September 2014 Newsletter — How to Stay Out of the Ruts

Our minds are powerful; more powerful than we acknowledge for all we are capable of thinking, doing, remembering, and understanding. Our minds reflect an accumulation of all we have learned and experienced, as well as perceptive to the field of energy and influence in our “environment.”

With all of this being true, it is amazing as to our insistent ability to override such a powerful organ for good, and emotionally and mentally take ourselves, again, down to well-worn ruts of negativity, fear, lack, unworthiness and grief. These trips happen because of triggers from emotions that are reinforced by the link to the powerful memories and experiences in our past.

It never takes much to begin that descent into the depths of our well-patterned false beliefs. In an instant, our emotions can initiate this physiological decline that can create fatigue, depression, insomnia, changes in blood pressure and much more. This “flip” from the person we are capable of being, doing all the wonderful things we are capable of thinking and doing, to the helpless and hopeless “perspective” of ourselves, is simply that—a “perspective”—which is not the truth of who we are. Over time, we may begin to recognize this “trip” and know we need not submerge into these feelings, and at least attempt to pull ourselves back to a place of functioning before it goes on for too long and creates too much havoc in our bodies and our lives.

A couple of years ago I was playing with my grandsons, making a castle out of pillows. I was the queen, and the 3 year old was in charge of our gems and gold. The 8 year old was captain of our forces to protect the castle. Immediately, of course, he sighted enemy approaching. I asked him to explain to me his plan of action. “First,” he said, “I’m going to travel in time to the future to determine what technology would be best to use in our plan. Then I will travel back in time to learn from mistakes made in other battles, and to get ideas to use so we can defeat the enemy.” — That, from an 8 year old!

I thought to myself, what can I learn from this idea? These days, I don’t see a future with goals like I did decades ago. Looking with more trepidation for my future is one possible trigger– fear of aging and the changes and uncertainties ahead. When I look back to reflect on “what worked” in my past, or how to learn from my mistakes, as my grandson advised, I’m hit with some realities, some remembrances that bring to mind regrets. I tend to repeat my mistakes before I learn from them. But in more recent years, I’ve been more diligent to unpack those bags that hold old memories. I’m traveling lighter these days…leaving behind anything that might prevent me from living more fully in the present. And yet, whether looking back or forward, much of what I see is really based upon my beliefs of what happened and my beliefs of what my future looks like.

The word belief originates with the Old English word which means “acceptance by the mind that something is true or real, often under pinned by an emotional or spiritual sense of certainty.” When we observe our thinking and examine our beliefs from a different perspective, our attachments to our thoughts can become more neutral so we can release the emotion linked to the history, and the history can now remain in the past without triggers to surface again and again. Staying open and examining our assumptions, challenging our beliefs, best enables us to be flexible in changes we face looking forward. What is real? What is true? Many things we believe are absolute are just reflections of our personal history.

Hale Dwoskin explains, “As we unwind our belief systems you simply feel more present, so you can show up for what’s happening in the moment, as opposed to being based in reaction, based on a memory. Most of us live our life as though our thoughts are both who we are and facts. But neither is true. Thoughts are just that—not facts, and not true. The good news is you have the ability to let go of any thought and thereby change both the way you feel and how you act in life.”

As we broaden our perspective, more frequently residing in a place of non-judgment, non-reactive mindfulness, we don’t have to define ourselves in negative ways and fall prey to triggers that have thrown us into those ruts all our lives. We can make neutral and then negate past remembrances that we have allowed to haunt us. We can let them go. We can learn to stop, acknowledge the well-worn rut, and choose the alternate path. We can stop, breathe, and affirm all the positives about ourselves, our lives, our futures, and fully live the truth of who we are.