Trailogy of the Emotional Sherpa #6: Rocket Man and the Traveling Wannabes
Rocketman and the Traveling Wannabes
The Traveling Wannabes spend their thought life remembering and reworking their past, or anticipating their future. It’s a bankrupt situation since all those time traveling thoughts aren’t even real! We can’t go back and fix our past. It’s over and meant to be left behind. Our future hasn’t happened yet, so our future time travel is fiction.
What we fear lies in life’s end zones. It’s only in Football where winning takes place in the end zones. Real life happens in the middle of the field, in the present.
So how do we stay in the middle of our fields? How do we stop our minds from time traveling?
Here’ the caveat. Our Prefrontal Cortex (thinking brain) is meant to think. It can’t be turned off. We can’t stop our thoughts. We can settle them down. We can choose our thoughts.
Here are a few TIPs from the Rocketman to stay in the middle of our field of life:
- Notice (in a nonjudgmental, kind way) when you are time traveling. For example, I often find myself spaced out during a walk. I’m busy planning for a trip, or worried about an upcoming event. So here’s what I do: I talk to myself. I say, “Come back Allison. Notice this moment. Be in this moment.” I return to the here and now, and tap into my senses. I play the 5, 4, 3 ,2, 1 present moment game and slow my breathing.
- Make note of your thought patterns. I call them thought train tracks. Where do your tracks travel? Do you travel to a particular worry? Or, does your train track wander into the past? These thought tracks are embedded in our brains. These neural pathways are deeply ingrained. We travel them over and over. If you want to change up your life, you have to change up the thought train tracks.
- Once you notice your thought track routes, you have a choice to derail the track and switch the direction. It takes pulling the handle again, and again, and again. Recognize, choose a new thought track (back into the present), and re-frame your thinking.
- Pick a daily mantra to remind you to come back to the present moment. “Come back.” “Return to Earth.” ” Fear resides in the past and in the future. All is well right here, right now.“
Now take on the day with a passion. Happy trails, Allison