It is said that if an arrow hits you, you will feel the pain in the part of your body where the arrow strikes. But if a second arrow comes and strikes at the same point, the pain will not only double, it will become ten times more intense.
There will always be things in our lives that we perceive to be negative – things that happen to us that we would prefer not to happen. But we get to decide how we’re going to manage our thoughts about those things, and we can choose to let go of what doesn’t serve us to have more peace. We can choose not to fire the second arrow.
In this episode, I’m showing you how to find peace in the release of thoughts that no longer serve you, turn down the volume on your discomfort and pain and focus on being more present in your life. I’m sharing five tips to help you feel more present and showing you how to let go of negativity so you can move forward and live a life that you love.
Welcome back. This is episode 11 of the Unlock Your Life podcast. Today we’re talking about the peace of the release, letting go so that you can have peace in your life and move forward and live a life that you love. Let’s get going.
Welcome to the Unlock Your Life podcast, a podcast for highly successful visionary women who want more out of life. If you feel that ache of unfulfillment in your soul, you’re in the right place sis. Join life mastery consultant Lori A. Harris as she teaches you how to stop living for others and finally put yourself first. Let’s dive into today’s show.
So hey fam. Hey. Have you ever fallen down an internet wormhole? That’s what happened to me this week. I was excited to see one of my favorite peloton instructors is going to be Dancing on the Stars. So I was looking at that story, and then I fell into a wormhole. Guess what I found out? According to the magical National Day Calendar, September is Self-Awareness Month. I think it’s so timely and perfect. I’m pretty excited about it.
So what’s going on with you? For me I’m considering what does it mean to have the peace of release? Just really letting it go, letting go of all the perceptions and mental activities that we get into that cause our own suffering. The last time we got together in episode 10, I talked to you about the power of your own self-image and building your own self-image. Because according to Dr. Maxwell Maltz, we cannot outperform our self-image, but we can improve it. We can change it. That starts with being away. Working on and building a stronger sense of awareness.
So as Henry Ford says, “Think you, think you can’t, you’re right.” So we’re building that muscle of believing in ourselves, believing in our capabilities, believing in our dreams. Right now we’re going to talk about the peace of release. Letting go of those thoughts that no longer serve us. With that I’m going to share with you one of my favorite teaching stories. It’s known as The Arrow.
It said that if an arrow hits you, you will feel the pain in the part of your body where the arrow hit. If a second arrow comes and strikes exactly at the same point, the pain will not only double, it will become at least 10 times more intense. Now the teaching part of this story is to know that there is going to be a time in our lives when things happen. Things that we prefer not to happen. It matters how we regulate and manage the feelings that are associated with the benefits of our lives.
So if you have something happen, you lose an object, you make a mistake, you have a negative experience at work. You could spend time thinking about it and ruminating about it, and then saying negative things to yourself about it. That would be the second arrow. When you attack yourself with negative self-judgments. How could I have been so stupid? Or if you allow yourself to dive close and far into the future…Oh, if I feel this badly now, how bad is it going to feel next week or next month. What if this pain never goes away? That is the pain of the second arrow.
So if you can allow yourself just to be in this particular moment and notice what you’re feeling in this moment, you can therefore turn down the volume of your own discomfort. Turn down the volume of your own pain. I love the second arrow. I love the lesson of the second arrow because it reminds us that we have a choice. We get to decide how we’re going to feel at any given moment. So there is a lesson in mindfulness. Mindfulness is being observant of where you are right here and right now. If you find that your thoughts are taking you away into a negative place, you can bring yourself back to center.
So the first arrow is the stimulating event, the thing that happened. It’s the thing that will cause some degree of pain. The second arrow, we fire that one ourselves. It’s our reaction. It’s the story we’re telling ourselves. It’s the anxiety that we build around an event. So I always like to say worrying doesn’t mean you care. Worrying doesn’t prove anything. It’s just further extending the suffering of a negative event. It’s not helpful. It’s our job to notice and decide to respond in a different way.
“But Lori, but how?” Well, one thing we can do is check in with ourselves. We can ask ourself an empowering question. Is it happening now? If you’re projecting out into the future or ruminating on the past, you can bring yourself back to center. Mindfulness is recognizing what is here in this present moment? One of the things that I like to do in order to keep myself in the present moment is what I like to call narrating the day. Narrating the day is just coming back to this present moment.
So one of the things I used to do when I was working in an office is when I walk from the parking lot rather than allowing myself to get worked up about going back into my workplace, I would remind myself to be in this moment. I would just notice what was I doing at this particular moment?
So I would mentally say to myself, “Right now all I’m doing is gathering my things as I get ready to go to the office. Right now all I’m doing is talking to the corner. Right now all I’m doing is walking across the street. I’m in the crosswalk. Oh I’m in the white part. Oh now I’m in the black part. Oh now I’m in the white part. I’ve crossed the street.” When I get to the building, I allow myself to pass through security and I get into the elevator.
I kind of imagine that you could use this podcast as a moment of centering yourself. Each one of these episodes are about 15 minutes long. I would love it if you use these podcast episodes as a way to bring yourself back to center. To remind yourself.
So imagine you’re listening to me. I’m in your headphones. You have your earbuds in. You push the button for the elevator. You get in the elevator, and you see all the people in the elevator with you. You keep your earbuds in because occasionally there are people in that elevator that might be inclined to be a button pusher. You know those people. The people that have something negative to say. Something to get your engine going. You just don’t want to be bothered.
You can keep your earbuds in. People use earbuds on the subway, when they’re walking. It’s a signal to the world that I’m not here for you and all your nonsense. Don’t come to me with that. It’s something you could do too. So you’re setting the stage for your today. So think about it. How do you want to show up for yourself?
Now another thing that I want to share with you is a breathing exercise. As you know, there was a time when I was a criminal defense attorney. It’s not uncommon to have clients who are in custody to experience anxiety and have difficulty moving forwards. I always tried to offer some compassion to those clients when they were in that moment. So we would do a breathing exercise so that I can bring them back to center. I’m going to share that exercise with you. It’s something that when you’re doing it, you have to bring your full attention to it. You don’t have time to think about anything else. You and I are going to do it right now. So hang on to your hats.
This breathing exercise is called the box method. Basically what you do is you inhale for four, you hold for seven, and you exhale for eight. Inhale for four, hold for seven, exhale for eight. Let’s do it together. Inhale. Hold. Exhale. How was that for you? I would love for you to try to remember the box method as you go forward and go through your day. If you find yourself feeling a little bit of discomfort or anxiety, come back to the box method.
Now what is something else you could do in order to bring yourself back to center, bring yourself down from feeling some anxiousness and not impose the pain of the second arrow? Not ruminate on the past or forward think into a negative future? Well, one thing you could do is really quick. It’s just hold onto a piece of cloth from your clothing. You could grab the corner of your shirt and just rub it. Rub it and tell yourself, “I am here right now. I am here right now.” Just remind yourself that this moment is a beautiful moment, and that it’s all that you have to do. It’s this moment right here.
Finally one more thing that you can do is notice thoughts that you were thinking and the speech that you were saying to yourself and switch it up and change it. One of the things that I love to do in the crosswalks out here on the streets, the real streets. Not those internet streets, but the real streets. I’ll tell myself, “Day by day in every way I’m getting better and better. Day by day in every way I’m getting better and better.”
If you practice saying that to yourself, what you will find is your mind will start looking for ways that that is true. Looking for the evidence that that is true in your life. So day by day in every way I’m getting better and better. Well what’s true for me at this particular moment is I’m calming down on the sugar. I’ve just stopped eating excessive sugar.
I’m looking at the ingredients of the food that I’m ingesting. If it has added sugar, I’m choosing not to partake. I’m not eating processed food. If something comes in a package, I’m checking it out. Well, why is it in this package? Is it here as a way of organizing these things? Counting? So a package of nuts is in a package as a way to count it. It’s not in a package because it’s been processed. When I do that, it helps me to monitor my ingestion of food. When I do that, I feel better. My levels don’t go all over the place. So I know that it’s true.
Day by day in every way I’m getting better and better. What else is true? Well, I recently returned to my weight training, and I’m doing weight training two to three times a week. So I’m doing a little bit of hand weights and using my own body weight to re-remind my body of what it can do. So day by day in every way I’m getting better and better. When I look for evidence, I can see it. I’m learning every day. I’m doing new things every day. I’m growing.
So what can we do in order to stay in this present moment? Not give ourselves the pain of the second arrow. Well first, we can notice our thoughts and notice if we’re ruminating about the past or casting ourselves far into the future and causing ourselves pain with worry and bring ourselves back to this moment. We can do the box method of breathing with inhaling for four, holding for seven, and exhaling our breath for a count of eight. We can use the box method.
We can bring ourselves back to this moment by just touching the corner of our shirt, a piece of cloth from our clothing, and bring ourselves back to this moment. We can narrate the day and tell ourselves exactly what am I doing at this moment? Tell yourself what you’re doing at the moment and bring yourself back to center. Finally we can affirm. We can affirm what we know to be true. Day by day in every way I’m getting better and better.
Now there is a lesson here in life. Here’s another teaching story. There was a guy who sat with a group of people, and he told a joke. He cracked the joke, and everybody laughed like crazy. After a moment, he cracked the same joke. This time less people laughed. Then he cracked that same joke again and again, and there was no more laughter in the group. He’d smiled and said, “Hmm, you can’t smile at the same joke again and again, but why do you keep crying over and over about the same thing again and again?”
The truth is that things are going to happen. There are going to be things in our life that we perceive as negative. There are things that happen that we would prefer not to happen, but we do get to decide how we’re going to manage our thoughts about those things. When we decide to take good care of ourselves by coming back to the present moment and not inflicting the pain of the second arrow upon us, we can feel better. That’s what I want for you.
So we’ve reached the end of the Unlock Your Life podcast. This was episode 11, and we were discussing finding peace in the release. I hope this has been helpful to you.
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Thanks for listening to this episode of the Unlock Your Life podcast. If you want more information on how you can transform your life and do it quickly, visit loriaharris.com. See it on the next episode of the Unlock Your Life podcast.