Inflate rather than deflate yourself and everyone else. What benefit is it to be negative?
I frequently ask myself the question, “What is the benefit of this” when I get into a negative frame of mind. This also helps when I am trying to figure out why people are acting as they do. Negativity stems from insecurity which is fear most often from lack of control. When you do not feel in charge of what is going on around you or inside of you, you fear what is going to happen. So then you go on the defense as protection.
Let’s look at your self-imagine. Sadly, we probably all have some part of us that we wish were different. Rather than loving and embracing all of us, we hide that area of ourselves and feel shame. We may even ridicule that part of our body. I had a client mention how much she liked wearing her mask because it hid her big nose. She missed how it was the right size for her beautiful face and I bet she could smell a lot better than me. What a blessing to enjoy all of life’s fragrances and be more alert if there was trouble. Now, I have no awareness if nose size correlates with the intensity of smells, but I know it does in horses. The bigger the nostrils, the better they smell and breathe. This same client felt her name, Grace, was a joke because she was very clumsy. I looked at her name as being Grace, giving Grace, and having Grace which is unconditional love. She was Grace and needed grace in her life. What benefit is it to ridicule yourself?
Now let’s look at ridiculing others and the benefit of that. Ironically enough, as I was thinking of writing this post a good friend of mine sent me a link to a video on how to separate work time from family and set better boundaries. In this 12 minute video, a woman was talking while she walked. This meant she was holding her phone up at arms-length distance away from her, with her earbuds in, and recording her video. My first inclination was to ridicule her for not being safe while she walked through a busy subdivision and note that she was probably going to get quite the kink in her arm, shoulder, and neck for unnaturally walking while holding her phone up. I was completely missing her great message because I got caught in ridiculing her. Really, Jocelyn. I was ridiculing her because I wanted to be better than her. I thought, I could do that so much better yet she’s getting hundreds of views on her video and I’m not. So, my ridicule was really a fear that I’m not good enough. Once again, what benefit was it to ridicule her video? She had a really good message. That is what I should have noticed and eventually, I did.
Now let’s apply this to your personal life. How often do you get and give praise? How often are you or do you ridiculed/criticize? The other week, I was working really hard to get the house organized on top of taking care of the kids and work. By the end of the night, I was exhausted from doing so much, but there was still more to be done. At 9:30 p.m. I gave the dog her cough medicine and since my husband was at the kitchen sink, I just set the syringe next to the sink to rinse out when he wasn’t there. As I walked away he reminded me to clean out the syringe so the medicine didn’t get stuck in it. This lit me up because I was doing so much already. What I needed was for him to just do it or say thank you for taking care of the dog and everything else I was doing. I have no idea what else he was doing, but at that moment I knew how hard I was working and could have used some help. Praise over ridicule would have gone a long way. On my part, I could also have thought at least he’s concerned about things being clean. Instead, I deflated and got really mad. Negativity took over.
I used this as my opportunity to reflect on if I do this to other people and even myself. Do I inflate and offer praise more than I deflate myself and other people by criticizing them? I think it depends on where I am and my frame of mind.
So, how do I correct this? I’m going to keep a list of ways to offer appreciation and praise on my fridge and a list of the 4 Horseman by John Gottman to avoid criticizing, being defensive, holding people in contempt, and stonewalling (which means I do not talk to them). Each day, I am going to offer praise to someone I may not. Small steps are big steps.
When I have no judgments, I see everyone with kindness.
~ Deepak Chopra
Voyage to HEAL Weekly Task
Stretch: We continue on with the pelvis and correct the pelvis sheer forward. This often happens to men from wearing your wallet in the back pocket. When they do this, they are constantly sitting with a wedge under their bottom that pushes one side of the pelvis forward. Check out the video from last week’s blog post. To correct this, first lay on your back, place a folded washcloth under one butt cheek. Hang out there until you feel things soften and then repeat on the other side. Feel for differences. If you feel nothing, great! You have a flexible pelvis. If one side felt more tight or uncomfortable, keep working to get that side relaxed.
Exercise: Place your legs up the wall, now pull your hip to the floor. This is a very small movement but really gets the pelvis moving backward to correct a forward sheer. Do this 8x on each side.
Habitual Change: If you keep your wallet in your back pocket, move it to the front pocket, or when you sit, take it out of your pocket. The same applies to phones and anything else that may reside in your back pocket.
Perspective Enlightenment: What benefit is this to me?
This week’s blog coincides with Week 8 of the Voyage to HEAL. I am enough. Please take the time to hold the stretch above while listening to this meditation.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
~ Marcel Proust
Godspeed on your Voyage to HEAL learning Healthy Everyday Activities for Life.