Here is an ugly secret, Sweet Mama:
It is really hard to change habits, re-adjust after upheavals, and to consistently create peace of mind. Research says it takes 21 to 294 days to create a habit, I am more on the 294-day end of the spectrum myself. And when I am not diligent, my brain gets pretty trashed out.
Peace of mind is a state of being that takes consistently hard work to accomplish. Being peaceful is NOT easy (and I hate that!). It actually requires a discipline of the mind, to have a peaceful mind. Weird, huh? I wish being peaceful were as easy and thoughtless as eating brownies.
I hear that Peace of mind requires the habits of acceptance, forgiveness, optimism, gratitude, and consistent habits to live in the present without looking back. So today we start witch acceptance and letting go of unnecessary doo-doo.
We have to let go of the self-shaming blaming pity party. It steals energy from your more important work of keeping your strength, energy, confidence, and bad-assery up. Let it go.
If you are newly divorced, let the anger and resentment go. Frederick Beuchner defines anger and resentment (that lovely drunken teeth-gnashing engorgement on self-righteousness) as actually “feasting on our own bones” in Wishful Thinking. We can hardly afford to lose bone mass when striving for balance to stand up in the world.
Lose the shame. We all mess up. We need to work very very hard on forgiving ourselves. But, we also need to assess the part we played. Was it really as big a role as they would have you think? Do you need to take on ALL the blame for things going so terribly wrong? Did you not have a costar in that tragedy? It is likely that your ex-partner had more than ample opportunities to help right the ship. How would it feel for us to share the burden of failed marriage rather than taking it all on our own shoulders? I may not be speaking to you, but many women do have a way of taking on all responsibility and all blame… (think about it, what habits did you inherit from your own Mama?)
Leave behind the non-productive feelings. I am a great recycler. I can recycle old shame from 10 years ago, self-pity from 4th grade, bad judgement last night, failure to step up to the challenge 10 weeks ago, or any other less than stellar behavior I get triggered in to remembering. I am just as proficient as the next person at jumping on that hamster wheel, letting the monkey brain take control and letting the chatter go around and around in my brain. After I make them right if I wronged others, I purposely run/ski/yoga for looooong times to quiet the simians. Some people create gardens, paintings, songs, dance sequences, or stories to dismantle the hamster wheel our brain loves to create out of old thought trash. Our best and strongest muscles need to be engaged to tear down the tendency to dwell on shame, resentment, anger, and lack. That “stuff” is trash.
For today, for the next 21 days, focus on giving up the hamster wheel. Just dismantle it and the thoughts that run rampant circles around it (those are ruminations). Trash gets stinky when allowed to sit around and fester. So every day, every morning, take 15 minutes and let’s jump on this Quest for More Harmony and get rid of the crap.
Action Item for the day
-Write down the trashy self-beating, ruminating or shaming thought that is recycling in your brain on a piece of paper. Next, think about how it is holding you back. If you need more on ruminating’s ill effects, consult Stephen Guise’s How to be an Imperfectionist.
-Write down the benefits of getting rid of your shame or guilt. How will you feel when you give it up?
-Tear the piece of paper up in to tiny little pieces, and ceremoniously sprinkle it in to the trash can, offering it to the universe to turn in to positive energy.
Mentally Visualizations to Try. Write down your favorite in your Harmony Spiral:
- Put the trashy/shaming/ruminating thoughts outside your bedroom, on the driveway, across the street, or in the lake when they try to get inside your brain in the middle of the night.
- Rinse the goop out of your brain as you take a long drink of water
- Wash the gunky energy off your body every morning
- Breathe the remnants out as vapor when you feel those thoughts creeping up your spine, into your brain
Ready for sunshine to clear it all out Sweet Mama. You got this! Practice all day, all week, all month. See you tomorrow for 15 minutes for you 🙂