Canned Moods and Packaged Perspectives
[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.92" module_alignment="center" make_fullwidth="on"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.92" src="http://www.brendashiekh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/cropped-IMG_3748.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" align="center" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.92" background_layout="light"] We spend our lives walking around with thoughts constantly running around in our head. And some of them are kind of toxic, “I’m catching a cold,” “I’m exhausted” or “I’m too busy.” I imagine thoughts as products on a shelf in a grocery store. If you’re like most people, you walk down the aisles and grab the same Jiffy creamy peanut butter jar you always do, without reading what’s in it or trying something different. This is the same thing we do with thoughts. We like the familiar thoughts because they make sense to us, but then we complain when we don’t like what life feels like.
In my grocery store analogy, there’s a whole entire aisle for every scenario that life brings us. Like time, money and health and wellness issues. You might sneeze, for example, or feel a chill and grab the “I’m catching a cold” thought off the shelf, instead of seeing right next to it the “I love taking good care of myself, how about some vitamins and quiet time” thought. Or you aren’t sure where you are going to come up with rent money, so you immediately grab the “I’m broke” or “I can’t make ends meet” thoughts and toss them right into your cart. We consume these thoughts as if they were true, but they are limiting, and they paint us into a very scary corner.
There’s also what I call the freezer section, the Love and Relationship aisle. This one is loaded with goodies like “I’m falling in love with you”, “I need to get married,” and a really popular one, “We are in a relationship.” This last one cracks me up. It causes so many relationship problems and yet it takes up so much space in our mind. It’s like the ice cream section, it tastes good, but causes all kinds of health problems. Once you grab this colorful box of thinking, all kinds of expectations come along with it, like how another person should act if they loved you. Or what they should do if they were a good boyfriend, spouse, or partner. And even worse, what they need to do in order for you to be happy – yikes!
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Art by Zelda Hazel @zeldahazel
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My favorites are idioms because they are like the mothership of thought patterns. “My back is killing me”, “It’s a dog eat dog world”, “Hollywood is full of predators”, wait maybe that last one is true, but you get the idea. We have thoughts to cover every possible situation in our lives. If we are in traffic, there’s an aisle of thinking for that. Especially if you live in LA. The most popular thoughts on the 405 are “Oh, shit, traffic, I’m going to be late!”, “Lincoln or the 10? Quick, what does Waze say?” or my personal favorite “Thank you, Lord, more time that I don’t have to be cooking, cleaning, or parenting the kids.”
It’s really worth the effort to look at what’s in your grocery store of thinking and maybe even read the labels. Are you grabbing things off the shelf that have the nutrients that you need to enjoy your life, or are you choosing the high drama, low energy crap that make you feel good in the moment, but have long-term life consequences. The next time you find yourself frustrated, tired, depressed, it’s a good chance you might need to check your thinking cart, and definitely stay out of the freezer section!