In my job, with my family, in life, I find myself repeating certain mantras in conversation or in passing. When asked for advice, I circle back to these guidelines I follow. Some of them I have heard before, but the source has slipped away from me. I apologize. Hopefully the original orator will appreciate the lesson even if he or she is not called by name.
Never apologize for being yourself.
I once had a friend come to me after an event and apologize for the way he had acted. It was a hockey game, and he got very passionate about the score and the ending. I told him to never ever apologize for being passionate. If you love sports, love them with all your heart. I love competitiveness, athleticism, underdogs, and a great game. I will never apologize for that.
Your perception is your reality.
If you believe that all women are bad drivers, it is likely that you will only see women who are bad drivers. Similarly, if you believe that you wont get a job (even though you applied and you are overly qualified), that you will not find a significant other you love, or that there is no possible way to lose the weight, then you will probably never find or do any of these things. I just read in a book by Deepak Chopra that in the medical community, there is a frequently cited story of a woman who came to every doctor’s appointment, yearly, insisting that she had cancer. For the first fifty years of doing so, the tests came back negative. On the fifty-first visit, the exams revealed cancer. The woman told the doctor that “she told him so,” but really, her perception all along was that she had cancer. And that perception became her reality.
It’s all in how you look at it.
This stems from the notion that “your perception is your reality.” I hold this close to my heart because a trauma or condition could be seen as a death sentence. Or, it could be seen as an opportunity to perform a self-imposed miracle. If my friend Bailey thought that seven malignant tumors on her skin were irreversible, she would not likely be with us today. Actually, we probably would have never met. But she is a walking, breathing, living lesson for all of us.
To each, his own.
By taking over our minds, our egos have made us judgmental or each other. The ego needs to feel superior, and it is so easy for us to fall in to the trap of criticizing someone for his clothing choices, his tattoos, or his profession. If his are worse than ours, than that makes us better in some way. But ultimately, we are all just members of the same species trying to express ourselves in unique ways. Thank goodness for that because conformity and uniformity are fricken boring.
If you find yourself criticizing someone for their weight or their actions, catch yourself and look inward. What is it about yourself that you find you are lacking, and you see reflected back at you in someone else? How can you shift your mind pattern so that you focus on what you love and do have rather than what you do not?
Often times, simply acknowledging a feeling can help to move it through. The feeling is like a little dog. He’s going to keep jumping on you until you just scratch his ears, allow him to sniff your hand, and move on. I told the following story to a practitioner today, and I think it is fitting for this lesson. When I was recovering, I started meditating. In one particular session, I was really struggling getting my mind to quiet down. I would start focusing on my breath, and then I would slip into thoughts of lack. I was longing to go out with my friends, longing to return to Boston, longing to run again, among other things. Finally, I surrendered to the feelings. I started saying to myself loud and clear, “I want to run,” “I want to be healthy,” “I want to watch ridiculously stupid movies,” “I want to jump and play and do outrageous things without worrying about my head.” After I acknowledged each running thought, my mind got silent. Then I was at peace.
Simply say hello to the feelings when they are there. Then let them go.