[00:00:00] Welcome to Today's TLC. Whether you found this podcast on my website, through the emails I send, or simply from a friend, I'm glad that you've decided to add some TLC today.
[00:00:15] Hello my friends, I want to talk to you today about what to do when you fell off. Recently, my husband was traveling for work and the day after he left, I just couldn't quite feel like myself. My mind was kind of scattered. I was having a hard time being patient with my kids and I just felt a little off.
[00:00:35] It would have been easy for me to blame the fact that my husband was out of town. After all, him being gone did affect my day-to-day routine and my home responsibilities. I could have just said to myself, " I'm just off because he's gone. It'll be fine when he gets back in a few days."
[00:00:54] That might work in some situations. But for me, I find that when I feel off if I blame my circumstance, like my husband being gone, then I feel powerless to recenter in the moment.
[00:01:07] If you listened to last week's episode about the model, then you'll know that circumstances are neutral and they are not what create our experience. Instead of believing that it was that circumstance I used some simple strategies to help me recenter.
[00:01:23] Before I jump into these three strategies, I want to do a quick recap of the model from last week's episode, because the basics from the model feed into why these strategies really work.
[00:01:35] Here's the flow of the model.
[00:01:38] Circumstances are neutral. We have a thought that gives meaning to that circumstance. That thought creates a vibration of feeling in our body that then motivates our actions. All of that together (thought, feeling, and action) create the results we have in our lives. Understanding that flow gives you power to influence your experience and create a life that is working for you.
[00:02:07] Now if you didn't quite follow all of that and you need a little deeper explanation, just check out the episode about the model and then come finish this one.
[00:02:16] With that model in mind, let's dive into my three go-to strategies to help you and you fell off.
[00:02:22] *Strategy number one. Thought downloads. *One of the main reasons people fell off is because they treat their mind like it's a storage unit or like a platter that they can keep piling dirty dishes on expecting them not to fall. When this happens, our brain gets too cluttery and we lose sight of what's most important.
[00:02:44] It's like when somebody tries to give you directions and they tell you 12 different steps that you need to remember to get where you need to go. If you're anything like me, you'll stand there, nodding, halfway listening, because you know, you're just going to plug it into your GPS because there's no way that you're going to remember all of these directions.
[00:03:02] But what if you didn't have a GPS, would you try and hold all of that information in your mind? What else could you do? My guess is that you would try and write it down, because you know, that it's hard for your brain to remember from one thing to the next.
[00:03:19] But somehow we think that we can hold all of the information about our kids' school activities, and the birthday gift we wanted to get for our sister and that conversation that we had with our husband that we're still trying to process, plus the plan of what we were going to do for dinner that night. All of these things are knocking around in between our ears piling up on each other and it can get pretty muddy in there sometimes.
[00:03:43] Instead of letting that mess just get bigger and bigger, I take a moment to do a thought download and clean up my mind, so I can have more space to think, feel, and act in a way that's more authentic to me.
[00:03:58] This thought download is simply when I take all of that clutter and download it onto a piece of paper. It does not have to look pretty. It doesn't have to be organized. It's not a to-do list. It's just simply relieving my brain of trying to hold all of that information.
[00:04:15] Here's how to use this strategy Get a blank piece of paper (or an electronic doc where you can write some notes) and just start writing anything and everything that comes to mind. This is kind of like a brainstorm where we don't filter we just let everything come to the surface. Try and fill up an entire page with whatever is going on in your mind. You don't have to analyze it. There's no filter here. Just let it flow.
[00:04:44] One of the reasons this is so powerful is because it taps into your ability to watch your own mind. This is one of the things that we do as humans that sets us apart from animals. We can observe our own thoughts. And here's the beautiful thing about that. *Whenever you are listening you know that you are connected to you. *We can't always tell if our thoughts are just automatic thoughts, programmed thoughts, or really true authentic thoughts to what we believe. When we take time to observe our thoughts, we are tapping into that higher brain that is more authentic to who we are.
[00:05:24] There are also other perks with this thought download strategy, like letting go of things that really don't matter to us. Sometimes there's a thought or a worry in my brain that I really don't believe but I didn't realize was there. When I write it down on paper, it will often just release that pressure or that worry and I don't have to carry it around anymore.
[00:05:47] You also have the option to check in with what feelings these thoughts are creating for you and how that might be influencing your models that day.
[00:05:56] However, please keep this in mind. _This is a simple strategy_. There is no one right way to do it._ If the thought of reading your download feels overwhelming to you or analyzing it makes you shift into intellectualizing trying to control, do not do anything but write that paper and crumple it up and throw it away. _
[00:06:21] Listen to your light and what would be useful to you as you try out the thought download. This first strategy focuses on your thoughts. The next natural place for us to go if we're thinking about the model is to our feelings.
[00:06:37] *Strategy number two, find my feelings.* Sometimes it's not my brain distracting me that's making me feel off. Sometimes it's my mood where I just feel stuck. Or distant. Or overwhelmed.
[00:06:55] Although we know that feelings come from our thoughts, we also have to give space to allow what we are feeling before we can really shift any of our models.
[00:07:06] This second strategy is a simple way to help with your feelings. First, you just find where it is in your body. Finding your feeling again taps into the higher brain that allows you to witness and observe what's going on.
[00:07:23] As elementary as it may seem, one of the most powerful things you can do is to close your eyes, find where you feel off in your body, and sit with it for a moment. Giving it that attention is kind of like a toddler that's asking and asking and asking for you to you to just hear them and answer their question. And When you stop and look at them in their eyes and give them that attention it'll often resolve whatever it was that they were needing because their real need was to be acknowledged.
[00:07:58] When you drop into your body and find that feeling, ask yourself, some curious questions:
[00:08:06] _What one word would I use to describe this feeling? _
[00:08:11] _What texture, color, size, weight does this feeling have?_
[00:08:17] _What is this feeling trying to tell me? _
[00:08:21] Just like in your thought download, this can be as simple or as detailed as you want it to be. Simply finding the feeling often releases it or helps it flow. You can do something physically like mindful breathing or stretching to help it flow. You can also get curious as to where that feeling came from in the first place and see if those thoughts are serving you.
[00:08:49] Whatever approach you choose. Simply find your feeling and then decide what's next for you. And that's a good question... what's next?
[00:09:01] I've shared options to check in with your thoughts and feelings. So, naturally, strategy number three focuses more on what you do: your actions. Let's pause for a minute and remember that what you do only provides temporary relief if you forget about your thoughts and your feelings along the way. Being too dependent on your actions to make you feel different can create destructive and unstable behavior patterns.
[00:09:30] We don't want to go outside of ourselves to make ourselves feel better. It doesn't work in the longterm. Instead, we want to _act mindfully._ *My third strategy—TLC Time—can show you how. *
[00:09:44] Although TLC stands for The Light Coach, it more universally stands for Tender Loving Care. A possible synonym for this would be "self care," but people often get confused about what that really means, and they hyper-focus on whether this self-care strategy is "healthy" or that one is secretly just running away from my feelings or rescuing someone.
[00:10:08] To help us skip some of that drama, I like to simplify TLC Time with three questions that correspond with the letters T L C.
[00:10:19] _T. What would feel tender or nurturing to me? _
[00:10:25] _L. Is this motivated by love? _
[00:10:30] _C. Am I taking care of myself? _
[00:10:34] As you're planning some TLC Time to reconnect with yourself just ask these three simple questions and go with your gut response. If you listen, something will surface that will feel like true self care.
[00:10:48] If you want to go a little deeper about why these questions are important, I've got you. Let's explore TLC time.
[00:10:57] _Number one, tender_. The question was, _"What would feel tender or nurturing to me?" _
[00:11:03] You are considering this strategy because you've been feeling off. Your inner self is struggling. This mindset of tenderness will help you tap into what that inner self needs. It also connects to you internally in a way that proactively creates feelings that will help you reset and reconnect.
[00:11:25] As you picture yourself feeling tenderly nurtured, you might see an image in your mind's eye of what would help you reconnect:
[00:11:33] Maybe it's taking a bath or doing a meditation.
[00:11:37] It could be a walk in nature or listening to music or an inspiring podcast.
[00:11:43] Your inner self might show you the face of a loved one that you could reach out to.
[00:11:48] There are so many ways that you can find that tender and nurturing connection to your inner self.
[00:11:54] Because there are so many ways your brain might go into a place of drama, trying to figure out which ways are the right ways and which ones are wrong. It might put labels on ways that they'll healthy or other ways that feel selfish or enabling and try and compartmentalize things to feel cleaner and more predictable.
[00:12:13] If you indulge in and all of that drama, you'll probably feel even less connected to yourself because you're letting your mind just spin, trying to solve something that is unsolvable.
[00:12:25] Instead of worrying about doing the right action, ask yourself _question number two: love._ _Is this action motivated by love? _
[00:12:35] I believe that an honest motivation of love for yourself and for others cleans up all that mess.
[00:12:44] Although love is often in the feeling line of our models, our motives live in our thoughts.
[00:12:51] Taking a moment to observe your thoughts as you are choosing what to do for TLC Time can make all the difference. Check in to see if your thoughts and actions are loving towards others and towards yourself.
[00:13:09] If your motive includes love, then your TLC Time is more likely to help you recenter without shame or resentment. It also helps you focus on what you can control. You.
[00:13:25] _That's number three: care. The question here is, "Am I taking care of myself?"_
[00:13:32] Bringing it back to you helps you focus on the only thing that you have responsibility for: yourself. You can't control how other people feel or what they think or what they do. And when you try that's rescuing and enabling, it will not get you results that you want, for you or for your relationship with them.
[00:13:54] Taking care of yourself also give space for your conscience to share anything that it needs to. Maybe there's something you've been putting off that's dragging you down. It could be an apology you've been avoiding. Or a doctor's appointment that's very overdue. It could be a prayer that your heart wants to say.
[00:14:15] How can you better take care of you?
[00:14:20] You are your primary responsibility. If you don't take care of you, then you are expecting others to do it. You also will eventually run out of ability to care for others because no one is taking care of you. And maybe, that's why you feel disconnected from yourself. So take a little TLC Time to reconnect. You are worth some tender, loving care.
[00:14:51] And it can be simple. During TLC time, there are no "shoulds." You simply act mindfully in a way that will help you reconnect with yourself.
[00:15:01] As you're honestly checking in and seeking that TLC, your guiding light will show you what you need. It already knows. It's in there if you take a moment to listen. The results of TLC Time will add light to your life and let your light better guide you.
[00:15:22] Quiet the noise about it being complicated. Just lesson with love and you'll know what you need.
[00:15:30] The goal of this strategy is to create a tender, nurturing feeling through loving thoughts and caring actions—that will ultimately reconnect you with yourself.
[00:15:45] Alright, let's do a quick recap.
[00:15:47] *Strategy number one: thought download. *Dump what's in your head and tap into your higher brain.
[00:15:55] *Strategy number two: find the feeling.* Acknowledge your body, take a deep breath, and give yourself a moment to feel.
[00:16:07] *Strategy number three: TLC time.* Choose something to do that will add TLC to your day.
[00:16:14] These are three simple strategies that have helped me over the years when I feel off and need to recenter.
[00:16:22] But guess what? You do not have to use all of them at once. You don't even have to ever use any of them. They aren't the only ways to recenter. There are so many different ways to help you realign when you fell off.
[00:16:37] *So here's, today's TLC: Take a moment to think about what helps you recenter when you feel off. You are already taking care of yourself in more ways than you think.*
[00:16:50] One of my favorite things to do with my client is to brainstorm ways that they are already taking care of themselves. Are you counting the simple things: brushing your teeth, eating a meal, getting dressed, taking your kids to school, paying your bills, planning a trip, doing the laundry... the list could go on and on for hours.
[00:17:15] You are already doing better than you think. You are amazing. Truly. You deserve to remember that. It's okay that you fall off sometimes. Please stop believing that that means something's wrong. You don't have to fix yourself. You are human and feeling off is normal. If you don't want to stay there, then do something to change it. But you don't have to.
[00:17:43] Sometimes you're going to feel great and sometimes you're going to feel like a mess.
[00:17:49] _Decide to love yourself anyway. _
[00:17:52] Give yourself the same consideration that you give to your loved ones. You don't expect them to always be showing up as their best authentic selves. You give them grace for the ebb and flow of life. Give yourself that same grace.
[00:18:08] This is a journey of learning how to love and care for your needs. No one can do that for you. And even if they try, they'll do it their way instead of yours, because they are not you.
[00:18:22] You are the only one who can listen to your inner light and reconnect yourself with who you are.
[00:18:30] It's your job to take care of you.
[00:18:33] Feeling off, is not a big deal. It just means that you need a little extra TLC. Take care of yourself today my friend. You're worth it.
[00:18:45] Life after therapy can be simple. Come learn how to think light, feel light, and live light at www.thelightcoach.com. I offer five free discovery sessions each week and one of them is for you. Together, let's discover the joy that's possible in life after therapy.