Mindbody Wellness Clarity Tip:
Who Are You Making Your Enemy?: The Fine Art of Tuning Your Nervous System
Dear Awesome Woman,
The thoughts that we think make a huge difference in our lives and oftentimes these thoughts are hidden from us, lurking in our subconscious. If they’re positive thoughts then Great! But if they’re limiting thoughts or negative beliefs about ourselves or others, then not so great. And unfortunately the hiddenness of them doesn’t make them harmless, but quite harmful and we may be running some parts of our lives based on them.
For example, who are you making your enemy?
Strange question, right?
But for me, I had a realization that I was doing this with my husband at times when we disagreed about something. When a coach told me to look for the heart message of my husband’s words and actions, I experienced a huge shift in my relationship. My perspective shifted and then my emotions followed.
You see, when you make someone your enemy, you actually put your body into fight or flight mode. And when you’re in that state in the nervous system, you’re ready to put up your dukes and battle or escape the room. Your intuitive and cognitive system is shut down and you have no access to your higher faculties. If you were being chased by a lion then you need the flight, and if you, G-d forbid, are getting attacked, then you need the fight. But oftentimes in our lives, this is not what is happening.
For the most part in our lives, we can set the belief in our mind that “people are for me, not against me” or “the world is for me, not against me.” We can allow for all of our emotions and process those, but we can also attempt to hijack the fight/flight response that can quickly take place with ‘enemy’ beliefs. We have a choice beforehand to anchor in our minds the “for me, not against me” thoughts.
Like the example with my husband. Does it mean that I don’t get frustrated or annoyed with him? Nope. I allow for all my emotions in my body and process them with the tools that I have. But because I am practicing setting in my mind the belief that “people are for me, not against me”, I am able to bring my system back to neutral much quicker than I did in the past.
With my husband, I try to look for the heart message. Considering all the surveys out there reporting that husbands really just want to make their wives happy, (unless they’re a Borderline or Narcissist, then it’s questionable) this positive belief helps my mind google-search evidence of how that can be true, even in a moment of frustration. My nervous system stays out of fight and flight mode and my intuition stays online, allowing for a much more productive exchange which results in greater peace in the home.
I’ve also been trying to apply this principle in other areas of my life. Believing the thought that “people are for me, not against me,” and looking for evidence of that, keeps my nervous system in a healthier, fine-tuned alignment. The world becomes a friendlier and easier place to live in.
Next time you get on the phone with a customer service representative to help with a credit card discrepancy, ask yourself if you have already made them your enemy because you’re so mad about the situation? If so, then your body is in fight and flight and you can’t hear your higher wisdom to guide you through the situation. Your intuition is shut down, you’re taking short breaths, and you might end up with a headache.
Instead, try this. Next time you enter a situation where you’re ready to do battle, take a breath and say “people are for me, not against me.” You’ll keep your nervous system from revving up into enemy mode and not only will you feel better after the call, but the situation will probably even go much smoother. Your intuition will stay online to guide you and with your breathing steady, your mind will be at peace in resolving the situation.
How can you use this at a business meeting? Again, with the thought “people are for me, not against me,” you remain open to your higher wisdom so that your intuition can guide you. Even if a co-worker is critical, with your nervous system in a calm, open place, you’ll be able to choose a response that’s helpful in the situation. You may choose to leave and go to the bathroom to process that clenched jaw or queasy stomach, but your intuition can still be heard and inform you. It may tell you that ‘that co-worker is jealous or was criticized as a child and that’s why they’re like that.”
You don’t have to tolerate disrespect, but you also don’t need to go into lock down and hurt yourself more. Instead, you can take guided action steps based on your intuitive faculties that have stayed online.
There’s a quote and a visual that I appreciate from Bethany Hamilton, the surfer who lost her arm to a shark when she was thirteen. She still surfs, though one armed, in huge waves and when she experiences a wipeout in the ocean, she practices relaxing rather than fighting the wave. She doesn’t make the ocean her enemy and she is able to keep her body free from the fight/flight response, thereby keeping her oxygen levels safe. Here’s the quote: “Wipeouts are inevitable. The immediate reaction while underwater is to fight your way out of it. But struggling and fighting will make you lose oxygen faster. So even when it’s a small wipeout, I practice immediately relaxing. Then when the big wipeout happens, it is more natural to stay calm.”
Here’s a few beliefs that you can try on so that when a challenge happens, the pre-thought is there to keep your system calm, your breath full, and the connection to your intuition open:
“People are for me, not against me.”
“The world is for me, not against me.
“There is a heart message here.”
“G-d is in this moment.”
“This situation is here to help me.” (this could be for character refinement or the universe wanting you to learn to strengthen your boundaries)
“This person is here to help me.” (same as above)
I’d love to hear how these work for you and the difference you feel in your body when you use them. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and please let me know. Joy is contagious! And I’d love to cheer you on 🙂
Here’s the link for your free Clarity Call if you’d like to connect by phone. Looking forward!