People in pain feel powerless. When life feels chaotic it is easy to forget how much power we have. Strong emotions often leave us feeling un-resourceful, hard done by and ineffective. Strong emotions can become habitual patterns.
For example, when we are in these states:
We have relinquished our personal power. In these states we temporarily believe that we have no personal influence. By personal influence I mean our ability to exert control over our body, to sway our emotions or to change our environment.
The states of anger, sadness and anxiety are just that…states of being. They come and they go. We need to remember that they are rarely chosen and often triggered.
Our states are linked to our beliefs around how we and the world “ought" to be. We can become very rigid because the subconscious mind will always work hard to keep old programs intact. The more rigid we are in maintaining powerless states, the less overall positive personal influence we have. (without positive personal influence we stay stuck in the old cowpaths)
Remember that many of our ways of being and beliefs were installed at a vulnerable age by early programmers’ aka amateur parents. Much of our emotional patterns, today, are being driven by these borrowed beliefs, foisted upon us before we had the ability to sift and sort incoming data. Remember also that we all have a memory bank. In this memory bank we store millions of mind files/old stories. When we are triggered in the here and now these old associations create states of being that surface quickly. However, this does not make the experience “logical.” This does not mean they merit our time and attention.
Moving away from states that do not feel comfortable requires a new level of flexibility. Flexible people are powerful people. Being flexible is a learned state that can be drawn upon when needed:
How do we begin this process?
1) We begin by recognizing that right now, in this moment as you read this, you are choosing to do so. Most likely you believe or hope that you will gain an insight. This demonstrates an ability to be open and curious.
2) Because you have the ability to be open and curious it will make sense to you, that right now in this moment, there is something in your environment that you can manipulate. There is something in your immediate surroundings that you can pick up and move. Go move the position of a chair, a plant, or the pencil holder on your desk. Just get started and go move something right now.
3) Since you have the ability to make a change in the environment and you used your body to do so, you just impacted your physiology. You created a change in your blood flow, your breathing and your chemistry. You therefore have the capacity to influence your body.
4) In the last few minutes you have influenced your state of mind. You have chosen your focus and have reminded yourself that you are capable of exerting control. You did this by being open and curious. By being flexible you influenced your frame of mind, your body and your overall experience.
Was this a silly exercise? Maybe. Is it any less silly then thinking we have no personal influence? No. Flexibility requires awareness, deliberation and action. It is the exact opposite of the powerless states that are triggered automatically.