"Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think." - Buddha
After my disappointment in my business partnership yesterday, I was stuck - in my emotional victim state. My victimized Judge would occupy my mind with thoughts, such as "Why is this always happening to me? What am I doing wrong? What is wrong with me? Why do I always have to do everything by myself?" and so on, and so on. Soon I naturally felt defeated, frustraed, lonely, angry, and disappointed. While I knew, as a regular mindfulness practitioner, what was going on with me, emotinally and physically, I still was stuck and seemed to not be able to get out.
I am currently enrolled in a great Positive Intelligence (PQ) programme for coaches, that asks us to do regular mindfulness exercises throughout the day, to strengthen our self-command muscle, that will help us shift from our "Saboteur" to a "Sage" mind. Yesterday, in my emotional state, I was desparate to do more PQ exercises than required - and indeed, focussing on my breath really helped me slow down and calm my mind. Being mindful and coming back to the present moment help distancing ourselves from our busy thoughts and overwhelming emotions - we shift from being a "victim", who felt exposed to outside forces, to an observer, who can gain back its power over what we can control.
However, it wasn`t until I reached a certain point, when I knew I had a choice - either I stay in my emotional victim state (which feels very entitled and right to do so (for our hurt ego)) or I choose something else. Another perspective, another action, another emotion. Somehow a thought made its way to me, whispering, "Linh, it is about the people you want to help, less about you". I let this thought simmer and somehow had to think of my coach, whom I admire for her serenity and endless compassion. I asked myself, "What would my coach do?", and saw her leaving her hurt ego aside to focus on what has to be done, esp. if it is in service of others.
I know that our business project is about offering an open conversation on mental health to our Vietnamese folks to make this important topic normal and part of life ("Tet Wellbeing 2021 on Jan 31, 2pm CET - you can register here :)). What we now had to do was to promote it and this was initially assigned to my business partner, while I took care of the rest. When she couldn`t follow up yesterday, I was stuck in my victim state. But hearing my whispering voice and visualizing my coach what she would do in this situation were enough for me to shift. I told myself, "This is not about me, me, me. How I feel, what was done to me, how my ego is doing. It is about those Vietnamese people we want to help, who suffer from mental ill-health, depression, anxiety, and don`t know who they can turn to because of our culture."
With this higher purpose in mind, I got back to my laptop to push our LinkedIn post again, create an online Facebook event, and forwarded our webinar to all the Vietnamese people I know. I felt not only excited because this initiative is very dear to my heart, but also as if someone had taken away the weight I felt before. I didn`t look backwards at the incident anymore, I looked forward - and this is also how I felt, a rush of energy, joy, and creativity (because I had to be enticing in my promotion!). What was even more surprising and uplifting for me, was the immediate feedback I got from my marketing efforts. Many reacted positively and I could double the number of registrations right after my promotion activities! Not only was it so rewarding, but it also confirmed to me how important our higher purpose is. This initiative is not about our fame or pushing our egos, but about helping people who suffer from mental ill-health or generally a sabotaging mind.
I don`t know whether these PQ exercises I had done before were the supporting trigger, or my long-year inner work that allowed my whispering voice come through, or the date of the webinar that got closer the longer I wanted to do nothing at all - I experienced how powerful a shift could be. From the victim to the Higher Self. From a sabotating to a supportive mind. From being self-centered to being in service. It was magical, because I could tell how my entire day shifted, too - from having a bad day to a fulfilling day, that I even couldn`t sleep at night!
I know you may ask, "Linh, I understand what you are saying, but what if I don`t manage to even get to this shift, to hear my Higher Self voice?". First, it is important to acknowledge and feel our negative emotions. Only with awareness of what is going on, we can take creative actions - changing the unknown may not be as effective as we would hope. Secondly, try not to expect too much, to already "fix" this in a second or find a solution. It took me hours to make the shift, but only because I first enjoyed complaining and judging, before I consciously took mindfulness breaks to acknowledge how I feel, without judging or changing it. So just try this out and it may be very much that soon you are already in a shifted perspective without you having noticed it! The more we train our muscles, we more our mind will be used to choose a supportive perspective over fight-or-flight.
Do you allow yourself to express your negative emotions (even if only for 1minute)? Let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – I very look forward to hearing from you! :) PS: Subscribe to my #mindfulmagic Newsletter to stay in touch for upcoming posts, free offers, and news :)
This week`s ...
Inspiration: Shirzad Chamine - Positive Intelligence
Reflection: How can I strengthen my relationship with my Higher Self?
Intention: Whenever I feel stuck with negative emotions, I try not to push them away, but acknowledge them without judging, and do short mindfulness exercises (such as taking deep, conscious breaths).