Saturday, November 28, 2009

Is Your Wall Actually a Bridge?

It can happen when you start something new or bump into something old: you feel contrasts that seem like walls. What if a wall is really a bridge in disguise?

Someone I know mentioned a desire to start using guided meditation as part of her process not only to learn to relax but also manage and shift some of her habitual thoughts. I gave her a CD I had. The next morning she shared she didn’t think it would help. Every time the speaker instructed her to imagine something, she experienced a contrast. The contrasts that surfaced in her mind caused her to charge up negative associations. Instead of relaxing, she got more and more tense. Her initial and understandable judgment was that she’d hit a wall, or several, and couldn’t go any further.

The opportunity is she can observe where her thoughts lead her feelings to go, and which ones don’t work in her best interest or create the type experiences she truly desires—the most important bit being how she can choose what to feel—no matter what. This is a key point because . . .

What we ultimately want is a way to consistently return ourselves to the feeling state we desire when we’re pulled off center. If we think we want to change others or events that trigger reactions, we misplace our focus and wonder why our results don’t match our desired experience.

When you start something new, you’re like an untested rubber band that’s never been stretched in that particular way. You may feel constricted because of this or actually constrict against it.

When you perceive you face a wall and can’t move forward, the temptation is to believe what you perceive, call it a day, and go back the way you came. If you knew there was a switch that converted a wall into a bridge that led to a better place, would you look for it?

You may find the Power Tool I use as a switch beneficial.

I’ve divided thoughts into two worlds, and consider each as games I can “play.”

The limited world—
The power is outside of me.
This world embraces struggle, working long and hard, believing what experiences look like.
The past has more influence than this moment.
Worry and negative anticipation make sense.
Abundance, prosperity, joy, creativity, and ease are not my natural states.
What I think, believe, and feel have no effect on what I experience, because these are influenced by my outer experiences and others.
Any other form of limitation, whether inner or outer, lives here.

The Unlimited World is opposite of the Limited one.

Which of these worlds do you occupy or play in more often?

I make it a point to notice my thoughts and ask which world they belong to, which game they support me to play. This may seem simplistic, but asking myself this question has become an invaluable way for me to quickly refocus my energy and aim at my true targets. It’s a process that allows me to determine if a wall (perception, assumption, belief) is actually a bridge to a better game and experience.

You may feel that paying attention to your thoughts is like adding one more task to an already long list. But, what happens as you consistently do this is you lighten your load. All those non-supportive thoughts are like differently sized and weighted stones you carry in a sack over your shoulder. Recognize that you had to, at one time, pick them up and place them in the sack. Only you can pull each one out, look at it, and decide whether or not to keep lugging it with you.

Contrasting thoughts are not ones to avoid. If you manage them properly, you open a bridge that leads to more joyful, fulfilling experiences.

If joy, ease, and fulfillment are your desired experiences, get your e-copy of Reinvent Yourself: Refuse to Settle for Less in Life and Business today, or learn about the coaching program. Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach and author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say ( Get 8 FREE life-enhancing e-books, all of her e-books at a bargain—plus a gift (Discovering Your Life Purpose), and see her services at

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