You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. —C. Joybell C.
As a long-time journalist, I have been privileged to meet lots of amazing people–actors, artists, politicians and others you may not have heard of, but who are doing world-changing things. Like the principal who dances and sings with his students every morning.
The guest post below was written by a woman I was lucky enough to interview a few years ago for a story for CNN on medical tourism. Her name is Amy B. Scher and not only did she pioneer a healing path for herself, but she now works as an energy therapist who helps others find their way.
I was honored to endorse her new book How To Heal Yourself When No One Else Can and I’m honored today to share this post.
4 Spirit Squashing Patterns You Can Change Right Now
by Amy B. Scher
Happiness comes from being who you really are and accepting yourself as that incredible human being, no matter what. After having successfully figured it out for myself following many years of misery (much of that misery being accidentally self-inflicted), I’m here to give you some short cuts.
As an energy therapist, my job is to help people be happy and free – and it always happens once they start honoring their already-awesome selves. There are several unhealthy life patterns I consider “spirit squashers,” which make ultimate self-love, acceptance, and well-being very difficult to achieve.
Are any of these patterns keeping you from being who you really are?
You Are Not In Need of Self-Help; You Are In Need of Self-love
Before we get to the good stuff, there is one question that I get often and want to address. Then we’ll start talking about – and releasing – unhealthy emotional patterns: “If we are supposed to love and accept ourselves for who we are, why are we trying to change so much about ourselves?” The answer is simple: We don’t want to change who we are, but we do want to change anything in our life that isn’t working for us. We don’t need to keep unhealthy patterns that have become part of our lives but are not part of our best selves. For example, I’m an impatient person by nature sometimes. When clients hear me say that, they wonder why I don’t “fix it.” But the truth is, that’s just part of who I am and it’s okay with me. It doesn’t inhibit my quality of life. I don’t want to spend my whole life nitpicking my personality. I want to spend my life living in the freest way possible, accepting all that I can about myself and changing only what really hinders my quality of life.
You are not in need of self-help; you are in need of self-love. Self-love is all about transforming only the things that prevent you from living your biggest, best life.
You may have practiced some of these unhealthy patterns for a very long time—quite possibly, for your whole life. They are probably threaded into your being to such a great degree that when you read them, you might not even recognize they don’t have to be that way. But that’s the beauty here. You can change any pattern that’s not working for you, no matter when you may have learned it.
4 Unhealthy Patterns That Squash Your Spirit
- Draining vocabulary : These are words like “chronic,” “busy,” “overwhelmed,” and “anxiety.” All these words are stressful. And what you tell yourself matters. If you don’t want to be stressed, don’t tell yourself that you’re busy, overwhelmed, and anxiety-ridden, or chronically ill. Not too relaxing, right?
- Negative self-talk : Imagine for a moment that our bodies obey each thing we tell our- selves as if it’s a command. It does not filter or translate; it simply takes it in and acts. Now, the scary part is, you don’t have to imagine. You are, with your internal self-talk, commanding your cells to believe or do as you say—either verbally or internally. Make sure you don’t have a “shitty committee” in your brain running the show, okay? When I hear mine, I say out loud, in my most fun and loving tone, “I call bullsh*t!” That’s it. It’s a light and silly way of holding yourself responsible for changing this pattern.
- Victim mentality: This is a pattern that I had somehow mastered, although it took years for me to realize it. My personal pattern was fairly subtle, but once I saw it, boy, did I see it! I’ll go so far as to say this pattern can be an addiction for some—the pattern of blaming outside circumstances, playing the part of “poor, pitiful me,” or claiming little to no responsibility for one’s life circumstances. The difficulty with identifying this pattern is that it shows up in so many ways, and they aren’t always obvious. Consider making a pact with yourself: Don’t have conversations (with yourself or others) that support this pattern. Simply refuse to let yourself go there.
- Taking things personally: We were all born as wonderful, self-centered works of art. As human beings, we tend to be self-focused, and that’s okay a lot of the time. But it can get us into big trouble, too, because we tend to interpret everything as if it is personal. It’s all too easy from our human vantage point to see the opinions and actions of others as direct reflections of our own wrongdoing.I also use the visualization of a burning forest fire when I’m having difficulty with taking things personally. I imagine the person whom I am being upset by as a burning fire in a large wooded area. In this visualization, I draw a circle around the fire with a stick. I then know that I can be anywhere in that forest (symbolic of my own life and my own energy field) and be safe from the heat and sparks. I allow the fire (symbolic of the person in this specific situation) to be angry or do whatever it needs to do to burn out or dissolve. However, I don’t allow myself to be affected. This is very helpful for me in staying grounded when others are upset, either in general or specifically with me.
Now that you know about these patterns, do something about them, okay? Because there’s only one guaranteed way to be happy – and that’s to let that big beautiful spirit of yours soar.
Amy B. Scher is a leading voice in the field of mind-body healing and author of How To Heal Yourself When No One Else Can: A Total Self-Healing Approach for Mind, Body, and Spirit (Llewellyn Worldwide). She has been featured on healthcare blogs, CNN, Curve magazine, Elephant Journal, Cosmopolitan, and the San Francisco Book Review. Amy lives by her self-created motto: When life kicks your ass, kick back. She can be found online at www.AmyBScher.com.