Personal Choices and Inner Voices
Stress around dramatic life change often brings challenges to our closest interpersonal relationships.
As we transition our lives into a new set of experiences, it’s frequently the case that we spend considerable time talking to our closest friends and relatives to help us process and add perspective around change.
Each of us has a different set of skills and abilities. Using those skills helps us successfully cope with great life change. In this process however our friends and relatives will also feel much of the stress associated with these great changes. Those interpersonal relationships can become strained and may result in loss of communication or even greater stress within our extended family.
There are three great resources that when combined help provide us a guide for working through these challenging moments. Guidance from Tolle, Katy and Chopra allow us to find a framework that focuses on our cognitive development, new goals, and a spiritual anchor.
Eckhart Tolle identifies in his writing three key ideas to consider when looking at your thoughts.
He suggests that we:
· Consider that the present moment is what is important
· Meditate to anchor yourself in the present
· Emotional personal challenges are often rooted and identified within our past experiences
Byron Katie in Loving the Work provides us with a process to use when considering our perception and past experiences. She suggests using a process called Inquiry. Using this process consider an emotion or thought that you are working to resolve. A thought where you know that in your past you have felt or thought the same.
Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is it true?
2. Can I absolutely know that it’s true?
3. How do I react when I think that thought?
4. Who would I be without the thought?
Turn it around – reframe or change perspective!
With compassion, Deepak Chopra anchors us in a compassionate look at how we share and express our thoughts. Reaching out to friends and relatives, we are sharing actively the pain and confusion we experience. Compassionately we can consider how others perceive our distress and relating to our sharing of experiences. Looking compassionately our support system of relationships will most frequently use the following to have conversations with us about our experiences. They relate back to us how they see and feel us working through what they see as:
· The outside cause
· The perspective of response
· Changing the habit
Cognitive distortions and our perceptions
Looking at this Wikipedia site, you can find a list of common Cognitive Distortions. Used within Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, this short description allows you to identify and discuss how you describe your thoughts and emotions. Either from the perspective of part of the support system – or your perspective sharing the feelings you have with others. Consider the above suggestions and check out the list of distortions. Consider the thoughts you are frequently experiencing that are habits you want to change. Start a diary of one or two thoughts and feelings you have frequently that cause you distress. Review the list of distortions and with those uncomfortable feelings identify if they may be a distortion.
The future is bright,
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