Screaming Down the Mountain
Have you ever felt yourself caught up in a negative thought pattern? Your heart is racing, your blood is boiling, your jaw is clenching … you feel stressed out by the thoughts you are thinking.
Continuing in my series of articles on self-mastery (see last week´s The Avocado Syndrome), I call this experience “screaming down the mountain.”
Something triggers you, and you disrupt the flow in your life by allowing your thoughts to create an uncomfortable and often painful reality for yourself. Your energy becomes negative.
In the beautiful mountain air and stunning sea views of Spain, I recently found myself situated with one such opportunity for growing my own self-mastery. My personal trigger point: judgment. My situation: after a morning of listening to my roommate´s list of my minor housekeeping inadequacies, he chastised me for the level of water in the dog´s bowl instead of filling it himself.
Kaboom! I wound my way around the hairpin turns down the mountain road seething with anger and arguing with him in my mind. Not a very productive – or safe – mode of behavior given where I was and the tiny car I was driving. I could feel what it was doing to my body, my energy, and my state of mind. I knew that state did not feel good, and was preventing me from seeing the beauty all around me. I decided to change it by actively shifting my thought patterns.
Hoʻoponopono, an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness, offered a simple, effective way to do so. This practice works in the same way that affirmations do, but I find it feels more fun and somehow more authentic. Following are the phrases to repeat, as well as my interpretation of their meaning:
Repeat the four phrases 10-15 times, and I guarantee that your mood will shift and a smile may creep across your lips. It has worked wonders for me and for my clients in separating from the triggers that bump us out of flow.
In life, it is inevitable that we will have to deal with someone who triggers strong reactions in us. How we handle those reactions is our choice.
If we can re-pattern our thoughts when we begin to spin off into these cycles of negative self-talk, we keep ourselves open to creating and receiving the things we want in our lives. We retain our power by not allowing our triggered responses to determine the world we see around us.
Stay tuned, and next week I´ll discuss another technique for optimizing self-mastery and bringing The Avocado Syndrome into your own life.