Thursday, 29 March 2018

Treat Yourself as a Best Friend

Within my own thoughts and listening to what others have shared about their own thoughts, it's apparent that we are our own worst enemy. Negative self-talk keeps us stuck in the mire of worthlessness, "not good enough," and allows fear to be in the driver's seat of our behaviors.  The flip side of this is that we can also be our own best friend that lifts us up, empowers us, and helps to connect with peace in how we talk to ourselves.

Masuro Emoto is a Japanese researcher, who does research on water molecules and has written a number of books on his findings.  One I like is "The Hidden Messages of Water."  In this book, he describes one of his research projects in which he labels one container of water, "Thank You," and the another container of water, "You Fool." Every time he and his research assistants pass these containers, they give the statement to each container respectively.  After some time, he looked at the water molecules under a microscope and saw two very different things despite the water being from the same source. The one labelled, "Thank You," was a beautiful crystal shape, like a snowflake.  The one labelled, "You Fool," had no specific shape, just a shapeless blob.  This made me think of how we are made up of 60-70% water and how self-talk affects the body on a cellular level.

The fact is, whether we are conscious or not about the thoughts and self-talk going on in our mind, it affects our physical and mental wellbeing.  I've been experimenting with this first hand.  I've had some medical issues with my right ear that increased dramatically this past fall and has continued to fluctuate.  With some of the treatment I've been doing with acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, and Ayurveda, I've become aware of how my thoughts can increase and decrease some of the symptoms.  When I start to worry about to do lists, my mind thinking about lots of things at once, the symptoms increase.  When I work on breathing, staying present and calm, the symptoms decrease.  Just from this, I'm even more of a firm believer that rooting out negative thinking towards ourselves, as well as about the world, helps  to come to a more compassionate and loving mindset.  It is imperative to change this in order to feel more lasting peace and contentment.

One practice of compassion that I find helpful is becoming my own best friend.  When there's a challenge or you've made a mistake, stop and think about how you would treat a best friend in that situation and what you would say.  Chances are if someone were telling you, "You, suck.  You can't do anything right.  What's wrong with you. No one likes you," most likely you wouldn't keep them around as a friend.  It's not okay for us treat ourselves like this either.  Listen to what you would say to a best friend - "It's going to be okay.  We all make mistakes.  This can be fixed.  I've had this happen to me too."  Notice what it does for you.  At first it may feel awkward and like you don't deserve it because it's different than how you've been talking to yourself.  Keep at it and notice what happens over a couple of weeks.  I know for me I can physically feel my body relax, I'm filled with love and support, and whatever happened becomes smaller to face and I can let go of it much more easily.