Giving Mad Props and Just a Little Critique

I get tired, y’all.

Tired of constant negativity, finding fault, and altogether tired of our culture’s obsession with focusing on what’s wrong.

These traits exist in me as much as the next person, and I am learning to be more patient and loving with myself on this subject.

But, I also believe in giving compliments, encouraging people, and focusing on ALL the things that are going well.  I think it is a powerful and effective way to build relationships and help ourselves grow.  And from what I can tell, this is not necessarily a popular way to be.

In fact, I’m going to go as far as to say that focusing on the “what’s right” of a situation, or seeing the most positive aspects of something or someone, is often perceived as naive, weak, or just plain dumb.  I’m okay with that because I’ve discovered that being ultra positive works better than being ultra critical.  For me, and obviously not everyone.  Remember, we all get to decide how to play the game of life.

Imagine This

A beautiful woman enters the room.  She is impeccably dressed.  Tall, with flowing black hair.  Her lipstick is the perfect shade of red, and her heels match her suit as if they were designed by the same person.

And then  – she starts to sing.

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Doing The Work, part 4

“The turnaround . . . is about welcoming all your thoughts and experiences with open arms, as it shows you where you are still at war with reality.”
The first war we all fight is in our minds.  With ourselves and with reality.
Not a fun thing to realize, but it’s true.
The last step of The Work is taking our original statement and flipping the who and what around so we can get closer to truthful and helpful thoughts.  This is what Byron Katie calls the Turnaround.
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Doing The Work, part 3

“The Work is a simple yet powerful process of inquiry that teaches you to identify and question the thoughts that cause all the suffering in the world.”
thework.com

A large claim?  Yes, indeed.

Today we introduce Byron Katie’s fourth question.  This question offers us an opportunity to create new, more peaceful realities in our minds:

“Who would you be without the thought?”

Who Would You Be?

Using the thoughts we chose to examine in part 1, now ask – who would I be without the thought “my voice will never heal”?

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Doing The Work, part 2

Now, we introduce Byron Katie’s 3rd question:

“How do you react, what happens, when you think the thought?”

Simple enough, right?  (Not so fast.  Let’s take a moment to sit with this one.)

The original thought chosen for “part 1” was,

“my voice will never heal, or get better than it is right now.  My singing days are over.” 

After examining those thoughts using the first two questions, and hopefully realizing they might not actually be true, we have the opportunity to check in with our bodies and feel what happens when we think these thoughts.

The body and mind will produce automatic and often unconscious feelings in reaction to our thoughts.  This step offers us a chance to observe the physical and emotional reactions to those feelings.

Tune In

First, close your eyes.  Next, focus on your body by either noticing your breathing, feeling your stomach area, or feeling your heart area.  (However “tuning in” feels, looks, or sounds for you, do that.)

Then, ask yourself: “how do I react when I think this thought?”

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Doing The Work, part 1

“The Work is a way to identify and question the thoughts that cause all your suffering.”
thework.com

Today begins a four part series on Byron Katie’s “The Work.”

If you’ve never heard of Ms. Katie or The Work, hold on to your wig.  This work will transform you forever if you are willing to change.

She has developed a concise list of 4 questions that unravel habituated, negative thought patterns.  After all, our thoughts fuel our feelings and actions – good or bad.

Until we look at our thoughts, though, we cannot make permanent changes in our feelings or actions.

Once a thought is examined using The Work, or other forms of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), wisdom and healing can arise.  The thoughts that cause emotional damage can feel anxious, heavy, or highly charged.  By sitting with our thoughts, we can start to see beyond them and experience internal freedom.

The first real jail is the one we create in our minds.

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