Something came up today that has shaken me up. And, not in a good way. I would love to just ignore the situation, but, being an adult, I have to deal with it. It is a conflict situation involving money, and I feel that the amount is unfair, and the request is ballsy. Basically, it is one of the usual suspects for pulling me into a scarcity mindset. So, the question is, how do I deal with it without going into a thought spiral, dragging the energy of it into the future, and getting way off course in the big picture?
Identifying this (our reactions) as a part of a pattern, is a good first step. I hate to use the word trigger, but if it is terminology that resonates with you, feel free to think of it that way. Situations that pull us down the rabbit hole before we have a chance to think about our reaction can have a lot of influence in our life, especially if we are operating on default mode. Going with the flow of this type of situation is not a great approach because it often reinforces thought patterns, reactions and triggers emotional responses that are part of subconscious programming. Identifying this is happening and taking steps to get control of the situation are critical. And, it is never too late to recognize what is happening. Just because you are mid reaction, doesn’t mean you can’t press the pause button and decide how you want to react, rather than your impulsive reaction.
The good news is, we can change this. We can reprogram ourselves. And we certainly don’t need to go with every situation into drama, stress, conflict and pain. Mind the gap between stimulus and response. Use the gap to get control of your emotions. Decide how you can respond with integrity and love. Put it into action. Reflect after the situation is no longer urgent. During your reflection, take the time to feel the emotions that you need to in order to resolve the situation. If you feel hurt, sad, angry, abandoned, taken advantage of, or any of many things, take the time to feel what you need to. Give it space to express itself however it needs to. Maybe you need to celebrate the wins if you were able to speak your truth and act with integrity. Then, find your way back through a meditation, take a walk, exercise, act mindfully, or do another exercise to clear the energy around it.
Things that may have served or protected us in the past, but are not taking us where we want to go in the future may be your subconscious’s way of protecting you, so don’t feel bad if these things come up. We all have them. We have to power to decide if, or how far down the rabbit hole we go. The trick is figuring out you’re reacting in a loop, and putting the breaks on. Make a gap so you can react how you want to, rather than how you are programmed to. If you have time, I like to meditate before responding to conflict. 5 minutes can be a game changer. If I can, I do a whole yoga class. It really helps open the gap between stimulus and response. It also helps me to identify how I can act with integrity, rather than just lashing out. I usually find the words or actions are clear once I take some mental space from it. It also gives you practice in taking your thoughts away from the situation. (It practices keeping control, so that when you have to deal with in real time, you are less likely to fly off the handle, and if you do, you have practiced getting back to a controlled place.)
I realize this is so much easier to say than to do. But, like all things, practice helps to strengthen the neural pathways in the brain that control your reactions. So even if you are able to interrupt the process of anger, thought spirals, fear, whatever it has stirred up that you don’t want to create more of, it is a win. Awareness is so powerful. Maybe you aren’t able to take control this time, but you identify that it is one of these loops. Next time, you have a plan, and can react differently then. Keep on practicing, keep on strengthening. You can do it. I can do it. We can make the world a better place if we can all set an intention to lead with our hearts. To be kind with others AND ourselves.