what will serve me in the moment will vary. That means there really is no right or wrong here, and with that realization, suspending judgement upon myself and other has fallen away, and only remains to a very small extent in my life. So I’m not only more gentle with myself, I am also much more gentle with you, and the rest of the world.

Except when I’m not, because I have a muddled mind, lacking clarity, and that’s ok. I know my clarity will return, in time, and I also know that it really serves me to be gentle with myself. At all times.

be gentle

Be gentle with yourself. Try it out. You don’t even have to believe you deserve it. Just try it. Ok?

Mindblown!

The two days of The Independence Intensive with Rich Litvin and Steve Chandler didn’t blow my mind. I would have liked more, longer, deeper, more challenges, and above all more interaction with all the magnificent people attending the event.

However, watching Rich turn on his high-flame coaching in a nanosecond has been a true inspiration to witness. I’m gonna be much more fearless and vulnerable myself in my coaching from now on. Thanks Rich for modelling that for me in the most authentic way!

And Steve Chandler, the man with the voice that I struggled not to get stuck on. Now I love that voice, and even more, I love his message. And his humor. Man, that’s one funny man! I will keep on listening to your pods, and read your books, and your generosity is simply amazing. You make me reflect, think and act, and I thank you for that. You’ve flipped my mind several times already, and I look forward to more flips ahead!

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The resources made available to me/us as attendees, both before, during and after the event, all in themselves are value enough for the price of the Intensive. I will continue to grow and evolve as a direct result of all these resources!

1,5 day in. Enter: Steve Hardison.

And my mind blew. Totally.

I’ve never ever experienced presence like that. I’ve never met anyone so present. And it wasn’t the words he said. Not at all. It was where he was coming from. A place of love. 100% love. And 100% willingness to serve.

I am at a loss for words. But during the break after Hardison spoke, my whole body vibrated. And I was filled with a new purpose, a commitment so deep and immediate I feel all shook up.

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The main message from Steve Hardison was simple. Just be me. Whatever that is, be it, and be it fully. Be fully that which I am. And that which I am can change at any moment, and that’s just the way it is. But at the same time, Steve Hardison models beautifully how it’s possible to practice to live a life of love. Cuz love is all there is. Live. And love. Namaste Steve Hardison, namaste.

I have now gotten a resolve for two things:
1) Living and loving life, and doing it by being me.
2) Honouring the gift of life by serving the world and those around me.

Again. My mind just blew. And I love it. And boy am I grateful to myself for doing this sort of thing, attending challenging and potentiallty mindblowing events. What an experience!

When did you last have a mind blowing experience?

Let it shine!

Alan Seale sends out a weekly newsletter called The Transformer. On August 28th, this poem was the starting point:

Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial. That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been. Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Teresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.

— George Saunders, American writer

Wonderful words, stirring deep into my soul.

20130828-131302.jpgEspecially the latter part, about clearing away that which keeps me separate from my own luminous place. That resonates, because I believe we have so many patterns that form layers on top of the pure un-adulterated me.

Patterns can serve me. They might also do the opposite. It’s highly likely they did serve me when they were created. But do they still, perhaps years after I created them?

I try to identify my patterns and habits. Once I have, I let my Curious George run wild, checking them out, seeing if they still serve or not.

Any that I I find don’t serve me any more, I clear, one by one, making use of the energy within them, to become true to myself, showing my secret luminous place.

So let it shine – that which is truly you! We all need for you to let it shine!

What lies hidden in your secret luminous place?

On hatred

Do you hate?

If yes – what do you hate? Individuals? Groups of people? Food? Music? Societal structures and organizations? Behaviors? Weather? Disease? War? A sports team?

If no – how come? Why not hate?

I have stopped hating. I used to use the word a lot and also felt hatred but…
*shakes my head* it just doesn’t do me any good.

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Have become more and more aware of the power the word contains, as well as the feelings and thoughts behind it, so that I very seldom, if ever, feel that hate is the word/emotion I am after.

I have a hard time to see that it serves me to hate. Rather, it creates problems all around.

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world,
but has not solved one yet.” – Maya Angelou

So I go for Maya Angelou’s take on hatred, as it sure doesn’t help to make the world a better place. And I strive towards creating a world that works!

The weird thing is, when someone says they hate one thing or the other – if questioned, they almost always back down, saying they don’t really mean hate. So why use the word hate at all?

Do you hate?