Monday, May 31, 2010

Are you chewing yourself a new one?

It's now 1:19am. At about 1:10am I was chewing myself a new one. Here's a glimpse of the conversation I noticed in my head:

"Stella. (Okay, I don't talk to myself in the 2nd person, but will for effect here). It's 1am again! Haven't you made a commitment to yourself like a million times that you were going to go to bed earlier? I mean really, did you need to stay up watching Sex in the City, again?"


"Stella. What is the big deal here? Are you really having this thought? Are you seriously beating yourself up right now for not getting to bed earlier on a holiday weekend?!?"

Perhaps it was yoga on Friday, or maybe my turning a year older last week, or maybe my practing self acceptance recently, or even the $50,000 I paid to learn about positive psychology - but whatever it was or is - the capacity to PAUSE, NOTICE, and re-direct my thoughts is the key to IT. Whatever it means.

We have about 60,000 thoughts a day. Most thoughts for most people are fast. We're so used to the noise of thoughts that it's easy to not pay attention to them. But tonight I did. I isolated a self defeating whisper that was not so much about going to bed early as it was on the gravy train toward undermining my self efficacy.

So I pulled the breaks as soon as I noticed and thought something like this instead: "So what? Maybe, you actually like going to bed late. Maybe you should F routine. You're not a routine, regular type of gal. You don't fold your shirts the same way, you enjoy wearing mismatching socks for the fun of it, so stop trying to act like an anal A job."

Standing up for myself and my behavior instead of judging it made me feel lighter. Why hadn't I thought to do that before?

This whole mental experience happened in a matter of seconds. But it's the capacity to tune into the chatter and transform the non-supporting thoughts that can change your life. Or at least, help you sleep a little better.

With much love,

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