Are you worried or scared 99% of the time? Do you second guess EVERY single thing you do? Perhaps you identify as an anxious, stressed-out, and amped up person.
If this sounds like you, you are not alone. I hear you, I feel you.
I was once that way, 100% all the freaking time. Now…I am definitely not perfect, but I am in the process of realizing that I do not need to be worried, scared, anxious, or stressed. Why? Because I am in the process of realizing that I am not my thoughts nor my emotions.
WTF Adria?!? I get it. You are probably reading this and thinking “what they heck” am I saying?
But I am here to tell you that you are not who you think you are. I know this might sound a little ridiculous (even a little scary!), but hear me out!
Ask yourself this…
Where is this worry, fear, over analyzing, and second guessing coming from? Why do you identify as being anxious or stressed out all of the time? Honestly….. where is it coming from and why do you think that you are these things?
Your mind! Of course, our mind (aka our thoughts) are shaped by our experiences, our childhood, social media, and the influence of a gazillion other people in the world. But ultimately you are in charge of your own mind.
What would you feel, think, or do if you could quiet your mind? If you could quiet the constant chatter about not being good enough or of second guessing everything, or of your mind telling you that you are just an anxious, chronically stressed human.
When you can quiet your mind, it is like a power outage, when everything goes quiet. And when you can quiet your mind, even if it is just for one brief moment in time, what are you left with?
When was the last time you listened to your body? I know… you might be questioning me again, “how do you listen to your body? It doesn’t speak!!?!“
But my friend, the body does speak. It speaks so beautifully and clear, it is almost surreal.
I have only been practicing this for about a month, but I can already feel the amazing effects.
So my goal today is to introduce this concept to you. To get you curious to the idea of listening to your body and not your mind. In no way is this post all inclusive so please, please, please reach out to me if you want to discuss this more in-depth at [email protected]
I have learned a concept that I want to share with you, this is called the 3 Pillars of Connection.
Three Pillars of Connection
This is the thing that is loud and clear. It can also be very destructive. As already mentioned, it is the constant chitter-chatter in your head. The thing that keeps you up at night. The thing that distracts you from living your best life.
It is your worry, fear, and identification of being anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed. The voice telling you that you are not good enough. It is the judgement of yourself and of others around you. And, this information is not always aligned with the truth.
We need to realize these thought for what they truly are. Thoughts that are created by us. Thoughts that are not equivalent with the truth.
So what do you do with these thoughts? You notice them and observe them but you do not identify with them. You do not attach them to yourself. Instead, you see them as a separate entity or identity. Then, when this thought enters your mind, you can safely and consciously choose if you want to hold on to and accept that thought or if you want to reject it. If it does not help you to live the life that you want to live then why hold on to it?
Yes, this is easier said than done. But everything just starts with knowing. Now you know that you have a choice on what to do with your thoughts.
Our emotions are definitely valuable pieces of information. But they can also be based on what your mind is telling you.
Unfortunately, a lot of the time emotions arise from a place of negativity, from what our minds have made up to believe as true.
Emotions, just like our thoughts, are things that we need to observe and not identify with.
We may have thoughts of fear and we may feel anxious, but we are not fearful and anxious people.
You are not our thoughts. You are not your emotions. We create thoughts and have emotions, but these do not always portray the truth.
This is the truth.
Our body holds the truth. We just need to learn how to listen to it.
You know of that gut feeling? The internal, visceral yes or no that sometimes comes out so clear and vivid that you simply cannot ignore it? That is your body speaking the truth to you!
The sensation of knowing “this is exactly what you should be doing“, or the intense feeling of “this does not feel right“…both come from the body.
Our body has the ability to discern whether our emotions and thoughts are actually true. I have said it before and I will say it again, we are not our thoughts, we are not our emotions.
How beautiful is that?
This all may sound so foreign to you. But let this sit with you. Come back and re-read it or reach out to me to discuss this a little more. Become curious with the 3 pillars of connection. You don’t need to start practicing right this second. Simply knowing that we are not actually our thoughts or emotions is so comforting. It can feel so safe and so freeing at the same time.
Our bodies are so so powerful and when allowed, they can truly decipher what is useful to us and what is not.
What the truth is, what we truly want, what we should do.
I was helping a fitness trainer create dialouge for exercise videos she was creating. She sent me a list of exercises and I was to write out the step for each exercise, talking about form, the muscles used, etc.
Yesterday, I finished up a group of exercises and this morning she called me. I could not answer. Immediately after she called, she texted me and said that we needed to talk. She stated that there was a whole list of exercises that were wrong and made no sense.
Immediately after reading that, my mind wanted to spiral down to thoughts such as “I am not good enough“, “I don’t know what I am talking about“, and “I am useless.”
I wanted to shut down.
I did not want talk to anyone or do anything the rest of the day. All of this lasted, literally, for less than a second. But holy moly was it crazy to witness how fast my mine was to react in a negative way!!
Thanks to my practice this past month, I quickly realized what was happening. I found it so fascinating how quick I was to negatively react and put myself down, as though being in a negative mindset is far easier than being in a positive one. But it can’t be that it is actually easier, it has to be that it is because “negativity” is normal for me to turn to….what my habit is. Good thing habits can break!
In the past, I would have listened to my thoughts and spiraled down a negative tunnel. I would have cried and stayed to myself the rest of the day.
But as soon as I realized my thoughts were not actually true, I honed in on my emotions. What I first noticed were my emotions telling me that I was angry at her. I wanted to play defense and react to this person and make her feel how I was feeling. But again, this anger only lasted a few seconds as I sat down on my bed and took a deep breath in. As I took a deep breath I recognized that the anger had nothing to do with this situation. This anger is stored up energy that I do one day need to work through, but lashing out at this lady was not the healthy way to do so. (More on anger and working through pent up anger in future posts!).
After realizing I was not actually angry at her, but that I had anger to process, I could feel into my body. What my body truly wanted was to let this person know that I hear her concerns. It also wanted to let her know that I do know what I am doing and that I believe I simply chose language or words that she would not have chosen for those specific exercises. I listened to my body and my body wanted me to stand up for myself because I deserve that. It felt good to be there for myself, to stand up for myself, and to do it out of love and compassion and not anger and regret.
So, I sent her a message back. I told her I am not able to help fix things right now but that I will correct what needs to be corrected. I also said that what I wrote does make sense and that I have the education and experience to prove it but that it was simply a language barrier and choices of words that can totally be modified.
My steps through this example that helped me arrive at listening to my body:
- I observed, not identified with my thoughts. This allowed me to ignore my negative thoughts that are 100% not true.
- I took a deep breath and sat for a minute in silence.
- I identified an emotion I was experiencing…anger. Then I used my emotional intelligence to see that this anger was not stemming from this instance but from pent up energy. I saw clearly that it was really just my inner child wanting to be heard.
- I listened to my body wanting to be heard and I acted upon this by sending a loving yet upfront message back to the lady I was working with. It felt 100% right to reach out to this person, to set boundaries saying I cannot work right now and to politely stand up for myself.
- I drank a cold glass of water and went on about my day. I did not cry, I was not upset, and I got to continue on with my day in a positive mood and living true to myself.
As you can guess, this does not come easy at first. Here are some ideas on how you can begin to decipher what is true amongst your thoughts and emotions:
- Sit in silence
- Write out (or speak out loud) the opposite of what your thoughts are telling you. Essentially prove to your thoughts they are wrong.
- Go on a walk, run, or perform other movements that bring you a sense of clarity or stillness.
- Dance it out.
- Be creative; art and crafts, music, or other mediums to express yourself.
Whatever gets you in the “zone.”
We all have something! Something that gets us out of our heads.
Once you can get into the zone and quiet your mind, you can sit and feel into what is true, what are you feeling, what does your body actually want?
Personally, I found meditation, running, or dancing it out with my dogs as successful ways of diving deeper into myself. But now, with practice, I can do this frequently throughout the day by simply taking a deep breath, excusing myself from chaos, or closing my eyes for a bit.
Once you find what works for you, you can then begin…
- Observing what is in the mind
- Observing what emotions you are feeling
- Understanding which of these are actually true and useful
- Developing a strong understanding of what your body truly wants
Once you observe these things, put a name to them and realize that you are not your thoughts or your emotions, then you can tap into your body and that visceral sensation of knowing what is true. What areas of you are feeling depleted and what does your body need to feel refueled. What areas of your body are feeling energetic and what does your body want to do with this energy?
Remember, honor all three -mind, emotions, body- get to know them, but truly know that your body is the one true thing. The rest are so easily influenced by your past, by your upbringing/ your childhood, social media, and the gazillion of other people in the world.
Start today. Start to uncover your true, authentic self. You have the tool. You have your body.