Words by Jane Faulkner
Have you noticed how sensitive you are to other people’s attitudes, words and beliefs? How you can be feeling okay and then a conversation with someone will leave you feeling drained and down in the dumps or you may see a Facebook post or an Instagram feed and it sends you off into a spin that takes days to recover from. We are all influenced by one another and sometimes this influence is not a positive uplifting one, but a draining one.
Guard your mind
Tony Robbins talks about guarding your mind and being mindful of what you read, watch and do and whom you talk to. This may sound elitist but it also makes a lot of sense. It is important to surround yourself with people and experiences that nourish and nurture you. For me this is especially important when I’m feeling down or stressed- I have less inner resources to fend off negativity and can become easily overwhelmed by media, other people and experiences. I can easily lose my centre and sense of self and this can send my thoughts on a downward spiral.
Our thoughts are powerful; they shape our world and how we perceive our world. Filling your mind with negativity and information that doesn’t feed you and help you grow in a positive direction starts to have a detrimental impact on your life. Your perspective may become limited, judgemental and isolating- not much fun!
It’s a fundamental human need to feel as though you are contributing and growing- when we stop growing we tend to feel stuck, stagnant and depressed.
So, just as you take care of your physical health and well-being it is also important to take care of your emotional and mental well-being.
After all, you become like the people you spend time with, and the things you fill your mind with.
So, at times it’s important to have a mental, emotional clear out, a time when you evaluate what doesn’t nourish you and help you grow and you let it go, or take a break from it.
Check out what the weeds or energy suckers are and yank them out or, at least, prune them back so you have more space. It doesn’t have to mean forever, just time to get yourself back on track and into a space where you are clear on who you are and what you need.
Next, plant seeds that will nourish you and enable you to continue to grow in a positive direction. What are you curious about? What direction do you want your future to flourish in? It’s important to take charge of your life and make choices about how your future could look. Seeds may be courses, books, new ways of moving or eating and new ways of approaching your life and your situation.
Now, start to feed the new seeds that you have planted. Surround yourself with books, teachers and people that nourish, challenge and nurture you. Listen to inspirational speakers or podcasts online, read about people you are inspired by and keep challenging yourself to try out new experiences. Try meditation, yoga, tai chi or another mindfulness practices and commit to staying with it.
Commit to yourself and your growth. Learn to observe your thoughts and remember that you are the gatekeeper to your mind and emotions- you make the choice about who or what gets in and what stays out! You also make the choice about which thoughts you choose to give your attention to.
Here is a great story about the power of our choices!
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Which wolf do you feed?