Have you ever noticed that what we make something mean bears more weight than the event itself? It's the judgment that we put on it, the meaning, perceiving something as "good" or "bad", that steals the show. And what we remember and store in our bodies is the feeling that we felt as a result of the meaning that we made.
She didn't call me back → She must not have liked it → I'm not good enough
It's raining outside → it's a lousy day
Our partner is tired and grumpy → I did something wrong
What are you making it mean? Check in with your body. Is the meaning you're making creating your jaw to clench and your shoulders to hunch or is it helping you to stand up straight and tall, shoulders back, heart open?
Is it true? What else might be true? What if it wasn't?
These are great questions to ask yourself to reframe a meaning/decision/assumption made because we really don't know unless we ask and gain clarity or unless we take something at face value without attaching an emotion to it.
You have no idea why she didn't call back, maybe she got all she needed and was fulfilled. It's not a lousy day, it's a wet day.
Your partner's mood may have zero to do with you and may need loving support... Do you give yourself loving support?
The meaning we make something mean usually stems from a belief we have about ourselves or the world. A belief is something you hold dear, a conviction, something you've convinced yourself of. A belief is something you accept as truth.
Beliefs will either nurture and nourish your nervous system (love) or they will trigger and activate survival mode, from which we will need to defend and protect (fear).
This is one of the many important lessons I learned in my mastery level transformational coaching method (TCM) training. And since learning this concept, I have noticed it pretty much with everyone I've ever met, including myself, because beliefs and the meaning we make out of things are constantly spilling out of our mouths.
The world is dangerous.
People are inherently good.
Life is hard.
This is just what happens when you get old.
Things always seem to work out for me.
Things always seem to work out for everyone else but me.
Time is on my side.
I love my life.
I just can't get a break.
If you were to change a belief into something more empowering, more loving, more in alignment with how you want to feel, you would have to think differently. You would have to feel differently about yourself and others. You would have to do something different that matched what you were thinking and feeling. And all of that has to come from believing something different.
If you believe that life just keeps getting better and better then you would think, speak, and act as if that were true. And experiences in your outer world will prove you right.
If you believe that nobody likes you then you will think, speak, and act as if that were true. And experiences in your outer world will prove you right.
Here's a pretty eye-opening exercise to try that I like to do a lot:
Write down something you would like to have/experience.
in this column: write down what you would have to believe in order to have what you want
in this column: write down what you currently believe that keeps you from having what you want
what thoughts would someone be thinking who believed that?
list current thought patterns, thoughts you think associated with your belief
what words would someone speak who thought that?
how do you speak?
what things would someone do if they believed they could have that?
what are you doing?
how would that person hold their posture? what facial expressions would they have?
how do you currently hold yourself and see yourself? list self criticisms
When you compare the 2 columns, do you see that no matter how much your outer world changes, nothing will change until you adjust your inner world? You're not going to get what you want with the beliefs and thoughts and feelings that you currently have. They have to be in alignment... you have to believe you are worthy first. You have to love yourself enough to be willing to try something new.
Our minds are incredibly powerful. We get to choose what to think and what to believe. We choose our thoughts, we choose our words, and we either hold our power dear by taking responsibility in the here and now or we give it away by finding fault and blame with someone other than ourselves.
This comes with a fair amount of mental dragon sleighing because your body and the survival part of your brain wants to hold on to what it knows (more on that topic in next week's blog post). But you can do it. Keep checking in with yourself and asking yourself "What would someone have to believe to have what I want? What would they think? How would they feel?"
We are the only ones who can do this for our self! Just try it on like a new pair of shoes and remember...
When you change a belief, you change everything.
In times of change remember that:
Long, slow breaths help soothe the nervous system.
Presencing and releasing our emotions free up energy which can then be used to help soothe the nervous system.
Sensing and feeling our bodies in space help soothe the nervous system.
Self massage, self care, self reflection help soothe the nervous system.
Doing something we love, going for a drive, having a willingness to forgive, to pivot, to try again, to say I'm sorry, to say I love you, all help soothe the nervous system.
You get to choose what you make things mean. Why not choose a loving meaning, a supportive belief that nourishes you from the inside out so you can enjoy your life?