Rescripting thoughts for “i Can help myself”

At a gathering with some high-activity friends one of the group stated “I can’t help myself!.” Have you said that too? I have. This time, an image of casually handing over control grabbed me full stop. How can I help myself is a good consideration if addicted to excessive gym workouts. And I think a critical discussion when feeling stuck, regardless of your age.

I’m fifty-five (sixty, sixty-five, sixty-seven); what kind of person do I want to be now in this stage of life? What dreams and adventures call my name? I’ve never tried anything like this before.

Clearly we have limitations. I would love to heft my sea kayak onto the car rack, using saw horses or some other leveraging system I can dream up. But it’s pretty certain on this one: I can’t do it by myself. There’s a high risk of damaging my body and vehicle if I do.

Other than physical limitations what are the ways we get stuck ? I’ve listed three reasons.

#One. Our thoughts, and our belief that they are true. Thoughts. They are sentences of words that come into our mind. That doesn’t mean they’re true. Has anyone else misinterpreted something, then built a thought in your mind that someone doesn’t like you, is against you: based only on your thought evaluation?

#Two. Change. Answers to questions like ‘what’s next for me’ will probably mean doing something differently. Developing new self care practices, shifting attitudes, reaching for dreams – do I hear ‘yikes’?!

#3Three. Fear. Stepping out of our box. Knowing what to do first. Anxiety how to respond to family and peers who may question our new actions and ideas. What-if’s. It can be intimidating just to start.

Three tools that have helped me to rescript my thoughts, dare to dream, and take action.

#1 Make a mindmap: this is something new in my toolbox and I love it. Daphne from the Publication Coach showed me how to use mindmaps for writing. Now I use them for everything: to get started on a blog post, process a work decision, organize my next back-packing trip, approach a sticky situation.This is how I do it:

  • get an 8×11 sheet of paper and position it on a writing space landscape-style
  • draw a circle in the middle of the paper. Inside the circle write a question. From that middle circle draw spokes out to other circles for responses triggered by that question. This can be a short exercise, 3-7 minutes tops, jotting thoughts down as they come. There isn’t a right or wrong way. It’s getting thoughts out of the head for the vantage point of seeing them and working with them.
  • If this tool is new to you, I encourage you to test it out, perhaps related to our topic with a question, i.e. what makes my heart sing, or – what stops me from trying new things? Daphne’s website offers a download for her mindmapping instructions. If you’d like to contact me here I’d be happy to do one together.
My foray into something new: art journalling – with Anna. Creative progress without expectation for perfection!

#2 Be mindful about what is taken in through all the senses. What we read, see, listen to becomes part of what we think and believe. This message bears highlighting, especially in our current world situation with so much input blasting via every medium. Author Dr. Caroline Leaf, whose work on and off the page marries both spiritual and scientific wisdom, writes this “….what we say and do is based on what we have already built into our minds {based on implanted thoughts that form our point of view}. We evaluate this information and make our choices based on this information, then we choose a new thought, and this is what drives what we say or do.” 1.

#3 Make small doable goals. The temptation is to tackle the world and that’s a set-up for self-sabotage. This is old news but still relevant news: remember the hare and tortoise!

Graphic Credits: Laurent-Auguste Tougas ~2013

Friends, it feels easier sometimes to sit in the rut or behind the tree. Chilling out: believing we can wait a while (folks, time is a limited commodity) or that we can’t help ourselves.

Change is hard work. And there isn’t a formula to rescript your life because your life, with its dreams and goals, is one of a kind. If you’d like to connect for support on moving forward, reach out here.

Love, until next time …

Karen

  1. p. 42 Switch on Your Brain

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