Saturday, October 16, 2010

True Colors

Fall True Colors, Minnesota, October 2010
Quote of the month:

I see your true colors... shining through…
so don't be afraid, to let them show,
your true colors... are beautiful,
like a rainbow.
-Cyndi Lauper

This was originally posted in January of 2009, but I have referred to it several time recently, so it seems appropriate to revisit it again this month.   

The True Colors of fall are shining through in the photo above!  This month, we will talk about allowing your own true colors to shine through as well. In  December of 2008, we talked about making a list of characteristics, successes or accomplishments, then sitting with that for a while to get a feeling around it, then trying to put that feeling into your own words.  I call this your True Colors Phrase.  You may have several true colors phrases, one for each particular area of your life that you wish to experience differently.  To keep it simple, I suggest working on one at a time.  It is also generally easier to begin with an area of your life that is not your biggest challenge.  

Here are some more suggestions for coming up with a true colors phrase.

It must be TRUE! You may say that a true colors phrase sounds similar to coming up with a mantra or affirmation. Mantras are fine too, if they work for you, but there are several ways that this is different from a mantra. Often, a mantra is not a true statement, but rather the way you want something to be. Repeating over and over that the sky is green will not make it so. In our example from December 2008, about a new endeavor, the subconscious is still there telling you what it really thinks. You are trying to say, I can do it....whatever "it" is ....and the mind or subconscious is there in the background calling you a liar! You will hear underneath your voice, your subconscious saying, "No you can't!!!" This is what you will really hear and really feel on an emotional level. Last month the suggestion was to make a list of REAL positive situations where you have been successful. It is real information that the subconscious cannot argue with.

The true colors phrase should be short and concise. Try to boil it down to a few words. Something that you can easily remember and repeat when you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts.

Another difference is that a true colors phrase is designed to bring up a specific feeling. It will bring up the FEELING of the successes or accomplishments over again and the subconscious will be better able to believe it. It is important to note here, that you may not get to the feeling part immediately. Feelings actually start as a thought in your head. We don't realize this, as it becomes automatic, but if you can slow the process down you see that the thought comes first, which then creates the feeling.

Some of you have told me either that the true colors phase does not bring up a good feeling or that your mind is still in there telling you that you are a "liar" even on the real accomplishments. This is where the use of your will comes in. Facts are facts. The mind cannot argue with facts. If this is the case, start with reminding yourself each time the mind wants to tell you that it is not enough or still not good enough... or whatever your version of this is.  (You can also re-read September's post on Your Thoughts Create Your Reality, or "just the facts" on not making judgments about each and every thought that comes through your mind.)

Then, allow yourself to own your accomplishments. It may take some time and repetition, but over time, you will re-train your mind. You can think of it almost like reprogramming a computer....except that we are not machines and require multiple efforts to "reprogram."

Gary Zukav says the longest distance you will ever travel is from your head to your heart! Getting a thought from your head to a feeling in your heart may take time. Your "heart" (the feeling) has been listening to that other criticizing part for so long that says it's not that is what your heart may currently be "believing" (in the form of a feeling also.) Repetition is key for this also!

Probably by this time, if you have been following along every month, it is becoming apparent, that when you become aware of your I-pod/tape chatter saying something negative then becomes a matter of repeatedly replacing the old thought with the new thought...the true colors phrase. To continue the I-pod/tape metaphor….it is like going back and recording a new song on the tape or synching your I-pod with a new play list. In both cases, you are replacing the old information with new. As mentioned above, we are not computers or machines and it generally cannot be accomplished with just one time….but each time you become aware, challenge the thought and replace it with a new one, the new thought becomes stronger, especially when that thought is tied to a positive feeling.

Please understand the personal power this simple technique can give you…. Even if it is something you have believed or been told your whole life. I try to keep these posts light and simple, but there are some very powerful applications for this simple technique. Think of a child that fails a test or class....and the beliefs that child could adopt as a result. Think of a person who is fired from a job and the thoughts and beliefs that could result.... or a child who has experienced abuse or has been picked on or bullied... he or she may develop certain thoughts and beliefs about themselves, or thoughts about why the abuse or bullying occurred. Very often people attribute the cause to something about themselves...a flaw of some sort....or it could lead to a powerless feeling....or any number of different feelings or coping mechanisms. Again, there may be as many different ways of coping as their are people and situations.

The simple suggestion I am making this month is that there may be other ways to look at each of those challenges.  If you find yourself saying, "But that really is a terrible thing that happened to me!" I would remind you that you may have old coping mechanisms that are no longer serving you.  I would also suggest that losing yourself in the "terrible-ness" of it will not help you find a new job, pass the next test or deal with the next bully.  (An author that may help with this process is Byron Katie and her process she calls "The Work.")

Drawing on your accomplishments, successes and achievements by using your true colors phrase may help change a long term belief system into a new way of looking at life. It may change the way you experience a challenging situation and may help you relieve some of the stress in your life.

The true colors phrase is (real, true) information in the form of a thought in your head that works its way into a feeling in your heart. Once it reaches the feeling stage, it is more likely to become your new way of viewing that particular circumstance. I personally know that this process can work and can change the way you experience your life.  It can allow your own beautiful true colors to shine through, as Fall's true colors are in the photo above.

Before you go, if you would like to hear Cindi sing the song... and those words.... to you, then scroll down to the next post and watch the video!

As always, I would love to hear your comments, questions or challenges in the comments section below.  

Until next month,
Keep it simple!