Photo credit: Kristina Leonardi

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. ~ Matthew 6:28

Whatever occupies your mind the most becomes your god. Worries, if indulged, develop into idols. Anxiety gains a life of its own, parasitically infesting your mind. ~ Sarah Young

There is no need to seek the truth — just put a stop to your opinions! ~ Seng- Ts’an

I, like most humans, have my days of self-doubt and worry, lamenting about the past or catastrophizing the future, tying myself into all sorts of knots and getting into quite an unrelenting tizzy. However, because I practice what I preach and read what I have written, I have developed a certain level of self-awareness, self-regulation, trust and acceptance, so I don’t experience those kinds of days often. But when they do occur, boy are they doozies!

I have finally noticed, though, that when this happens, it’s pretty much always the same things that come up and cascade into a ridiculous (but not in the moment!) shame spiral, thinking I am worthless, I haven’t accomplished anything, I am all alone on this planet, etc., etc. I realized that when this happens, it’s like a switch is turned on that puts me into a very particular loop that keeps going round and round. And because it’s a loop with well-worn grooves, it’s hard to get out of and you feel like it’s reality. But it’s NOT. (BTW, this is basically a simplified version of established neuroscience …)

When such states arise, my go-to tools to release and get myself out of those conditions — like crying, movement, or sounding — don’t always cut it. When you’re dealing specifically with a deeply ingrained loop, what I discovered is that you can’t be gentle — you need to forcefully INTERRUPT THE LOOP. Just saying something like “NO, I’m interrupting the loop!” seems to work. You need to short-circuit that sh*you-know-what.

You have to be tough. Don’t be fooled by your mind with all the stories it’s making up, the judgments it has about you and others, the past it’s holding on to, the present it’s trying to control, and the future it thinks it can plan. They are all LIES!

So like my aforementioned “interrupting the loop” tactic, when these falsities and self-sabotaging stories come up, just emphatically say — out loud, with force (and maybe even a finger point) — LIES! LIES! LIES! Yes, I realize this might sound and feel a bit odd, but if it works, who cares?! Sometimes our system needs a shock to get results and break out of a pattern. I would prefer to be the shock to my own system, thank you very much….

No matter what the scenario you are dealing with, be sure to remember your breathing, be present, tune in to Nature. A tree doesn’t complain, a bird doesn’t compare, a flower knows it will bloom and one day wither and die but thinks no less of itself at any point in the journey. None of them worry.

Trust yourself, the deepest part of yourself, which is connected to something greater than yourself. Do something every day to help access that more and more, as it takes effort, attention and practice — until it doesn’t.

We need these reminders often (well, at least I do!) to discern what is true and what is false about ourselves and the world around us. Remember who you are.

Not sure how to separate the wheat from the chaff in that mischievous mind of yours? Give me a buzz and I’ll help call out the lies and liberate you from your loop, so you can become that beautiful, peaceful, loving lily you were born to be.

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Kristina Leonardi is a nationally recognized career and life coach, speaker and author who for over 13 years has empowered individuals to make lasting professional and personal changes aligned with their true passions and talents while fulfilling their role in the world at large.With a holistic and personal growth-oriented approach, she has helped hundreds of men and women over the past decade improve their job performance, enter or re-enter the job force, change careers, better manage their time and stress, and live happier, more meaningful, balanced lives. Her specialty is working with people who feel stuck or are in transition and can help you clarify exactly what you want to do, identify blocks, issues, and patterns in your way, and offer proven ideas, resources, and action steps to get you there.

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Speaker,Coach,Writer.Very Tall. Expertise:People. All kinds, what makes 'em tick, how they fit into the world, how they can best connect to themselves + others.