You know who likes vacation more than me? My inner critic!
I know this might sound strange (or maybe not) but traveling brings up all kinds of feelings of scarcity for me. As soon as I get somewhere lovely and start to enjoy myself, thoughts like 'you don’t deserve this', 'you can't afford this' and 'who do you think you are to enjoy life this much' start to rain on my parade and bring me down.
I know they are just made up thoughts and not the truth but they can get really loud when I'm doing something that my inner critic thinks is indulgent. I am working through where this comes from but these days I try to acknowledge the feelings and experience them, not brush them aside or cover them up… and I think it’s working. On this latest trip to Mexico I started to feel the thoughts creeping in but instead of mantra’ing (pretty sure this is not a word) them away I sat with them and just let them come. Come at me inner critic, give me whatever you’ve got! And despite the sunshine of Mexico, it got cloudy in my mind for a while…stormy even; I felt shitty and undeserving.
Someone once described to me that our inner critic is like a little child that is upset; afraid of the unknown and wanting to be safe. If a child is upset we do not ignore or bully them into feeling better, we give them love and compassion and then with time they start to feel better. In the past I have tried to ignore or bully my critic but it just seemed to get louder. Giving my inner critic some space to express how it feels has helped to make it feel better and settle down.
I am also cautious though, of dwelling and giving my thoughts more power than they deserve. I don’t want negative thoughts to take up any more of my energy than is necessary. When you think about it, most of our thoughts have no truth to them, they are just ideas that pop into our mind. So while I am learning to sit with the shitty, I also have my mantras of 'I am worthy' and 'I deserve this'. I like to use the #abundance #gratitude #ease and #contentment hashtags as well... to put those words in my head to replace the scarcity ones. This is a practice and one that I know works. Just like training our muscles to be stronger, we can train our mind to think from a place of love and abundance.
Our mind is like an onion and when we peel back one layer, there is another. All of this awareness of my thoughts has made me realize that I've worked from a scarcity place for a long time and how much it's affecting all areas of my life. I want to let it go. I don’t want to operate from that place.
I now have a plan that I employ when I am not feeling the best. Here it is in case you’d like to try it out.
- When I feel my vibration is low (you know that feeling) I notice my breath, get quiet and become aware of my thoughts.
- Acknowledge and sit with them. Think about why a thought is coming up and where it’s coming from.
- Be compassionate and don’t judge.
- Let myself feel all the feels (shitty, sad, scarce, scared).
- When the feeling starts to soften (and it will) work to raise my vibration with more serving thoughts via mantras or intentions.
- Tell myself I am worthy, we all are, of greatness and great things and that there is more than enough for everyone.
- Repeat as often as necessary!
Now I’d love to hear from you! Where and when in your life do you hear your inner critic? What are your Jedi mind tricks for dealing with it?