Archive for curiosity

Flip the Switch

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I was talking to my friend the other day, telling her about the two current big stressors in my life.

With one, there is an end in sight, though when exactly that will come about is uncertain.

With the other, there is no end, at least not a good one, unless some miracle happens. (Which I believe is entirely possible.)

I told my friend that what produces the most anxiety is that I never know what’s going to happen–when some unexpected thing concerning either of these two things will hit me. Seems like I’m derailed daily by things out of my control.

But then I remembered some of the unexpected good things that happened to me in the past week. And it hit me: Instead of living in dread of the unexpected bad things, I could “flip the switch.”

CC BY-SA by Marcus Q

Many mornings these days I’d wake up feeling anxious, with that sense of dread over “what might I be hit with today?” Some of it is no doubt “emotional inflammation“: me as a Highly Sensitive empath picking up on “what’s in the air.” But what if I could counter the automatic response with something deliberate?

What if I intentionally switched the “I wonder what will hit me today?” to, “I wonder what unexpected good thing will happen today?”

(You may recall that I wrote about how the same circuit in the brain where anxiety and fear reside, curiosity also dwells. You can’t be anxious and curious at the same time.)

Intentionally activating curiosity, and anticipating that good things will happen unexpectedly, totally shifted things for me. I become very excited about the day. My mood, my creativity and productivity skyrocket.

I’ve already been in the habit of ending the day by looking back at what went well, keeping a “gifts journal.” It is a good way to end the day.

This new practice provides a great way to begin the day as well. It’s done wonders to decrease anxiety levels.

It’s not just “positive thinking,” either. It’s based on truth and initiates a shift in perspective. God does give us many gifts in a day, if only we open our eyes to see and receive them. (I published a whole book on this, Abundant Gifts.)

Try it, I think you’ll really like it!

And if you’d like a custom Healing Code and some coaching to help you heal those things that stress you, and integrate this practice into your life, check out my coaching packages at HealingCodesCoaching.com. Also my Abundant Gifts blog, where you can find instructions on how to keep a “gifts journal” and a couple of ways to do it.

A friend of mine was asked to fill out a survey asking, “Are you optimistic or pessimistic about 2021?”

How would you answer this?

As I reflected on this, I came to the conclusion that I’m both optimistic and pessimistic. It all depends on which perspective I’m coming from.

And my “both” answer is also based on looking back on 2020.

CC BY-SA by jospeee

From an outward perspective, looking at the world and all that happened, it was awful. I don’t have to remind you of the negatives: a global pandemic. Racial unrest. Political instability. Violence. Unemployment. Businesses lost. Lives lost. Friendships and families torn asunder by the polarization that has only grown.

My heart has broken many times over these things.

And 2021 so far hasn’t exactly given us much reason to think things will get that much better, though there are glimmers of hope.

Personally, 2020 was also a time of loss for me. My mother. My cat and last pet. Difficult diagnoses that, if the doctors are right, will only get worse.

Outwardly, not much cause for optimism.

I’m sure you have your own losses and challenges. No use glossing them over. It was a year of suffering.

I recently gave a custom Healing Code for the Emotional Inflammation from all of this. (You can go here to access the custom Healing Code for emotional inflammation. Use this password to access the correct page: EIHC2021.)

When you look at life strictly from a human perspective, if you base your hope on what human beings can do (though we can do some pretty amazing things), I think you would tend to be pessimistic.

Yet, I’m also optimistic.

I’m optimistic because human beings do not have the last word.

God does.

And God’s Word says he’s at work, busy making all things new.

God’s last word says he has a plan, he’s working to head up all things under his kingdom which is all about “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17)

When I look at my inner world, I am optimistic. I have seen what God has done even last year, turning the lousy outward circumstances for good in my life and the lives of those I’m close to.

Take, for instance, my broken foot. God got so much mileage out of that one for me, and I’ve written about it some. I won’t go into details, but the timing was such that it actually answered at least two other prayers I had been praying.

Also, it helped me to slow down—something I apparently was unable to do without a little tough love on God’s part. (I had actually told God, “I know you’ve been telling me to slow down, but I just don’t know how.” Allowing me to break my foot–which happened because I was rushing–was God’s answer. By God’s grace, I didn’t need crutches, I didn’t need surgery. It slowed me down just enough to answer my prayer.) The lesson is sticking; I really am slowing down.

When my business also slowed down, I was able to get PUA assistance, and the time allowed me to work on some exciting new programs for you.

What about you? Can you look back on 2020 and see any ways God has turned some difficulty into a blessing?

He can do that for everything, I believe. The key is to entrust the situation to him.

“God, I don’t know what you’re doing here, it sure looks like a terrible situation to me right now. But I believe you, being God, can by definition do anything. And I believe you are good. So, because of your infinite wisdom and creativity, I’m going to entrust this situation, this year, to your creativity, goodness and wisdom.”

Then, get curious and hopeful about what he will do. Even if the curiosity is laced with a bit of skepticism (“God, I can’t wait to see how you can turn this into something good”), it seems to be enough to give space for God to work. 

Curiosity and hope—that will get us through 2021 so that, a year from now, we can look back and say, “it was the worst of times, and—only because of God—it was also the best of times.”

And if you need help with being able to trust God because of past negative experiences, with religion or relationships (both affect our relationship with God), feel free to contact me for some coaching. Some of my new approaches really help with this. A client told me just the other day, “You’re the first person who was able to hold space for me to heal my relationship with God. I’ve seen breakthroughs since.” 

I’m not surprised that she’s had breakthroughs. Our relationship with God affects everything. Connecting with the Source of Life seems an obvious first step to walking the path of life.

What is your earliest memory? It may hold the key to the identity you have built for yourself (which perhaps you may want to amend).

My earliest memory is from when I was around 3 years old, and my family was visiting my grandparents. My grandmother asked me kindly, “How are you, Diane?” To which I replied, “My name isn’t Diane. I’m The Lone Ranger!”

I don’t know where that came from. Perhaps when I was hospitalized for the first 6 weeks of my life and operated on for an abdominal obstruction, my little heart came to believe that I had to go it alone in the world. Then, when I watched The Lone Ranger show, that whole “save the world by being different, by fighting for the right thing, by doing/seeing things your own way” took hold.

(I recently watched this program on Youtube. I couldn’t get through more than two.)

Somehow the “Lone Ranger” icon stayed in the culture, and with my subconscious mind for a long time. Growing up, I didn’t have much support for being who I was. I was truly a Lone Ranger, but one who figured out how to get what I need and learn what I need to know. Without any help from anyone (because then, it just wasn’t there).

The approach served me well. Or so I thought.

Until …  It didn’t. Read More→

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A week ago I learned something fascinating about the brain, and have been experimenting with the practical aspects of it ever since.

The results are amazing.

(If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I’m an inveterate learner, and I love to pass on to you what I’m learning in a way that will enhance your life and your healing somehow.)

What I learned, from Dr. Jim Wilder, a neuroscientist: Fear and curiosity run on the same brain circuit.

So what, you say?

So what is this: Since these two emotions run on the same brain circuit, you cannot experience fear/anxiety and curiosity at the same time.

Soooo, when you feel fearful/have a fearful thought, if you catch yourself and switch to curiosity—poof, the fear is gone!

I have been trying this myself. There is a certain ongoing situation in my life that triggers feeling threatened and fearful. I have actually been praying about how to quit feeling fearful. This is my answer.

Now when the trigger happens, instead of the usual, “What does this mean? What will this require of me? How can I cope with that too?” . . .

I switch to: “I wonder what prompted that person to say/do/think that? I wonder why it triggers me so much?” (This “why does it trigger me so?” is a question you can ask yourself to find out what underlying memories might be making the current situation worse. Then, of course, you address those memories with a Healing Code. In this situation,I actually know why I get triggered, and have worked on healing that. But the ongoing situation still has to be dealt with, and asking the first question helps that.)

Another way to engage in curiosity is to use the “I wonder what would happen if …?” formula.

“I wonder what would happen if instead of defending myself, I apologized?”

“I wonder what would happen if I prayed for that person/situation?”

“I wonder what would happen if I did (or said) nothing this time?”

“I wonder what would happen if I reacted in the exact opposite way as I feel like reacting?”

(I wonder what will happen if YOU try some of these things. Let me know!)

Switching to curiosity really does work. Not only does it take you out of the fear vibration, but it moves you into a much higher vibration of possibility, discovery, even joy. There is a great expansiveness and openness about curiosity.

I am finding new solutions to problems when I switch from fear/overwhelm/anxiety to curiosity. It’s been fun, amazing, and—I highly recommend it!

Try it, and let me know what happens by adding a comment. Sharing our stories encourages others and also opens up all of us to new possibilities.

And if you would like personalized help with healing the blocks to curiosity and expansiveness, I’m just a few clicks away at HealingCodesCoaching.com.

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