Weekly blogs as food for body, mind and spirit.
by Journey Agent, Isisara Bey
A Life Changing (Mental) Diet – Part 1
Recently, I’ve begun an internal inquiry into the origins of self-esteem. I, like most people, have several areas of my life where I am supremely or at least sufficiently confident. So confident in fact, that performing excellently in those ways is second nature and always fun.
But I have also long detected an underlying feeling of unease and lack of confidence in other areas. Given the right set of challenging circumstances that unease can quickly bubble over, discoloring my outlook with a patina of insecurity. Then it’s a quick slide to the robe, fuzzy socks, and several episodes of Restaurant Impossible, Kitchen Nightmares and those vixens on the Real Housewives of Hotlanta.
One of my primary life precepts is that I am a meaning-seeking being. Another is that the manifestations of my external life have a connection, in fact are a reflection of my most constant thoughts. So I have begun my inquiry into self-esteem from the premise that there is nothing more pervasive than my mental dialogue. You know, that never-ending stream of conversation that provides the soundtrack to every waking moment, or as the Buddhists call it, the monkey mind.
In her book, The Soul of Money, author and philanthropist Lynne Twist shines a spotlight on what I’ve named the “deficiency syndrome.” It’s the many ways in which we invoke that we don’t have or are not enough, which is the soil in which low self-esteem takes root. So I started paying attention to my own verbal and mental chatter, and discovered that this “deficiency syndrome” is downright insidious.
Here are just a few of my deficit thoughts on a recent morning: I did not get enough sleep last night, it’s not warm enough outside, there’s not enough almond milk left for my granola, there’s not enough hot water left for my shower, I don’t have enough winter clothes, I don’t have enough time to exercise, and of course, I don’t have enough money for… whatever.
Then there are all the things I don’t like, the criticizing, complaining and condemning I do in the course of a day: what that person just said or did, the way something looks, how something tastes, the weather, cleaning the litter box, what someone has on, the line at the tea shop, how long the bus is taking, the trash on my block, the men always hanging around in front of the corner bodega, how long the elevator takes, that my daughter hasn’t put away the laundry, all the junk mail we get.
If I include other versions of impatience that I frequently employ (because life just isn’t good enough as it is), such as – I’m so tired of, I so am sick of, what a pain in the a**, WTF, and various exasperated sighs – it’s no wonder I have been struggling with keeping an uplifting frame of mind. I sabotage myself at every turn.
Sibyl Chavis, who has a website called the Possibility of Today, has a Complaint Free Pledge. I have taken it, and I will begin monitoring my thoughts by making a mark in a notepad every time I find myself swimming in the sea of deficiency… which is sometimes as soon as I wake up, Lord help me. Frankly, I’ll need to keep the notepad in my hands at all times!
But I know that the first step to changing my world is simply noticing my thoughts. And so this most important diet begins. Care to join me?
COMPLAINT FREE PLEDGE
I pledge to take the Complaint Free Challenge and to do everything I can to stop complaining. I will do my part and focus on reducing the number of times I complain each day until I eventually end all complaining. I will be aware of the thoughts that go through my mind and make certain that I do all I can to stop making negative statements and start seeing the blessing in everything.
Stay tuned to the Slow Chew series by Journey Agent, Isisara Bey every Wednesday! Please leave a comment on your thoughts!