As a former perfectionist, and get er’ done kinda girl, I can honestly say that I used to do things the really hard way.
I’d put so much pressure on myself to do things a certain way, by a certain time, in a certain order.
I’d feel the pressure of the mind creating linear deadlines and rules and I’d feel the pressure of innocently overthinking and overcomplicating things. My mind always said that, as a human and a doer, easy things were hard and doing those hard things took a lot of effort.
Like retraining my brain for example. I used to think that it had to be a hard or difficult thing that required willpower, or changing my thoughts, or reciting affirmations or meditating, to name a few. (Not that those things aren’t great, they most certainly can be, but they are not a necessary requirement for what it is that I am referring to).
I used to think that breaking my thought habits or habitual thought records had to be hard.
Of course it felt that way when my mind would play all of the, what felt like terrifying and weird content because my levels of anxiety would skyrocket. But honestly, I had it all wrong.
It can be a lot easier than our minds make it out to be, if we let it. If we get out of our own way. It can be easier if we give ourselves the love and kindness we deserve. If we allow ourselves to listen to our heart and our wisdom enough so they become the driver, or rather, the driving force behind our decision making and what we decide to give our attention to.
Have you ever smoked? Maybe not, but let’s use smoking as an example.
As a former smoker as well as perfectionist, my mind used to throw out urges in the form of cravings and tell me that it was time to go smoke a cigarette. I even (innocently) programmed it to throw out these cravings at certain times of day. Like when I’d finish work, or get in my car, or have a coffee . . . I innocently programmed my mind to talk to me about smoking during those times so, naturally, it gave me signals to go do the darn thing. It sent me signals to smoke, strong signals, because our minds are good at what they do.
But, after a while, it stopped working for Me. It really stopped working for me when I got pregnant. Of course, I wanted to stop despite what my mind had to say about it. Despite the programming, despite the urges in the form of cravings, despite what time of day it was.
I made the decision that I wanted to stop, and I made the decision from the heart. For myself, and for my sprouting little being.
And that, was the easier part. That was the catalyst for change — simply making the decision. That was (and always is) the first step. Making the decision from the heart, from the soul, from inner wisdom, from a place of just knowing that no matter what it takes to get from A to B, you’re going to do it.
The not as easy part, (but still a lot easier than my mind made it out to be), was the programming part.
Over time, our minds catch onto our habits, or rather, the things we innocently do to make us feel better when we feel bad — the things we do to make them quiet down when they’re being fast or noisy.
And they try and help us out. They try and do us favours by remembering what it is that we do to feel better, and they send us signals. And after a while, they send us stronger signals. And the more we listen the more they tend to send.
However, the biggest secret in all of this is that, we don’t have to listen. We don’t have to give into our urges, cravings, thoughts, behaviours, or patterns in order to feel better. We don’t have to give in to feel better, because who we are is better.
And we don’t have to listen to our minds preprogrammed ideas and settings anymore — because we’ve made a decision not to. We’ve made a decision that we are ready for a new way of life and, thus, our old ideas and ways of doing things become irrelevant to who we are today.
We no longer need them to help us feel better. We no longer need to engage with or give in to them.
They become an unnecessary part of our lives.
And our thought habits are no different. Engaging in a terrifying or weird thought is like me smoking a cigarette when my mind tells me to. I can choose not to listen. I can choose not to smoke. I can choose not to follow the urges or the cravings, and my habitual thoughts are the same.
And that is because I am in charge. The real me. The real me underneath the cravings. The one who is whole and peaceful and habit-free before my mind says otherwise. Before my minds programs. Before my minds cravings.
The much bigger and wiser and even-more-loving-than-my-mind me.
The Me who is like an iceberg — where my mind and physical features and smiling face is on top — and the real me, at a soulful level, is the space below the surface.
The one who was born habit and pattern free. The one who already knows all of this, but simply needs a reminder when she gets caught up in being human. The one who instinctively knows that she is much better off when she doesn’t engage with her minds’ programs, signals, thoughts and patterns.
She is the one who knows the difference between when it’s a good idea to engage and when it’s in her best interest not to.
She is the one who knows when her mind is having a field day making life harder and more complicated than it has to be, and she is the one who has that inner knowing of when it’s time to slow down and reconnect with her heart…to amp up the self-care.
And You, dear Warrior, are much the same. This is Universal, this goes for humans across the board.
That’s not to say that we are in charge of what shows up– because none of us are. Thoughts come and they go and they are all just random content our brain has decided to generate for a variety of reasons.
But as we come see who we really are, we can see them for what they really are. We can understand their powerlessness and, thus, take their power away.
In my personal experience, it took courage, and bravery, and falling down many times before getting back up, and believing in myself when I didn’t feel like it, but I did it, and I know you can too.
Who you are at a soulful level, in your childlike nature, is naturally thought habit and pattern free. And when your mind is tempted to say otherwise, that’s when you step in. And that’s when you say, I hear you, I see you, I understand you, but I’m okay.
Really and truly, mind, it is Me and who I am, and always have been, is okay.
Because that’s the truth. We, are, okay.
And that is part of how we retrain our brains. That is part of how we see our way out of our innocent thought created habits, patterns and ideas.
No willpower. No beating ourselves up. No being hard on ourselves. No distracting ourselves. No running away.
We do it, simply, by making the decision to do so, and by trusting and loving in, the Warrior we were born to be.