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What to do with the ongoing antics of your mind

“You’ll be fine. Feeling unsure and lost is part of the path. Don’t avoid it. See what those feelings are showing you. Take a breath. You’ll be okay. Even if you don’t feel okay all the time.” ― Louis C.K.mqdefault

I just had an amazing session with Martha Creek. She’s a teacher, a spiritual life coach and a beautiful human being. She asked me to speak at next week’s Affiliated New Thought conference. Which is a really cool honor except for one tiny little thing.

It terrifies me. For the last week, I’ve been fretting about it, procrastinating the preparations and well, feeling like I would do everyone an enormous favor if I just backed out, ran away, canceled this commitment I made many months ago.

In other words, as Martha so generously pointed out, I’ve been having normal human thoughts.

Our brains churn up thoughts. It’s what brains do. By some estimates, the average human mind regurgitates 60,000 to 90,000 thoughts per day.

As Martha reminded me, it’s the mind’s operating system. It’s reality. The war begins when we pluck a particular thought out of the normal litany and declare it to be “a problem.”

It’s when we set up a framework of good and bad that the stress begins. Having fear is the most normal thing in the world. As Elizabeth Gilbert once said, “I know fear’s social security number and its mother’s maiden name.”

When we make a thought wrong (say, my particular thought that I’m not worthy to speak to all these New Thought gurus) is when it owns us.

What if it’s okay to have fear? What if I didn’t make myself wrong for having these thoughts? What if I simply recognized that there’s nothing bad or unnatural going on here?

Fear is a pretty standard 45 in the jukebox of every human mind. As Martha reminded me, I can always put a period at the end of those thoughts. I’m afraid. Period. I think I can’t speak. Period.

It’s only when I start adding humiliating extra clauses (I’m afraid and that means there’s something wrong with me, I’m panicking and that means I’m inferior, I’m terrified and that means I should just run away) that it grows into an insurmountable thorn bush.

So thank you, Martha Creek and thank you to my perfectly normal, enterprising little mind for delivering the perfect intel at the perfect time.

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the just-released, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

19 Responses

  1. Your timing is amazing! I am embarking on a public speaking event this very evening and was starting to have some silly little doubts.
    Thank you for the awesome reminder!

  2. This is awesome! And timely as always. Thank you for sharing your stupid little fears (public speaking is the #1 enemy so I’m not serious about stupid or little) that when shunned grow into bottomless sinkholes. But when we can just honor them they show us a little something of our humanness. You inspire me daily! thank you again.

  3. Love this..so glad someone else on this planet knows the SS# and the Mom’s maiden name of fear. I thought I was the only one.

  4. Hi Pam: You are giving birth. Every challenge involves the time before the commitment where the seed is growing and we are nurturing it. we don’t panic because the birth is in the distance. we have plenty of time so we don’t focus on the fear so much. as the date approaches, we start to feel more and more uncomfortable. Eventually, the day arrives and our body is screaming in agony. it must mean something is wrong! nothing is wrong. everything is right. we are giving birth to a miracle but sometimes miracle production is a total bitch.

    that’s how I think of terrifying endeavors and commitments anyway. xoxoxoxo

  5. You’re going to be fabulous because you are are automatically, effortlessly, YOU! And people see that shine. Now go be human and rock it!

  6. You will be awesome! You have so much God given insight to life and have helped so many people. I give your books to all of my friends. That being said, I’m sure “the dude” has something to say to everyone there so just open your mouth and let him talk!

  7. I call that voice “Catastrophe” as in, “Thank you for sharing, Catastrophe. I know you always want to weigh in.” I don’t like the voice but she’s pretty persistent, so I accept she’s part of the process.

  8. Hi there Pam

    G’day from Australia!

    Just a quick note to say that I have been a fan of yours since E Squared and totally get it! So much so that I buy your books for my friends and family’s Xmas presents! I’ve had so many miracles happen but that’s not the focus of this note.

    Today I had cause to draw on your ‘teachings’ to help my dear friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is staring down the barrel of chemo and radiation. It felt so good to encourage her to take control of what she can – her thoughts – as opposed to wishing her well with a ‘fingers crossed…(smiley face)’.

    Also a month ago, I was able to share your book and perspectives with another close friend who was suffering from a very serious depressive episode (she’s 55 and had never been depressed before). She credits her ability to change her thoughts with an almost magical ability to crawl out form underneath the heavy weight of depression that came over her after a work incident led her to lose confidence.

    I love that you are so open about your fears and share these – it’s perversely comforting! 🙂 And just for the record I hang out to receive your blog posts in my mailbox – it’s always a great boost!

    Love your work! When are you next in Australia?

    Love Tanya

  9. Dear Pam,

    “Enterprising little mind”? That’s not true at all! How did that get in there?! I’d say with all the books, articles, blogs of wisdom you’ve created and shared are far from “little”!

    Enjoy your speaking event! Work it, girl! Have fun!

  10. This post was PERFECT! And everyone’s response also taught me a lot. Experiencing this in my own way right now, and this discussion was terrific. Thanks, Pam, for always being a wayshower!

  11. I have just read your last 3 posts and each one of them a beautiful pertinent message on a day when my fears have had me by the short & curlies. But thanks for the PERIOD to cut off the strangulation of meaning adding grist to the mill

  12. I didn’t know how fearful I was until it was pointed out to me with my daughter suggesting the book, “Feel the fear and do it anyway” back in the 80’s I think. I’m afraid of lots of things and hash them to death in my mind. You and EG have helped slow down that creep in my brain. Thanks.

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