Overcoming Overthinking

Overcoming Overthinking

Many people are looking for a cure for their busy mind, for their Overthinking! What they are not realising is that they already have one!

The feelings we get when we have a busy mind are here FOR us and are not working against us. The feelings we get when we are Overthinking is a reminder, a nudge from mind that we are Overthinking.  Feelings like tiredness, heaviness, anxiety, stress, anger, frustration and so on.  But often it is the feelings that people are looking to cure, to release, to rid themselves of and not the busy mind itself.

What happens is one of two things:

People try to organise all of their ‘thoughts’ into categories of priority or importance in a bid to focus, or, they try to rid themselves of the negative thoughts.

These would be perfectly logical steps, if, controlling our thoughts was possible. Unfortunately, contrary to most psychological theories, it is in fact impossible. However, how unfortunate is that in reality? Lets look a little closer.

If in fact it were possible to control our thoughts, possibility would shrink.  You can’t think what you don’t know! It just wouldn’t occur to you to have a thought that you did not know about.  You would stick to the same old thoughts, day in, day out, believing that those are the thoughts available to you, or that those are the thoughts that serve you best and even those are the thoughts you are stuck with.  Can you relate?

In fact, this is more common than we realise.  It’s called ‘habitual thinking’.  It’s thinking that sticks, forms neuro-pathways in our brain and these thoughts are often become our default. It is the very fact that we believe we are in control that prevents us from noticing new fresh thinking, new ideas, new perspectives.

Furthermore, our mistaken belief that we get to control our thinking causes friction.  Yes, we are actually trying to work against our own mind, our own universal mind. I did this for years.  In my quest to feel better, to rid myself of depression and anxiety, I tried to have better thoughts, more positive thoughts.  In essence, I simply took a shitty spoon to my mind and stirred it up, creating resistance.  Resistance to mind energy feels unpleasant, feels difficult, stiff somehow, scary even.  I really wanted to get rid of that feeling and so I stirred some more. I failed to understand that the feelings were trying to tell me something. There is wisdom in the feeling!

Whilst all of the thought was being stirred by me, I had very little chance to look into mind and catch a fresh new thought.

Fresh new thinking started to appear though, when I saw insightfully that I couldn’t change anything, that I aren’t that powerful.  I gradually put down the shitty spoon and stopped stirring more often and I noticed other options, other thoughts that hadn’t occurred to me before.  New fresh thinking emerges naturally, floats to the surface more readily when we allow mind to settle.  In essence, what happened was this: I surrendered!

I surrendered to not having control.  I surrendered to not being able to change how I feel.  I realised that although I felt bad, I couldn’t die from a feeling, but, perhaps I could die from trying to do something about a feeling – think drugs, food, suicide.  Yes, suicide was a constant thought for me and I even surrendered to the okayness of that.  I accepted that I felt suicidal because I realised that if I was capable of changing that thought and feeling, after 8 years, I would surely have done so.

Like magic, I began to feel lighter, relieved of a burden that I had been carrying around for most of my life.  I began to slip out of the habitual thinking that I had had to rely on previously because my mind had been too busy and messy form me to notice anything other.  Thoughts such as ‘I have to feel better’, ‘I have to try harder’, ‘I am not enough’ suddenly started to look less solid and real.  New thoughts like ‘it isn’t true that you’re not good enough’ accompanied with a lightness and deep knowing arose and I started to see that my natural state is peace and calm.  Furthermore, I saw that my natural state is more readily available when I am not trying to achieve it.  It was the ‘trying to achieve it’ that causing the ‘felt disturbance’.  I was swimming against the tide of my mind!

This is the human condition, the condition of you too.  The illusion is real and in a world where we are taught to control more and more often, we rarely get chance to give up the resistance.  On those occasions where we are calm, we believe it is because we have done something right; loved enough, been loved enough, worked hard enough for today, made enough money.  But non of that is true.

Feeling calmer, more loving, more at peace is ALWAYS because we have allowed it to emerge.  We have given up the fight in our mind and accepted this moment from what it is.

Miracles emerge from this place, from this space in our mind that is accepted and allowed.  Fresh new thinking, a better feeling, can all be along at any moment when we let go of control.  Even more wonderful, energy starts to resume, bodies and Minds can heal and restore and our whole world can change without hardly anything changing at all  <3

I invite you to surrender, to let go and to accept that you aren’t in control.  I know that you wouldn’t be self harming with your own thoughts if you fully knew that is what you were doing! Who would?! 7.6 billion humans wondering the earth trying to make themselves feel better so that they can live a fulfilled and happy life.  THAT, is a whole lot of Overthinking.

Imagine the whole raft of possibility if we start to let go!

Imagine the leaders who would relax enough to love and lead a little more!

Imagine the relationships that would be deepened!

Imagine the amount of compassion that would arise for ourselves and others with the simple realisation that we are already enough in this moment!

Imagine the ideas that would be given space to be actioned!

Again, I invite you to surrender, to give up the internal battle, to put down your shitty spoon and discover what emerges for you <3

 

Have you woken up in a bad mood?

Have you woken up in a bad mood?

Today I woke up in a bad mood!  This happens sometimes right? We go to bed perfectly fine, but, we wake the next morning and life feels shiz!  Actually, that is NOT what happened, let’s rewind.

I woke up and my first thought was ‘Wow, I slept well, I bet today is going to be a good day‘.  20 minutes later, I was arguing with my partner about I don’t even know what and life felt rubbish!  A series of ‘mini thoughts’ began, all of which, went something like; ‘Ugh, if only I made more money, my life would be much more entertaining‘ and ‘Ugh, I forgot I had run out of milk, now, I am going to have to nip to the shop before getting on a call with my client.  I really should have done this last night.  I always do stuff like this, I am so useless.  If I could learn how to be more organised, my life would be better, easier somehow’

I didn’t actually have time to get to the shop as, by the time I had showered and got dressed, it was time for my call.  The call went great, as in fact it always does.  I love talking to Ross, really listening and connecting with him and finding out where he is at.  A couple of times, I noticed my thought wandering somewhere else, like, ‘I better make sure I get the milk afterwards‘ and ‘I wonder if Ross can tell that I am in a bad mood‘ and then, connection between us would drop.  I asked Ross to repeat what he had just that second said and explained that I had been distracted and I noticed Ross’ face relax.  i guessed that he had in fact noticed that I wasn’t quite present and it had probably confused him, I mean, I normally always listen.  A few minutes later, we were in deep connection, my mind had settled and the time we spent was beautiful, full of plans, ideas and space.

Our state of mind shifts constantly and it’s guided by a universal life flow, a life energy that is beyond our control.  It is the same universal energy that grows trees and keeps our heart beating, drives the ocean waves and moves the earth around the sun.  Try to control it and you’re going to lose!  Ohhh, ok, so, it might appear that you can control it on occasions, you know, mindfulness, meditation, a glass of wine, a blazing row!  All of these things are an attempt to change something that, in that very moment, we are forgetting that we don’t actually control or cause!

My initial assumption that my day was ruined because I had no milk, was me forgetting that not having milk has NO baring on my state of mind and, if it has no baring on it, it cannot change it!  When I forget that, I might (as I did) berate myself for not having milk, for not being organised or caring or bothered and ALL of that, looks and feels like it’s because of the feelings I have.

Then I remember the truth;  My feelings are only ever telling me one thing….that I am feeling thought in the moment!  I am feeling my thinking, not ‘what’ I am thinking about!  I had experienced a shift in mood, in mind, in feeling and I had attributed it to something outside of me, in this case, the lack of milk and the fact that I had been the one who forgot it.  I was lost in my bad mood, however, my call went beautifully, go figure?  I mean, why did the bad mood not affect the quality of the call?

Here’s why; Our state of mind is governed by universal energy and as such, it changes constantly.  Because it was never caused or even about the lack of milk, or in fact, anything else outside of me, it could never be impacted by anything outside of me.  What could have made that call less than it was, is if I had not understood this and had tried to change the mood.  Instead, I just explained my distraction and made an effort to say connected to Ross, to listen and to be in a space with him.  My mood is irrelevant and says nothing about my performance, or my clients or even my partner or the lack of milk.

Now, imagine an electricity current going from one end of the room, to the other.  You know that YOU are not the source of the current right? Of course you do, it’s electricity, its created and governed by exactly the same universal energy that you are governed by.  If you suddenly decided that the electricity was to blame for your mood, would you start to throw water over it? or, put your hand in it? I imagine that to be a resounding No! because, you understand, that’s just not how it works and that you’ll be not only wasting your time doing such a thing, but, it’s not going to be an effective means of getting rid of the current.  In fact, it’s like to make the whole situation worse.

Well, trying to change you thoughts and feelings works on that principle too!  You are putting your fingers in the machinery, when, you don’t actually have to do anything about something that you are not responsible for or the cause of.  That electricity current might look like something beautiful in 5 minutes time, as opposed to something dangerous as it does right now.  Still, it’s not your job to poke around with it.  It’s your job to see that if you leave it alone, you’re still fine anyway, still free to continue going about doing whatever it is you are doing and the results you get, are not dependant on mood, thought, or the electricity current 🙂

Imagine how much time and energy you will have when you see the truth of how life works, how thought and feeling really work and how, non of that can determine what happens today, or any other day! <3

How to be Happy

How to be Happy

How to be happy is a topic that I find crops up almost every day with not only my clients but with friends, family and colleagues.  Despite being a coach, it still never fails to surprise me when during conversation, it becomes obvious that others are purposefully avoiding happiness yet openly pursuing it.  Oh, the irony!  Indeed, I myself have lived this way for most of my life, not recognising that I had the capacity to always be healthy and well because healthy and well is my natural state.  Learning of the principles behind clarity and how thought affects our experience in any given moment was my catalyst to begin to access success.  Success in my relationships, business, health, infact, in all areas of my life.  As my grounding in the principles deepens, my experiences of and in life lift, become lighter and brighter, yours can too.

Speaking to a friend of mine recently whom I had not seen for around 10 years and she was telling me, quite intently, of her dreams, her future goals and her great aspirations.  Whilst she was using such phrases as “I cannot wait until…..” and “Everything will be great when….”.   I sat quietly and just listened to her future plans and how some day, when she had everything she wanted, life would be great.  “Of course” she explained, “after such a stressful and sad time following the divorce, I know I just need to get back on my feet and then I can follow my own dreams”. Whilst I wholeheartedly agree that space to greave is definitely a good place to start following any such traumatic life event, whether it be divorce or death, I quietly asked her why she believes that ‘being back on her feet’ is a future event?  She stopped right there and I sensed her understanding shift as her realisation of the fact that there was nothing preventing her from being happy now, impacted her.  My emotion mirrored hers as I felt her heart swell, I was right there with her, connected and feeling love.

Most of course, do move forward and go on to live happy healthy lives, but, there are some who, for one reason or another, do not.  It is so easy to get stuck in resentment and pain and embody that pain as their identity.  Before they know it, they are unknowingly playing out the role of being victims of their thinking, however, would you ever dare point this out?  I would advise caution and instead, simply point them gently to their inner connection, their innate wellbeing, with love and empathy.

You see, very few people really want or enjoy being a victim or even recognise that they are.  Often, when stuck in their grief and pain, it is due to fear, guilt and anxiety rather than need or desire and the fact that we are simply feeling our thinking from moment to moment.  That is both our human gift and our failing.  Our ability to think, conceptualise, form perceptions and weigh up possibilities does not always afford us the freedom we would assume that it does.  We all at some time, lose someone whether it be death or the end of a relationship and we experience a whole host of emotions and although this is perfectly natural and normal, to stay for longer than necessary in those emotions is not healthy.

My friend for instance, her divorce was finalised over 3 years ago and the relationship had broken down 18 months beforehand.  Although there are no set rules for how long the grieving process should or can take, over 4 and a half years later, one could be closer to becoming comfortable with the idea.  There could be an element of acceptance and a mellowing of the emotions rather than the raw pain experienced in those early days.  An inability to deal with or move through grief extends stress and anxiety and can mentally paralyse the person experiencing such emotions.

An understanding of Clarity and it’s principles can help to move someone through this process and towards a settled state.  Thought is always the culprit.  Once we understand how the mind operates and that emotion is borne of thought, it easier to gain an isight into how people get stuck in their own grief. Emotions are powerful and the effects are often physical, leaving one in pain.  This cycle can feel scary and almost always leads to further pain and further thoughts.  Our thought though, is neutral and says nothing about the actual experience, until we think it does.  Thought is a perception of actual reality and not a mirror of reality as we might assume.

Being able to take a break from thought is a huge help and most people do this naturally in a reasonable amount of time.  Even the briefest break from thought can be helpful and doesn’t always have to be noticed.  In fact, often, these small breaks occur naturally when distracted by conversation with others, social events, work and so on and gradually extend themselves for longer periods, giving the mind that much needed rest from the chatter and a natural recovery ensues.  Understanding that we are only ever living in the present moment, for that is the only moment we have, can help thought to begin to drop away and bring space for fresh thought.  Along with that come new opportunities, new thought, new perspectives on experiences in the moment and space to continue to connect with our own innate health and wellbeing.

If you recognise that someone you know is or may be suffering in this way, one of the kindest and most loving things you can do is to reach out and connect with them.  Listen to what they have to say without judgement and really hear their message and show that deep level of understanding that they so need.

We are human, thought created feeling is one the traits of humanity, but, it can also be drawback.  Once we get a deep understanding of how our mind works, we can change our inner peace.  We then know in our essence that losing someone does not signal the end of a connection with a loved one, for that will always remain.  We are after-all, each connected to each other and learning to appreciate that we live in the present moment, we can really begin to experience that connection.

The all illusive question, how to be happy following a difficult and upsetting experience does not lie in the future, the answers are always in the present.  One of the commonest thoughts to prevent happiness is blame.  Blaming a partner for ending a relationship or blaming oneself for not being able to save it, is not rare.  But if thoughts don’t move on to acceptance, at some point, the feelings created by remaining in that blame state are often anger or guilt and or any other number of insecure thoughts and feelings.

We are always acting in accordance to what our own perceptions of the world are and perceptions are illusions.  Someone else’s perceptions of the same situation may be totally different and so how do we resolve this?  Well certainly, we can argue it out and try to work out who is right and who is wrong, however, both or all parties are right as we can do no more than act in accordance to that which we perceive to be true or correct.  Knowing this, really gaining an insight into the principles brings clarity and makes it easier to see how these misunderstandings arise and can in turn alleviate guilt, anger and blame.  In fact, we are all subject to the same misunderstanding and so in this vein, we are innocent of blame.  What you experience, perceive, is true for you, therefore, that is the only truth available in that moment.  Another or a different truth is however, only a thought away and opens up the possiblity for a whole new and different experience.

If you are interested in finding out more about Clarity and the underpinning principles to help support yourself or someone you know through a difficult and traumatic time you can email me on nicky@nickybartley.com

Becoming a Great Leader

Becoming a Great Leader

Becoming a Great Leader was not the aim of many of the worlds Great Leaders.  Most just happen to be a Great Leader and are adored and revered by their crowd for other things such as Martin Luther King, whose purpose and aim was to put an end to racial hatred, Mother Theresa who insisted on doing as much as possible to end world poverty.  Great Leaders become so by doing great and amazing things…by daring to dream

According to Forbes Magazine, the main characteristics of a Great Leader are as follows:
+Ability to Delegate
+Honesty
+Great Communication
+Accountability/Responsibility

These are fabulous characteristics, however, the list is not exhaustive and the University of Notre Dame would add things like “Being a Risk Taker”

We can then go on to look at Psychometric tests such as Myers-Briggs and they would have a complete different take on it and come at an angle of styles rather than characteristics and so words such as ‘visionary’ and ‘participative’ get thrown into the mix!!

So, are Great Leaders born or do they learn to be Great Leaders?  The answer is simple, some are born, others learn 🙂

One Characteristic that is prevalent throughout all of the different schools of thought though is that Great Leaders are “Goal Orientated”

Great Leaders set and achieve goals!! Their goals will differ hugely but they know and understand the importance of having that goal, that dream, that aim!!

Great Leaders, they focus, they strategise, they plot, they never stop until they achieve!!

Perhaps more importantly, Great Leaders have “Self Belief”!! Even in moments of doubt, they find ways, methods and means to overcome that self doubt….They melt away their limiting beliefs. Great Leaders know instinctively that they can achieve anything they want to and that there are solutions to everything. Great Leaders are not phased by problems, they are excited by challenges.  Their Limiting Beliefs act as motivating factors, as obstacles to overcome and as barriers to bust through!

Leadership is not just important in the workplace though.  Leadership is important in life in general.  That need to be accountable, to delegate, to communicate, it runs through the very being of our lives.  As parents, grandparents, friends and acquaintances, we all need to navigate the ever complex societal rules and norms which get in our way of ultimate happiness, of just being and living in a way which is authentic and harmonious.

Learning to overcome your limiting beliefs is integral to leadership and to happiness.  Whatever your goals, dreams and aspirations, being aware of your limiting beliefs and finding ways to overcome them is imperative to your success.  I would love you to comment below and tell me about your Big Dreams and how you’re planning to achieve them

 

Nicky x