Are you stuck in S.H.I.T? How to tame your dragon.

The dragon within us (CMG original)

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

― Plato

I can easily get caught up in S.H.I.T.  For me, S.H.I.T is this feeling of being overwhelmed with my life, an inability to control situations, thinking that I have to do it all and then making that happen, wondering if anyone that is part of my life will just get their SHIT together and make my life easier?  Have YOU ever had this feeling?

S.H.I.T is an acronym that stands for Super High Intensity Thinking.  And although I’d like to say I coined this phrase, I did not.  An Al-Anon member who heard it from a speaker at a conference retold this story to me.  I’m still researching the source and when I find it, I want to give this person credit because this acronym has stuck in my head and is useful.

Super High Intensity Thinking is something I bet many of you can relate to.  I was just reading an interview of the author, Kelly McGonigal who has written The Neuroscience of Change, in the October issue of  Yoga Journal and she states that “Neuroscientists have found that everyone has a default state that the brain shifts into when we’re not fully immersed in an activity.  This state things about the future and past, makes judgments, and categorizes and compares everything.”  Ahhhhhh…. What a relief that is!  I thought I was just nuts!  Our brains are really hard wired with this chattering state and if left to its own devices, it would continue to go on this rampage.

How do you know when you’re in S.H.I.T. mode and how can you get out?  Ask yourself these questions: What patterns of your behavior tend to repeat themselves?  Do you have a default mode of thinking?  Is your default mode of thinking negative affirmations that sound like; “I can’t do it all,” “I am incapable, not loveable,” “I will always be alone”.  Or maybe your voice speaks to you like this; “People are always trying to screw me”, “How come all the jackasses are on the road when I am?” “ Why doesn’t anything work for _________ (insert your name here).”    It could be that S.H.I.T. not only sounds a certain way but may look a certain way.  Are you running around to every crisis that isn’t yours?  Are you fixing things that aren’t yours to fix or helping those that you think need helping?  This is all S.H.I.T.!!!

How do we get out of S.H.I.T.?  McGonigal states that “mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation can take us temporarily out of the default state of the mind and into an experiencing state.”  It’s about compassion, compassion for yourself and for others.  The brain will continually try and go back to its default stage.  It will remind you how uncomfortable mindfulness or yoga is and try to get back to its comfort zone… S.H.I.T. mode.  Knowing this, you can continue to focus on self-compassion and care.  Know that the only way out of S.H.I.T. is the awareness of it and then back to self-compassion and care.  AND once you begin to have compassion and care for yourself you can begin to see that everyone is just doing the best that they can given the tools that they have and you can start to feel compassion towards others.

With much love,

Carrie

Are you ready to really listen?

Port Wing, WI- Lake Superior (CMG original)

I was at an end of the summer gathering on Saturday night.  Lots of people were there.  Many I didn’t know and some I did.  As is usual for most people, I began talking first to the people I knew.

I am an extrovert- let’s get that straight – so, I can talk to almost anyone.  I enjoy finding out details about people.  I enjoy the small exchanges between others and myself.  I would have to say though, in the past, I spoke more than I listened.

Through my meditation, yoga work and spiritual readings I have been working on being quiet more.  I am a person who easily talks aloud, says things without thinking and can tell the wrong people too much information about myself.  My role as a teacher supports this talking and others constantly listening to what I say.  My ego is filled to the brim after a day at work!  Working on being quiet has taken many years.

Back at the party, I sat with some people I thought I knew and realized after listening that I never really knew them all that well.  I found out information that would have been helpful to me years ago but I was not ready to listen.  I truly believe that this was a set-up.  The Universe had set me up, again.  It brought these messages to me in the form of two human beings.  The messages were of the Divine.  And maybe the Universe had tried to give me these messages before but I was not listening.

How can we be quieter inside and out?  That is the question I pose today.  How can we truly listen to one another and hear the powerful voice of the Universe?  Each of us are just messengers designed to carry powerful, needed messages to move one another along.  What message might you have missed by not fully being present?  Of course, it will come up again because that is how this all shakes out.  As humans we enter into this play with many scenes, some scenes repeat themselves maybe with different players but with the same moral lesson until the play comes to an end and maybe, just maybe in some of the scenes we have found resolution.

My hope for you today is that you can find resolution to some of your scenes through listening.  Listen and be open to the people or circumstances that you encounter today.  What messages do they bring?  How might they be bringing you closer to the new scene?  To peace.

Namaste,

Carrie