The other day I had this thought, and it has turned out to be a really useful one.
To set the stage, it was late at night. I fell asleep reading in a cozy bed with a dog at my feet. I believe my mind was saying something like,
“God I don’t want to get out of bed to brush my teeth. I just want to keep sleeping.”
And then it went,
“I wish I wanted to brush my teeth. How would that feel?”
And I proceeded to pretend like an actress that all I wanted to do in the whole wide world was get out of the cozy bed, put my feet on the carpet and walk myself to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I even pretended to look forward to the feeling of cold water.
The result was rather amazing. It made it a lot easier to do it than when I was fighting off my loathing for leaving the coziest place in the universe.
I continued to try this with other things.
“I am going to be so nervous when my friend asks me to sing with her later.”
“I cannot WAIT to sing with my friend later. It’s going to be so fun. I am just so excited to see what happens!”
and then, even:
“I wish I never had to sing in front of anyone, ever. I don’t want friends. I don’t want to sing. I hate the whole thing!”
Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Sometimes you have to play around with extremes to see where you actually want to be.
The thing is, there are always many ways to see things. But usually we just stick with the first one. “I don’t want to do the dishes.” “I wish it was sunny out.” “I am not the kind of person that would enjoy walking in the rain, playing an open mic, dancing with a stranger, eating a salad for dinner…” anything at all. We get stuck and save time by not bothering to see things in the less familiar way.
We get these fixed notions, but what about trying for fun to see the same thing in the opposite way? And then maybe, a third way? A made-up way? A way that just reminds our brain that really, the first notion we have about the way something “is”, especially when that something is as complex and lovely as our human being selves, is not necessarily the ideal one.
Just some thoughts for a Tuesday. I’m hoping that by continuing to do this, I’ll get through some aspects of stage fright and other patterns. Even if that doesn’t happen, the process of doing this is fun and leads to some cool perceptions. This picture, if it was moving, would display me singing in front of a new friend. So clearly, something is working.
Do you ever think about things in an opposite way just for fun?
Are you going to try it?
Do you know some of your most solid beliefs or ideas that you wish could change but you are just positive that they won’t?
Do you remember being different than how you are now, and wondering if life would ever change?
I hope your week is going well!