Listen to this episode
I want to start today’s episode with a quickie chat with my friend Jen. We just recorded this interview while in the car yesterday morning at 7am on the way to the airport.
Jen shares an example of how she used meditation in the workplace. I’d love to hear if anyone else has ever tried creating a meditation group with your work colleagues and how it has helped you.
While we were recording that, Kate was also filming us for her Instagram story, so if you want to see the behind the scenes of recording literally on the road and learn more about the day in the life of a digital nomad, check out Kate’s Instagram channel @theremotenomad
Speaking of Instagram, I have just launched a brand new Instagram channel called Daring To Be. I’ll be posting lots of inspirational quotes that come directly from my podcast interviews as well as sharing all the other things that inspire me in life and help me remain conscious. I’ll also regularly be sharing my behind the scenes life as a modern-day monk via Instagram stories so hop on over to Instagram and let’s connect!
There’s something wrong with me
So I want to move now into today’s topic which is something that’s been plaguing me for a couple of weeks now.
I’ve been having a lot of thoughts. Nothing new about that but it’s the paying attention to the content which has been causing me pain.
- What am I doing with my life?
- What am I even good at? I don’t think I’m good at anything
- I’ve never really succeeded at anything
- I’ve pretty much failed at everything I’ve ever done
- Why can’t I just be normal, like everybody else?
- Why do I always choose to do things the hard way?
- Why can’t my life just be easier?
- Why can’t I have what she has?
- When am I going to meet a guy?
- Why can’t I meet a guy? Why does it have to be so hard?
- Why does nobody like me?
- They must think I’m crazy
- They must think I’m a loser
- They’re probably right
- There must be something wrong with me
- There’s definitely something wrong with me
- I think I must be going to crazy
- No wonder nobody likes me. I don’t like me. Why would anybody want to be around me, or listen to me? If they had any idea what was going on inside my head they would run a mile
- There’s definitely something terribly wrong with me.
Anyone ever had any thoughts like that?
Tell me, how did it feel listening to all of that. Was it difficult to listen to? Maybe it was familiar, maybe you recognised some of those thoughts. Side note, if you did and we’re both having the exact same thoughts, whose thoughts are they? Is it your thought, or is it mine? Who does this thought belong to – what if it’s neither of us?
Anyway, regardless listening to all of that is a bit of a downer right. They’re what I called downward spiralling or low vibe.
And the thing is this goes way beyond simply negative thinking. These are all just voices inside your head. If this voice inside your head, that sounds very much like you, said these things out loud to you, how would you react? Would you let that person stay hanging around you for very long? Or would you demand they leave the room, or ignore them? The thing is we would never tolerate this sort of commentary if it was actually said out loud.
I refer to these types of thoughts as self-violent thoughts. I’m not talking about being physically violent. Not physically trying to hurt ourselves or anyone else. But the thoughts themselves, even though they don’t reference actual physical harm are still doing a huge amount of emotional harm within our mind, and actually in saying that, our bodies too.
It’s basically like whipping yourself with an imaginary whip, a really really big one.
These types of thoughts all reflect our own levels of self-worth, self-love and self-compassion.
Basically, all these types of thoughts come back to one main base belief, the belief that there is something wrong. Something wrong with me, my life or my world. And if we go back to the interview I just did with Sandy Newbigging when we put our attention on the stuff we are resisting we are actually inviting even more of it in.
Just the other day I was having a really bad day, with lots of self-violent thoughts. And then I jammed my finger in a door and it hurt a lot! and I didn’t want to cry, but then I noticed that it really did hurt an awful lot and I couldn’t fight the tears. But then the tears kept coming, and even though there was no lack of pain, I could also sense that the tears weren’t just about my sore finger, which is now turning black under the fingernail by the way. it was a release of energy and of those all these self-violent thoughts that had been plaguing me for weeks, months, years. And I wasn’t really surprised that this accident had been preceded by a lot of really violent thoughts towards myself.
So we all our violent thoughts come back to believing at a deep level that there’s something wrong with us.
Now that may sound pretty sad and heavy but here’s the good news about that. If we simply change our relationship with that one core belief, the rest of these self-violent thoughts will dissolve. Or at the very least, the whip will start to shrink so the thoughts no longer have any power to hurt us and they will start to look really funny instead. Seriously these thoughts are ridiculous.
Imagine for a moment that these thoughts belonged to someone else. Imagine everyone chopped there heads off and swapped heads for a bit. Imagine you were wearing your best friends head and all of a sudden you saw her thinking all these really awful thoughts about herself. Would you take those thoughts seriously? Would you believe them?
, No you wouldn’t, it’s your best friend, you think she’s wonderful. You KNOW she’s a wonderful person. You wouldn’t for a minute allow her to entertain these types of thoughts let alone let her believe them.
I basically have recognised over the years that there is a whole gang of mean girls living in my head. They are the worst!
But like most mean girls, I can’t control what they do or say to me. So what’s the best way to fight them. Well it’s the opposite of fighting. It’s love, it sending those thoughts love, it not taking them too seriously. It’s looking after myself with self-love, it’s being really really gentle with myself. All the time. And when that feels hard or impossible, it’s treating my own thoughts like they were actually my best friends and getting all mama bear on her and not allowing her to believe that shit.
So protect your own mind like you would if it belonged to your best friend. Let’s flip that conversation now:
- What am I doing with my life – you’re exactly where you need to be
- I’ve never really succeeded at anything – you’re succeeding right this minute, everytime you remember the truth of who you are, everytime you choose for stillness, everytime you meditate
- Why can’t I just be normal, like everybody else – hahaha, what even is normal? You are perfect just the way you are. If you thought you were normal you’d probably hate that as well.
- Why can’t I have what she has – you don’t need to compare your life to others, it serves no purpose.
- When am I going to meet a guy – I don’t know but probably when you stop thinking about it and start loving yourself instead.
- They must think I’m crazy, They must think I’m a loser – guess what, everybody is so busy worrying about what other people think of them, that they don’t have time to actually think about you, so relax.
- There must be something wrong with me – na, sorry, there’s nothing wrong with you, you’re actually perfect just the way you are. And by the way, believing there’s something wrong with you actually makes you really normal, see I told you you would hate it.
Not to point out the obvious again but this is the point of meditation. it helps to heal these deep rooted beliefs that theres something wrong. So we don’t have to go around trying to figure out how to fix each individual problem in our lives. Meditation goes right to the core and starts to heal, dissolve all that. That’s when the volume starts to get turned down, that’s when the whip gets so small, it starts ti tickle us instead of hurt and all we can do is laugh at it.
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