A Visit from an Old Friend
After booking their family vacation, Oliver hears his negative inner voice for the first time in a few weeks. He slips quickly into his familiar pattern of worry and stress.
“Where have you been stranger? Do you think you were going to get rid of me that easily? You put a vacation on the calendar. What are you thinking? You know your desk will overflow with a pile-up when you’re away. How can you afford to lose valuable clients taking time off?”
After this mentally draining episode, Oliver takes a call from his wife. She must go for more hospital tests to uncover what’s behind her increasing pain. He needs to reschedule his appointments so he can accompany her to medical appointments. He braces himself for the possibility of bad news. To compensate for loss of work time, Oliver reverts to his well-worn schedule of long office hours and anxiety releasing standby of spewing sarcastic one-liners. Exhausted and upset, he doesn’t see a way out without feeling loss of control.
Oliver’s familiar inner voice wants attention. It demands resumption of its warn-out yet familiar same-old, same-old agenda prior to Coaching. In a panic, he doesn’t care if the old voice takes him over. Life is hard and stress is part of existence. His mind flashes to 2020’s year end. Will current circumstances derail his New Year’s intention for a year of growth and wellness? He shudders. He stops himself and considers what’s really going on. Oliver sincerely trusts he can one day experience a lighter life instead of living a soap opera. Which voice will he listen to?
Can Oliver step out of his ingrained cynicism and suffering and reclaim his brief but intentional newfound confidence? Can he accept and continue a better path?
“To paraphrase expert Dr. Joe Dispenza:
Here-in lies every Creators’ biggest challenge: The lack we notice and live each day hasn’t even happened, yet causes us to feel separate from our dreams. We lose belief in our future because we are back in old emotions — we can’t view a future through the window of our past. When living in lack while trying simultaneously to create a future, we eventually stop creating. We await something outside us to take away lack. But it is the holding onto lack which keeps dreams unobtainable and at arm’s length.
Staying on Course
Realizing this won’t be a quick fix Oliver goes through his coaching checklist from the first session.
Create possibilities instead of stress.
Now that Oliver has experienced first-hand the benefit of self-care, he ponders the activities he likes most.
“It’s nice to workout before my day starts unraveling. The new bike from my wife encourages me to get up and get moving. Even if for 20 minutes, I feel better physically and mentally.
The other exercise I like to practice is listening to ambient music.Once I turn on relaxing music, I remember my 2020 commitment. Music allows my imagination to take over. Even if the music plays only briefly, I can sense tension shifting and my hope lifting”
Oliver knows that ignoring morning bike rides and ambient music is non-negotiable. His new self requires frequent engagement to prevent him from fully swaying into worthless habits.
Reflection: Now that we are two weeks into 2020, has a situation (or two) set you back from your commitment? If so, what can you do to regain stability and find your new compass?
“Make up your mind that no matter what comes your way, no matter how difficult, no matter how unfair, you will do more than simply survive. You will thrive in spite of it.
— Joel Osteen
Check the TV screen.
On the outside it appears that life has made a messy turn. Oliver could easily cave under the mountain of work/home strains. He turns to the TV/Imagination exercise. What he sees on the screen makes him sad.
“When I turn on my 2020 TV set I notice that my channel has been set on one show: ‘Spinning Out of Control.’ I’m tired of spending precious hours on this series. It can no longer be my default show. I’m going to change the channel in search of a happier landscape. The channel I want to see most is the Family/Friends Channel where I’m spending quality time supporting and enjoying others.”
Oliver’s heart opens up as he watches memories with his beloveds.
Reflection: Turn on your TV screen. What channel are you on? Is it the one you chose for 2020 or an old out-of-date one which no longer serves you? What can you do to change the channel today?DISCOVER YOUR STRENGTH
Search for valuables.
With Coach, Oliver realized his valuables are more negative than positive.
“When I began working with coach, my valuables were stress over well-being, work over relationships and pressure over contentment. In 2020, I chose a group of valuables which inspire Peace, Love and Joy. Although it appears I have none of these, I need to find them in the little things – such as a good bike workout, a hug from my wife, check-ins with the kids and seeing that family vacation on the calendar.
I have to trust that my Divine compass will remind me that these valuables are always with me. I just need to become aware. I sincerely want to strengthen my relationship with these amazing valuables.”
Reflection: Are you practicing negative or positive values? Hint: If you are frequently negative, cynical, frustrated, resentful or sarcastic, it’s time for a change. Anything less than positive values never fill you up and always take you down.
Tune into the present.
Another fun exercise for Oliver is the Mindfulness exercise. He thinks about his daily activities and chooses to eat breakfast with mindfulness. Usually he grabs a power bar and races off. By mid-morning he is starving and in a slump. Instead of eating a piece of fruit, he gulps down his third cup of coffee overloaded with cream and sugar. By the time he remembers lunch, his stomach is empty and angry.
“My wife grumbles that I don’t eat a healthy breakfast. She’s right. It’s just I’m convinced I have no time for it. Now, before bed I lay out my breakfast items on the kitchen counter. I commit to sitting down and being mindful to the experience of eating breakfast. When done eating, I query myself and patiently listen for answers: Did I enjoy my food or merely consume it? Did breakfast provide adequate energy for morning activities? What was my stomach’s experience – relaxed or bloated?”
Reflection: Is there a daily activity you want to appreciate more, such as a eating/bathing/driving? Pick one activity and focus on it. When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your activity. You might like to say ‘eating/bathing/driving’ when you notice your thoughts and gently shift your attention back into the moment.