A 5-minute Practice to stop Fear from Photoshopping our Reality
Our reality is a reflection, not an absolute. There are so many social folk laws and cultural influences that influence our reality. Essentially, our beliefs, preferences, attachments, expectations, fears, emotions, and experiences all get rolled up into one big burrito and, voilà, we’ve got our subjective impression of reality.
Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself using an example from Elizabeth Gilbert that I love - wherever you are sitting right now, take one minute and focus on everything red in the room. When you’re finished, turn your eyes back to the screen and try to remember everything you saw that was blue. Exactly. You can’t really…or at least the red overshadows everything else. That’s how we walk through life, filtering reality to fit in the schemas we hold closest.
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this. Our brains are wired for survival. Much of what we were forced to deal with long ago was life-threatening. And in the wild, what induces fear—say a gigantic polar bear trying to bite your face off—should be fled from as fast as possible.
However, unless you’re Bear Grylls, we don’t need this filtering mechanism to be as active in modern society. What induces fear for most of us now is what causes cognitive dissonance or runs contrary to our beliefs about reality. It’s what challenges us. It’s also what our brains naturally filter out.
We get what we expect. What we focus on, expands.
If we walk around stressed out and feeling like nothing can ever go right, and we fundamentally believe this to be the way that our lives are going to go, our brains unconsciously feed us more of the same.
So this is something we work on alot in my mindful Hypnobirthing courses. We look at the culture around birth today, what has influenced our feelings towards what its like to go into labour, what birth feels like, how much it will hurt etc etc
We then look at ways to get out of this cognitive labyrinth and into a reality we actually want. We learn about the brilliance of the human body and how it's designed to give birth, and what we can go to support it in this. Spoiler alert - releasing fears and feeling calm, confident and relaxed is a HUGE part of this. Anchoring ourselves in the present moment, and tuning into our primitive brain. We use simple mindfulness practices to help us live more in the present, as well as hypnobirthing techniques - so that we have a complete set of tools to have a positive pregnancy, labour and birth experience.
So this is a short practice you can try:
Commit to at least five minutes every single day sitting with yourself. Don’t judge or condemn your mind for darting around like a pinball machine. Just watch it and notice what stories it is telling you over and over again.
Just by observing, you separate yourself from the story.
You realize the story is not fundamentally “you.”
It’s almost like you become the narrator instead of the protagonist in the thick of the plot of your life. You’re still incredibly involved in the story, but you are one frame removed so you can see things from a broader scope.
Once we pause and look, then things can start to shift—out of the mind and into the heart. We can become deliberate creators, allowing everything that we truly want to flow into our experience, rather than creating by default—rather than being dragged around by the mind. We would begin to plant the seeds of the most positive states of being: peace, joy, love, calm, confidence and assurance.
Our realities wouldn’t be so photoshopped by the mind.
Here’s a simple mantra we can use for our journey: “May our thoughts be the script for the symphony we most deeply desire and may our instrument be our hearts.”
For more details on the Hypnobirthing courses I run in and around York and Harrogate visit my hypnobirthing website www.formodernmothers.com
You can also join me on Facebook for lots of Hypnobirthing and Mindfulness goodness www.facebook.com/formodernmothers