If you were to ask most people if they would like a life free from worry, hardship and stress, they would tell you, “Of course!” Yet, how many of you find that when things start getting really good, something happens to bring you down a notch.
We live in a collective culture that, for the most part, still hangs on to the belief that life is hard and if we’re lucky, we experience moments of joy, pleasure and fulfillment. Most of us grew up in environments that modeled some degree of worry and struggle. Do any of these statements sound familiar from childhood?
These statements and the emotional triggers that they release can have long-lasting influence on our unconscious and conscious behavior and the choices we make. We might read self-help books, go to seminars and see a therapist regularly, all of these affirming an abundant and a joy-filled life. But, unless we get to the root of our limiting beliefs and find ways to release them and adopt ones that empower us, we’ll constantly be hitting that glass ceiling when things start getting good.
How do we become more mindful and adept at catching these limiting thoughts when they begin to creep into our consciousness? Start with making a list of all your beliefs that bring you down. They might be subtle and sly, lingering in the shadows so your list might take a while to compile. If you remain intentional and keep this question at the forefront of your awareness, you’ll begin to catch more and more instances where you make a decision that mentally or emotionally brings you down.
Cultivate being a critical thinker and sincerely question whether the thought or concern that just deadened your lightness is something you truly need to address, or if you are just addicted to the drama of hardship. If in fact an issue in your life does need to be a genuine concern, does it need to make you heavy and worried?
Let’s say you’re a freelance graphic designer and you’ve budgeted the next couple of month’s expenses based on an account you’ve just acquired. You’re feeling at the top of your game as ideas are flowing forth. You’re empowered with creativity, feeling successful and on-purpose. This is a high quality client and the budget is larger than you’ve ever had. For a couple of days, you are high flying, feeling proud, joy-filled and grateful. Then, a concern enters your consciousness, “What if they don’t like my ideas? What if I’ve taken on more than I can handle? This feels like too much pressure!”
In that instant, your lightness dropped from a ten to a two. Nothing about the circumstance changed, only the feelings triggered by those thoughts influenced a shift in your mood. How often does your own inner chatter bring you down? You’re always at choice on how you deal with it, but you must first learn how to nip this downer dialogue in the bud before it diminishes your wellbeing! Once you begin to recognize that a thought you’re having might not be true, the door opens to new possibilities.
Let’s look at the example above from a clearer perspective. If the client doesn’t like your original ideas, it’s an opportunity to gain greater clarity and discover a new concept that everyone loves. Perhaps you shift your mindset and imagine yourself on a thrilling adventure of discovery that, when found, brings great joy and aliveness to all concerned. Living in this field of enthusiasm will spark greater creativity and the project then shifts to an exciting collaborative exploration. You recognize that this company would not have hired you unless they felt confident that you would be a good match with their vision and values.
You take a long deep breath and recognize your concerns have now been neutralized. It feels as if a warm wave of peace has wrapped a blanket of light around you and you return to feeling clear, joyful and on-purpose. Within the course of a few minutes, you’ve recalibrated and returned to the road of riches. You’ve just expanded your container of how much good you’re willing to accept and everyone in your field is touched by your brighter light of service.
Carl Studna is a world-renowned photographer, inspirational speaker, teacher and award winning author. Carl’s intimate portraits of influential people ranging from Sir Paul McCartney to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, are published and known worldwide. Carl has taken his message and experiences to print in his book, CLICK! Choosing Love One Frame at a Time. Studna’s innovative work, the LuminEssence Method©, teaches a new paradigm for radiating the light that resides within revealing each person’s authentic gifts.
(c) Photography by Carl Studna