So, I’m kind of an expert on not worrying about things you can’t control. With everything that has happened to me since my accident I’ve had to learn how to let go of worries when they arise in the moment.
Because the thing is? In those moments when we’re worrying about something, the only thing that we can control are our thoughts and how we respond in the moment.
There will always be something that comes up in life that is out of our control. The fact is that one of the certainty’s of life is that we will all experience pain at one point or another.
The 2 arrows
The 2 arrows is a concept I teach to my students as a way to help them remember this. The first arrow is the inevitable pains of life – stress, accident, illness, etc. – that we will all experience at one point or another. No matter what we “do” we can’t really stop these things from happening.
Of course we can take care of ourselves and there are things we can do, like a mindfulness practice, to mitigate and prevent things like stress from happening. But sometimes you can be minding your own business, coming home from the movies, crossing on a green light, and still get hit by a bus. In other words sometimes 💩 💩happens.
While the first arrow is inevitable, the second arrow is optional.
The Second Arrow
The second arrow is the thoughts, judgements, and resistance that comes up whenever we are faced with something that makes us uncomfortable or worried.
It’s the “I don’t wanna!” The “that’s not fair.” The things our inner critic says to us in these moments that keep us in a place of resistance and feeling stuck.
Instead of continuing to sling that second arrow at yourself you can choose to stop.
When worry shows up (as it will) you can choose to shut the door to that train of thought and to instead choose a new one.
When I was waiting for my surgery (I’ve had a bunch) I had a choice between worrying every day of the YEAR that I was waiting or to let go of those worrying thoughts and to choose something different.
To instead come to this moment. This moment is the only one that I have any control over anyways because it’s in this moment that I can control my thoughts and my actions.
Another way of looking at this is your end of the year exam is coming up in 6 months. Would you rather spend those six months worrying about the exam? Or instead would you rather let go of those worries (because either way you still need to write that exam) and instead focus each day on what you CAN do to prepare for the exam. It’s coming either way, but you can choose if it comes with the second arrow of judgement, worry, and suffering.
How do you let go of worry and stop slinging that second arrow? 👇👇👇
The Welcome Mat
While this is a judgment 😂 The Welcome Mat is my favourite meditation practice. It helps me to notice what I’m thinking and feeling in the moment. Which is important because when you know what’s here you can work with what’s here.
Real talk, I love control or at least I should say I love the idea of it. See, I was that person who thought if I did things a certain way that it would help me to control my worries. Like, if I practiced enough times before making a phone call I wouldn’t be as nervous. Practice helps, but learning how to silence my inner critic that kept me stuck in worries was a much bigger help.
The more that I worked on paying attention, on purpose, to my thoughts and how they affected my actions and my mood, the more I was able to silence my inner critic.
Thoughts are just thoughts. No matter how much our thoughts tell us that they are facts they’re not. You can choose to stop listening to them.
To learn more about how to do this, I invite you to check out Silencing Your Inner Critic. This program gives you the exact tools that I used to get out of my own head and into my life. And right now it’s available for only $47!