I have told the story (on some platform) of the moment-capture I had with my youngest nephew after we spent a full day celebrating my mom’s 80th birthday. He must have been four and a half. I found myself upstairs with both my nephews sitting cross legged on top of the pull out couch. They had just gotten into their pajamas and were snuggling into some milk and a show to chill out before bed. All my nephew said quietly to himself, as he was about to take a sip of his milk with eyes on the screen, was “happy”. I think I remember it because it captured exactly what I was feeling. It was a simple moment. He labeled it: happy. No more. No less. Just right.
This month is themed ‘replacement’ and it builds off of last month’s theme ‘function’. Our subject is the metaphorical elephant in everyone’s ‘room’ that is somewhat ever-present, yet mostly goes unacknowledged. Behavior is often the underlying enemy, the lead finger pointer, to the problem. Behavior choice is the ultimate ‘other’.
“What do you want?” the student is asked as they share the problem of the other. “I want it to stop. I want it to go away,” the student responds through tears.
Behavior. Mine or yours?
If it would just go away.
Who or what now has the power of your feeling state?
And you very well may be your own ‘other’.
It’s a tough topic. It seems to be the same dynamic across settings: ‘If ________ could just _________ THEN I could __________.
Who or what has the power?
You are the common denominator of your life.
If the other could just stop. If the other could just go away.
In an attempt to generalize, I thought back to growing up and wondered about behaviors that got in the way of the outcomes I wanted to experience. I could share stories and add context, but the three common denominator ‘urge/impulses – behavior’ were: jealousy, overeating, and gossiping.
Jealousy: comparison, scarcity mindset, not enough
Overeating: addictive in its nature as it was incessant ‘consumption’ that was never enough
Gossip: felt so good – connection, validation, relief and satisfaction in the complaining and blaming…but like the consumption – never lasting, never enough
‘The parent’ did all the right things in response to my behavior as I was growing up: Jealousy? (‘just be yourself sally’), Overeating? (all the wholesome foods available, home cooked meals and baked treats), Gossiping? (quietly spoke a dialogue under her breath that was ‘the nice thing to say’ as I had no problem gossiping on the phone in the middle of the kitchen – to my mind, I was just talking).
The external environment was cued for healthy outcomes. Why the unhealthy behavior?
The inside world. The patterns. The ancestral codes. The thoughts and the story they told of not enough.
Care about yourself enough to wonder about limiting outcomes that continue to circle back and disrupt the experience of day. Notice the desire to complain, blame, criticize, prove, or judge. Is the finger pointed? These behaviors are clues to an-other.
Disruptive outcomes can be disrupted.
You are the common denominator.
Is the-story-you-tell giving away your power to the other ?
What if you told a different story?
What story do you tell about happy?
Notice happy : Clear mind. Open heart. Stable belly. Not too much. Not too little. Just right.