Have you noticed how much we are taught to believe that our happiness relies on what the people around us choose? The flip-side of this is that we are also taught to believe that other people's happiness is our responsibility. We are trained from day dot to be people-pleasers and to believe we are not the source for our own joy in life. Is it just me, or is that darn cra-ha-zay??
If you have ever tried hard to make your parents, siblings, children, partners, colleagues, bosses or clients happy, and stressed yourself out to do it - then you know what I mean. If you have ever judged or blamed yourself for never being able to satisfy those miserable people you care so much about, no matter how much you try, then you know what I am talking about. And if you have ever been mad, disappointed, upset, betrayed, let-down, pissed off or unhappy with someone who would not or could not be, do, or say what you wanted them to - you definitely know, whether you want to admit it or not.
There is nothing wrong with desiring others to be happy (or even for desiring other people to do what you want them to do for you - just don't be delusional and expect them to actually do it, or believe your happiness depends on it!).
The upset arises when you do not recognise that it is each person's own choice to be happy or not.. If you never acknowledge this, you will tend to keep "flogging a dead horse" (or a miserable/sad/angry one), trying to change it when it just does not want to change. It's not fun, It's not effective. And your happiness in the meantime steadily diminishes.
If unhappy people are making you unhappy, it's time to change tactics. What if you were the one in total control of your happiness? What if it was a choice in the moment? Ask yourself, "what do I want to be right now, this second? Happy or unhappy?" and just choose it (or not!).
Getting free from needing others to make you happy or the habit of trying to make others happy is a key element in being able to effectively deal with bullies, too!
Read my article published on Leaders in Heels about becoming bully-proof and really give those misery-guts the flick!
Hi. My name is Amanda and I am a Head Tripper. My mind runs. All. The. Time.
If I let it.
People say losing your mind is a bad thing. But let's take a closer look. Without a mind there'd be no pesky-doubty thoughts. No calculating risks, spending hours listing the pro's and cons and still feeling completely undecided. No way to discriminate or compare (oops goodbye racism, perfectionism and prejudice!).
No second guessing. No stopping, delaying, hesitating, posturing, paralysing hours, days, weeks, months years of inaction, indecisiveness or reasons not to choose something, anything. No more feeling like life scarily resembles "Waiting for Godot."
I was taught to believe that thinking would keep me aware and astute. That it would help me out of difficult situations. That it was a source of inspiration and imagination.
However, I have found the opposite to be true.
The more I think, the more I am caught up and paranoid and slowing myself down. It narrows my vision of things rather than widens it. It weighs on me rather than setting me free.
When faced with a difficult situation, my mind tends to tell me all the other ways in which it remains difficult no matter what I do. It's more like a catalogue referring to similar things rather than giving me greater options.
Trying to write when I wasn't "feeling it" was a nightmare. I would try logical and linear ways to do things. But when I finally gave up, threw it out the window, went and did something else and stop thinking about it, I would have an "aha!!" moment that would turn it all around.
The only things that change anything from being difficult to ease has been a shift in perspective that gets me beyond my mind's eye. That shift has never come from a thought!
10 years ago, I didn't have many tools to do anything other than try and think my way out of things and force myself forward whilst over-analysing, fearing the worst and doubting to the hilt.
Now I have heaps of mind-eliminating goodies. And here are some easy tips for my fellow head trippers out there:
1. Just stop. No thought gets more than 10 seconds of air time. It might pop in there, but it doesn't get to settle. "Thanks for dropping by, now Bye BYE!!" You are in charge (even if most of your life it has never felt like it!), time to act like it.
2. Not sure what to do about something and sure it's all a mess? Ask, "What else is possible here I haven't considered?"
3. Can't find a way forward? Think you have made a mistake or done something wrong? Ask, "What if this could work out better than I could imagine?"
4. Look for your awareness rather than thoughts or feelings. Ask yourself, "If I wasn't thinking or feeling this, what would I be aware of?" It kind of twists your brain and frees you up to start seeing things differently.
5. Get your body to help. Find a healthy and nurturing outlet for stress that clears your mind and gives priority to your body. My two favourites are doing something outdoors in nature (beach, walking the dog, discovering a new nature trail, bike ride) and doing something uber-relaxing for my body (massage, getting my Bars run, bath with nice music and candles).
6. Have fun and laugh! If you don't have a clue what is fun for you because you have been caught up in your deep, significant and serious head tripping since you were born, start simple. Ask yourself, "What would be fun for me?" Google "Fun stuff to do for free." Go stare at some flowers or stand in the sun for 3 minutes. Do stuff kids do, like fart and then giggle like it's the funniest thing you've ever heard.
Sometimes a brain doesn't always turn off with the first thing you try.
If I am strolling along and still stuck in my head, I call out the big guns - doing something outside of my comfort zone. Sometimes it's simple, like doing more intense activity that requires all my brain's attention on what my body needs to do, like riding my bike a lot faster than I am normally comfortable with or going to a yoga class. Sometime it's choosing to take action on a business or creative idea that is new, uncharted territory.
Everyone is different. Try different stuff. What works for you?
With each blog, I aim to invite your creativity, brilliance and difference to come forward and shine.