Do you have a behavior or thought pattern that keeps cropping up that you want to stop?
Maybe it’s reaching for the refrigerator door or that glass of wine or it is a fear about your financial situation. Whatever it is, you know in your heart that it’s not serving you (or working for you as Dr. Phil would say.)
Awareness is the first step in changing a behavior that isn’t useful to us anymore.
My client Sandy (not her real name) struggles with worrying about her two children. As mothers, we want to help our offspring by guiding them when we can and allowing them to learn from their own experiences. Yet the Great Mother Protector in us can go on overdrive when we try to protect our kids from hurt, heartbreak and pain.
Yet who is suffering here – Sandy or her children? Sandy is suffering because she is experiencing negative emotions – anxiety, worry and fear.
Sandy struggles with this because it’s a pattern that she wants to break. The good news is she is aware of it when she’s in the midst of it. She finds herself emotionally suffering with anxiety or worry when she is on high alert when she talks with her young adult son or daughter. She calls this her monitoring behavior. I’ve encouraged her to name that part of her – a name such as Monica the Monitor.
I asked Sandy to be the “observer” of her thoughts and behaviors and to allow that thought or belief to be – just notice it and breathe.
When you are the observer – you are conscious of your thinking. You notice it, breath and make a decision to do nothing.
Sandy knows that if her mind “attaches” to that fear or belief, it will trigger a negative emotion (anxiety, fear or worry). Those emotions will then drive her behavior to act out that fear, worry or anxiety with her son or daughter, which will give her a result that is not what she ultimately wants. Her son or daughter might not share with her in the future if they know she will worry.
I created homework for her a few weeks ago that helped her tap into her Wise Inner Mentor. I asked Sandy to call upon that part of her and to name her so that when she finds herself struggling with worry or fear about her kids, she can simple call upon that part of her to be her wise Self so that Monica doesn’t take charge.
This is a beautiful process that I want to share with you. If you can identity your judge or inner critic or the part of you that has a fear, thought pattern or behavior that you want to stop and disengage from, then this is one powerful way to do it.
The word mentor is a Greek name derived from the word menos meaning “spirit.” This is the wise, intuitive Soul part of your higher Self that you can begin to access and use to steer your life towards your true destiny. We all want to live up to our greatest potential. This is great way to start that process.
Accessing Your Wise Inner Mentor
I invite you to create a Wise Inner Mentor and name her (I’m using the female version here) so that she can support you when your inner critic comes out to play
I want you to think of her as an older and wiser version of yourself. She is the woman you aspire to be. She is the wise one who listens to her body and trusts its wisdom. She is the one that has such a honed intuition that when she hears it and she acts on what it says, it never lets her down.
1. Name the role she will play in your life today.
2. Give her a name.
3. What qualities does she have that you would love to be seen as having when you are 70 years old?
4. Find a picture of a woman who is embodied in her wise Self — Maya Angelou, Angeles Arrien, Jean Houston or anyone that you believe is grounded and deeply wise, at home with herself, and she is in touch with her Soul’s destiny. Pin this picture to a place where you can see her.
5. Once you have her qualities defined and you know what she has done in the last 20 to 30 years to get fit emotionally and physically, write down what you will do to embody her.
6. Now that you have her defined, begin the practice of asking her what she would do when she is faced with a dilemma that you have.
7. Dialogue with her. Write a conversation the two of you would have about your dilemma. Let her comfort you and help you move through what you are facing.
8. Find out what you want to have happen in the situation you are facing. Name how you want to feel and act.
When you can embody this wisdom and act on it, this is where your transformation begins.
What you have done here is to begin to notice the behavior you wish to change, observe and breath, you choose to not attach to that thought or belief and instead resource this part of you that you want to embody and you act on it. This is transformation.
As always, I want to hear from you if you enjoyed this post. Please share this with anyone else that would enjoy it. Please share comments with me below.