Real Independence

Today is a glorious day here in St. Louis, MO.  There is an incredibly bright blue sky overhead and comfortable temperatures which are always a gift in the summer here.

It’s the 4th of July which has me thinking about Independence.  In this country we have this wonderful gift.  I’m extremely grateful, but I am also aware of the ways that my clients and I give up our personal independence on a regular basis.

What I am referring to is our tendency to be controlled and ruled by the thoughts in our heads that we take seriously.  We each have our own foreign monarchy trying to call the shots for us in a way that is not in our own best interest.

For example, many of us have a voice that tells us that we are never good enough. It doesn’t matter what we do or how hard we try, this clever voice has a way of undoing our best efforts by noticing some shortcoming.  Many of us have a voice that seems to make its living by pointing out ways that we don’t look the way we should.  We’re too short, tall,  heavy, skinny, old,…..on and on. These voices judge our behavior.  We shouldn’t have said that or we should just realize that we aren’t as smart as we should be.

Do you recognize this voice?  If so, don’t give up.  There is great news!  This news is that we always, yes, always  have a choice as to whether we take these voices seriously!  Yes, we get to be in charge.  The voices are pretty much automatic, but we feed them and empower when we allow them to be The Truth.  Taking charge means noticing the voice’s message and recognizing that it is optional as to whether we pay any more attention to the message.  Some people dismiss the thought by saying, “Thanks for sharing” and then moving on with their day with no more attention paid to it.

What you will find is that when we don’t “feed” these thoughts with our rapt attention, they slowly begin to lose their power and and not show up as often.

As usual, it’s all a matter of mindfulness.   We need to pay attention to what it is that we are paying attention to so that we see that we always have choices as to whether we want to continue to do what we are doing (& , of course, get the same old results) or choose something else.

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