We think – and then we feel – and then we behave.
A lot of people have a negative concept associated the following 3 things when really, you should start getting excited when they happen. Why? Because you’re about to experience a “breakthrough”. You’ll know when you’ve had it because it’ll come with a sudden discovery about yourself, or an improvement in your life – it’s a level up. When I think of breakthrough, I think of a bird hatching. It doesn’t always look dramatic or spectacular but it sure is cool to see the baby bird break through the barrier that was keeping it from progressing in life. Here’s my top 3 indicators that happen when you’re about to level up.
1.Resistance increases. It’ll feel like conflict and you’ll get it from parts of life that you’d never expect. People you thought would be urging you on begin to do the opposite. And this even can feel spiritual/supernatural. After my first experience being incarcerated at the young age of 18 (and still in high school – hey, I have a late birthday!), I vowed to change my criminal ways. Everyone in jail and in my social herd advised that I would be back…and it went even further. Criminal opportunities seemed to rain down and they weren’t the normal scores I was used to. They were the ‘this never happens, once in a lifetime, how did I get so lucky’ fortuitous opportunities. It was as if my decision to change my behaviors created resistance from the criminal aspect of the universe! I never did go back – the food was horrible and I wasn’t fond of the whole loss of freedom thing. Breakthrough!
2.Ridicule happens. Doing something different makes people uncomfortable. The mockery takes place in an effort to change your behaviors to something that they’re more comfortable with (in other words, they want you to give up). They’ll laugh and poke fun at you with their friends and maybe even your friends simply because they’re trying to feel better about themselves…in other words; them making fun of you has nothing to do with you other than you’re doing something awesome. It has everything to do with their own insecurities. I’ve been ridiculed very recently about my “Jed Said” YouTube channel. Honestly, I allowed my feelings to be hurt for a moment. Nobody likes being laughed at or mocked…until they remember that this happens before leveling up! I don’t think the ‘Breakthrough’ has occurred just yet but it’s coming as long as I don’t allow being ridiculed to change my course/behaviors.
3.Feeling Frustrated. This should have probably been #1 as it happens the most often. I became frustrated just the other day while perched precariously on top of a wooden log…that was on top of a filing cabinet. Well, my frustration began prior to that as I huddled in my office with a steady stream of frigid air pelting me from the vent above. This was not a single episode and today I was going to DO something about it! Problem is - no ladder and I’m only 5’10” (11” on a good day and don’t even get me started on not reaching 6ft). After setting my mind to solving this dilemma and setting up the comical file cabinet/log combination, I realized that I needed a third arm while trying to screw in the vent screws. I was becoming more and more frustrated as each attempt resulted in dropping a screw or not being able to reach the screwdriver or abandoning the whole attempt in order to regain my balance. After a time, the vent was back in it’s position but closed instead of pointed right at my desk. I had done it and survived! BREAKTHROUGH.
Leveling up or having a breakthrough happens a lot in life but ONLY after struggle and conflict. It’s not supposed to be easy. Now that you know this, your going to be excited when the above 3 things happen because you're on your way towards breakthrough!
We think - and then we feel - and then we behave.
Hope you enjoyed blog today and as always, feel free to share...but ONLY if you think it’d be helpful to mankind. Fly little bird!
Jed Thorpe, CMHC
We're gonna go metaphysics with this blog. The law of attraction concept felt like mental gymnastics to me, initially. What I focus on – increases? The abstract feel of this came when realizing that I’ve attracted negative aspects of life and made them bigger by focusing simply by placing my focus on them. A story given by a client, Allie gives a perfect example of how this works (I'm paraphrasing a bit, here).
Allison's Story -
“I was snowmobiling for the first time in my life and was terrified of running into a tree. Throughout the day I became more and more comfortable driving but the thought was always in my mind, ‘don’t run into a tree, don’t run into a tree.’ At one point, while riding in a wide-open area, I noticed a lone pine tree. I looked at it and thought, “don’t run into that.” My anxiety grew as I kept looking at it with the pine with the thought ever repeating itself, ‘stay away from that, don’t run into the tree….’ And I was headed right towards it. The crazy part is that I was actually GOING TO HIT the tree even while my thought was screaming at me to do the opposite! Thankfully, I didn’t hit the tree but that’s only because my husband noticed what was happening and began frantically waving his arms. He was to my left and when I noticed the frantic movement - I looked towards him and began to veer away from the tree. My focus had redirected and I missed the tree.”
This story perfectly illustrates the power of focus. Allie was putting energy into the tree and was being attracted to it like a tractor beam (for you Star Wars and Trekkie fans). Here’s the twist – the energy of our focus doesn’t always care about the details. Ally absolutely didn’t want to run into the tree – BUT, her thoughts drew her to it nonetheless.
I see this concept happening in the addiction all over the place. Drugs and alcohol are the same to me (mind altering substance) but let’s keep it simple and pick alcohol as an example. Drinking eventually leads to negative consequences which then gives people the desire to stop. Here’s the stumbling block I observe repeatedly; when someone tries to stop, they actually think about not drinking a LOT. And then they run into the Pine.
Before you think this is ridiculous, I’ll prove it to you. Ready? Don’t think about a white elephant. See?! I just said to NOT think about a while elephant and you totally thought of a white elephant.
In other words, people who constantly think of ‘not’ drinking are at a very high risk of relapse. “Where attention goes, energy flows” is a common phrase in the self-help community (think Tony Robbins or ‘The Secret’) but it’s origins go way back – for recent findings (1960’s) and if you like Hawaii, checkout “huna”. This isn’t a new concept.
Ok, Jed – now that I know this, what do I do about it? The answer? Redirect. Allie had it right when she focused on something else. When we redirect our energy, our attention goes with it and instead of ‘not’ wanting to drink or not hit the tree, or NOT be anxious, or NOT be depressed – which actually increases them, we start to just be. If you’re not wanting to drink – think about something entirely different. Invest your thoughts on family, work, triathlons, biking, music, hiking, trail running, nutrition – anything OTHER than ‘not’ drinking (or staying clean, or hitting a pine tree, or being anxious, or depressed, etc.).
Allie doesn’t even come close to hitting pine trees anymore – in fact, she doesn’t even think about it.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out the Jed Said YouTube channel. You can find that at the website www.meaningtolive.com
The meaning of it all? Don't drive a snowmobile if there are trees around.
Till next time – awareness up.
Jed Thorpe, CMHC
Often people in unhappy marriages facing drastic changes like separation or divorce say the same thing; I don’t want my children growing up in a “broken home”. This sentence makes my butt-hole pucker. Still, parents are doing what they think is best with the thinking they’ve got which is where therapy comes to play – with honest talk, it doesn’t take long to expose what the real broken home looks like.
What does an unhappy family environment look like? It can look like a plethora of ugly behaviors so we’ll just keep it general.
What would a divorced and healthy family environment look like? Easy – reverse all of the stuff mentioned above. Your children will be more stable, less stress/anxious and feel more connected not only to you, but to everyone around them. The kid will learn that it’s ok and safe to express negative (sad, stressed, anxious) feelings because the parent is finally an emotional state where they're able to support them in the normal ‘growing up’ sad times. They are more connected emotionally – in fact, the child will display a much larger emotional range than when he or she lived in the ‘broken’ marriage. They’ll learn what’s acceptable and not acceptable in a relationship. And maybe best of all – the child will connect with the parents because the caregiver is able to give them time that’s not tainted by angst, resentment or sadness that often lies just underneath the surface in the marriage that stays together for the childrens sake.
Now, which do you think, is the ‘broken’ home?
Marriage is a contract that is always changing. Behaviors that were acceptable to both of you initially could change – that means that you and your spouse ‘get’ to change as well. Marriage takes constant work, energy and effort with the end goal of you and your partner growing and changing with each other. Staying married takes effort from BOTH – not just one. If you are struggling in your marriage, please seek marital counseling. Working with a professional can be helpful but know that you and your partner will be doing all of the work...and it aint easy.
Thanks for reading. Comments welcome and don’t forget to check out the YouTube – I’m planning on doing a video on this topic soon. www.youtube.com/meaningtolive
Till next time
Jed Thorpe, CMHC.
Who hasn’t been teased?! Let’s talk about the 2 different types of teasing and how to best handle it.
1. Endearment teasing: This form is used to bond or build connection. Think of a friend (or potential friend) giving you a ‘hard time’ about wearing a hoodie in the summertime, your butt-chin, twiddling your hair, etc. I use this form of communication when I make up a name for people. The name isn’t malicious – it’s meant to connect and build a bond.
2. Influence teasing: This form is used to change a behavior. It’s not meant to hurt – rather, it’s meant to help as the behavior likely isn’t a positive one. Immediately, if someone is slurping their cereal their friend (noticing that it’s just the most horrible thing in the world and wanting to help their friend stop) will point out the behavior in a jesting manner. If it were me, I’d also slurp for a very exaggerated time while looking right at the person.Teasing can be a very good thing – teasing too much can easily step into the ‘bullying’ category. To tell the difference, just ask yourself if your teasing the other person to get closer to them (build a bond/connection) or help them (to make a positive behavioral change) OR are you trying to feel better about yourself by putting them down.
Now that you know what teasing is and the motive beneath it, you may want to know how to handle it as it can be pretty awkward (especially if you're not used to it). If you’re the one being teased (as long as it’s actual teasing), the best way to avoid any awkward potential is to GO WITH IT. Laugh at yourself. Smile with your friends. When you become ‘reactive’, the teasing will only increase. Say something like, “good one” (while smiling), or even exaggerate the thing that you’re being teased for – while staring at them. Remember, teasing is meant to either connect with you or to change a negative (in their eyes) behavior. If you can ‘take’ the teasing, the attention will naturally redirect off of you. One time, I heard a kid that was being teased about his backpack shrug and say, “it doesn’t effect my value”.
Remember, there are 2 types of teasing – Endearment and influential. If you're trying to connect or help someone to identify a behavior that's out of line, you're in the tease-mode. If you're not doing any of those things, you're likely being a bully.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to subscribe to the Jed Says YouTube channel.
Till next time, Awareness up.
Jed Thorpe, CMHC