What would happen if I didn’t…..
Here’s a question for you to ask yourself to create a small space between a behavior, thought or feeling you might be struggling with.
For most of my life, I was seriously addicted to sweets (and I say “was” loosely and with respect for the struggle), anything chocolate, like brownies in particular. I struggled and struggled with this intense pull to anything delicious.
A few months ago, I was lying on the couch obsessing about brownies.
“Alyssa,” I said to my daughter. “I really want some brownies, and not just brownies, but brownies with ice cream and chocolate chips and chocolate sauce.” I could not get my mind off of this thought. I kept telling her over and over again, I was going to the store to get all of the ingredients and I was going to eat it. But I didn’t get off the couch. Instead I just kept talking about it.
I had this thought, which was really a question:
What would happen if I didn’t go get brownies right now?
What opportunities could present themselves in the space where getting brownies and eating brownies used to be?
These questions created a space for another possibility other than my normal routine of:
- think brownies
- feel brownies in my mouth while I think of brownies
- allow the “taste” of brownies to pull me to the store,
- finally eat brownies to only feel satisfied for a millisecond
- and then want more.
I didn’t go get brownies that day, or the day after or the day after. In fact I didn’t eat any sweets for over a month. This led me to seeing a nutritionist who talked to me about gluten and dairy and how it may be affecting my mind and body. Because of this space I created with that one simple question I was ready to create even more space by being gluten and dairy-free.
Last night, I had gluten-free brownies. The difference is I didn’t go through my regular routine. And why? Because of S P A C E. I simply made them, ate some and let them be just brownies, and not everything they were supposed to be for me.
I have taken this question and applied it to other issues, and truly it is amazing how it is working to create space and freeing me from behaviors I have struggled with for a long, long time.
So, how does this happen?
In our minds we create grooves, or neural-pathways. They work like this:
In our present reality, we may experience something that makes us act “irrationally.”
For instance, sometimes my husband gives me a certain look. I don’t really know what this look means, but inside it makes me feel inadequate, and instantly I respond by feeling inadequate. However, in order not to show my inadequacy I get mad, and isolate from him so he can’t “hurt’ me.
This look was sometimes given by my father (sorry dad). I shared in another blog, where I always felt like a disappointment to him, and to me this is what his look meant. In my youth I did not respond to my dad the way I respond to my husband. Instead I ingested this look by my father, and all that I thought it to mean, and created a groove of “reality” where I was unimportant, and a big disappointment. This created feelings, which were suppressed and overtime this suppressed energy created the behaviors I did, and sometimes still do, with my husband.
I hope that makes sense. These mind grooves can be dug really deep, and can dicatate our behavior for a long, long time. Until…. that is we offer space.
Questions can create space. They allow those neural-pathways to be interrupted, to question what to do since we didn’t do what we normally do, which is usually react unconsciously without being inquisitive.
Think of the old “church.” Or parents that did not want to be questioned. It is what it is. Do not question authority. If you do, you lack faith. Or whatever the fear tactic might be. However, we must question if we want to expand ourselves, and everyday we have numerous opportunities to open the space and ask:
What would happen if I didn’t….. you fill in the blank?
Oh, and I wanted to share what has opened up for me in the new space I have found:
- Eating well
- And I intend to begin my meditation practice again, which will create even more space.
Give up, and give in to what confines you- which all mental, unbalanced grooves will, by being an investigator into your own actions, thoughts and feelings. Be curious and alert. It’s important. And then notice the space, and all that it provides.
The Soul Reporter