That was quite a storm! 100 mph winds, rain pouring so hard it hurt, vivid lightening and deafening thunder.
Did you see it too?
Probably not…Because it all just occurred in my mind.
The storm that brewed from a flood of thoughts – my brain taking me to all the shoulds…didn’ts…failures…doubts…fears. Reminding me that ‘it’s’ not going to work – whatever ‘it’ is.
It was so real and paralyzing. I was filled with sadness. . . regret. . . shame. Each thought created more emotion pulling me deeper into the storm.
It’s no surprise the storm grew stronger.
I wanted to run away, seek shelter, and write about the all injustice in my life.
You see, this isn’t my first storm.
This time was different. Even with the storm in full force, I remembered that I have power. I don’t need to re-experience all of this, and can choose differently.
Just take a deep breath.
Slow and steady.
This is a storm. It’s not the first storm, and it’s not the worst storm. This is my personal thinking – a term I recently learned. The place in my mind that stores the fear, doubt and uncertainty and brings it all back to life any time there is a perceived threat.
Don’t believe everything I think.
Because my brain has some quick recall into personal thinking doesn’t make it right, relevant, or useful today. These thoughts are just recycled from the past and have been around a long time. It may take some time to cut them down in size. For right now, I can choose not to believe any of it.
Take a step.
I don’t have to stand in the storm and re-live it. I can take a step to the side – and watch it from under an awning. Simply observing the massive power it has. I’m going to admire its beauty and potential to really unleash and destroy without being in the middle of it.
The storm is trying to do something good. It’s trying to keep me safe. Out there (standing out from other people, trying something new, or a myriad of other triggers) is dangerous…it risks vulnerability, it invites judgment, there are no guarantees.
The storm needs me to survive – it needs me to buy into it and feed it so that it can continue to grow. So that it can sustain and release the energy.
Compassion because the storm is going to pass – I don’t need it. And I don’t have to fight it. I can let it be there, be curious, and watch it move on. And know that it’s a part of me that I no longer have to control or worry about. It doesn’t own me.
What’s perfect about this? In the past I held myself hostage to the storm, and acted it out. Now I can process it, and it’s such a small part of one day.
Nothing is ruined.
I’m intact, dry, and smiling. The beauty of this storm is the peace at the end of it. And the beautiful sky that’s above as it is trailing off.
We all have personal thinking that is ready to spring forward with even the slightest of triggers. For the storms in your life, consider the steps above. You will be amazed at the difference when you are no longer re-living every thought and emotion, but instead staying in control and aware of what is happening.
Dena George, MD is a mindset coach specializing in high achievers and over-thinkers, and the host of Creating Phenomenal For Your Life podcast. She’s also a Family Medicine and Hospital Physician. You can follow her on Facebook – Dena George MD Coaching, or on iTunes and Google Play with the podcast.