Janet Pearlman

Living in the Stream of Yes

What We Tell Ourselves

Aid, 16 x 20, Acrylic with Texture on Canvas

Aid, 2011

Last week a friend told me about the unusual circumstance she experienced in traffic. A red light for a left turn appeared not to function– she took matters into her own hands to get where she was going. About a minute later, she got very worried and upset about her action.  She feared a traffic ticket, and she berated herself for poor judgment and taking risks.

She was heading to a class involving movements to heighten body awareness and to relieve tension. There she followed instructions, making small movements in a certain way and noticing the changes in her body. Upset, she reached for the attention to focus on the class. The adrenaline of self reproach ran; she did her best to participate.

As she looked for some kind of relief inside, after about half hour an image popped into her mind. What if she had a supporting person to pay for any ticket she might acquire? The though of having “back up” felt soothing. Continuing, she recalled that she actually had an account of money from her deceased mother rarely used. Actually, she could tap into that pot for this purpose. Thinking this brought her more relief and more calm.

What story do we tell ourselves? This woman found a way to see her situation so that she felt support. A change in perspective gave her relief. I like playing the game where I observe the positive benefits that have come forth from situations I did not want. Connect the dots to show myself the happy endings from events in my life I would not have chosen.

Around 2000 I parted ways with a long term romantic partner. At the time I felt much sadness and heartache. Looking back I now see how much good has flowed to me since breaking up. With the unanticipated freedom I have been led to create a dynamic new life with much  growth, creative expression and inspiration. What if every unwanted event was the opening for lots of new experiences we desire?

What if we..

  • notice how we feel
  • observe what we are saying to ourselves
  • play with talking to ourselves in our minds in ways that lift our spirits

Do you have examples of times when you have reframed what you were saying to yourself to positive advantage? I would love to hear about them at jpearl@streamofyes.com.

Comments are closed.

(Mission statement here).