"You may not be able to control your first thought, but you can certainly control your second" -Helen LaKelly Hunt
You may recall that I am intimately familiar with the voices that go on in our heads. You know the ones that tell us we aren't quite good enough, doing, or being enough. I like to call mine dirty monkey brain.
My monkey brain tells me things like I can't accomplish my dreams. Or that my muffin tops aren't so cute in those pants.
But I'll tell you a secret-dirty monkey brain is really an illusion.
In Susan Jeffers book Feel the Fear & Do it Anyway she describes a little exercise she used to to with her students. She would have one stand in front of the class while she tried to push their arms down. Pending injury, the arms stayed up.
The she had the student repeat to themselves "I am weak" several times while she pushed again. You guessed it-arms fell like an underdone cupcake.
My point? Dirty Monkey Brain has consequences. And not just all that cleanup. The voices create a reality that we enable and act out, regardless of how strong we are.
For giggles try this exercise to change course. Every time you catch your monkey brain playing with a negative thought-throw 3 positive thoughts right back at that sucker.
AKA change I'm not smart enough to do that-insert: I am innovative, creative, and strong. I'm so fat- insert: I am curvaceous, beautiful and looking good!
Some fantastic studies by Barbara Fredrickson have shown that this three to one ratio is key to not only overcoming momentary feelings of negativity-but also for living a resilient, flourishing life. (For a real dirty monkey brain eye-opener check out her test of your current positivity level).
My take is this, life is meant for joy. You were made for joy. However you might get there today. Monkeys need beauty too. Feed yours the best kind of amazing you truly are!