Step Into the Future

Imagine you’re trying to lose some weight and you’re about to forget what you were trying because your primal senses have picked up the scent of a Snickers bar, hiding from you behind a closed cupboard. The beast in you roars and your body is making happy hormones because it knows it’s getting sugary/fatty food.

What do you do?

A. Attack the cupboard. Rip paper from bar. Swallow whole (some chewing allowed). FEEL BAD AFTERWARDS

B. Ignore primal need for Snickers. Drink water instead. Eat a healthy cracker. FEEL GOOD AFTERWARDS.

Most of the time A. is what happens. Call it lack of discipline, call it sugar addiction. Call it weakness.

You’d be right.

Because if you go for B, you feel good afterwards. And if you go for B often enough it will become your default setting, and opting for A. isn’t so bad when it happens, because it’s an exception.

It’s a matter of self-discipline. And self-discipline is a muscle that can be trained. The only thing you need to focus on is the AFTERWARDS FEELING.

To do this we must learn to stretch our imagination into the near future and focus on the feeling yet to come.

Having trouble starting your story/drawing/whatever?

Imagine how you’d feel when it is finished. Got that feeling? Yes? Try to keep focusing on that.

Cut the goals in easy pieces. Want to lose weight? Then you only have to make sure you eat healthy today. Make choice B and forget about the Snickers (well, to be on the safe side, don’t buy Snickers, because Snickers ARE NOT EASY TO RESIST).

Want to write a story?

Write a page today, or scene today.

Want to exercise more?

Skip the elevator today. Walk around your block today.

Want to think about the environment more?

Recycle something today.

Everyday you self- discipline will grow, it will get easier to make decisions and you will become more confident.  Step into the future of today and focus on the feeling you want to end up with.

Today is all you have.

 

 

 

 

Let it Go

The last couple of months I’ve gotten very good at holding on tight.

Anger is one of the things I’ve been keeping close lately. After some serious soul searching I realised I’ve picked up the strange conviction that holding Anger close  (yes capital A) is good for warding off enemies. The enemies being: Disappointment. Hurt. Sadness. And Shame.

Other emotions I seem to be able to let go pretty easily. Pride is felt for just a second, Happy and Joy can linger for days, but will inevitably be pushed off by Anger, because Anger has guard duty. Needless to say, this is getting tiresome. I’m not a negative person, on the contrary.

I do however have a problem with boundaries. I usually have no clue where they are.

One of the reasons for this is that, at heart, I’m somewhat naïve. I don’t tend to be suspicious of other people’s motives. So when someone crosses my boundaries and is stampeding through my personal space, my first thought is that he/she doesn’t know or doesn’t mean what they’re saying or doing. Or worse: I think it is my fault. So insecurity is also playing a role in this. After he/she is gone and I look at the ravage that’s left behind, I set my boundaries closer to home, where I can see them. And I appoint a guard.

Hello Anger.

The Anger guard is a very expensive one, it costs tons of energy. And to be honest I miss my naïve self. I like not worrying about other people’s motives. I have my hands full worrying about my own and how to be true to them. Anger has a function, it shows me I have boundaries and I should protect them. But I’m not protecting myself hiding behind Anger, by building walls around my vulnerable core.

So here I am, at my computer typing this post. And drawing a line in the sand in my personal space for my old friend. Anger is a veteran, he knows this battle is over, but there will be another, and another. For now he can enjoy some time off, admire the coastline, see me rebuild myself, touching around and feeling where my boundaries are and if they’re where I want them to be.

Emotions are useful, they protect us, show us what our values are. But when we’ve felt them, and know why they’ve popped up, we should release them.

Let them go and there will be room for all of them. Hold tight and the one in your grasp will make you forget the others.

They’re what we feel. Not who we are.