How Our Thoughts Sabotage Us

I’m not sure if you remember my post on how to banish negative thoughts, which highlighted “The Work” of Byron Katie? I had the opportunity to see Byron Katie live several years ago, when I had experienced a relapse after 1.5 years of recovery.

At the time, I was dealing with some intense anger and pain regarding a person at work — and all the feelings that came along with being in a job that did not suit me. Oh, how our thoughts sabotage us. I really loved Byron Katie‘s approach of questioning our thoughts — especially those that don’t serve us.

A Great New Blog!

Byron KatieI wanted to draw your attention to Byron Katie’s new blog because it’s an excellent resource! In her blog, she has both written transcripts and videos where she facilitates people in pain through the process of The Work. The Work is basically 4 simple questions that allow us to really get a look at the thoughts we focus on in our minds. After going through these questions, you can really start to see how the thoughts you carry — or your story about yourself — can either help or hinder you.

Two Posts I Loved – Check Them Out

I was particulary struck by two of her posts — one was “I hate my husband,” which is a transcript where Byron Katie facilitates a woman through her thoughts about hating her husband — and we really find out that she doesn’t love herself. The other is a video facilitation of a young woman who feels pain over her mother who is controlling and manipulative. We find out that the young woman is actually needing belief, faith and validation of her own feelings — rather than looking for them to be validated by anyone else (even her mother).

What I Learned

What I learned from Byron Katie’s blog is more confirmation of what I’ve always believed about law of attraction and our thoughts. Most of the time, we are thinking thoughts through the filter of “our story” — or what we think about ourselves based on past events and condiditioning. It’s seen through our fears, our beliefs and often, limited thinking. How do we know it’s limited thinking? It makes us feel bad, holds us back from trying things, keeps us with people out of fear, brings pain, sadness and grief — keeps us stuck. When we are focused on thoughts that support us, we feel good — happy, peaceful, calm, content, joyful, energized, loving, compassionate.

Negative Thoughts As Lint?

I walked away from reading Byron Katie’s blog and I realized this: any thought I have is bundled up in a bunch of other crap. It’s kind of like pants with lint on them. They might be nice pants and I may really love them, but if they have lint all over them, they look pretty crappy. When I look in the mirror, all I can see is the lint. When I see the lint, I think the pants look terrible — no matter how beautiful they may really be. Our life process is to remove the lint from the beautiful souls we are underneath. With negative thoughts, the mirror of our mind can only see the negativity, not what’s really there underneath.

We have the choice to focus on the positive — to remove the lint and see what’s really there. The Work is a great lint remover — a nice technique to work with our thoughts and realize what’s really there underneath. And if nothing else, it’s a reminder that there is no reason to get caught up in thoughts that make us feel bad. We can remember that they are just covered with lint – -and until we remove the lint, we have no idea what’s really going on — so why waste time feeling bad about it???? 🙂

My Own Practice of Lint Removal

Yesterday, Joel and I went our our pilgrimmage to get our farm share of organic vegetables. It’s a 1.5 hour roundtrip and we typically do our grocery shopping on the way home. It was a gray day and I was feeling a bit stressed due to my book deadline, our upcoming move to Utah for the winter and balancing my business. It seemed like one of those bleak days and my mind started to get bleak along with it. Then I remembered what I learned on Byron Katie’s blog and it hit me…my thoughts are just bundled up with a bunch of crap and that’s all I could see at the moment. It was comforting to know that it was just a phase and I didn’t have to put any weight on those thoughts — I could just let them go. I didn’t even go through the 4 questions — I just trusted that if I let the negative thoughts go, I’d no longer have to focus on the “lint” — and I could get on with feeling peacful and content.

The Power of Choice

Our minds are funny things — they are such obedient masters and do whatever we tell them to do. We get caught up in thinking our mind controls us, but it is really we who control our minds. We have the choice. We have the power. It takes dedication, practice and trust to live with this power of choice — and it is so worth it!

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As a coach, writer and recovered former executive, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle when over-scheduled. In my journey to radiant health, I created a whole health system of eating, exercise, renewal and recharging -- a roadmap toward health & vitality. I empower clients to create their own whole health systems, in their own unique ways. I have seen amazing results in working with my clients!