[00:00:00] Hi, welcome to today's TLC. I'm Stephanie, the light coach, and today you get to see a little bit of my humanity. Have you ever watched a movie where a particular scene totally resonates with a moment in your life? This happened for me recently with Encanto. There's a bunch of family drama going on in that movie that, oh, I related to with my teenage years.
[00:00:25] Well, the other night, my husband and I let our four boys pick the movie we were going to watch and they picked Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Now, if you haven't seen this, I'm not going to tell you the backstory, but there's this one particular scene that has left me laughing both at the actor and myself for the past two weeks.
[00:00:46] In this scene a centuries old Egyptian Pharaoh comes back to life and thinks that he's in charge. He's really made out of wax and has zero power to control anything, but he definitely doesn't realize it. You have to remember that a Pharaoh in his time would have been in charge of everything. He would have been able to snap his fingers and make someone do what he wanted or kill them if they don't. And in this scene, he is fighting with the main character, Larry, who is the night guard at the museum, trying to get Larry to do what he wants him to do. (He also says it with a little bit of a lisp and so it's really quite entertaining.)
[00:01:25] Now this night guard is staying completely calm and amused as this Pharaoh is throwing an adult male town drum saying things like, "If you touch that again, I shall kill you right now!" And just to be obnoxious the night guard reaches over and touches it. This scene is multiple minutes back and forth of this night guard doing the exact opposite of what the Pharaoh was asking him to do. And the first time I saw it, I died laughing. My husband and I put our kids to bed, went back and rewatched the scene probably four or five times (like just laughing hysterically) because it was so validating to watch this grown man try and try to get this night guard to do what he wanted him to do, and he had no intention of following his directions. And I feel like this as a parent all the time, especially with my younger children.
[00:02:19] Just yesterday, my five-year-old was doing absolutely everything the exact opposite of what I asked him to do. My three-year-old had had kind of a rough morning and his fuse was really short. So I was trying to help the five-year be a little bit more conscious of his brother ( especially because I was trying to make a grocery list so we could go to the store).
[00:02:38] Literally two hours and probably 10 to 12 fights later, I still found myself saying things like, "Don't touch your brother's food," and then he'd touch it or, "Please be thoughtful of your brother..." and then he took all of his favorite hot wheel cars and wouldn't give it back. The straw that broke the camel's back for me was when I had finally finished my list and we were getting into the car at 11 o'clock (instead of the nine 30 time I had hoped) and I overheard my three-year-old melting down on the floor saying, "No, it's a C!" and my five-year-old saying, " No, your name starts with a K!" and the three-year-old wailing, "It's a C I start C, not a K!"
[00:03:27] They were arguing over what letter his name started with. And the three-year-old was right. The five-year-old was just poking the bear over and over and over again. That was the moment where I had had enough. I looked at my five-year-old son with eyes that could kill and said, "Do not speak again. I do not want to hear your voice until we are both in the car." And in that moment, I saw a flash of the scene of Pharaoh, throwing an adult tantrum, trying to get Larry to do what he wants him to do. I burst into laughter. I could not stop laughing at how ridiculous I was being.
[00:04:11] For the past two hours, I had been saying lines, almost word for word from what the Pharaoh said. "If you touch that again..." "This is a no touch zone." "If you speak again!" "I can see you're getting ready for it..." "I will give you precisely five seconds..." Now, those were the words of the Pharaoh in this movie, but my own version of it was eerily similar to what this Pharaoh would say. I had laughed so hard at the ridiculousness of this Pharaoh in this movie. So why do I show up that way? Why do any of us show up in a way that seems ridiculous when we watch somebody else do it, but then we do something similar?
[00:04:55] There's multiple explanations for this, but one of the reasons why we show up the way we do is because we have practiced a script that fits that scene. Just like this actor had practiced over and over and over again, the script of what to do when he's arguing with the night guard, we practice scripts in our own lives.
[00:05:16] What we do when our children don't listen; what we do when we feel pressured at work; what we do when we have an emotion that feels overwhelming and we're trying to figure out how to cope with it. We practice these roles in our lives so that it's automatic when we get to that scene.
[00:05:35] What roles are you practicing in your life?
[00:05:38] Are there scenes that you have rehearsed and rehearsed so you play those parts well?
[00:05:45] Knowing how you've cast yourself into your own stories can help you decide if you want to keep that role.
[00:05:53] Just like knowing that I have a tendency to show up like Pharaoh sometimes helps me catch it and even laugh at myself when I get into those moments.
[00:06:03] You know, what helps me laugh? Recognizing that all it is is a script that I've practiced. It doesn't have to mean that I'm a terrible person because I throw adult tantrum sometimes and try and control my kids. It just means I have a script in my brain. Sometimes it's a script I've picked up from my parents, or from a movie that I've watched, or from cues for my kids of what has worked in the past.
[00:06:28] But here's what I want you to really think about: what roles are authentic to the light inside of you?
[00:06:37] When I really think about who I am at my core, what type of person I want to be, Pharaoh isn't there. Pharaoh is just a coping mechanism when I feel overwhelmed. It's not truly who I am. Remembering that can help re-center me and guide my next steps. And that's what happened when I realized what I was doing with my son. I laughed at myself a little, a lot actually. I shared it with my husband and I was crying I was laughing so hard at how ridiculous it all was.
[00:07:07] But then I had space to see what I truly wanted in that situation. Yes, I wanted to get my grocery lists done and I wanted to get to the store, but I wanted to be a loving and encouraging mother along the way.
[00:07:22] What characters do you show up as? I once had a client who told me that the critic in her mind showed up like Mushu from Mulan, because she was always trying to please her ancestors. Knowing this helped empower her to recognize when that Mushu-type voice came to her mind she didn't want it to be in charge. She didn't want that script to keep playing. So I helped her learn how to acknowledge that script and then rewrite a new one.
[00:07:52] Rewriting new scripts requires us to know what we want the scene to look like. Purposely visualizing a successful scene will help you rewrite your script, but you have to practice these new lines.
[00:08:06] I am a hundred percent sure that the scene with my sons will come up in the near future. But now that I'm onto myself, when the tension starts to build between them and I want to tap into that Pharaoh voice, I have a different option. I can train my brain to use that as a trigger to remember a different script.
[00:08:26] What else might be useful to me? What other role could I practice? Maybe a comedic commentator. Maybe a love guru. Or maybe it's just a memory of a time when I have connected with my children through the frustration, instead of reacted and controlled.
[00:08:47] Taking a moment to visualize what success would look like gives my brain a script for the next time I come across a similar scene.
[00:08:58] The more curious that you get about these different roles in your life, the more you'll see them. Especially, if you're watching for them with curiosity, instead of judgment. I've seen patterns of how I show up when I feel anxious— like a skittish animal that's trying to stay alive (that's one of my personas). I've actually named that role and befriended him (he's a little lizard named Frankie). And when I feel like Frankie is trying to take over my brain I literally have a conversation with him. "It's all right, Frankie. I can see that you think that we need to be worried about what other people think of us, but it's totally fine. I'm choosing to do this because this feels right to me and it's okay if not everybody loves it."
[00:09:41] The role that I play instead is like a loving zookeeper that takes care of my little lizard. I don't have to fight it. I don't have to be angry or judgmental that that's part of what my brain wants to do. But, I'm proactively responding to it in a way that's more loving and supportive for what I truly want to create in my life.
[00:10:00] How can you make friends with your Pharaohs, your Frankies, your voice inside that is easy to judge. Your voice that shows up in a way that kind of feels frustrating for you at times. What if instead, you created a relationship with that voice and practiced a different role?
[00:10:21] You don't have to take on those lines, but you also don't have to fight them. You get to edit the script of your life. You are the author. How do you want to choose to write your story?
[00:10:38] Now this is not an invitation to avoid responsibility because this other persona showed up and it's Pharaoh's fault that I was trying to control my kids... you've still practiced those lines and walked into those roles, but they are changeable. You can create whatever story you want.
[00:10:57] Here's today's TLC: think of a time where you've shown up in a way that you didn't really love.
[00:11:04] What was going on for you?
[00:11:07] How was that a role that you have practiced?
[00:11:11] Now take a moment to visualize what other role you'd prefer to play. Really get specific. Close your eyes, and visually think of details of you successfully leaning into that new role.
[00:11:28] How do you feel?
[00:11:30] What do you say that's different?
[00:11:33] What is your focus in that moment?
[00:11:37] Remember the feeling that you have when you're in that role and then practice remembering again and again, the next time this similar scene plays in your life. It takes some practice and that's okay. You're not going to get your lines right the first time. Any actor will tell you that you have to practice your lines before they become natural.
[00:11:58] You can edit your mental script.
[00:12:01] You are in charge of what you practice.
[00:12:05] Let's practice on purpose.
[00:12:08] If you want to learn more about how to think light, feel light and live light, then hop on my website, www.thelightcoach.com to schedule a free intro session and explore what's possible for you. That's www.theL-I-G-H-Tcoach.com. I promise you it'll be an adventure that you will never forget.