Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Catching the "Poor Me" Mindset & Two Keys to Changing Your State of Mind

It was the morning before I had to leave and I was feeling heavy. Pouty. Sorry for myself. I knew I'd be working all through the coming weekend and my mind was going all sorts of unfortunate places. "It's everyone else's weekend and I'm going to be WORKING. I'm already tired and the weekend hasn't even started yet. I'm going to be exhausted. My back is probably going to hurt and freak out on me. I don't really want to do this. This is going to be stressful. I'll have to be 'ON' the whole time. I'm not ready for this. I wish I could just stay home and veg..."

I had the honor of being invited to cook and bring my essential oil alchemy to David Cho's Fall Yoga & Meditation Retreat. The Friday morning of, I wasn't feeling it. I found myself dreading what was coming, wanting to curl up and go back to bed.

And then I caught myself.

Not "I caught you doing something bad!" but a catching myself gently with compassion and love. This has taken practice, presence and a keen awareness. But what I was able to shift for myself in that moment, before I even walked in my front door, in a way feels nothing short of world-changing.

At least, it completely changed my attitude, my mood and my experience of the weekend.

Catching myself meant being able to see the stories and the reality I was creating for myself... to see the "Poor Me" dialogue I was telling myself in my head. And to realize that I had a choice. I said to myself, only one block from home and minutes from starting my full-on packing preparations,

"This is not the experience I want to have. I don't want to go in bitterness, heaviness and dread."

It would have been easy to let myself play out my victim "this-is-happening-to-me and I-don't-have-any-choice-in-the-matter" game. But I didn't want to bring that energy to the retreat, for myself or for the other beings there. That was not the experience I wanted to create. That wasn't who I wanted to be.

Ok, self. What experience DO you want to have? How do you want this to go this weekend? How DO you want to feel and show up?

I took a deep breath noticed how hunched my body was. I stood up and straightened my spine. I lifted my heart and chest, letting my shoulders fall down my back. I wanted to go in a spirit of capability, nourishment, service, openness and empowerment. I began walking into the sense of self-knowing I wanted to embody.

I envisioned myself in my favorite red dress, owning it. I let myself feel and swing my hips, feel sexy and alive. I told myself how capable I was, reminded myself that I knew what to do and all I had to do was show up and be me. That was enough. I could trust myself to do that.

I filled my lungs and stretched my arms out, looking up to the sky, feeling somehow bigger, like more was now possible. When I got home, I showered, changed into one of my favorite outfits and put on my most sensual, empowering essential oil Skin Scent.

Did I still have resistance to letting myself shift like that? Yes. But I asked myself to let it happen, to let it be that easy. Change is only as hard as you hold onto your resistance.

Here are two keys I use to change my mind:
  1. I changed my body language. I walked my inner talk until I could feel and believe and be it fully, inside and out.
  2. That morning and parts of the weekend still required me to stay out of my "poor me" stories, which continued to surface. When I noticed them, I took a breath and looked around. I got present. And then I focused on what I was doing, one moment at a time.

The weekend was beautiful. We had our first autumn rain and the air was fresh, cool, earthy, sweet. We were cozy inside. The food was delicious and nourishing. I let myself be me, surprising myself by making $200 just showing up and sharing what I love. I let myself take my time and take care of myself and the whole weekend felt mindful. I connected with and exchanged ideas with a beautiful community of people. By the end, I was tired. And I enjoyed myself.

I like to think that letting myself enjoy is to be "in joy" which is to embrace and experience all of what comes, all of what I feel. To me, that is inner peace.

The next time you catch yourself in a pouty, pissy or poor-me mental space, remember that only you can make you happy. You can change your mind at any time.

All that stuff going on outside of you? It really is happening. But you get to decide how you're going to respond. Your state of mind can be managed and shifted if you allow for the possibility and put your energy towards what you want.

What do you think? What's the most challenging part about this for you? What tricks do you use to help yourself stay present or make the shift?

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