OPEN AND RECEPTIVE
I am open and receptive to all good. These are the words I have used to replace any other words that occasionally find their way into my brain. These eight words, especially when 3 am rolls around and the dark chocolate has kicked in I ate before I went to bed, have been my go to phrase since almost 1989 when I discovered Louise Hay.
Louise Hay was one of the founders of the self help movement and when I first read her book, You Can Heal Your Life, I was only twenty four. Her theories about thinking and the meaning of the thoughts we think changed the way I thought about thinking. I had never heard this thought process before, that I actually had control over that frisky brain of mine that until then had led me very much astray. Louise Hay was a game changer for me and at twenty four, I never realized how important the simple notion of belief systems were.
Thirty years later, when my brain takes over my intuition, I know that deliberately shifting my words, rearranging them like a puzzle, changes how I feel. This is an outstanding notion and I wish we could teach this to our middle schoolers with much more priority. The movie, The Secret, where the intention was to teach that our unique powers are within us by changing the way we think about ourselves left out one important component, Action. I can lay in my bed all day saying positive phrases, but I must get out of bed to see how the experiment works. This is not to say that we always have control. Louise Hay and many of her believers also believed that every single ailment was caused by belief systems. I once heard this young man on THE MOTH telling his story about being born with cerebral palsy. He was hilarious in his story and one of the lines he used was, Fuck Louise Hay. He was not responsible for being born with that condition, but she could be interpreted that way. When my brother was diagnosed with lung cancer at 24, I too found myself thinking he had some control over his fatal outcome. No such luck and I shutter to think about some of the language I used with him at the beginning.
The thoughts we think are powerful. This I know for sure. Now that I have many moons of life experience and traumatic events to add to the mix, what I have figured out for myself is when I feel good, positive, grounded, happy, the energy in my body feels different. Those rare times when my brain heads south, my body feels depleted, negative, low energy and it seems that this is when the Life Coming at Me kicks in to high gear. It is more a feeling, but I think that many of us understand the basic concept of seeing the bright side rather than the dark side. When I look at life with my rose colored glasses, life brings me pleasure even in my dark times. This is brain training because our minds seem to be hard wired for fear and doubt. After all our ancestors were in a constant state of fight or flight trying to outrun the enemy. The good of this is self protection, survival, pretty useful when you had to fight off lions and tigers and bears. These days, the enemy, at least in my neat little protected world, is my mind and what I allow it to believe. I am not running away from wild beasts to save myself from extinction, but anytime I have a trigger or an arrow coming towards me, my body reverts to fight or flight sending my cortisol hormones into overdrive. Cortisol in overdrive is a death sentence, and my body should not have the same type of adrenaline rush when I am struggling to find a parking spot as it does if I was trying to outrun a grizzly. But it does. Isn’t that fascinating?
When my brain has taken me hostage filling me with all kinds of terrible thoughts about myself, wasteful thoughts that don’t serve me like, I feel fat, I am a slacker, I am a procrastinator, holy shit, where did that bulge around my middle show up, not good enough thoughts that blah blah blah and blast away like those sparklers on the forth of July, I have a low energy from them. This is just a sampler, but there is not a woman I know who can’t relate. I am guessing there are men out there, too, who have this experience. We are all humans each with our own brains that go rogue at the drop of a hat. I have learned that a simple often deliberate shift always makes me feel better and when I feel better I see the world better and when I see the world better, life has a way of working itself out. Always. Even in my darkest times, I see the world with a speck of light. I like light. I appreciate kindness, random smiles and a hardy strong hug that lingers just a little longer. And in this volatile time with so many darts at every turn, as we duck and hide and run for cover from the technology that now seems to be the grizzly bear in the woods, a smile, a hug and old fashioned connection may be just the interrupters we humans need.