Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Shift My Thoughts = A Shift in Me.

On the way down to Florida, a week ago, my husband, JT and I listened to a book on tape by David Allen called Ready for Anything. His book, although directed toward folks in the world of business, really resonated with me. I found myself jotting down poignant ideas and concepts that I might want to further explore. I don’t remember what in the book sparked this thought, but I jotted down the following concept: “Many of my best decisions were made without thinking, just doing, and going with what I know is right.” I remember repeating it out loud to JT, and saying “I know that is important, but I don’t know why.” I set the note aside and didn’t think of it again until today.

As I write this, I am on the way home from Florida and we just got done listening to another audiobook, Making Your Thoughts Work for You, with Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and Byron Katie. I grabbed this book at the library before I left for this trip, because the title sounded interesting – no other reason, I knew nothing about it. While I didn’t like the “love-fest” of appreciation the two speakers had for each other, I really enjoyed listening and was intrigued by what they taught. Certainly, I can not explain their concepts, as I am sure that I did not grasp them completely (or even a 1/100th). But what I did get was this:
  • Our thoughts are not always true. For example, with a newborn, I thought I NEEDED more sleep but I came to realize that wasn’t true – I may have liked more sleep, but didn’t NEED more.
  • Yet our thoughts, whether true or not, greatly impact our behavior, reactions, opinions, judgments and how we feel about people and situations. When I thought I NEEDED more sleep, I felt angry, resentful, and like an inept mom – but when I changed my thoughts and realized that I didn’t NEED more sleep, I was more relaxed, happier, content and peaceful with the situation.
So Dr. Dyer and Bryon Katie challenge listeners to question their thoughts and get to what is TRUE and then act and be, based on the truth.

While listening, I found myself coming back to my previous thought… “Many of my best decisions were made without thinking, just doing, and going with what I know is right.” It felt like this – that I had identified just a week prior – was, at least on some level, right on target.

One situation that I was speaking of was during the birth of my first child. After a long labor, including 4 hours of pushing and the cord wrapped twice around our baby’s neck, our son, AB was born. His Apgar scores were low, he was grayish blue, and handed directly to the respiratory team of umpteen billion nurses and doctors (ok, there were probably only 4 people, it just felt like a whole bushel of medical professionals). He was breathing and I could hear his tiny whimper – but he was quickly rushed to the Special Care Nursery (our hospital did not have a NICU) for observation and placed in an isolette.

After being reassured by the nurses and doctors that he was doing well, considering the situation, I began to relax and wave of calm came over me. I didn’t think – other than to consciously decide that I would NOT allow the “what ifs” and “why me-s” any consideration. My gut told me he was fine. As I told JT, “I just feel like everything is going to be fine, and I am going with that feeling.” While every other mother on the floor had her newborn in her room, I walked down the hall to the special care nursery to nurse and visit my son. I wasn’t sad, worried, or angry. Any time a thought would form that started with “what if” or “why me”, I dismissed it. I was only interested in dealing with what I knew to be true. This was my wonderful experience and I was simply living in the moment. Fortunately, as my gut told me, my son was fine.

But during that time of unknown, my thoughts could have easily taken over and made the experience horrific and traumatic. Instead, I have our beautiful memory of the birth of my first child.  It was not wrapped in a beautiful perfect present with a pretty bow – it was OUR story and for us, it was perfect.  Little did I know how important this experience would be for me, just 14 months later, after our second child was born.

Do you remember a time that you ignored or dismissed your negative thoughts and just experienced the moment?

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