How to ReWrite Your Inner Dialogue


Inner dialogue photo

I don’t know about you, but I have an inner dialogue that pretty much chatters 24/7/365.

My mind is rarely quiet. In fact, there are diatribes, novels, essays, theses and editorials swimming around along with my creative ideas and grand dreams.

I had to learn to change my inner dialogue. The conversations I listened to and heeded at the time were not always from a state of consciousness; instead, they came from indwelling fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, and depression.

Often, we learn these stories and thoughts in childhood. Alternatively, we can learn these while in abusive relationships and in times of duress and anxiety. We fail to remember our true nature.

“I’m not good enough.”

“I’m not worthy.”

“He/she is right, I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“I am a failure.”

“I am weak.”

“I’m not pretty/handsome enough.”

And here is the kicker – the constant litany of negative self-talk creates a vicious cycle. Our less-than-positive conversations cause us to feel anxiety or depression. The anxiety or depression or anger causes us to re-feed our mind with the negative narrative. It’s a downward spiral.

To put it simply, your inner conversation is your ego having a conversation with yourself. (Click to Tweet) And when you are in survival mode, that is when your ego is in full swing.

Let’s face it – our egos love a good drama or two! It’s all about fight or flight. Oh yeah, mental fisticuffs! Now, that’s all good and well when one is truly in a dangerous situation. But when someone is stuck in fight or flight mode for weeks, months, even decades, not only does the physical health suffer, but so does the mental/emotional health.

How can we work to change our inner dialogue?

1. It takes awareness. We must be in the present. We have to pay attention to our thoughts on a consistent basis. Truly, I was surprised when I started this practice of being present and actually HEARD myself! The first day I practiced conscious attention, I was SHOCKED at my language. No wonder I felt unworthy, less-than, and downright terrified of being seen. It felt like a non-stop 24-hour reel that looped with the same tired, old, negative, self-abusive phrases.

Conscious presence does take some practice, and it will take some time…especially for someone who hasn’t exercised the “presence” muscle before.

2. Once you have noticed your thoughts, change them! I have often caught myself thinking something negative and would have to immediately tell myself, “Stop, rewind, cancel.” Then I replace the negative talk with something positive.

For example, a common phrase that I’d say to myself was “that was SO stupid!.” Now, I know I’m not stupid, but the was something that was ingrained in me for decades, either verbally or emotionally. But, as soon as I NOTICED that I said it, I’d replace it with, “Wow, that was a great learning experience!” or “Gee, that was an interesting idea/action.”

Once concept that has helped me is to remain curious. For example, “I wonder what the outcome of this will be if I think/feel that?” Or, “How can I turn this negative sentence into a positive one?”

3. Affirmations. If you are a fan of affirmations, you’ll love this step! This is simply a practice of using positive affirmations on a daily basis. They will increase your positive feelings and lift your energy. They don’t need to be lengthy or philosophical in nature. Just get into the habit of creating a positive inner language.

If you wish, you can write down affirmations that feel right to you. If you want to take it a step further, you can record yourself reciting positive affirmations and replay several times throughout the day.

Sometimes, I’ll go to YouTube and turn on affirmations and meditations to fall asleep to. One of my favorites is “I AM Affirmations by Hakim.” (Please show him some love by clicking on the link!)

4. Remember who you truly are. This is paramount, especially when it comes to healing. YOU are a Divine Being. YOU are the one who, through your language, thoughts, and feelings, can create or re-create the life you dream of. It all starts from within.

It’s not difficult to re-write our internal dialogue, but it does take practice, perseverance, and patience. Most of all, we get to practice being wholly present with ourselves.

Watch what happens when you start speaking a new language…you will be pleasantly surprised!

How to Keep Balance in Turbulent Times


jump-863058_1920It’s quite obvious that nowadays, life all over the planet has taken a turn in an interesting direction.

Without investing a lot of time on the havoc that appears to be at hand (job losses, illness, stress, anxiety, fear, lack of movement), it would be well to note that in the midst of the turmoil lie pockets of peace, community compassion and a sense of togetherness (even in the presence of separation).

So, how can we separate ourselves from the anxiety, worry and fear that is every pervasive? Clearly, some are having a more difficult time than others; but let’s look at some practices that can help smooth the bumpy ride.

1.Remain present.

I know, trust me, sometimes this can be a challenge, especially when we are deep in our minds and overthinking, processing, and analyzing. Worrying about “what ifs” can certainly take us out of the present.

Focus on the now. It is important that we stop and breathe. For example: I meditate every day for at least an hour. I tell my mind that it is free to let go of worrying thoughts and insecure feelings about the future. All those will be available after meditation, if it wants to pick them up again. (Usually, it doesn’t.)

During meditation, my mind is never completely empty for an hour. I only wish! However, I do focus on my breathing, practice breathwork, and go deep inside.

This past week, I’ve been meditating outside in the sun. I currently live in a townhouse, so there are neighbors and noises on both sides of me in the courtyards. One gentleman next door has a puppy (oh, how I wish I had a significant other that would talk to me like he does to that precious little furbaby, but I digress); I can easily remain present meditating in non-silent surroundings. I invite the sounds of nature to chime in – bees buzzing, insects flying, songbirds chirping, and seagulls crying.

I feel the warm, smooth wood of the deck under my bare feet. I take notice of the warm the sun is giving me as it shines down onto my skin. Sometimes, I imagine the flowers communicating amongst themselves. Now, even though this is going on around me and inside me, I am still able to be present. (And nature always takes precedence in my thoughts over politics and other lower energy situations.)

After meditating, I strive to take that peace and presence with me throughout the rest of my day and stay in the knowing that all really is well. Sometimes I’m bouncing all over the place. However, I always go back “home” to the present, breathe, and remind myself that there is only NOW.

2.Remain in the flow.

Life is energy. It naturally ebbs and flows.

Think of the tides, sunrise/sunset, moonrise/moonset, birth/transition/rebirth, storms and fair weather, summer/winter, planting/harvest, gain/loss. All of life moves in waves.

Part of our journey is embracing the ability to ride the waves, no matter how small or large they may be. This requires patience. It also gives us the opportunity to release an expectation of outcomes. This may be a bit challenging for some (me), as I do like to be in control.

Nevertheless, there is some comfort in the knowledge that everything changes, moves and flows. And there is some solace that the only true permanent aspect we can rely on is change.

Think of it this way, we are all surfing through this moment in time, and we get to practice riding the waves standing up, sitting down, and we even get to fall once in a while. And it’s all right.

3.Journal.

No! It’s not silly! I do it! (Yes, I do! Every day!)

Journaling is a wonderful way to express our feelings, especially if we feel we don’t have the supportive ear of someone who understands.

Writing down our worries or stresses releases them from our body; it also gives us a chance to go back and see where those emotions are coming from.

It may be that we have some inner healing to do; perhaps there are some triggers that need to be addressed from childhood. It is possible that difficulty staying balanced during these current times could stem from fears and anxieties that have yet to be brought to the surface, processed, and released.

Additionally, for me, writing allows me to come up with solutions for issues that I would like answers for. Often, while writing, I’ll get a sudden inspiration or resolution for something that I’ve been wanting an answer for.

Sometimes it’s an instant “how to,” or a topic I need to address, or a long-hidden memory that has created an unhealthy filter through which I may be looking through.

Journaling, in a sense, helps me wash my dirty windows so that I can see, think, and feel from a space of deeper clarity.

Remember, the energy you put forth creates your reality. YOU are the creator…of the present and the future. YOU get to decide if you want to practice the art of balance. And no one will judge you for it.

It’s your journey.

Enjoy!

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