It's the season of the shadow and today healer and Almanac co-founder Kirem Marnett helps us delve into some Shadow Work through tackling the overactive Negative Mind.
"The most important aspect of the process of self-improvement is the cultivation of one’s sense of humility before the Creator. This, however, should not be an artificial undertaking, but a goal of one’s efforts. If, as a result of working on the self, an individual gradually starts to develop this quality, then it means that he is proceeding in the right direction." – Talmud, Avodah Zarah
One of the hardest things to overcome is when our mindset gets stuck in a negative gear. When Negative Mind is in charge, everything feels wrong, not good enough, ugly or bleak. Feelings of hopelessness leave us uttering things like, "What's the point?" and "Who cares?" as conclusions rather than questions more often than we would like.
When Negative Mind is in charge, we can be sarcastic, bitchy, stubborn, judge ourselves or others harshly, and generally feel bitter and mean! When we're in this state someone saying "be more positive" or "cheer up" can make us want to gag--or worse, whip the knives out!
While it's important to honor the shadow (such as there are real and present feelings that we may need to pay attention to when the Negative Mind is active) being stuck in the Debbie Downer mindset for too long just simply doesn't feel great, nor get us very far in the long run. It's the worst when we KNOW this deep down but still can't seem to shake it off.
The hard truth is that checking our attitude and getting perspective by balancing the positive with the negative is oftentimes the actual solution.
But why is it just so hard to do that??? It's the mental equivalent of pushing a boulder uphill.
If you struggle with this, you're definitely not alone! Today I'm sharing some of the steps I've taken when I've had enough of my inner Negative Nora. Putting these into practice really can help you switch out of negativity and make it stick ... and it's quicker and easier than you might think!
1.) Firstly, it's important to honor truth: You are allowed to have negative thoughts! Negative feelings are not bad, they are natural as well as human. Our negative mind IS a gift--it is there to help protect us, serve as a BS detector and prevent energy leaks. If we can first get out of our own way and not block the fact that we're feeling negative or having negative thoughts, then we're actually on the way to turning the corner into positive territory.
So, be sure to stop, take a breath and acknowledge that you are ok and it is ok to feel EXACTLY as you are feeling right now.
2.) When we accept #1, that we are human and nowhere near perfect, we are allowing ourselves to be "helpable". This opens us up to assistance outside of ourselves (and our limited Negative Mind!).
Step #2 is to hand it over and step aside. Think about it. In order to solve a mindset problem, we cannot rely on our mind to do the changing. We have to seek something beyond it/us, that's bigger, higher, more evolved. Appealing to our higher power is when and how we let God, Source, etc. take the wheel. I frequently do this through prayer or just having an honest, direct conversation with God. Here is an example of what I might say in Step #2: