Friday, June 24, 2016

Self-Rising Me!

Self-Rising Me!

How do I know that I am bigger than my circumstances? Wowza! What do you think about that question? I have been asking that one a bunch lately; I like the feeling I get.

How do I know that I am more than my circumstances?

There are times in our lives when our circumstances seem overwhelming. When every minute they are what we are thinking about, what we are feeling about, what we are worried about. Oh, dear.

In the bygone times, I would endeavor to ignore such circumstances and pretend everything was fine. That turned them into the proverbial elephant in the livingroom. Suddenly, everything was about avoiding that elephant. How do I not think about the elephant in the livingroom? Yeah, we all know how well that works. Most recently, My elephant in the livingroom was my fear of having some cancer. Never mind the fact that it had been excised, never mind the fact that I was being treated, that fear was a cancer itself.  I needed to find a way to shift that.

How do I know that I am more than my circumstances?

Turned out that I could acknowledge that fear, the physical discomforts, the apprehensions,  then let it go and do something else. The equivalent of throwing the elephant some peanuts, I suppose. Turns out that overwhelmed is a choice.

Dang it!

What does that mean, overwhelmed is a choice? Overwhelmed is a feeling, not a fact. It’s a kind of fear, a  stress-response to a series of thoughts, thoughts that can actually make us sick. But we know we can change our thoughts. This is graduate level stuff here, so pay attention.

When I am feeling overwhelmed, I need to stop for a bit. I focus on my breath and my feet, and remind me that I am in charge of my thoughts. I disconnect from my Drama Queen. Sometimes I will imagine sending her off to a room with a giant TV where she can watch something to keep her interest.

Why am I competent? How am I in charge? Why do I make good choices? Why am I calm? What makes me feel peaceful?

Now, I can assess my situation. I can prioritize well, I can delegate, or eliminate things from my list. If I am in a real life or death situation, I am calm and clear-headed. Whew.

How am I so healthy? Why do I know I am more than my physical experience? What makes me happy? How have I changed from living in fear to letting my spirit soar?

Our lives are full of stuff that can seem so big. Some of it we handle like champs, some of it throws us to the ground and jumps on us, but it’s still all just stuff. When I trust that I can manage, when I trust that I will find the resources I need, when I trust that the right support will find me, I can get back up, look those circumstances square in the eye, and let go the overwhelmed. I start making good choices again, I start taking good action again, and I open my heart to wonderful possibilities again. Oh, yeah!

How have I changed from feeling bossed around by my circumstances to knowing that I have what I need to rise above them?

(c) 2016 Pam Guthrie all rights reserved 04262016

I Oughta Be Committed

I Oughta Be Committed

What do you think about commitment? I always think it’s funny when I hear people say that they can’t commit. Commitment is part of living. The question is simply, “What am I committed to?”

All I have to do is look at my life to see my different commitments. For example, I am committed to surrounding myself with excellent people. I am committed to maintaining order at my job and in my car, but I seem to be committed to chaos in my home. I am committed to living a happy life. I am committed to sharing the lessons I have learned about how to do that.

Why am I committed? What makes me commit? How have I changed from thinking I can’t commit to choosing my commitments?

Oh. Right. Choice. When I have taken an inventory of my commitments based on my observations, I can compare them to what I want to be committed to. I get to choose my commitments. I get to commit to choosing my commitments! Ahahahahah!

I hear some of us wondering why we would care about our commitments. You could say it’s all about time and resource management. And about bringing our lives in line with what we want.

When I am obviously committed to something I don’t like, I spend a lot of T and R not liking it. If I whine about it without taking action, I compound the expenditure of resource because now I have involved you, squandering your T and R as well. Dang!

Sometimes we think of our “disliked” commitments more as weighty liabilities, as burdens, as constraints. We say that we want to feel free, but we keep finding ourselves in situations where we feel overwhelmed, or trapped, or suffocated. We feel doomed.

In the days of yore, I was committed to misery. Seriously. I was committed to feeling awful. My commitment was strong, I was also committed to overwhelm and feeling doomed. I would joke that I had three feelings; terrible, bad, and not bad. I hated it, but spent hours everyday talking about how much I hated it. I fed my commitment with attention, with focus, and with practice. I felt powerless to do anything about it.

Turned out I was wrong.

I love to admit I was wrong when it comes to this kind of stuff. It means my life is going to be so much better.

I had to make a commitment to change my bad commitment! I made a promise to myself that I would do whatever it took to become a happy person. I had no idea what that even meant back then, but I was determined. It took me some time. The current spate of information and support didn’t exist back then. One thing I remember doing was wearing a rubber band on my wrist and giving it a little snap every time I had an ugly thought. I didn’t know to change it to a good thought back then, but I did manage to slow down the bad ones.
There is so much help available now. On-line groups filled with like-minded people, wonderful websites, texting, new techniques to help us change. We can, you know, change what we are committed to. We just need to make that commitment.

How have I changed from being committed to icky stuff to loving my commitments to my wonderful life?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2016 all rights reserved 06232016