Hello my friends, how are you? It’s full swing of summer here. The garden is growing, swimming, and taking things at a slower pace. Summer is typically the most challenging season for me. I have more difficulty with my emotions, health, and my mind. It’s been a recurring pattern for years and I’ve had varying degrees of success dealing with the challenges.
Which is exactly what I wanted to chat with you about today because it’s not just the season of summer, this is something I see with my clients as well. Part of this is because of the games that the mind plays with us most of the time. The mind is very tricky and in my view point the ego is doing the best it can to survive. And survival for the ego typically means that it wants to keep you miserable. This sounds funny and counter intuitive, but the ego is the place of suffering and it feeds off suffering.
So the mind plays these sneaky little games. Let’s you have been trying to shift your foods to ones that are anti-inflammatory to decrease your pain and the unstable moods you’ve been having, and you are planning for an upcoming trip. The mind say, “No problem. I can do that while I’m on my trip.” Which is true, you can! AND when you show up at the hotel, it might prove to be a bit more challenging that the mind lets on that it will be. So then you might here your mind say “Well this is too hard. I’m hungry and there just isn’t a place so I’ll have to eat at this place at eat whatever they have.” Seems like a circumstance right? It seems like there is just no other option except eating that fried food. Now here’s the game…then you get home and the mind says. “I can’t believe you ate that. You were supposed to be eating better food. What is wrong with you?” And then you feel emotions that come along with that, like shame or sadness, or even disappointment.
So let’s go back to the supposed circumstance. The ego (or egocentric karmic conditioning self hate as the author Cheri Huber refers to it) has created a thought that it will be easy. That it’s fine. And then when it’s not, it gets to beat you up and keep you miserable. It’s a cycle that when you get really curious and watch with deep awareness, you can start to see this pattern play out over and over again.
That seems pretty crappy right? I mean it’s the human and it’s just what happens. AND there are ways that we can navigate this. When you begin to watch, and become the observer, you can get really good at seeing the pattern. It gives you the ¼ of a centimeter you need in order to not take it personally. It is nothing wrong with you. It’s the brain. It’s what it does. When you see the pattern over and over again, you can begin to see BRAIN- I’m on to you!!!
Great so now you are watching the mind and you know the pattern. You might be like NWW WHAT REBECCA! My brain is crazy! What do I do when the mind plays these games? You get one step in front of it. If you’ve been watching what the brain does and says, you have an idea of the pattern. You know what the next play in the playbook is and that is super useful.
Let’s go back to the example. You have a new food plan that you are trying to follow and you know in your heart this is what you want to try because you want to care and nurture yourself. You are going out of town. The brain says. No problem! I can do this! And then you remember what happened last time, or you think about how it’s been in the past. So you plan. Planning ahead for what you want is really important for following through.
For me, I have two kids, and I know eating a certain way is hard when the kids are yelling and screaming. If I have a plan in place, where we will go or what food to bring with me, then I can preempt the yelling BEFORE we all get super hungry. I know I crash by 6pm, I know I start making poor decisions after that. If I plan ahead and have picked out a couple of restaurants that meet my food plan, or have food that I know I’m going to cook, then things seem to be less bumpy.
I just recently encouraged a client to how she would help her family with recipes and offer to help with meal prep. We went through potential scenarios of what might happen if her family decided to veer from the plan and eat a tub of ice cream, it didn’t mean that she had to follow. She could eat what felt good for her body. We talked about how she could continue to meditate and to make a plan for when and where she would meditate while with her family. If the plan doesn’t work, that’s fine. It can be changed. AND it’s much more likely to succeed when an initial plan is in place.
This can go for emotions too. When going to visit family or being around people, you might notice that certain emotions typically arise. Preparing yourself for how you want to respond, and what you need to care for yourself is important. If you know you are spending lots of time with family in a closed space, you might plan for intentional time outs like walks by yourself around the block, or quiet reading time. The mind will tell you that you should spend as much time as possible or that you should be with them. Now you know that the mind plays these games and the you don’t have to listen to that voice!
When you want something to happen, make a realistic plan. A plan for your food, or your emotions, or for your self-care. When we make a compassionate decision for what we want to do for ourselves, it’s so important to go back to that heart-felt decision and make a plan from there. It’s a process of showing up for yourself with compassionate self-discipline.
Ok sweet friends. I’d love to hear all about what you want to support for yourself and your plan to make it happen. if you need support in making a plan, you can reach out to me for a free call Vibrant Health Chat, I’ll put the link in the show notes. Thank you so much for listening. Take good care of yourself.
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