One tip for you that can transform how you think about life

I have one tip for you that can transform how you think about life.
I was talking to a friend this morning who was unaware just how disabled I am by my health conditions.
She was surprised by how positive I was able to be regardless of the challenges I experience every day, including chronic pain.
I explained that I used to be very reactive. The ADHD putting me on alert or emotional wounds that I concluded made me a victim.
Over the years my commitment to self-improvement showed me seeing life through that lens wasn’t useful.
I discovered that greeting as much life experience as possible through the lens of gratitude was the game changer.
I have three boys with Asperger’s and ADHD watching me live my life. If they see me reacting to life as though its a villian, they’ll learn the same helpless mindset.
But if they learn to see adversity as an opportunity to be resourceful and resilient, then life becomes a treasure chest.
That’s what I teach my clients as well.
This is what I could be teaching you in the Inner Circle.

A secret for becoming less reactive…

I’m going to help you learn to be less reactive by teaching you something about how the Neurodiverse brain works that no one ever taught you.

Conventional wisdom tells you you have the power to choose your thoughts. If you’re feeling a certain way, just change your thinking and all is well.

Enter neurodiversity, a brain on alert and playing defense by default.

Therefore, the first thought you have in response to new sensory experience is going to be automatic.

That means you aren’t choosing it. Your brain sends a flare up saying, “Innncominnnngggg!” because it assumes anything coming in is a threat.

For example:

How easily are you startled?
👉🏻 Are your senses (e.g. smell, touch) more sensitive than others.
👉🏻 Do you avoid new places because you don’t know what it’ll feel like physically to be there?
👉🏻 Are compliments uncomfortable?

You get the idea.

This first thought might happen so fast the only thing you notice is the anxiety, anger or other reaction that thought triggered.

That’s what’s happening. What do you do about it?

You want to prevent this first thought (which assumes threat) from highjacking your brain and sending you careening into Catastrophic Canyon.
What you can do is treat those strong emotional responses as someone shaking you by the shoulders to WAKE YOU UP and get your attention.
It isn’t someone meaning to do you harm. It’s someone holding you tightly in a supportive way.
As you notice the physical sensation of fear, anger, etc., you can think to yourself, “Alright! I’m alert, you have my attention.”
Assigning this meaning to it keeps you in the moment and prevents your thinking from going full catastrophe.
The reaction will naturally subside, now that it has your attention and acceptance.
You’re now free to choose your second thought, now that the automatic one is out of the way.
It’s the calm mind that chooses best which thoughts to follow.
Is this helpful?

You need to own your triggers

I read a post the other day discouraging people from complimenting others on weight loss. The reason being that person may be recovering from an eating disorder.
Should I not tell someone they look good today in case they have body dysmorphic disorder?
I should probably avoid saying good morning in case it reminds a depressed person how depressed they are.
I don’t know if its true, but during a call yesterday I heard a story about a celebrity who has “outrage” as part of her brand.
She doesn’t shy away from demonizing people or places that commit the offense of “triggering” her.
Let’s be clear about something. A trigger is a piece of information (e.g. visual, auditory, etc) that reminds you of unresolved trauma.
This celebrity reportedly made a scene at a public clothing store after feeling triggered and demanded the store change something. The status of this celebrity resulted in loss of sales for this store.
I used to work with a woman who treated me like crap for a year and I had no idea why. One day she apologized and said her ex-husband was named Brian and just hearing the name made her crabby.
Should I have changed my name to accommodate her so she wasn’t triggered?
Who said the world has to sterilize itself so I’m never reminded I’ve have painful things happen in my life. Things I’m still working through?
The trigger exists because the pain exists. The trigger didn’t cause the reaction any more than pulling a trigger on the gun fired the bullet.
The bullet fired because there was one in the chamber. Remove the bullet and the trigger is useless.
Our culture is way too entitled when it comes to blame. From our political leaders down to the person who blames the red light for their anger.
Your triggers are the result of an ongoing hostile relationship with the world. One created when your nervous system becomes dysregulated (and stays that way) after a traumatic event.
The way you experience the world changes, most everything becomes a threat. Are you going to eliminate everything that upsets you from your life? Will you demand the rest of the world do the same?
Will you realize we live in a big universe that doesn’t revolve around you, me or any individual. Other people have needs to and those needs ARE NOT conditional on whether they trigger me or not.
I’m not that special and neither are you.
We cannot expect people to walk on egg shells around us because we’ve been unable to resolve parts of our trauma. I know first hand it can be difficult when you haven’t discovered the right strategies for yourself.
But if you think that gives you license to unload your baggage on someone who did nothing to help you pack your bags. You’re going to be lonely quite often.
I will not support you or anyone who punishes one person for another’s misdeeds.
Keep doing the work.
Self-Advocacy becomes toxic when its rooted in blame instead of a desire to inform and educate. Shame and criticism don’t educate.
Keep doing the work.

Some great ideas for you

It isn’t necessarily useful to be so attached to beliefs you currently believe most accurate.
The universe is inherently playful and will usually challenge them regularly.
I’ve learned over the years to share my thoughts with a spirit of “would you like to try this on”?
Understanding that the beliefs you hold are like the threads of a cloak you use to wrap yourself in as you navigate life.
This cloak has a special property. Any thread can be replaced with a stronger, more refined thread whenever it’s available for doing so.
We misunderstand that only things that never give are strong. When we know the ability to take in information, learn and adapt is how we survive, thrive and grow.
Flexibility, resourcefulness and resilience it responsible for your progress but you’ve been giving credit to stubbornness.
If you think a main function of ideas is to allow you to stroke your ego by one upping others, you may as well be wiping your ass with silk.
Ideas are precious, precision instruments that create the modern world. Ideas that improve the lives of others aren’t for you, though they do come through you.
Through, as in passing through. Long enough for you to help it come to life. Then the next idea comes. Let the energy of inspiration keep moving.
So hold on to your ideas long and strong enough for them to be useful. Just not so hard they become indistinguishable from you.