What we let ourselves do to ourselves.

Ok, guys. This has been an interesting week. My mission was to work on deciding to change my life (instead of just wanting to), and believing in a world of limitless possibilities.

I was on a roll, I was reading books on positive thinking (more about those later) and trying to meditate, and be more positive in my thoughts and actions, and then I totally had a melt down on Saturday. An ugly, negativity spiral, that resulted in me getting all hot and bothered, treating everyone around me like scum, and me generally hating life and not being very pleased with myself.

But you know what, whereas before I would have stewed on things and been self-righteous and self-pitying and definitely played the victim card, I was able to take a step back and look at things differently. This was key. While at the time there was nothing I could do to stop myself from spiralling out of control, after everything was over and I had removed myself from the situation, I was able to look back and see where maybe, I had been totally out-to-lunch. I had been thinking all these negative thoughts and they had become my reality because I had let them. I had let them. How crazy and powerful is that?

So you know what I did? I realized how I had behaved and that how I had treated other people was completely based on non-realities and so I apologized. And it felt amazing. They took it really well, understood, and we moved on. I also spent some time thinking about how I could avoid things spiralling out of control the next time that happened. Lucky for me, I got the chance to put some of my tactics into practice the next day!

Again I was thinking all these negative thoughts about myself, about what this other person thought of me, about everything they had that I didn’t and that life was totally unfair, and I could feel myself building up to a major melt-down. This time though, I took a step back and practiced what I had been working on. This is what I did: I asked myself if I was ok in that moment. Like actually ok, in the sense that all my basic needs were met, I wasn’t dying, nobody was torturing me or yelling at me, I wasn’t stressed out, etc. And you know what? I realized deep down I was ok, I was just fine. I was letting all these thoughts get the better of me and they were pulling me down into their deep dark negativity cave. Once I removed myself from the situation and allowed myself to check in with myself fully in the moment, I realized the irrelevance of these thoughts and was able to let them pass. It felt AMAZING. They didn’t disappear completely that’s for sure, but every time one bubbled to the surface I asked myself the question again: Are you ok? Plus, is this really what you want to be focusing on? And I just let the feeling pass, because those sort of feelings and thoughts are not wanted anymore.

Next step, Chapter 1. More to come on that soon!

Limitless Possibilities

All journeys begin with a first step. It makes sense in this case then, to start with the introduction of Jen’s book as the jumping off point for my adventure. She starts sharing her wisdom and advice early, and even the introduction of her book has points that make you stop, think, and reflect. She wants us to know that we need to go from wanting to change our lives to deciding to change our lives, and the first thing that she asks the reader to do is belive that we live in a world of limitless possibilities.

At first, these seem like some pretty easy things to do after all, we don’t even have to go out and actually do anything to complete these tasks, all we need to do is just think certain things. But like Jen says, these two tasks (especially the first one) require us to set aside our disbelief and truly believe. As it turns out, this is actually a lot more difficult than it sounds.

“You need to go from wanting to do change your life, to deciding to change your life. Deciding means jumping in all the way, doing whatever it takes, and going after your dreams with the tenacity of a dateless cheerleader a week before prom night.”

Wanting to do something and deciding to do it are completely different. Wanting can be done anywhere at anytime and is something that is done purely in the mind. Deciding to do something means that not only does one spend a lot of time thinking about doing something, but then you actually have to act on it. At least, that’s what  I get out of it! Deciding is about actioning and actually doing something about whatever it is you want to change, whereas you can want until the cows come home and nothing ever physically or mentally happens.

“The first thing I’m going to ask you to do is belive that we live in a world of limitless possibilities.”

When you start to think about living in a world with limitless possibilities it’s actually quite mind-blowing. I don’t think we realize how often we put limits on our own capabilities and desires until we start to examine what we truly want and why we’ve been telling ourselves, either consciously or subconsciously, that we can’t have them yet.

When I started to think of a world of limitless possibilities this is what happened. First, I was all, you know, I want to move out of my mom’s house, I want to have someone to come home to each night who loves me, I want to be successful, etc. You get the point. It was a complete downer and totally boring.

Then, I thought about it some more and I came up with this list: I want to have a beautiful family filled with wholehearted love and laughter and kids and pets. I want financial security not only for my own family, but for my mom, my sister, my grandparents. I want to have a second home in Europe. I want to be able to travel the world for pleasure and for work. I want to take my family and friends on vacation. I want to donate to, and be a patron of, the arts. I want to donate and sponsor causes that I really love. I want to be successful and fulfilled in my career whatever that may turn out to be. I want to meet new and interesting people and world influencers.

I’m sure there are a bunch of other things that I haven’t even thought of yet, but as you can imagine, it was so much more fun making the second list. There were no limits to the possibilities, and when that’s the case, I think it makes you take a look at what you really want. Like deep deep down, in the part of you that feels like it probably shouldn’t even bother because there’s absolutely no chance, because we need to be realistic after all –  that’s the part that you need to talk to. What do you want because you can have anything that you desire and will make you happy. Then, you need to believe that all of that is possible (ok, this might be the hardest part).

It’s amazing what you find down there. It’s also a bit scary, but how are you going to know what you’re changing your life for, if you don’t do some self-exploration ahead of time?