Hello, and welcome! This is part two in the Change YOUR world, dammit! series, which is here to help you make the internal shifts that bring about confidence, courage, and presence in the current moment.
In part one of the Change YOUR world, dammit series, we talked about the patterns your mind has created and how you can shift out of them in one of three ways.
The first is by noticing what’s around you with intense focus. If someone is paying you $1,000,000 to describe the room you’re in right now, what would you notice that you might not have paid attention to before? This deep focus on the present situation keeps you in this moment, not wandering about in your mind.)
The second is by dropping a velvet curtain in your mind that refuses to let those pattern-based, mean-spirited thoughts enter. This is a great way to open a mini-meditation (30 seconds makes all the difference!) and to come back to what’s happening right now. Just imagine a velvet curtain has dropped into your mind — feel its softness, notice its texture and pattern, notice the absence of sound if you stand in the middle of that velvet room — and make a literal breathing space for yourself.
Finally, you can change the topic on your mind to something it doesn’t know how to answer. For example: your mind says “you suck” and in return you ask, “How long was Babe Ruth alive?” or “How many calories does a robin burn whilst making its nest?” This confuses your mind and the initial “You suck” is forgotten.
Don’t beat yourself up about not being present all the time — it’s a practice, like mediation or going to the gym. Your thoughts are always willing to reach out and suck you in, so just keep gently, calmly opting out of your thoughts and coming back to the present moment.
Because so much of what happens in our mind is based in pattern — how many times have you had the same ten thoughts swirling about in your head this week? — we’re going to break out of pattern for the sake of shaking our mind up a bit.
Breaking out of your patterns helps you to see possibilities. This affects your business in major ways — when you always wake up, check e-mail, edit photos, check more e-mail, write a blog post, and then pick your kids up from school, you’re in a pattern. Asking you to break out of that pattern for fresh thinking about your business is not as easy as it could be if you were regularly flexing that pattern-breaking muscle.
We all have patterns — I wake up, make coffee, write 1,000 words, think about going for a run, keep working, think more about going for a run, keep working, and then actually go for a run by about 2pm.
This week, let’s try breaking out of pattern in the name of shaking up our lives.
I dare you to try something new this week.
It doesn’t have to be entirely new to your experience, but ideally it will be entirely new to your adulthood. It also doesn’t have to take a long time!
For example, you can:
- hula hoop
- make a charcoal drawing
- play with watercolors
- sleep until Noon
- make a short film about your life
- share a joke or a short story via video with your friends
- write a poem
- write a snail mail letter to someone you love
- play in the dirt
- watch a movie or read a magazine in the middle of the day (without guilt!)
- steal your kids’ toys and play up a storm
- hop in the car, drive 12 miles, and make up an adventure when you get there
- jump into the pool with your clothes on
- make a fort in the living room
Need some of my personal ideas? I recently hit the mall with my girlfriends, where we built the most inappropriate Build-a-Bear creatures possible. We let the others name our bears, and it turns out they sell biker clothing for My Little Pony animals as part of a current promotion. Mine is named *(* #$#%^&%$ (censored) and cost $69 by accident. We also hit Macy’s and registered for our “upcoming wedding” (yes, we’re all married) just because two of us never used one of those registry guns. Oooh, the power of the registry gun! Our sales guy will still make a whopping commission because we now have birthday, anniversary, and Christmas presents selected for the next 16 months. 😉
For your own ideas, just think of what you loved doing as a kid. Hell, ask your kids what they want to do! Playing in the sand, teaching your teddy bears, categorizing your toys by size and pattern…whatever! Nothing is off-limits as you explore breaking out of your own patterns today.
It’s only by being willing to play, to grow, and to experiment that you’ll break out of those patterns that keep your mind looping the same “you suck,” “you’re not enough,” “this is stupid,” “you’re stupid” thoughts on loop.
Yes, those thoughts will still come up — but I encourage you to get back to the present moment and fully engage in the fun you’re having right now.
Your mind will probably chime in and say you’re doing it wrong — in fact, just by saying you can’t do it wrong your mind will say, “Oh yes I can!” — but I want you to ignore those directives and have a shit-ton of fun.
P.S. Your brain is an asshole.