So last week people posted a whole lot of #givethanks posts.
It was very curious to see what that did to my brain.
What it did to my brain
For me, suddenly my facebook feed felt so “boring”. I realized that my brain was getting a very specific type of hormone release before all the gratitude posts. I don’t know what exactly it was, but it felt exciting. With the gratitude posts, suddenly the hormone changed, and it wasn’t nearly as exciting for my brain.
Once I realized that, it made me aware of so much.
That is one reason why Facebook (especially on my phone) was so addictive. It was so “exciting” to get so many different types of information so quickly.
I also was then able to be more aware of what do I want Facebook to do for me? What is healthy? Honestly the gratitude posts felt a lot more peaceful and when I wasn’t expecting to be entertained by Facebook, they became a joy to read. Also, to “reconnect” and “see” friends I hadn’t seen for a long time on Facebook.
What it did to some of my coaching students
One of my students just felt happier and enjoyed reading social media so much more.
A few were triggered because it looked like everyone else was having this amazing, perfect life. So many things to be grateful for that they didn’t have.
Some felt judgmental, like people were just doing it to say….”look, look… I am doing what I am supposed to be doing”
Quite a few of us felt the pressure of the need to post, even if we didn’t really want to.
Conflict of the holiday season
So we talked about the conflict of this and the whole holiday season. How can we be grateful when things are really hard?
What if our family is struggling?
What if we can’t be with our loved ones this holiday?
How can we still feel higher vibration emotions?
So we looked at these things using the AWARE tool I teach –
Aware – spinning, thoughts, stories, emotions
Wonder – be curious. I wonder why I am spinning about that? (be kind) What would I like to happen?
Accept – be kind, it is OK you are spinning
Respond –How can you respond to this situation intentionally. keeping in mind what you want to create.
Exercise (faith, patience, agency) Execute, Evaluate
An Example from my Thanksgiving
Let me walk through this with me feeling sad about Devon, my oldest being alone on Thanksgiving.
If it was not covid time, I would have asked my California friends to invite him for dinner, but that seemed wrong at this time. So I was just feeling helpless and sad that he was alone.
Aware – I acknowledged, “I am feeling sad that Devon is alone. Maybe we shouldn’t have moved from California, then he could be with us today.”
Wonder – I am curious why I am feeling that way… I am a mom, of course I would like to be with him. What would I like to happen? I want to make sure we connect on Thanksgiving and he knows we are thinking of him and we love him.
Accept – Of course I feel this way, that is OK!
Respond – I want to create connection, so I will call him while the rest of us are eating dinner.
Exercise faith – this is a step I can take, also I can pray and ask that he feel loved and supported. Execute – we did call him on Thanksgiving Evaluate – Maybe we should have called him when we weren’t eating… felt sort of bad we were eating yummy food without him. Though he told us about his plans to cook steak and mashed potatoes.
In the end seeing pictures of families together on Thanksgiving made me happy for them and I was able to be so grateful for phone calls that allow us to stay connected to all our family.
What did they do to your brain?
What did the gratitude posts do to your brain? Did it feel like too much for you, pretty neutral or just really great.
No matter how you felt it is OK, maybe take the time to walk through the AWARE steps so you can better understand the situation and come up with a plan for the future.
Download the AWARE Steps here
Gratitude has more power than love. I am all about Love. I love to love others. There is power in love certainly. But…
One of my favorite ways to journal is writing letters to God.
I learned this from Kelly King Anderson’s book, 10 Ways to Make Decisions with God. I thought I would give it a try.
So after meditating, praying and studying my scriptures, I grabbed two colored pens and sat down and wrote a letter to God using my purple pen (because it is my favorite color) and then after I signed my name, I paused and listened, waiting with blue pen in hand.
Then I heard words and started writing them with my blue pen. I tried not to overthink if it was me or God. It was good information and it felt good, so I decided to believe I had gotten a letter.
Writing letters to God is a wonderful blend of meditating, praying and journaling.
I am the type of person who likes to do things quickly. It is hard for me to slow myself down. When I pray, I use my prayer cheat sheet and sometimes I just speed through things.
When I journal normally, I just scribble out what happened during my day, rarely pausing to reflect.
I just move fast.
But when I write a letter to God and then pause to receive a response,
I have to slow down!!
This is why it feels like a combo of the 3 – meditating – being still and present, praying – because I am communicating with God, journaling – because I am writing things down (which also helps slow me down)
I don’t share most of my letters, they are personal.
Interestingly I started using this technique two days before Devon was kidnapped! So I have a notebook filled with these letters to and from God from November 2014-March 2015.
These proved invaluable while I was writing The Mexico Miracle. It helped me to remember so many details.
I also felt that it was ok to share a few select letters. Here is one.
Peace amidst chaos
I am trying to write in my journal and Bryson is making a lot of noise and playing so loudly around me. I am getting frustrated, what should I do about it?
My dear sweet daughter,
This does take more focus – but practicing with Bryson working and making noise in front of you is good. There will come times that you need to focus and connect directly to me amidst earthly chaos. You cannot let what is going on around you prevent you from connecting with Me. Peace is helpful and should be sought after but finding peace amidst and among chaos is an invaluable skill. Work on that, allow it to grow. Develop that skill, it will serve you well. Not just during letters from Me, but prayer, meditation, and scripture study.
Letter to God Instructions
- Find a quiet spot with a good chunk of time.
- Get in a receptive state. You may find it helpful to meditate, pray and put on some uplifting music without words before you start writing.
- Write a letter to God. It is like writing out a prayer. You may not always get a response and that is OK. Have fun with it.
- Sign your name to your letter.
- Write Dear _your name___ and then pause and listen.
- Remember you might not get a letter back and that is OK.
- Sometimes you will hear words flowing into your mind.
- Write down what you hear. Sometimes the words come quickly and sometimes slowly.
- Remember when you get a letter it is for you. You might want to hold it close to your heart and only share with those you feel impressed to. (It was an interesting journey to get to a point where I felt it was OK for me to share some of my letters in this book.)
Listen to Podcast I wish I could teach the whole world about the importance of neutrality and give them the tools to stay neutral…
1%, 24%, 50%, 24% 1%
I listen to Jody Moore, she is a great life coach. But sometimes she says things I really don’t agree with. She loves to say life is 50% great and 50% bad. I really don’t like that.
When I think of my vibration chart, of course we sometimes feel the lower vibrations, but I don’t think we need to feel them half the time, I think we can learn to get up to at least neutral, curious or courage 50% of the time!
So, I came up with my own percentages that feel better and more like a belief I want to choose to have.
It is a lot harder to say and not as pretty, but way more useful for me!
- 1% amazing…
- 24% pretty good
- 50% OK
- 24% not so great
- 1% horrible
This could be throughout 1 day, or throughout a month, or throughout a year…
This is so helpful, because when the bad things happen, I can remember, this is normal, of course 100% can’t be good. Also, when the boring normal ok things happen, I can remember this is normal too.
Link to Vibration Episode
Here are links for the tools I mention in The Mexico Miracle book. 6 Day Meditation Challenge Tiny Steps to Meditation to Success Sample…
If you find yourself struggling with moving past a situation or maybe you are just overwhelmed with the emotions you are having, scribbling is such a great tool.
I love sharing this tools with my students. It is easy to do and works so well.
Watch me scribble!
This sounds ridiculous, unless you listened to the podcast. 😉
If you want to dive deeper, you can read Allie Duzett’s Book The Scribbling Solution.