Often as we expand and grow, we will stir up some negative catabolic energy. I’ve heard lots of reasons for this.
For instance, we may have evolved, but aren’t allowing ourselves to be the bigger and brighter version of ourselves. Just like the view is different as we climb a mountain, our perspective is now different then it’s been in the past and we may now see new things to change. Things that were acceptable at one point in our lives no longer are and we must figure out a new way. We literally have a new awareness of old patterns of thoughts and beliefs that have been holding us back.
I can feel that I am going through one of those personal evolutionary times, so it was interesting but not terribly surprising yesterday that I had a lot of catabolic emotions coming up. At different points in the day, I felt overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, sad, and even ashamed. Whew. Not very much fun, but always valuable!
One of the opportunities it presented was reminding me of all the tools I have to shift from negative catabolic emotion to positive anabolic emotion, and also how much mental focus and effort it takes to shift when we are caught up in a wad of poor me or p*$@ed off. I believe this renewed awareness will be a beneficial to those I work with—and to you fabulous readers. So here’s what I did.
As is often the case, it was easier for me to catch the emotion rather than the thought or belief that was triggering the catabolic hail storm.
When you are aware that you are feeling the opposite of holly jolly but aren’t really sure what’s going on, it’s a great time to pull out your journal. Ask yourself questions like, “What am I feeling?” “What does this feeling mean?” “Where is this feeling coming from?” As you get started, you may find that you are creating a longer and longer list of what’s wrong. Once you get clarity, go ahead and stop yourself from digging that negative trench any deeper and begin to create a new path with questions like, “What would make this better?” “What’s a different way I could look at this?” “What would feel like relief?”
During a negative spin cycle it can be easy to let my Gremlin—that negative self-talk that everyone has—have free rein to focus on all the ways I’m screwing up, so to counter that I consciously began focusing on what I was doing right. Even if it was tiny—I drank a glass of water! Good for me!—I counted it.
Doing this mental work is tiring, so another tool I used was to amp up my self-care. In addition to eating healthy food, I gave myself a night off from work and went to bed early. I actually used that first hour to meditate and then focus on gratitude and appreciation.
A number of teachers have offered up the tool of focusing on gratitude before bed and as you wake up, and I have to say this is one of my favorites. It’s a fabulous way to mentally change the subject and begin building momentum in the direction you really want to go.
And what a difference it’s made! Treating myself with gentleness and respect, not allowing myself to wallow in the negative, figuring out what’s going on and consciously shifting my focus, quieting my mind and focusing on gratitude, and getting adequate rest have left me feeling clear and refreshed. And boy do I appreciate that!
What can you do when you catch yourself in a catabolic maelstrom? How does shifting your perspective, and utilizing self-care and gratitude make a difference? What difference does that make to your body—and your life?
Together we can do it!