Did you know you’re giving your mind a job it cannot do? By Inna Neal
Creating a positive mindset is important, but what if our mind is cluttered with beliefs and habits that don’t serve us? The mind cannot focus on our next best step. So how do we help ourselves when this happens?
The mind is perpetually focused on something – it is always thinking and creating stories. These stories impact how we feel and respond to challenges and new experiences in our lives. If a story or habit is based on judgement, doubt or fear of the unknown, the mind gets cluttered with more of the same stories and leaves little space for what is our next best step.
It is a beautifully designed machine. It plays many roles. One role of the mind is to create habits and build neural pathways so that we don’t need to put much effort into tasks that we do every day, like brushing our teeth or driving a familiar route.
Another role it plays is to receive instructions to complete actions on what we need to do to achieve certain goals. The dilemma is that we have been taught to give the mind a job it cannot do. We give the mind a task to find solutions to challenges and new experiences that we don’t yet have a neural pathway for.
So where do these instructions come from? They come from our intuition, our heart brain. It’s a thing! Check out www.heartmath.org. The HeartMath Institute have been conducting studies and experiments since the 1960’s on the power of our heart and intuition.
Here is an example:
As women in business, each day brings new experiences. One day we are celebrating and another we are tackling challenges. Let’s say you lost an important client, you had a challenging month financially, a client needs something specific that you’re not sure how to complete yet, or you just feel overwhelmed with a huge to-do list. If we allow the mind to take over, it begins to add similar thoughts and escalates the same thought repeatedly. This snowball effect spirals into an old pattern of “I’m not good enough”, “This is too hard” or any long-held beliefs and habitual thoughts.
If we want to make decisions from our true authentic selves, we must become aware that our intuition is actually where the solutions are. Each time you connect to your intuition, the solution is one that serves you and gives you information on how to get to what you want to achieve.
Our intuition is the guide, it tells the mind what to focus on and the mind completes the actions. So how do we clear our minds and connect to our intuition so that we can give the mind proper instructions?
One technique I find extremely helpful is a term you’ve probably heard before called ‘Brain Dumping.’ Brain dumping is acknowledging all the thoughts that are cluttering your mind and clearing them so that we make the space for our intuition to be heard. Let me show you how I use Brain Dumping:
- Become aware when your mind is streaming thoughts that aren’t serving you. You will know this by how it feels. Our emotions are our guidance system. If you are feeling any heavy emotions like overwhelm, anxiety, self-doubt, blame, your mind is cluttered.
- Grab a journal and set your timer for 10 minutes and start brain dumping everything that you are thinking. Just let it flow – with no judgment. If you feel stuck, you can ask yourself ‘what else am I thinking?’ Keep asking yourself this question until you feel satisfied you have ‘offloaded’ everything. If you keep going, you may discover thoughts that you didn’t even know were there!
- Pause, put down your journal and take as many conscious deep breaths as you can. At least 5 or 6. Don’t rush through these.
- Pick up your journal and look at what you wrote. Reflect on your thoughts by answering these two questions… ‘Is this all true?’ ‘Do I know for sure that everything I wrote here is true?’ (These two important questions are part of Byron Katie’s technique).
- Place both hands on your heart. Take 5 more deep, conscious breaths and feel into your heart space while asking yourself this question, ‘What else is possible here?’ Be open and curious to receive what comes up. Becoming still and curious will awaken your intuition. You will be able to hear it. At first it may be quiet, so listen and journal on what comes up. It may just be the next best step. Allow that to be enough.
What I have learned through my own experience and with the clients I work with is this: it’s one thing to know this information, but it’s another to experience it. I invite you to take the time to make space for this practice because it is a practice. Reflect on the shift that it creates. Be kind to yourself. Try it a few times, the awareness and clarity will come for you with practice.
On a ‘full disclosure’ side note…I needed to use this practice to write this article! We got this, ladies!
Sending love, light and curiosity.
‘If one advances confidently in the direction of [her] dreams, and endeavours to live the life which [s]he has imagined, [s]he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.’ ~ Henry David Thoreau
Dream from your heart!