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On the last track, we discussed how to begin experiencing an increased sense of difference between heart or core self and your ego or reactive thoughts. You were provided with the "Need to be Right" exercise.
On this track we will discuss various ways that holiday triggers can become recurring times of anguish and how to recognize patterns of some of your negative habits.
One of the problems with holidays is in the area of expectations. Do you agree? Oftentimes you have positive expectations and things just don't work out the way you had planned in your mind. Or sometimes you may have negative expectations which turn into self-fulfilling prophecies.
Think of an example of an upcoming situation you have already labeled as one that
is going to be negative?
long as you are preoccupied with what others do or don't do you are locked in
a sort of self-styled hell. Why do I say a self-styled hell? Think back to the upside down smile your child had on his or her face when... the ice cream you bought
to go with the pumpkin pie wasn't Ben and Jerry's, their favorite. Or think about
Uncle Bill that insists on smoking in your house; the relative that drank too
much, showed up late or didn't come at all and on and on and on. Yet the instant
your awareness returns to yourself, you cannot help realize that you are free
to feel the way you wish.
continue the same reactions towards these people and holiday triggers still stay
intact, and the world that you have always had, you will remain its victim. Your
chronic feelings of discontent may merely deepen. You do not have to change your
reactions immediately. That may be the second step but it is not the first. Instead,
you must continue to notice them. Your initial reactions use the past as a guide.
The Battlefield of Your Judgements
Every experience is preceded by a decision. Do you agree? Letting your day or your holiday season dictate your mood is your decision. Deciding to have the kind of day you want will not give you special powers and advantages over those who do not yet know enough to decide. And the kind of choice I am speaking of will never call for you to wring from other people their compliance by nagging or out reasoning them. By consciously choosing to be happy you leave the battlefield altogether. The battlefield? Yes, the battlefield of your judgments.
7-Step "Morning Attitude Log" Technique
Step 1: Write down all that you can remember regarding what you do physically (not mentally)
just after you awake. Put these in the order they usually occur. Do you first
lie in bed a minute or two with your eyes closed and "think" or do you
jump up immediately? Do you yawn and stretch? Then go to the bathroom? Once in
the bathroom do you first look in the mirror? Weigh?
Is setting a purpose the night before something you might consider to change some self defeating mental triggers that are set into action when you wake?
On this track, we have discussed various ways that holiday triggers can become recurring times of anguish and how to recognize patterns of these negative habits. Also, we included a "Morning Attitude Log" exercise to address these holiday triggers.
The next track will discuss how to deal with a negative thoughts: by avoiding self-criticism; by eliminating unnecessary mental stimuli; and by releasing the burden of small, useless battles
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