Picture
Pair #92 Now I see you, now I don't
They say we never really know someone.

This weekend while I was reflecting, I realized I don't know anyone.

I look at others and I meet them of course. I interact with them and most of the time you'd call that 'getting to know them.' Yet it struck me that I only know them via my thoughts about them. I literally experience my thinking, not them. And so I create my experience of them.

But only 100% of the time.

Now if you really want to bake your noodle on this, not only do I really not know anyone, but in a very strange sense, they don't even exist. They are standing there, but my experience of them is coming from me.

Which means that on one level, there is no 'other' at all.

Now, I do realize that saying other people don't exist sounds a bit odd. (Just a bit). But if it's true that we are thinking beings, thinking our way through life and that the only experience we are ever having is the experience of what is in our own mind, then it follows that we can't see anyone outside of our thinking about them.  I mean, how could we?

So the only person I've ever met is a bunch of my own thoughts about them. 

You know, isn't it true that time after time we are shocked when we find out that so-and-so had a secret lover, or was embezzling or actually hates chocolate?  Have you never had the experience of talking about someone only to find out that others don't see them the way you do? Aren't we often deeply surprised when someone very close to us reveals a secret dream or longing, or a deep desire that we had no idea about?  Don't we mainly assume people are basically like us and find it strange when they are not?

In fact, we are just walking around, looking at people, and making them up as we go.

We are self-contained, self-referenced, meaning-makers.   Except that we also assume that what we are making is true and real.

So, I guess there is no real like your own real.
© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' on http://elesecoit.com"
 
 
Picture
Pair #88 All that effort is bad for you
Ever sat in front of your computer with a high whirring noise and you are hitting the keys but nothing is happening?  That's what occurs when the computer is trying to process too much information all at once.

You recognize those times when you are 'wound up' in your mind in the same way. 

And just like the computer that freezes up when you are most wanting to leave work, or just at the end of that long project plan, or term paper - the mind freezes when you are working your hardest at getting an answer or making an important decision.

So then we get really wound up and it all spirals downwards and gets worse.

When I work with clients on this kind of thing, and they have some idea that the quality of their thinking has a role in creating the quality of their life, and that they are freezing themselves up with the volume of thoughts they have... they often  start saying:  How do I stop and let go of these thoughts?

So I just want to take a moment to realize that the instant you begin your effort to "let go" the buzz has begun ramping up again.

We all have human minds in which thoughts come and go.  That's the process of thinking.  

It's actually more helpful to realize that you have plenty of thoughts that you have already released and let go - today, just in the last hour.  They came. They went. You hardly noticed them.

The thought that you don't want to walk or feed your dog ever again might have dropped by.   You just didn't feel like it.  But you don't take that seriously.   You don't actually strangle the person who cuts you off in line; even if you think you want to for a split second. And then you just don't think about it anymore. 

How does that happen?  Did you really need to figure out how to 'let go'?

You are bypassing thoughts all the time.

The nature of thought is a flow, in and out. The process itself is one that you don't have to take particularly seriously.

It's good to see that we have hundreds and thousands of thoughts in our lives that we have never acted on, or even come close to acting on. 

That, I've found, is a really great way to not take my own thoughts so seriously.

When I worry how I will learn to "let go" of all my non-serving beliefs and my "self-harming" thoughts, and I focus really, really hard trying to get rid of them, even if I call it "releasing them" it never works anyway. 

Pick up a pen.  Hold it out in front of you. Now work really hard at dropping it.

What takes effort is hanging on.

Knowing this helps.
 
 
Picture
Pair #81 Is the internal forecast  mostly cloudy?
Before I got out of bed this morning I could hear the wind and rain.  As I sat with my tea, with the rain blowing sideways and the sky looking distinctly unfriendly...I realized...

it hadn't occurred to me to be upset.

In that moment I saw that I was perfectly content and I had no concern whatsoever that this storm would 'never finish' or that 'the sun will never come out again'. 

It just didn't cross my mind.  (or if it had, I had dismissed it)

When I talk about the nature of our internal weather, our emotions and our thinking, people often tell me we have habitual thoughts that hold us back and that it's really hard to change.

My answer is, well, the last time you thought about killing someone, did you actually do it? 

The fact is, we think. We are thinking our way through life.   And the fact is we are also ignoring some of our thinking all the time.

We are living in an internal weather system of thought.   

Isn't it interesting that we worry that thought storms will never pass?
 
 
Picture
Pair #58 Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!
I realize that our internal voice is not always very nice to us, but I think the internal voice is usually trying to keep us safe. 

That doesn't mean we need to believe everything it says.

I've learned a lot recently about the brain and how it works many of my different radio show guests, but two in particular who came to talk to me were Rick Hanson, and also Don Goewey.  Both have done separate research (and their books are well worth reading) showing essentially that the reptilian brain, which is part of our now bigger and more complex brain, is still on the lookout for physical dangers like saber-tooth tigers and such.   One of the most fascinating by products of this is that we have brains that tend to collect evidence of danger and ignore what is non-threatening. 

I think this connects to our negative internal dialogue and becomes an integral part of the narration that goes on as we attempt to avoid danger and stay safe.   This part of us will tend to bank negative experiences and simply neglect to register positive ones.  This brain which used to be all we had to keep us safe from all kinds of physical dangers, continues to look out for us today in our every day surroundings using its primitive impulses.   

One of the ways we are often told to deal with our internal voices are to shut them up. In fact one common tool used is to turn down the volume in your mind.   Now, you wouldn't want to turn down your danger voice so much that you walked right into the worst of situations.  However, you really also don't need the alarm bells ringing 24/7 either.  So volume control is an important skill when your internal dialogue is filled with negative chatter and danger warnings that lead to feelings of chronic stress.

What I've found is for me it also works to say "Look, there are no lions here, so just calm down."

© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.
 
 
Picture
Pair #37 Don't Look Down!
Things happen every day that we do not like.

Maybe something small, like getting a paper cut or breaking a nail.  Annoying, but no big deal.  And then there are the bigger things: plummeting stocks, an unexpected vet bill, something major goes wrong with your car... on and on.

We can't rid ourselves of annoyances.  Things happen that we cannot control, no matter how much we try to.

If my plane is late or cancelled, I understand that I can't fix or change as I stand at the ticket desk.  But as I stand there, who will I be?   I could have any number of experiences, from fury to friendliness, from annoyance to understanding.  I can just as well say to myself, "These things happen," as"This is always happening to me!"

No matter what our 'personality type' we are still choosing our focus.

Focus on certain things will leave us feeling relaxed.  Focus on other things will leave us tense. We know this because we can use devices like visualizing petting the cat or to breathing as we envision the tension flow out our feet and into the ground. We can just touch base with something we appreciate like having great friends (or reminding myself how lucky I am that just spent an entire week with my Dad). Feeling grateful and annoyed at the same time is actually impossible. Or we can empathize with others, looking around to find those who are having a worse time than we are or imagining what it's like to be the ticket agents who have to be the brunt of people's frustrations every day.

These techniques that bring us back to the moment, calm us down, and restore our sanity, won't wipe out stock losses, get planes off the ground or stop time.  But they do feel better.

And I'll tell you what else feels better to me: to know that I have a choice.

And yunno, if I want to feel bad,  I know just how to do that too.

© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.
 
 
Picture
Pair #26 What's in Your Wallet?
With Michael Neill joining me on the show on Friday, May 7th and Money as our topic, I've been thinking ... how's my relationship with money these days?

Many of us have a bi-polar relationship with money. When we have it we worry we will lose it. When we don't have it, we worry we never will. And somehow, no matter how much we have, it never seems to be enough.

Quickly take your money temperature:  How much of your time is spent thinking about money?  How much of your energy will be spent today worrying about money?  How many days or months has that been the case?

A few years ago I'd have run a high fever on those questions.   I tortured myself with money worries and then (and with some good help from Michael actually) I got better at seeing the difference between my situation and my thoughts about it. I saw that my mind was tied up in worry and I was living in a disaster film of my own creation. Once I stopped doing that, I freed up my creative mind. 

I can't tell you how to be a millionaire, but I can tell you this:  I never solved any problem by applying worry to it.  I solve problems by relaxing and not taking my own thinking so seriously and then acting on good ideas. 

It is possible to use your vivid imagination to formulate your next step rather than just allowing it to create disaster scenarios in a daily loop. This took me a bit of practice to do, but you'll get the hang of it. It means you can have an easy relationship with money. And everything else.

For more on what you can do try my Tips and Ideas pages  on stress and thoughts and ... I hope you'll join us for the show

And I'd love it if you'd share what you do to relax about money and get creative.
© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.
 
 
Picture
Pair #18 What you see (inside) is what you get
Early in the morning I'm walking down a NY street.  I'm considering the sun and the day ahead and I'm enjoying being in a city that's strange to me.  I'm having a reflective walk and a very nice experience.

Walking toward me is a woman. We are the only two on the entire block. She looks straight ahead, she is dressed nicely, makeup on, clutching her bag across her chest.  She is walking and crying.

As we pass I can see that her eyes are very puffy and swollen and her face is wet with tears.  I don't know how long she has been crying.

I immediately feel drawn to her.  I remember times in my life when I have walked on the street pulling back the tears.  An intense surge of compassion, love and connection fills me as we walk past each other.

As I walk on, I can still feel her.  Here we are, on a NY street, no one in site, no cars, only the morning sun on the buildings and two people walking.  What strikes me is that nothing is happening.

Nothing is happening except two people passing.

The contrast of nothing happening and a woman clearly in pain tells me one thing: she has to be playing some kind of painful thought in her mind.  There is no other possiblity.  All the suffering and all the tears are the response, not to the current outside environment but to her current inside one. 

She is in hell right now because of the film playing behind the eyes

How many days have we all lived in this kind of hell and our walking, crying meditation?
© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.
 
 
OK, it's time for a rant.

Anyone here not had enough of their suffering and worried thinking yet? Please stand up and go make a cup of tea.

Those still sitting...if you want to become clearer in thinking and expression (and you don't have an undiagnosed chemical imbalance) then the only remedy I know is a daily dose of quietness of the mind.

You really don't even know what the roots of problems are (or how to solve them) until you come into better control of the thought process.  Now by 'control' I really mean that you come to a place of ease and clarity in thinking.  Not that you become the thought patrol.

Paradoxically, though, the only way I know to create that 'ease and clarity' is to stop dabbling and get serious about some kind of daily practice.  I'm not saying you can't get a quiet mind another way. 

But for most of us, ease will take effort.

Sucks huh?

Look, if there is a good chance your issues are not chemical, dietary, or medical, then there is a high chance this just might work.  So what it really means if you don't do it is super simple.  You really have not had enough yet (see my previous posts on this one, just below!).

I bet you have already been exposed to enough great methods and enough superb advice and information by now to be able to choose something that you like and that works for you as a mind-calming practice.  Choose the thing that gives you the greatest sense of peace, ease and focus and then commit, absolutely, to make it happen daily - no matter what.  I mean that.  Like, Everyday.

That's my unsolicited (but sound) advice.

So how about it? Hearing the objections in your head?  Got a really good story about why that can't happen? Stop listening to it right now and pick up your phone.  Getting a routine going when you're not used to it can be hard for anyone, so get a daily check in buddy who you will report to.

Barring that, hire a coach. Pick someone you know is going take no excuses and is going to support you lovingly and tell you the truth.  I want you to pay for their great service.

Because if you do that, what you will be doing is telling you, finally, that you are serious.

You'll be glad you did.  But you won't know that for a while so just take my advice.  Feel free to curse as much as you want, but get started anyway.

Ready. Steady. Go.
Picture
Pair #10  You want fries with that stress?

More on commitment and practice and just how good it feels (maybe)
Radio show
2/24/10  Get Creative, Get Unstuck 
2/05/10  Ultimate Psychological Freedom
1/22/10   Procrastinate No More
Other Commitment and Procrastination- busters

© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.
 
 
I have some good news.  Everything is in your head.

If that doesn't sound like good news, let me explain.  The key to open possiblity lies here.

Consider for a moment, the things around you.  Whatever you look at two things happen:  1) You see it: See a lamp (ignore a wall) 2) You have a name for it.  That is another way of saying you have thoughts about it.   "Lamp" may be a name we all agree on, but you still see your version.  You will find a lamp 'pretty,' 'ugly,' or 'misplaced'.

So, you actually experience the lamp (and the world) by way of your own thoughts. And thoughts show you a world of your own making. 

This does not mean you just imagined all the bad stuff in the world or in your life.  But you do make up the filter through which you view life and that's called Context. (Your pair of glasses!)

Basically, how you speak into the world (and into your head) shapes a context.  You live and move around in that context.  And context is how you interpret what's possible for you. See how this could be good news?

For example, in the context of "the world is flat" you would be a heck of a lot
less likely to sign up for a round-the-world sailing expedition. Yet, it would
be only your thoughts about a 'flat world' that would stop you. Obviously you
couldn't ever really be in a flat world, we know that now.

But, isn't it fascinating you can experience a flat world all the same? Many people did!

All you have to do is think how many people ONLY ever "experienced" the world as flat to see the power of thought and word to create your life. If everyone in
Columbus' day came back to life right now, they'd probably still try to keep you
from getting on that boat.

How you speak into the world (and into your head) shapes a context for what you
do because it tells you what's possible before you are even out the door.

And sometimes it discourages you from dangers that don't exist.

I'm in favor of relieving myself of others' opinions of what's possible. Especially as I can create my own context. Creating a context by telling myself  'lot's can happen', or 'life is for learning' helps me have a more open-ended view of life, instead of a tapestry of limiting thoughts masquerading as truth.

Who do you need to not listen to today?  And what context would you like to create?
Picture
Try on Pair #3
You see the world however you think the world


© 2010 Elese Coit

If you wish to reprint, feel free, please include my site link and if it's helpful to your readers, this info:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com
Thank you.