We’re approaching my favorite date—March 4th.
I love that this date is also a verb offering clear instruction: take a step forward. With that, it commands everyone to be assertive and by extension, to feel empowered.
Simply said, it’s a life-affirming day.
This directive is particularly potent at this time as pandemic life has made many of us feel halted in one way or another.
While each person should "march forth” in his/her own way (depending on where in life they may feel inert), all of us face the same obstacle to heeding the call—our own damn mind!
Certainly, our brain allows us to compute the message hidden in the wordplay of March 4th, but it doesn’t invest in it…that’s the mind’s job.
To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, the human brain and the mind are totally different animals (Link to podcast featuring Seinfeld). The brain can be likened to a puppy in that it is trainable through repetition and reward. The mind, however, is far less cute and trainable; it’s more like an untamed lion.
You probably know from your own experience that the mind has…well, a mind of its own.
What’s more, its default is to latch onto any hint of the aforementioned halting feeling…and cling to it like a barnacle on a sunken ship.
This tendency of the mind makes marching forth extremely difficult. What’s a person to do then when they are inspired by something like the motivating message, “March Forth?”
According to Mel Robbins (melrobbins.com), author and motivational speaker, we can override how our mind is wired to automatically find reasons/excuses to halt instead of move forward when an idea emerges.
But we have only five seconds to do it.
Here’s how her “5 Second Rule” works to close the gap between thinking about what needs to be done, and actually doing it.
Let’s say that after reading this blog you wanted to listen to the podcast with Jerry Seinfeld noted above.
Your mind will acknowledge that desire by either moving on to another thought, and/or quickly firing off reasons why it can’t happen, such as:
“I don’t have time.”
“I’ve heard all of Jerry’s material before.”
“I already have so much content to get through.”
Yada yada yada.
And before you know it (in five seconds actually), the inspiration has been squelched and your mind has claimed victory over your endeavor to tune into a great piece of media.
However, you have a MUCH greater chance of listening to this interview with Jerry IF you take at least one step towards making it happen WITHIN FIVE SECONDS.
Let’s be clear—this doesn’t mean you must start listening to the podcast immediately. Rather, you would take just a small action that would help ensure that you tune into it when you can.
For instance, you could:
In a world that can make us feel like we have no control, it’s pretty awesome that we can control the untamed lion in our head as long as we distract it from the halting tendency, in under five seconds.
Talk about feeling empowered…by marching forth in five seconds, your ideas will no longer corrode with barnacles and get deep-sixed!
Inspirational card created by Beth Furman
Working with a piece of art is always illuminating. If for no other reason, it reminds us that everyone sees things with a unique lens, so people’s reactions are likely to vary greatly…and interestingly.
For example, when this photo appeared in my inbox, it stopped me in my tracks:
“Diana Sitting” Photographer: Alison Jackson.
I immediately smiled and thought, “You go, girl!”
While we can debate about who or what she’s raising her middle finger at, there’s no question that this “Princess Diana” projects confidence, empowerment, pride, and sass through the camera lens.
I associate these qualities with self-love, and in this instance, self-love also became linked with flipping the bird.
While I hope that you’ll share with me your specific reaction to this photograph, for now I am using my interpretation of Her Royal Highness’s message as inspiration to develop a simple (and fun) mind-training practice.
It’s just four steps:
1) Take a moment to reflect on something that your inner critic voice (repeatedly) tells you that you cannot do or be.
2) Harness the truth-telling, “badass Diana” within yourself. (She may be deeply buried but she IS in you and probably longs to be invited out).
3) Adjust your body into a posture that evokes strength, self-respect, and certitude.
4) While maintaining that posture/expression, imagine that your inner critic is standing directly in front you, and with all the energy you can muster, flip the bird (or two) at their rude, sneering face!
WOWZA! Doesn’t that feel good?!
Now that we’re flooded with some powerful, self-affirming energy, let’s turn to the purpose behind this practice— cultivating self-love.
Honestly, the term irks me as my default way of interacting with myself more closely resembles tough-love; self-love is “work-in-progress territory.”
But I am complete in knowing that self-love is a vital ingredient in cooking up something that is very important to me—a life of well-being.
Herein lies how “Diana Sitting” teaches us about self-love: the photograph motivates us to clarify our core personal values.
When we take the time to do this, we can align our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors accordingly. Moving through the world with this type of alignment allows self-love to emerge and flow naturally.
Consequently, we exhibit qualities like confidence, empowerment and pride, and maybe at times even unapologetic sass.
And as a bonus, when we are confronted with situations that could potentially cause us to veer away from our values, we can refer back to our “Flip-the-Bird Practice” to get back into alignment.
My interpretation of “Diana Sitting” may be unusual, but I think it goes a long way to helping ordinary folk feel like they’re sitting pretty as a (bird-flipping) royal.
This past year, I’ve repeatedly heard or read the idea that “every day feels the same” due to the pandemic. (And for most, that’s not a positive feeling.)
Every time I hear this refrain, I picture Bill Murray looking dejected upon waking in the classic movie “Groundhog Day.”
Since I prefer not to connect this idea of repetition with a dismal attitude, it’s worth exploring ways to maintain a more inspired outlook on daily routines.
And there’s no better time for this exploration than in the dead of winter as we approach the real Groundhog Day!
Overriding the negative association is no easy feat, so I’ve turned to some prolific teachers for guidance.
The first is Buddha. Why mess around, right?!
When it comes to how we can approach a new day (regardless of whether it feels like the previous one), he said,
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”
Well, that puts a different spin on monotony! Maybe even Bill Murray’s character would rise brighter if this was his perspective upon hearing Sonny and Cher’s “I’ve Got You Babe” on his alarm clock every morning.
The next teacher is psychologist/neuroscientist/contemplative, Dr. Rick Hanson. He professes,
“There is a saying in Tibet: ‘If you take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves.’ What’s the most important minute in life? I think it’s the next one. There is nothing we can do about the past, and we have limited influence over the hours and days to come. But the next minute—minute after minute after minute—is always full of possibility.”
This philosophy helps shape a more hopeful outlook not only when life seems bland and mechanical, but also if you’re experiencing some anxiety.
A minute-by-minute approach to life can feel much less overwhelming than a view with a longer time horizon.
I have to believe that interpreting each fresh batch of 60 seconds as unbounded opportunity could be game-changing for someone who laments that each day is simply a recycling of the same thoughts and activities.
The last source of inspiration that applies an interesting lens on “every day feels the same” comes from the Zen tradition. It goes:
“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”
This kōan (a dialogue that aims to stir inquiry and test a Zen student’s progress) has many meanings. In this context I think it serves as a reminder that it is not the actual tasks or events that make a day pleasurable or not; it is the state of being that we bring to each experience that matters most.
For instance, a so-called enlightened person must consistently do laundry and take out garbage (modern day version of chop wood, carry water) just like the average Jane, but the mindful way they approach the tasks allows them to more easily transcend the “Groundhog Day feeling.”
Whether or not a lack of variety or excitement in your days brings you down, these three teachings offer wisdom for going through our twenty-four hour cycles with a bit more attentiveness.
Should your mind need help cueing this valuable insight when life seems repetitive, consider the lyrics that blared from the infamous “Groundhog Day” alarm clock: “There is no hill or mountain we can’t climb.”
Perhaps Sonny and Cher were the prolific teachers that Bill Murray’s character needed at that time.
If one (or more) of these teachings resonates with you, please let me know! I love to hear what makes people stir…beyond the sound of a morning alarm ;).
JANUARY 26, 2021
I’ve noticed that if I return from grocery shopping with grapes and then store them in a refrigerator drawer in their original packaging, it is unlikely that my family members will consume them.
However, if I rinse the grapes, cut the stems a bit, and place them in an open container on an eye-level refrigerator shelf, those snack-sized bunches of grapes will be devoured.
It really doesn’t take much time to make grapes ready to eat, yet my boys would never unpack and prepare them that way without being prompted, as it takes a few extra steps.
I can’t fault them for this…most of us enjoy experiences more when they are easily accessible or user-friendly.
As I watched my family easily consume the freshly prepared grapes, I realized that EASE is something I want to create more of in the midst of our complicated world.
The question of course is, HOW can we create more ease in our lives?
Surprisingly, the thinking that accompanied this “fruitful” moment provides the answer.
While my family noshed on clean grapes and I pondered how I can experience more ease, I paid attention to a thought that played in my mind. Admittedly, it was laced with some spite; it said, “It must be nice having ease created for you.”
As with many ideas that float through our minds, this thought captured only half the truth of what I was feeling.
Sure, it accurately revealed that I might not have been the beneficiary of ease in that moment, but more importantly, it failed to acknowledge that my family does create ease for me in other situations.
This dangerous thought is quite instructive: had I clung to it, I probably would have ended up with some difficulty, clearly the opposite of ease. Specifically, I likely would have developed a whole story rooted in resentment about situations where others do not make things easy for me.
Herein lies the thing that allows us to create more ease in our lives, whether it pertains to snacking or any other situation: we must release the stories that our mind clings to because they are often not true.
Simply by acknowledging—but not following—the trail of thoughts that creep into even the most mundane situations, we can create ease, and dare I say greater freedom (the real reason why we desire ease) for ourselves.
Such discipline requires taking just a few extra moments to clean, detangle, and make visible the often unhelpful thoughts to which we wrongly attach.
Why not start the new year with trying this process…at the very least, it might motivate you to move grapes out of the refrigerator drawer!
JANUARY 7, 2021
It’s a pretty significant thing.
And personal perspective, or the unique lens that each of us brings to a given situation can sometimes be a significantly distorted view of reality.
I was reminded of this twice in just the past couple of weeks.
During an online yoga class, my teacher offered me a direct instruction because apparently, my version of the given pose was rather “off.”
After making her suggested adjustment, I definitely felt an improved difference in the pose. Initially though, I was very surprised that I needed correction because from my perspective, I had that pose NAILED.
Fast forward several days later to a conversation I had with a friend, who happens to be a tennis coach of some very competitive young players.
She noted that when she films her players working on their serve, it never fails that the visual the players have in their head of how they look while serving is quite different from how they appear in the video. And of course, no filters are added to these recordings.
These two instances drilled home for me the idea that it’s important to check in with our perception of things from time to time.
Given that this reminder emerged during the season that emphasizes love and giving, it occurred to me that it’s probably worthwhile to perform a check-in about how we give and receive love.
This may seem like an odd topic on which to assess one’s perspective, but just as with yoga and tennis, misalignment often exists between how people think they best give and receive love and what actually happens.
Therefore, applying the “observer” point of view can prove invaluable when it comes to love; it can help prevent distorted perspectives from taking root in relationships.
To the extent that the quality of our relationships is the biggest factor in determining our well-being and happiness (see relevant research), the power of gaining a fresh perspective on how we love is not to be underestimated.
While you could gain this vantage point by collecting information about your love practices directly from those important to you, I suspect that’s unlikely to happen.
This is why therapist and author, Gary Chapman created simple and accessible quizzes (link to the quizzes is below) to help people determine their primary “Love Language.”
They are a wonderful, FREE tool that can help clarify what works well and not-so-well in relationships. In this regard, it truly is a gift that keeps on giving.
Chapman has designed several quizzes so that a variety of audiences can be served, not just those in romantic/life-partner relationships. For instance, there’s a quiz for teens!
Reading Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages will only enhance this gift, serving as your own instructor/coach in the area of love.
Expanding our perspective on how we can best express and receive love is probably the ultimate way to harness the spirit of the holiday season.
So, click HERE to unwrap the gift that can help you NAIL the thing that is perpetually on everyone’s wish list: feeling loved.
I’ll take that over perfecting a yoga pose or tennis serve any day!
*If you take the quiz and want to discuss your results, let’s chat!
The word “mandate” has been swirling around lately.
From protocols to help mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus, to commentary about the election, we have been inundated with messages about official orders.
While viewpoints about particular mandates are subjective, I think we can agree that the word itself has a powerful connotation and when applied, it often results in significant change.
Given these attributes, this word could prove to be helpful when used in an unusual context—making people feel more whole.
People can feel broken for many reasons, and the term heartbreak is relevant far beyond its usual romantic association.
I’ve surmised that one way we can help each other heal from broken-heartedness is to “mandate that we validate.”
This idea emerged quite strongly for me after a friend recently shared how someone revitalized her and helped mend her broken heart after one validating conversation.
For months, my friend (whom I’ll call Abbey) had worked relentlessly to make countless arrangements for her parents who were trying to digest the news of Abbey’s mother’s life-altering diagnosis.
On practically a moment’s notice, this daughter extraordinaire, who is also the CEO of her own busy family’s household, set her parents up with health aides, doctor referrals, legal support for estate and end-of-life planning, guides for basic tasks, ongoing emotional support, and more.
Needless to say, Abbey was pretty spent when we had an opportunity to catch up.
Interestingly though, she was quick to clarify that it wasn’t the administrative work that really wiped her out. Rather, it was a feeling of dejection from believing she wasn’t doing enough.
Rationally, Abbey knew she did a great job for her parents, especially given that these tasks were completely new territory to her and she was navigating it solo.
She didn’t feel that truth, however, partly because even with all the new services in place for her parents, Abbey’s dad continued to call multiple times a day to complain or to point out a detail that was unclear to him.
How sad that on top of enduring the emotional turmoil of her mother’s ailing condition, Abbey was also experiencing heartbreak over feeling inadequate.
Enter “Susan,” an employee at an agency that was providing home care for Abbey’s mother (which Abbey of course, coordinated).
While discussing Abbey’s mother’s affairs, Susan said to Abbey something to the effect of, “You have done an incredible job helping your parents in a very short amount of time, all while traveling back and forth hundreds of miles between your homes. You have made life much easier for them!”
Abbey told me that sentiment made her smile from the inside out.
Abbey felt whole again for the first time in a good while.
She felt validated.
Let’s be clear: validating people does not mean blowing smoke up you know where.
It must be genuine and happen in one of two ways:
1--Give “props”: This is the type of validation Susan offered Abbey.
She observed something beautiful about Abbey and recognized it.
When giving props, it is important to be specific and of course, sincere. Susan did this well when she noted the effect Abbey’s actions had on the situation (i.e., she made her parents’ life easier through her incredible efforts).
Remember that we can give props not just for things that people DO, but also for a person’s way of BEING. For example, Susan could have also shared that Abbey’s devotion to her parents was palpable and inspiring.
2--“Allow the yuck”: This type of validation means that if someone expresses that they’re going through a hard time and as a result, they feel down and out, then we simply convey that we see/feel that they’re suffering and we’re terribly sorry.
It’s unlikely that we can “fix” the troubles, so offering advice is often not warranted. We validate by being emotionally available and supportive.
I think it’s safe to believe that most people can accept the mandate to validate when it concerns others.
The real challenge is…can we apply it to OURSELVES, especially when we feel broken-hearted?
One place to start is by communicating with yourself as you would with a dear friend who is in emotional pain.
If this form of self-talk isn’t accessible, a “safer” beginning step is to listen intently to a song that allows difficult emotions to flow. From that place, it’s often easier to soften towards ourself.
While I can’t make it an official order, I can say that making people feel more whole is simply good policy.
There’s already enough brokenness in the world…let’s accept the mandate to validate!
This year’s school experience is radically different from what we’ve ever known, but one thing remains the same—students’ backpacks are Heavy. With a capital H!
Observing my boys and their schoolmates hoist bulging packs onto their increasingly hunched bodies brought about the sensation that I too had weight on my back.
At first I figured that this ache was psychosomatic. It dawned on me later that I was actually feeling the invisible load that everyone is hauling on their backs, particularly these days.
In a word, it’s worry.
And it’s a weight that we’re likely storing not only on our backs, but in other areas of our physical bodies as well.
As someone who knows about worry intimately (it’s literally in my DNA; intense worrying has been passed down in my family’s genes for generations), I understand very well how powerful and debilitating this preoccupation can be.
That is, if we give it power.
Fortunately, there are ways to diminish worry so that it can get off our backs and be stowed in proverbial lockers.
The first step to minimize worry is to recognize that worrying is a choice.
This fact might be hard to accept since worry is often a default response, which we believe cannot be interrupted.
The truth, however, is that because worries are typically about things that have not yet happened or are out of our control, we do have power to decide how to engage with such situations.
Simply put, we must train ourselves to exercise this agency. One way is to treat worry as an unwelcome house guest…and kick it out!
No doubt, it is extremely difficult to detach from worried thinking, especially when our fear-mongering culture constantly incites it.
This reality points out the importance of developing a strong relationship with the mind, which helps with another strategy to lighten the “worry load”—de-personalizing things.
This means that when a worrisome situation arises, we need to deflate our ego by behaving as if we believe that life is happening “FOR me, not TO me.”
This technique is empowering and effective because it acknowledges distressed feelings while still expanding the thinking pattern beyond worry. It could be recited like this:
“[FILL IN THE BLANK] may happen and that idea is terrifying. Since fixating on it adds to my suffering, I choose to let these thoughts pass through me, not linger.”
The alternative—perpetuating narratives about “If I don’t focus on [BLANK], then I/others may not be okay”—only justifies worrying and thus fuels the problematic ego.
Admittedly, there is a great paradox about these approaches for trying to override the automatic reaction of worry.
When we worry, it’s common to hear, “You need to get out of your head,” and what I’m suggesting demands that we closely examine and adjust our thinking, which of course requires going INTO your head.
While this confusion offers an excuse to not try the techniques, I challenge you to play with your mind a bit…ideally before you’re confronting a potentially worrisome situation.
Effectively, this means you need to talk to yourself a lot—tell your mind that you’re in charge of deciding how to respond, and repeat the phrases above when you’re not in a worried state so they become more accessible/believable when you are tempted to worry.
Please make no mistake—I am still an active worrier, but with an increasingly smaller “w.”
I believe that worrying is inherent to being a parent, particularly a mother.
Realizing that worrying hinders not only me but also my family, however, urges me to lighten my load and invest in a hip pouch instead of a backpack to tote my troubles.
There’s a belief that when something comes across our personal radar at least three times, then that something is probably worth exploring or giving deeper attention.
Most recently for me, that three-peat thing is the rather unexciting weather occurrence, fog.
It first showed up metaphorically when a client shared that she felt as though she was living in a fog.
Next, it appeared physically while I was out on a run. I was inspired to stop along my path to capture this beautiful scene:
And the third occurrence was my noticing the very literal bumper sticker pictured below at the most ironic time—immediately after concluding a blissful time at the beach with a very stressful phone call.
My stress dissipated and was soon replaced with a chuckle when I realized that this sighting was a “power of three” moment.
I started to ponder what bigger messages fog might have to offer as my family was preparing to start this new school year, which certainly feels shrouded in fog.
So, when I played with the thought, “how to get out of fog,” two ideas instantly emerged: gratitude and breath.
With the start of school in the background of all this ruminating about fog, it wasn’t long before my thoughts linked gratitude and breath with “A-B-C’s and 1-2-3’s”—two very clear strategies for getting out of a fog-laden state:
A-B-C’s = Recite your “Alphabet of Gratitude”
For example, silently say to yourself, “A—I am grateful for airplanes; B—I am grateful for babies; C—I am grateful for chocolate;” and so on, through Z. It’s always interesting to see what this alphabet yields.
[NOTES for this exercise: if the “fog” you’re experiencing is so thick that it is difficult to think of 26 things you’re grateful for, just do a few. It will still help lessen the fog. Conversely, if you complete the whole alphabet with gratitudes, your mind may continue to think of more even after “Z.” This is powerful because science has shown that gratitude practices actually rewire the brain.]
1-2-3’s = Practice “Inhale for 1,2,3, Exhale on 4”
Simply count “1, 2, 3” as you take three short inhales, then as you count “4”, take a long, S-L-O-W exhale.
This easy breathing pattern can help relax the nervous system, which is integral to starting the escape from a proverbial fog.
And if you want to integrate the two strategies, you can always include, “I am grateful for my breath” for the letter B!
Although my preferred view on fog is how to get out of it, I am feeling pretty grateful that it showed up repeatedly this summer and helped me focus on ways to find joy and breathe easier.
This is education that clearly comes with experience more than academic study, or more precisely, with a hat-trick of experiences.
Yet another bumper sticker sums it all up perfectly:
If you’ve experienced a “Power of Three” moment, please share with me! I love hearing about what emerges from ‘that which repeats.’
We’re approaching the time of year when a certain question is inevitably asked when people need to make small talk. You know the one:
“How was your summer?”
This seemingly innocuous question can be distressing, making people feel uneasy if they don’t have something extraordinary or interesting to report.
However, since summer 2020 has been far from ordinary, I have a much different attitude about this question being tossed around in a few weeks.
This year, I think the question actually has great potential to connect rather than repel people, because it’s very likely that each person will have something of interest to share that the other can relate to, namely, some sort of dis-ease.
It’s unsexy, but the reality is that tales about our challenges, not tales of ease are what truly bind us.
Although it’s energizing and entertaining to hear the latter, the former tend to touch us more profoundly and by extension, they can more reliably help us meet our humanity.
Discussing the dis-ease in our lives certainly gets us beyond small talk, but like our seasonal question, it also raises the risk of people falling into the comparison game—“My challenges aren’t as severe as hers” (and all the [false] interpretations of worthiness that can follow from comparing).
When we remember the truth that each person experiences their suffering at 100% intensity (adapted from The Grief Recovery Method), then our capacity to actively listen and show compassion, rather than internally compare, soars.
That effect of sharing summer stories is nothing short of extraordinary!
Despite these wonderful possible outcomes of commiserating about dis-ease, for a variety of reasons many people will resist the vulnerability required to share their unpleasant goings-on.
In those situations, I believe that a simple, specific response also has the power to create understanding and deep connection, without sacrificing a responder’s need for withholding. It goes something like:
“[It’s been hard, but] I’ve been doing my best.”
I still get chills when I recall a moment when someone used this sentence and it literally shifted the energy in a room full of people in a heartwarming way:
About sixteen women were gathered for the monthly women’s group that I organize, and to close the meeting each woman was to share a “brag”—something in their life that we could celebrate with cheers and applause. (This clearly tests the importance of relating through personal challenges, but because women tend not to boast about themselves, it is another valuable type of sharing).
There was genuine, outwardly-expressed enthusiasm for all the brags, whether seemingly big or small.
Then, when it was Anna’s turn (not her actual name), she shrugged and quietly said that she couldn’t think of a personal brag. We wouldn’t let her off the hook though, believing that everyone has something that can be celebrated.
Anna paused for a moment, threw up her hands, and shared, “I’m just trying to do my best.”
The group erupted with praise for Anna (and likely for each of us who related)! With that sentence, she struck a major chord, revealing an unspoken truth that resonated with everyone.
Anna said she was floored by the response because she thought her remark was the least meaningful of all that was offered. It seemed to be the most potent, however, in part because each of us strongly identified with “trying to do my best.”
And that’s because…underlying the best effort that everyone is putting out is, each person’s unique brand of dis-ease.
So, in a couple short weeks when you’re engaged in post-summer small talk, I invite you to remember Anna’s experience and perhaps try your best to elevate to “medium” talk by sharing a personal challenge.
It may be distressing at first. But in the likely event that the dis-ease is followed by a sense of connection, you may ultimately find yourself laughing at our tendency to resist higher-level talk.
Coincidentally, that joyful response provides the answer to an important question that can be asked any time of year:
Q: What is the antidote to dis-ease? A: Laughter.
Do you or someone you know need conversations that always elevate beyond small talk and help support you through your particular dis-ease? Contact me and I’ll give you my best.
As I stuffed the final bag into the car for our family’s extended summer trip, I realized that the most important thing I needed to bring couldn’t even be packed—my skills in a special form of martial arts, “mental jujitsu.”
These are even more essential to have on a summer trip than a favorite t-shirt because they help mitigate the thing that also doesn’t get packed but inevitably shows up on trips—family drama.
A favorite tee may offer temporary comfort and ease, but mental jujitsu can provide lasting peace, even in the face of ugly family dynamics that arise when conditions are “supposed” to be blissful.
I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but I think it would be naive to not expect some discord during vacation time, especially after family members are coming off of months of being quarantined together!
Pulling mental jujitsu out of my proverbial self-care toolbox instantly helps me feel empowered, as if I am a deft warrior. With it, I can protect my heart and my mind well when loved ones (unintentionally) hurl emotionally triggering comments.
I’m sure you know how it looks…the fight or flight response leaps into action to defend old emotional wounds, and you end up saying something or behaving in a way that is regrettable.
That feeling is sometimes more of a downer than the triggering offense.
Fortunately, practicing mental jujitsu suppresses this reactive system. It can be employed in one of two ways (or both), depending on how severe the “assault” is:
1. Slightly tip your head, neck and torso to one side. As you do so, imagine that the triggering stimulus whizzes by, rather than attaches and affects you.
2. While closing your eyes, make a sweeping or tossing motion with your hands as if throwing away the hurtful comment. Simultaneously, talk to yourself silently but boldly. Say something like, “I’m letting that one go.” Or, “Nope, not gonna let that junk in my space.”
We may have been conditioned to believe that not reacting fiercely connotes that we are weak or passive.
Practicing mental jujitsu is far more difficult than reacting harshly, and requires much more discipline. What’s more, it usually yields more pleasing outcomes.
I’d say these factors indicate that someone is strong and assertive—the exact opposite of weak and passive!
Whether you’re headed on a trip or staying local this summer, pack mental jujitsu skills into your personal wellness tool kit. Adding them just may help diminish any Emotional Baggage you’re hauling around. And you won’t even have to sacrifice your favorite tee!
Need support with unpacking your reactive tendencies so you can experience more comfort and ease wherever you are? Contact me and together we can unleash the martial artist in you!