What do you do when everything seems to go wrong?
Do you know these days where everything seems to go wrong? You know, days where things keep happening to you over and over again… and you feel like someone up above is testing to see if you're really committed to your happiness. I almost had one of those days on Saturday. Saturdays are my favourite. I get to do my full long morning routine while my husband spends time with Maya. This Saturday, after a sleepless night, I had woken up by Maya at 5.00am. Feeling knackered I was hoping I’d be able to play with her a little and put her back to sleep, and hopefully catch up with a little bit of sleep myself so I can enjoy my Saturday morning routine. It didn’t happen. I was trying to put her to sleep from 6.30 to 8.30. Around 8.30 my husband took over and it was finally MY TIME to fill up my cup. Only I was exhausted... Or actually I was more frustrated than anything. Instead of jumping out of bed I covered myself with my duvet. Under the blanket I had an entire internal dialogue - ‘this day is over’ ‘why is it happening to me? Especially on a Saturday!’ ‘I don’t want to do anything now’ etc. I noticed I was starting to feel sorry for myself. I watched my thoughts and observed my feelings and decided I’m not going to become them. I knew that if I won’t get out of bed and do my favourite Saturday morning routine my day would probably go into a downward spiral. I took a few deep breaths… And then, behind the noise (aka the strong inner chatter) I heard my ‘higher self’, the quite voice of wisdom, offering me this truth:
I CAN CHOOSE TO SEE THIS DIFFERENTLY. I AM SAFE TO CHOOSE AGAIN. In that instant I jumped out of bed and floated into my yoga mat before my ego (the voice in my head) got any chance to pull me down and back into self-pity.
Our ego is like a bully in our mind, designed to make us believe in ‘lower thoughts’ (disempowering thoughts) so we can stay in our comfort zone. The ego is rooted in fear and likes to keep us “safe” by putting limitations on us. ‘When things go wrong’ can be a wonderful invitation to notice the voice in your head and practice choosing ‘higher thoughts’. Observing the tendency of our ego to make us feel like victims of our circumstances. Overtime we can learn to choose, more often than not, a more empowering stance in which we take ownership on whatever life throws at us and let our actions be guided by our conscious thinking rather than our fearful thoughts. Becoming more aware of our inner dialogue takes practice and as such we must also learn to fail and fail without judgment. And with more self compassion. Cultivating self compassion means we forgive ourselves and let go of whatever happened in the past (whether it’s a year or a second ago) and acknowledge that NOW (the present moment) is always a fresh start, an opportunity to choose again, to choose different. Here are five steps you can practice when things go wrong:
Notice (observe your thoughts without becoming them)
Pause (resist the temptation to react)
Take few deep breathes (bring yourself to the present moment)
Repeat: I am safe to choose again. I can choose to see this differently.
Choose again (choose ‘higher thoughts’)
Can you recognize yourself in similar situations? Next time you notice those ‘lower thought’ try the five steps above. And let me know how it goes, I’d love to hear from you! Lots of love, Naama