We don’t watch our favorite sitcom show or read a novel because of the facts that are pouring out of it. We watch and read based on the drama that surrounds it. In fact, we will listen intently to someone when they are using descriptive words to describe an event they are having or have gone through. It isn’t the circumstance that makes a great plot it is all the thinking about it.
I like to use the example of a car accident at a busy intersection to show how separating the circumstance from our thinking can help us in creating more awareness in our lives. There will be plenty of different versions of the accident. Driver 1 sees it a certain way, driver 2 sees it this way, and witnesses to the accident will see things from their own perspectives, or “lens” as well.
The only fact or circumstance about the accident is that there was one. Then the circumstance is plain and simple. “Car accident” or it can be a little more detailed than that, the circumstance, “The red car hit the blue car.” The thoughts we have and how we saw it from our lens’ may feel and even look to us as though it is the truth. With having an audience to the accident, I promise you, someone else saw it differently and believes that is the accurate account of the car accident.
As a Life coach that is what I do for my clients. I help them break apart their story and point out the “facts” to their story. I am the on looker, the one outside of the car, a bystander. I show up with Love to all involved. Yet I am there to help my client see their thinking, not your friends’, not your kids’, not your husband’s, but your thinking. What meaning are you personally attaching to their actions?
Understanding your current circumstance is key when we are wanting to grasp and expand our personal awareness. We all have a story; a way of looking at our life that is made up of snapshots of where we have been and where we are now. Giving power to that story may serve you or hinder you. It is completely on the way you choose to think about it. Rehashing the same thought about a circumstance might not serve you. But looking at a circumstance through a different perspective of where you are now might, in fact, serve you and help you see more clearly.
Stories are so much more entertaining than the facts. The only time facts are entertaining is when we put what we think they mean on it. We have thoughts and emotions for a reason and as humans we can love and show compassion in ways that are amazing. Becoming a robot and not having thoughts or emotions is probably not a healthy solution to living life. I want to offer that maybe stepping back and choosing to act vs react to a circumstance might serve you well. It may even help you grow on your life’s journey.
When you find yourself telling a friend, co-worker, or family member a story of something happening in your life, take a step back and truly look at the facts that make up the circumstance. Analyzing your thoughts and looking at them from an objective lens can make a big difference in how you decide to show up.
Adorned in homes across the world are written words, quotes, and phrases to inspire the buyer. “Enjoy the Journey”, “Live and Let Live”, or a single word like “Believe,” are some examples of such inspirational affirmations. In my office, I have a “Believe” plaque along with many other quotes. I find it helpful to remind myself what I want and why that particular verbiage is important to me.
What you believe, and how beliefs are formed in our minds, can be an important concept worth exploring. Beliefs are formed from a thought that we have over and over and over again. Some thoughts we decided to think, while other thoughts are formed from our environment since childhood. Our thoughts are different from anyone else and our beliefs and reasoning for that belief will be different as well. Remember we are not mind readers so someone else’s belief might be in line with yours but stem from entirely different reasons.
It is when we attach ego and comparison to our beliefs that we can experience emotional frustration. Ego leads us down the road of thinking, “if you don’t believe what I believe then something is wrong with you.”
Let’s look at the belief that “You love Bikram yoga and it is amazing for You.” Just this thought makes you feel great and you thoroughly enjoy your yoga routine. That belief serves you well, and because of this, you continue to believe it.
The thief of comparison and ego can sneak in as you begin to have the “belief” that those who are not yogi’s have something wrong with them. In fact, you begin to believe if they just became a yogi their world would be so much better off, and they would be a happier person.
When it comes to beliefs realize you can always make suggestions based on your beliefs. In my opinion, I think we should if it has been helpful to us. However, drop any expectations from your suggestions, and I repeat ANY expectations, as that is the thief of ego and comparison.
Creating beliefs that serve you are not always a “think positive and life will be better kind of thing.” Some beliefs may feel more natural than others. Realize you have had your environment around you forming your beliefs your entire life. This is neither a good or bad thing, it just is. Remember beliefs are just thoughts that you have decided to believe or not believe over time.
Our brains are powerful. As I am a believer in God, I see our brains as the most amazing instrument he gave us. Just like any instrument you have to practice and practice it in order to create with it what you want. It is solely up to us to manage them, that is not something we can just “delegate out”. When I think of my brain not being managed, I picture a toddler running around with scissors. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Our brains, when unmanaged, can act that way; it’s up to us to have an adult conversation with that rambunctious kid and tell them that they might get hurt or hurt someone else. It can be challenging to challenge our beliefs, but man will it be worth it.
I truly enjoy an old-time neighborhood seasonal puzzle. I’ve completed puzzles depicting a summer’s day on the 4th of July or the trick or treaters on Halloween; cute cottages and cobble stone roads are another favorite of mine. Just like the many pieces in a 500 plus puzzle, ideas are never short in supply. I have found myself changing from one idea to the next. As I have grown in awareness, I am finding the ability to be a little choosy about my ideas and how to “puzzle” through them is up to me and my current state of thinking.
Here is a little comparison I came up with. If you are a puzzle lover, like me, this might resonate with you. However, if you are not, but are full of ideas this, too, will hopefully give you some concepts to chew on.
As you dive right into sorting out the individual pieces; first, searching for the edges and putting together the boarder on your puzzle. Then you try organizing the pieces by landscape, buildings or color. As you progress along you find yourself stumped so you step away for a bit and come back later. The dance has begun. You find yourself focused then unfocused, you might want to quit, maybe you call in reinforcements, or power thru avoiding everything else around you. As you find yourself nearing the end the portrait is coming to life, pieces begin to look clearer. Placing the last piece, you stand back and look down, glowing with a sense of accomplishment.
Now take that same process and apply it to an idea that you have been contemplating and have decided to move forward with. You feel excited and nervous all at the same time. You organize your thoughts and actions that you will have to take to accomplish your idea. Then you schedule out your actions on your calendar that you will need to take. The first few actions might be easy but then it’s a little more difficult and you might find yourself not following through, stepping back, and then coming back to it again. The dance has begun as you find yourself in uncharted grounds, things begin to blur, and you are puzzled as to what to do next. You might want to quit, maybe call in reinforcements, or you find the strength to put on the blinders and power through to completion.
There is no right or wrong way to complete an idea or a puzzle. Remember we are creatures of creation and we create every day. So, having an idea is a normal human experience. The more you explore your world, the more ideas and thoughts you will begin to have. Just as the more often you do a puzzle the better you will get at assembling them. Just remember, obstacles are not optional; they are a reality and as we prioritize and come with a plan in hand, we can power through or call for reinforcements, it is all up to us.