Each of us carries around thoughts, beliefs and opinions which limit our ability to achieve what we want most. I like to think of these as “stones” which can weigh us down.
Knock us off our game.
Crush our motivation, excitement or confidence.
Many of us lug around at least one “stone” that burdens us.
As we end 2021, let’s take a quick inventory of any “stones” we carry which interfere with our intentions.
Perhaps they’re stones you’ve carried since childhood. Perhaps they’re stones that have accumulated in the past 12 months.
No matter when or where they originated, you do not have to carry them one moment more. Once you decide they’re blocking you from achieving goals, tackling projects or diminishing your spirit, you can drop them like a hot potato!
Are you holding on to resentments or ruminating and worrying about an unrealistic expectation, a goal or standard you failed to meet, weight gain, stalled weight loss?
Maybe you’re holding on to a righteous indignation or gnawing fear.
Whatever “stone” is burdening you, you can drop it today.
Now, I’m not suggesting you disregard painful thoughts and feelings. Or neglect important relationships. Or avoid ambitious goals and challenges.
I am suggesting that with awareness and intentionality you choose the thoughts, feeling, relationships and ambitions you decide are serving you.
Just because we’ve been taught and conditioned to believe ALL THE THINGS in your mental warehouse, doesn’t mean they deserve to take up residence for good.
EVERYTHING we think is fair game for periodic closer scrutiny. Stones and all.
Pain is part of the human condition — suffering is optional.
It’s an inescapable fact that life is, on average, 50/50 — 50% glorious and 50% miserable (and everything in between). We must accept that rain falls. But we must remember that eventually the sun shines again. This is the cycle of life.
I teach that happiness, contentment and peace is found in allowing it ALL. Let the good, the bad and the ugly come as it will.
Avoiding or resisting negative thoughts and emotions robs us of the ability to experience the fullness and richness of life. It is in the contrasts that we are most able to appreciate the vibrancy of a full life.
When we layer suffering on top of the pain, add “stones” if you will, we intensify the negative emotions and hurt even more.
It’s essential to allow painful emotions like fear, grief, anxiety, sadness, hurt, or worry to flow through us.
Allowing our emotions without trying to buffer them away is the secret to making peace with the difficult, uncomfortable aspects of our human experience.
Here’s how Rick Hanson, PhD suggests we drop our “stones” to gain relief.
Pick one “stone” you’d like to drop this year (and you can repeat this process with other things if you like). First, decide for yourself what if anything is reasonable or useful about it. Know in your heart what is worth taking into account… and what is just needless worthless excess suffering. Know that you are and can be a good person without pouring rocks on your head.
Second, for a few seconds or longer, deliberately “carry” that stone—think about it, worry about it, get sad or mad about it—so you can really know what that feels like.
Third, try to be very aware of when that particular weight comes back. A regular mindfulness practice can help. Building up the trait of steady present-moment awareness is like strengthening what’s called a “strange attractor” in complex systems theory. An attractor is like a planet inside your mind, whose gravitational force pulls you naturally in a good direction. The greater your trait mindfulness is, the more you’ll stay grounded in it and the faster you’ll return to it if you get distracted.
Fourth, resolve to yourself to stop picking up the stone. Determine to disengage from it, to stop allying with it and getting hijacked by it. It may keep mumbling away in the background, but at least you can stop feeding it.
Be strong inside your own mind. In much the same way that you could step back from someone who’s being harmful, you can step back from old habit patterns. It’s OK to build muscularity inside, with a sense of healthy entitlement to reasonable well-being: “No, I don’t have to keep listening to and agreeing with that voice inside my head!”
Shift your attention to other things, ideally those that are the opposite in some way to the “stone.” Such as forgiving yourself for old shame, or turning toward healthy pleasures and away from unhealthy ones, or seeing the big picture of everything that’s working if you’ve gotten preoccupied with something that’s not. With repetition, these new objects of attention will grow like “attractors” where you increasingly dwell.
Last, let yourself feel and know that this is life is precious and short – even if it lasts a hundred years. In the long run, what will those stones matter? Imagine what it will feel like to lay your stones down. Tell yourself it’s OK to do this.
What stones are weighing you down?
As part of my It’s Never Too Late Weight Loss Coaching program, I can help you identify any “stones” that are holding you back from attaining peace and freedom around food, your body and your weight.
Isn’t it time to take me up on my offer for a FREE Strategy Call so we can get started ASAP?
Make 2022 your year to shed the extra weight you’ve been carrying and fretting about for so long.
It’s Never Too Late to make your weight loss journey easier. A year from now, you will thank yourself you started today.
I’m looking forward to meeting you soon.