Tell me something – if you were driving a car going a hundred kilometres an hour on the freeway, and your brakes failed, what would you do?
Would you put everything you’ve got into trying to bring the car to a stop with the least amount of damage, or would you climb out hanging on for dear life and try to get under the hood to fix the brakes?
See what I mean?
You can maintain your brakes well so that they never fail, or you can find a way to bring the car to a stop so that you can fix the brakes – but you can never fix the brakes while the car is going out of control.
Once the momentum comes to a halt, you can start using the tools: appreciation, focus wheeling, the four step process (from the book Thrive), and other processes from the book Ask and it is Given. But you can’t very well appreciate in the middle of a crisis! Imagine, when the brakes are out and the car is out of control, do you see yourself appreciating your car, or the highway or anything else? Pretty impossible, right? The same way it’s pretty impossible to appreciate the person who is annoying you when they’re annoying you, or appreciating the bill that comes in the mail when there’s no money in the bank… you get the point.
That’s why I’ve started talking about the “Fire Drill for Your Mind”. Just like a fire drill helps people to know what to do in case of a fire, so that they don’t panic – they know what to do and where to go, what exit to use to get to safety, so that no one gets hurt, a fire drill for your mind trains you to say things to yourself when you find yourself in a crisis so that you can bring that car to a stop, or find a soft landing even though you don’t have a parachute. You see, the fire has to be put out before the building can be rebuilt.
Here’s what to do:
1. Acknowledge the situation, don’t brush it under the carpet. When you ignore things and brush them away, they just keep gathering momentum anyway. When you acknowledge that something is wrong and you express the desire for a different outcome, now you can take action towards improvement. Think of it this way: if you have no brakes and your car is out of control, should you ignore the situation and hope that it will go away? It is sufficient to have a code word, something that acts like a switch and catches your attention. For example, when Esther finds herself feeling negative emotion in response to negative thoughts, she says to herself “shut-up Esther!”. I like that – it’s simple, and easy to remember and sends the clear message that I have to shut-up and talk about something else. Try it.
2. Soothe yourself to reduce the negative momentum. If you’re stressed and find it hard to keep your thoughts in order – meaning you can’t think straight, just breathe. Deep breathing doesn’t need us to think anything – all we have to do is to breathe deep all the way into the tummy and all the way out – 3 to 4 times really helps.
3. Shift your attention – think of something different. I think this is where most people encounter a challenge – they find it hard to shift their point of focus in the midst of a crisis. And this is where the fire drill comes in. What if you had something pre-programed to help you change your focus? I taught myself to do this with my son. When he was much younger than he is now, and got worked up emotionally, I would always tell him to think of Scooby Doo, and then I would tell him a little Scooby Doo story. It worked like a charm. We still use Scooby Doo as a mood switch. With my friends and people who ask for help, I teach them to use a smiley as their point of focus. I get them to engage all their physical senses and focus them on the smiley. Here’s what to do: draw the smiley with your finger on the palm of your hand (touch), see it turn a bright yellow and wink at you (sight), hear it break into a peal of laughter (hearing), bring it up to your nose and smell the smell of freshly bakes cookies (smell), lastly put it in your mouth and taste how good it takes (taste). By engaging all your senses in this exercise, you momentarily withdraw from the world – and it gives you the benefit of a mini-meditation.
Most fires are caused by negative beliefs. So all vibrational work has to be directed towards finding the negative beliefs, and changing them. Anything you think is a challenge or a fear, is really a negative belief. You can change negative beliefs and flip them into positive beliefs in three important ways:
1. Disprove the belief, by making observations about the world around you that tell you that your belief doesn’t always hold true.
2. Down play it’s importance in your life, by using self talk that says, it’s Ok, and things always work out anyway.
3. Appreciate where you are and make long lists of positive aspects.
The fire drill is no use if you don’t shift your beliefs. The fire drill is only meant to give you enough respite that allows you the time to do the vibrational work which will have the more long-term impact of shifting your vibration and deactivating negative beliefs and activating positive beliefs that you have chosen deliberately. Make sense?
You see, if you didn’t do the vibrational work to fix the brakes of your car, then every time you drove that car you would have no brakes and each time your car would go out of control and you would end up in a ditch or as Abraham puts it – crash and burn.
That’s it for now.
Much love and appreciation,