Monday, November 1, 2010

Go, You!!

This is for my son and his friends.

Young adulthood can be a wonderful time, but it is also full of pressure and stress and unrealistic expectations and fears for the future. All of this because you don't yet know who you are. Your strengths, your challenges, even your weaknesses... you are really just discovering these things and don't yet know what to do with them.

To add to the discomfort, there are plenty of people willing to give you their opinion - and whether they really have your best interests in mind or not, whether they are right or not, those opinions can hurt. And figuring out what to do with the information you are being given can be tough and confusing. It's not always easy to tell the difference between Persistence and Idiocy.

So here's the thing. When you are feeling confused or dismayed or stressed-out about a particular issue, talk to your gut. Find a quiet place, take some deep breaths, pay attention to the sound and feeling of your breath going in and then out of your body. When you feel relatively calm, explain (silently or out loud) the situation to your internal guide - your gut - as though you were telling your best friend about your problem. Since you are speaking to your best friend, expect a sympathetic yet honest hearing.

Choose two options (or three, but your clearest answer will come from the clearest, simplest choices) that you are seriously considering as actions that will address the problem at hand, and say each one - out loud if at all possible - as though you have already decided to take that action. And then just pay attention to how your stomach and body feel as you make that statement. Make each statement as simple and positive and immediate as you can. Use the present tense, so that your gut believes your statements and reacts to them directly and clearly.

For instance, if you are deciding whether you want to accept a job that will pay your bills but that seems like a dead end, or whether you will decline the job and risk losing your apartment, you might make the statements:

I will take the job.
(pause to assess your body's reaction)

I will not take the job.
(pause to assess your body's reaction)

You could, if you like, add a third...

I will take the job, but save $200 per pay check. If I am unhappy in a year, I will have a cushion that will allow me to quit and look for something else.
(pause to assess your body's reaction)

Your stomach or your muscles are going to have something to say about these statements, if you pay close attention. Some statements are going to cause discomfort, and some will feel less troublesome. That is your gut, speaking to you. Pay attention. Your gut is often a lot more in tune with your Intuition than your overworked brain is.

And if you are feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, remember this:


krex said...

Thanks for the inspiring video and words . I find that even though I don't have the excuse of adolescence, I still can not tell if my actions are persistence or idiocy but being an aspie...persist is what I do best . At least when it comes to making things .

I know that there is actually a "brain" in our guts so listening to it is actually more scientific then some might think . I know that mine is all to often trying to get my attention and wonder Prilosec the equivalent of an anti-depressant for the stomachs brain ? Is IBS the same as schizophrenia of the gut ?

Off to ponder and wishing some peace for your spawn in his struggles with making the "right" choices .

mrspao said...

You're a wise woman!

The Violet Hoarder said...

Thank you so much for this post. It's great advice for any age and any being. And that video is fantastic! I will be sharing it. Glad to hear you had a swell time in Las Vegas! Rest up now...there's not much else to do with weather like this!