Tomorrow I’ll be speaking at a life skills workshop for young women called Beautiful Minds.
In preparing for the talk, I’ve reflected a lot on how I often felt as a girl (bullied, isolated, depressed) to how I often feel now (positive, connected, resilient).
As you can see – a pretty big difference.
But it wasn’t just part of growing up. All the positive things I am now are all things I’ve learned.
And lemme tell ya, if this recovering pessimist can do a 180 towards joy – you can too!
Because having more beautiful thoughts towards yourself and others, doesn’t mean you never suffer. But it does mean you can weather the tough times more easily. And that in turn creates a beautiful life.
So here are 3 simple steps to begin creating your Beautiful Mind.
Do a 180 from your Inner Bully to your Inner Bestie
Inner Bully. Inner Critic. Gremlins. Monsters. Inner Bitch.
Whatever you call it - everyone has a critical inner monologue.
That harsh critical voice is not the voice of your true authentic self. It is a part of you that is overly concerned with your safety.
Your Inner Bully wants to prevent you from taking risks in order to protect you, especially from potential social isolation or humiliation.
Understanding that your Inner Bully has your best interests at heart can actually take away a lot of the sting from the repetitive, critical things that your Inner Bully says.
But the guard that keeps you safe also keeps you stuck and small.
So how do you move past the Inner Bully so you can get what you want?
Enter your Inner Bestie. Your Authentic Self. Your Inner Bliss Sis’.
Your Inner Bestie is the part of you that can soothe, motivate and inspire. And you connect to your Inner Bestie through kindness.
Imagine someone that is easy to love. Your best friend, your soulmate, your kindred spirit.
Imagine the one you love is scared and anxious. What do you say to them?
“Yes, you’re a loser, no wonder no-one loves you”
You soothe them with gentle loving words of kindness.
The same is true for your Inner Bully. They’re just scared. But you can soothe them by connecting to your Inner Bestie. By using thoughts, words and actions that you usually reserve for your loved ones.
And the seven most powerful words your Inner Bestie can say to your Inner Bully?
“Thanks, but I got this one covered.”
In a day and age where everyone can share their amazing lives all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram it can seem like everyone is having a field day but you.
It’s easy to forget that we all share our best bits on social media and none of the bloopers.
Certainly comparing your body with someone else’s can be a recipe for jealousy. Or conceit. And neither feels particularly beautiful.
On the flipside, gratitude turns everything you have, are and do into enough.
So ya gotta get grateful ‘bout what ya got!
Simply noticing when you are judging, criticising or comparing is a powerful step towards stopping this behaviour. Then you can practice doing a 180 towards gratitude.
For example, if you’ve caught yourself wishing you had the long lean legs of the girl who just walked past in skimpy shorts - simply say to yourself “Hello judging mind” or “I notice I’m comparing now”.
Then take a deep breath and say “I release these thoughts.”
Next, take some time to appreciate what your legs do for you. Say “Thank you legs for allowing me to run to my lover / skip with my kids / dance my butt off”
It may seem silly at first, but remember – negative self talk is just as much a practice as positive self talk. So you might as well say something nice.
If you have any guilt or shame surrounding judgmental thoughts like “Oh no, I’m comparing. I shouldn’t have compared I’m a terrible person why can’t I stop comparing I’m such a failure GAAAAAH!” - it’s a sure sign your Inner Bully has kicked into gear.
Take a deep breath, say “I release these thoughts too” and go connect to your Inner Bestie.
Cultivating awareness and then consciously practicing non-attachment to our judgmental, critical or comparative thoughts is wonderfully liberating.
Self love is a journey and a practice. It’s about discovering who you are, why you are and allows you to express your authentic self more fully.
Authenticity may alienate others from you, but it also attracts the right people to you. The more you are yourself, the quicker your tribe can recognise you and you them. And these connections are the most precious of all.
Create a quiet safe place and begin a dialogue with your authentic self. Ask yourself questions like
- What am I intensely interested in?
- What do I value?
- What is keeping me feeling stuck?
- What do I need in order to release my stuckness?
- How can I take care of myself?
- What brings me utter joy?
- What truly comforts me?
- What does kindness feel like?
- What problem in the world am I called to heal?
- What do people thank me for?
- What do people tell me they love about me?
- What do I love about me?
Connect to your truth. And then use these strengths and unique qualities as affirmations.
Instead of chanting “calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean” - see yourself as someone who matters. See yourself as worthy of love and belonging – because you truly are. Try these affirmations on for size:
- I love and accept myself unconditionally as I am
- I am worthy of love and belonging
- In this very moment, all that I am, have and do is enough
- I love ____ about me (fill in the blank with the specific quality or talent that only you have)
And if it feels strange or unnatural to say nice things about yourself, fake it until you become it. Condition yourself with love.
Begin with a beautiful mind and it will definitely lead to your beautiful life.
What practice do you use to create your beautiful life? What do you think of affirmations? Are they useful or do they seem silly? How would you practice gratitude? Let me know in the comments below.