Category Archives for "Spiritual Tool Box"

The stories we tell ourselves, and what you can do about them

the stories we tell ourselves

The stories we tell ourselves,

and what you can do about them

There are a few themes that are set on repeat in the Wayfairer HQ and one of them is about the stories we tell ourselves. Have you ever listened to the stories, the voices in your head tell you? Whether they’re self-doubts, you can’ts to hell yes’s and what ifs.

That voice or those voices have quite a strong influence over most of us. These stories can quite quickly and easily be mistaken for truths. They often have the power and capacity to incapacitate us, to swell that lump of fear and ring in the naysayers at the back of our minds.

Stories we tell are often not true

But it’s not all doom and gloom, because it at these junctions that growth and awareness can develop, unfold and can change the trajectory of the stories being developed or told in our heads.

No one other than you can hear this story. Which means no one other than you can change the tune, the tone, the content and make that story ring truer than its original shitty first draft. The shitty first draft that many accept as being the final polished and buffed piece that the world sees.

Dr Brené Brown talks of her internal dialogue as one that can either cripple her or fire her up to get on with her intention to keep showing up for the world. To continue writing, researching, presenting her ideas. Rewriting that story where she is the imposter and her story is full of doubt, fear, and vulnerability.

Sound familiar?

Recently I was talking with a friend about my ability to upsell, wax lyrical and prioritise my work for others and the work they do. However, when it comes to my own work, skill set, experience and abilities I am completely paralysed. By not only a very strong sense of fear and vulnerability (oh my goodness I don’t know everything, what if someone finds out!) But also imposter syndrome. Despite my training and educational background, over 15 years of experience and a university degree. I still seem to believe the story in my head. It reads like this – I’m not enough to do this work. I’ve not got enough experience. I have to get more qualifications. I need to work for other people, use their skills, experience, and business as a buffer to hide behind. To shield myself from being exposed as an imposter. These are huge excuses for not letting my own innate skills loose, and actually being brave enough to be successful. Which is contrary to the fear I tell myself of being afraid of failing. Which, I am not. Funnily enough.

“If we deny our stories, they own us,” says Brené Brown. “When we own our stories, we get to write the ending. When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don’t go away – they own us, then they define us. Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending – to rise strong, reckon with our story and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how this story ends.”

The shitty first draft (sfd)

When I first read about this in Brené Brown’s book, Rising Strong, it took a bit of digesting. Probably because my fears realised they were about to be caught out. The biggest question that came up was, Why would writing our stories be of any use? Eventually, it dawned on me that if our stories are out of our heads and in the real world positioned next to other items for scale and perspective we’d see what shitty stories they really are. How irrelevant they actually are in relation to not only the truth but also reality.

Fellow fear facer and author Elizabeth Gilbert wrote an exceptional letter to fear in her book Big Magic.

 

The stories fear tells us

 

The sfd

Not everyone is a storyteller, a writer or inclined to put their innermost thoughts on paper (or on a computer). I know there are days where I can’t even sit still long enough to write a sentence, so my suggestions are these. Take out the medium that you feel most at ease with communicating these stories.

  • writing, stories, poems, lyrics, emails, notes, permission slips
  • painting, drawing, sculpting, carving
  • photographs or videos
  • speak the stories through songs, a vlog, podcast, voice recording on your phone, conversation with another person

The SFD doesn’t need to be public, it just needs to be out of your head and exposed for what it really is. Bullshit.

I always say to my students. Ask the question. Get the clarification. Make the statement. You are not the only one in the room feeling that way. By raising your hand and putting yourself in a space of vulnerability I can guarantee that at least one other will feel the same. They will be moved to either support you and contribute to the story or write/speak their own version.

Like all good stories, they need space and time to be told. So carve out a niche of time and get those words or images out of your head. Start that shitty first draft and see it for what it is. Fear. Vulnerability. Self-doubt. Acknowledge it, take responsibility for it. But don’t believe it. Please, don’t believe it.

Reigning in the stories

Brené, who has interviewed artists, CEOs, parents, teachers and military leaders as part of her mission to uncover what it takes to lean into vulnerability in the name of being courageous, suggests a few key points in order to ‘rise strong’ in the face of a roadblock, stumble (or sinkhole).

1.    Acknowledge when you’re getting caught in emotion

The physiological signs of this can be different for everyone but may involve sweaty palms, tingly insides, dizziness, racing heart, rushing thoughts.

2.    Own your story 

Acknowledge your fears and worries to yourself and identify what they are, exactly. You will probably recognise that they’re somewhat exaggerated versions of the actual truth.

3.    Go searching for the truth

Take it gently, this might involve, confessing to the person your SFD is about or involving and saying something along the lines of ‘In my head, the story I’m telling myself is…’

4.    Create a new story

In most situations, it’s possible to identify what the real issue is. Overwhelm, stress, tiredness, PMS, and more are all contributors to the story. The rest? Pure confabulation.

5.    Challenge your themes

If you’re serious about getting up and out of the SFD vicious circle, review your SFDs and pull out the recurring themes that you’re concocting on a regular basis about situations in your life, about people, about circumstances. Acknowledge the underlying false beliefs that may be plaguing you.

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If you need more help or coaching please get in touch here or info(@)wayfairer.net

Framing stories.

 

 

 

Packing the right tool kit for spiritually inclined travelers – 9 must have tools to have with you on the road

Packing the right tool-kit for spiritually inclined travelers – 9 must have tools to have with you on the road

Maintain your balance when you travel

Spiritually inclined packing list!

Packing list for the spiritually inclined, not really a list limited to those spiritually minded, but anyone who recognizes that sometimes we need extra help. In my experience after traveling for a long period of time, I get overwhelmed. Be it unsettled or tired. Often the result is that I find it hard to make decisions, clarify what I’m doing, where I’m going next, who I can trust and so on. If I’m not able to maintain rhythms of work, sleep, and healthy food it’s hard to be clear about what’s going on, all the time.

For example, I adventured around Myanmar a few years ago. One part of the trip I traveled by overnight bus to the north of the country where I was woken up at 3.30 in the morning. The bus was supposed to arrive at 7 am but arrived 3.5 hours early. I got hustled off into a pitch black street, with no real idea what is going on and where I was. As the bus pulled away, all I could see where the two rear lights disappearing in the darkness. Half asleep and disoriented, I had to make a decision. In this moment, it was which way to walk and find somewhere to stay (there were no taxis or living souls, and the bus had stopped on the side of a road rather than at a bus station).

Needless to say, most cities are quiet at 3.30 in the morning you can imagine the village was completely dead. Even the street dogs were silent. Without a proper map, idea, or even adequate lighting I reached for my ‘tool-kit’ and answered the pressing question ‘Where do I go now? Left or Right? My answer was ‘left’ and so, to the left I walked and into what would be the exact town I wanted to be in and to the only place that had someone available to talk to and with an available room at 4 am.

When we travel occasionally we have to make snap decisions about the best thing to do in a situation, quickly. Sometimes when your brain is not making any sense whatsoever due to stress, lack of sleep, or overstimulation, the reason doesn’t matter, occasionally we all need some secondary assistance. This is where my ‘tool-kit’ comes in. What did I use at 3.30 in the morning to make my decision? Kinesiology.

Muscle testing with Kinesiology

Kinesiology – muscle testing, brought into practice by Donna Eden. An energy healer who started asking her body what it needed, wanted, liked (or not) and from this, the practice of kinesiology was developed into a technique used to ask questions.

– Start by balancing yourself and taking a few deep breaths and firmly planting your feet on the ground, connecting with the universal energy flow, with your dominant hand connect the tips of your little finger and thumb together to create a strong circular connection. With your non-dominant hand create a pincer (crab claw) with your thumb and forefinger.

Your dominant hand is generally the hand you write with and non-dominant is your other hand.

– Start by asking two questions that have definitive yes and no answers, for example,

  • Is my name ___________ insert your name (the answer will definitely be yes)
  • Is my name ____________ select a random name (the answer will definitely be no)
    Use kinesiology to muscle test for information.

    How to get ready to muscle test for answers.

– When you ask each question create the loop with your dominant hand and the pincer with your non-dominant hand.

– Ask the question to confirm for the ‘yes’result – Is my name ___________? (insert your name)

– As you ask the question put your non-dominant pincer fingers in the circle made with your little finger and thumb of your dominant hand, insert your ‘pincer fingers’ into the loop and try to open your fingers with your other fingers – if the loop on your dominant hand doesn’t open the answer is YES.

– Now repeat the process with your ‘no’ question – Is my name ____________? (select a completely random name)

– As you ask the question put your non-dominant pincer fingers in the circle made with your little finger and thumb of your dominant hand, insert your ‘pincer fingers’ into the loop and try to open your fingers with your other fingers – if the loop opens easily, this means NO.

– For me, for example, if my fingers open easily as though I have no power or strength, this means, no. If my fingers open a little or with some difficulty, this means maybe, and best to find another solution. If I can’t open the loop at all, it means yes.

Asking questions about food

– helpful for those with food allergies* –

– You can ask all sorts of questions, related to food, places to stay, people, anything and everything. One good thing to remember is that the body doesn’t lie!

– To ask questions about food, its best to hold a piece of food so your body can feel it’s energy. Try it with a sachet of white sugar, then a piece of fruit or vegetable and see the difference in your body’s response to the question.

– how to keep your inner balance when you’re on the road –

Refine your packing list with the spiritual must have tools.

Spiritual tool box packing list essentials.when you’re on the road –

  • Pendulum – pendulums are a great tool for asking yes and no questions, again, center yourself and breath, go within and listen to your inner voice. Ask basic yes and no questions that you know are either yes or no (use the examples above) and once you have determined the movement from the pendulum that indicates yes, no and maybe – for example, turning anti-clockwise for no, turning clockwise for yes and straight swinging line for maybe. Pendulums take some time and practice, but well worth the time! Couple the answers with your kinesiology to see if you get the same answers.
    I usually wear a pendulum on a necklace, I particularly love the pendulums from Pound Jewelry. But you can use anything, a ring on a necklace or piece or string with a weighted end. What's important is the connection you have and how you ask the question.

    I usually wear a pendulum on a necklace, I particularly love the pendulums from Pound Jewelry. But you can use anything, a ring on a necklace or piece or string with a weighted end. What’s important is the connection you have and how you ask the question.

  • Tarot / Oracle deck – When packing for a trip I always take one deck of cards with me, historically tarot, but recently I have been using oracle cards more, so next time, who knows – maybe the oracle will come with me instead. I like to use the beautiful Vision Quest tarot deck, with amazing drawings with Native American wisdom. I mentioned before, oracle decks feature more in my daily practice. Colette Baron-Reid’s Wisdom of the Oracle deck has beautiful illustrations and her collaborative oracle set with Pam Grout, the author of  (E-squared) and (E-cubed). The Oracle of E is much simpler and straightforward, plus it has Pam’s wonderful tongue in cheek humor.
  • Tuning fork – personally when I travel I notice I pick up all sorts of ‘stuff’. From other people’s energy to negative ideas or thoughts, thus I always have a tuning fork with me. The tuning fork is a marvelous tool to refine and clear your energy if it’s not possible to have an Epsom salt bath, swim in the sea or use sage and palo santo to clear the energy of the space or yourself. Easy to include in your packing as it’s not bulky or heavy.
  • Mala beads – otherwise known as prayer beads, are strands of up to 108 beads used to create and maintain a rhythm whilst praying or meditating. Used in many different cultures with different names, Roman Catholics use the Rosary with 54 beads and five additional beads. Islamic prayer beads known as Misbaha or Tasbih have either 99 or 33 beads. Sikhs and Buddhists use Mala with 108 beads.
  • Palo Santo –  meaning literally “holy wood” a tree native to the subtropical and tropical regions of the Americas, burned as incense by the Incas and indigenous people of the Andes region. Palo Santo has the ability to clear energy similar to White Sage and Cedar. It’s also good for keeping away mosquitoes! If you’re packing to go to Australia or New Zealand you won’t be able to take Palo Santo with you. You’ll need to purchase some when you are there.  Check customs regulations before you travel. Palo Santo is also available as a therapeutic oil, which is an alternative to carrying a small piece of wood.
  • Yogo tall ultralight yoga mat made from natural tree rubber and cotton

    Yogo tall ultralight yoga mat made from natural tree rubber and cotton.

    Yoga travel mat – If you’re not really into yoga, in my opinion, there is no point taking a mat. But if you are a yogi and want to continue your practice without lugging a huge and heavy mat around with you, have a look at the Yogo ultralight mat. Just 1kg folding down to 30 x 7.5 x 12cm. The ultralight is 61cm wide and 173cm long with a thickness of 1.5mm made from natural tree rubber and cotton. The Yogo long ultralight mat is slightly heavier at 1.5kg but it’s 182cm long. Which for tall people like me is a better length!

    – Packing virtual tools –

  • Online meditations – we’ve all got a stash of meditations on our phone, kindle, tablet or computer. Meditations are a great tool to disconnect from the space we’re in. Regardless of whether it’s metaphorically or physically. Plus, they weigh nothing, an excellent addition to your packing list.
  • Kindle e-books –  I think of my kindle as an “escape hatch”. Disappearing into another world in the turn of a virtual page. I have the most basic version of the Kindle. I don’t want to be distracted by wifi or the web. Reading for me is serious business and when I’m in the zone, I don’t want to be distracted.

Packing lists have to be adapted to each person’s needs and requirements, but these nine items are a good starting point. Happy wayfairing and please leave a comment below to tell me what you tools you’re packing in your tool kit.

* please note that this is not a substitute for medical advice, please do not consume things that you know are not healthy for your body.