We’re all trying to be better people and we all want better lives. To efficiently achieve both things, the first thing we need to do is to pick the easiest-to-get, best quality, low-hanging psychological fruit. To accomplish this, first take a moment to consider the fact that our egos tend to talk to us all day long, and it’s done that since we were a kids. And those thoughts absolutely will create a narrative ‘us’ whether we are intentional about that or not.
Most of us know that story because it’s habitual. It’s our self-definition of ourselves. It’s usually the first thing we ‘put on’ in the morning, and it’s the thing we want to fix and make-better all day. But succeeding or failing: to be alive is to tell a story.
All I’m suggesting is, that we all consider making our narratives less noisy; where, if there is any story at all, it is a more charitable and supportive one. We all know how great it feels when others support us. That effect is even greater when we give that support to ourselves.
The problem is, we have trouble believing that all we need is support. We keep listening to the judgmental thoughts that list a lot of things we need to ‘fix’ before we can get on with the living of our lives. Those ideas about ourselves blind us to who we really are.
We think we need to change our lives, or that we need to become someone different, rather than just maximizing who we are. We should not feel ashamed of ourselves. Any idea we have that suggests that we do not ‘deserve’ our own respect is nothing more than ephemeral self-talk.
This means the only real question is, do we let our power out? Or do we keep it trapped underneath layers of our own insecure judgments, about how we, or life, cannot be better until….? Because in truth it absolutely can be better right now. But only if we believe in that possibility.
Do not undermine your day with insecure thoughts about yourself, or negative thinking about others or the world. Every time you feel the impulse to think a negative course of thought, simply replace it with a helpful activity of some type. We don’t just have ego-identities, we have body-awareness identities as well. Yet most of us are essentially engaged in a form of very negative and distracted living. We are thinking when we should be being.
Ignore all of those words. Be body-aware instead. That is our easy-to-reach psychological fruit. Then, rather than deciding what to think, we decide what to do. Because our mind is healthiest when it is engaged more with the living of life, and less on thinking about the how that life might be viewed by others.
When we start to care about satisfying ourselves as much as we endeavour to satisfy some others, our life can really blossom. And, somewhat ironically, what feels to us like a selfish blossoming, will generally make us even more generous. So our expansion is certainly no loss to the world.
Don’t start your morning by talking a little ‘you’ into ‘tackling’ your day on your way towards your ‘success.’ Rather than searching for a better garden, we are healthier to just pick the fruit right in front of us. Then, rather than ‘fix our problems’ for a better life in the future, we can just use our bodies to taste whatever sweetness we find right now.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.