Mindset is (Not) Everything
We live in a society that is obsessed with intellect.
Every time we have a problem, our teachers/friends/acquaintances ask:
→ “Well, have you made a list of pros and cons?”
→ “What did your [dad/mom/sister/partner/friend] say?”
→ “What is the most realistic or responsible choice?”
And our motivational slogans include:
→ “Work on your mindset!”
→ “Mind over matter!”
→ “Mindset is everything!”
We are literally obsessed with mindset, with rationalizing, with thinking. It is taught, celebrated and rewarded more than anything else.
But in reality, intellect is only ONE of the three ways that we can collect information to figure out what is right and true for us.
So when we rely on intellect to make all of our decisions, to find solutions to our problems, or to understand what is going on in our lives, often we come up woefully short and then we slip into self-blame.
→ “Something must be wrong with me.”
→ “I just don’t have any willpower.”
→ “I can’t figure out why this isn’t working.”
The truth is, there is NOTHING wrong with you. You have absolutely everything that you need, you just don’t realize that you do because you are living your life in your head.
In fact, most of us in Western society are just a bunch of talking heads, walking around intellectualizing, rationalizing, and machinating on things.
But if we want to make decisions based on what feels good and is right to US (not based on the shoulds of the world), we have to drop out of our heads and into our bodies.
Below the neck is where the other two vehicles to collect information are housed: our physical bodies and our emotions.
Right now, the norm in society is to cover up what our bodies and our emotions are communicating to us.
→ If you have a headache, you take a painkiller and press on.
→ If you are feeling sad or angry, you stuff it down, suck it up and get shit done.
We spend so much time constantly numbing or ignoring our physical sensations and our emotions that it’s no wonder we live up in our heads. We have made our bodies unsafe. We have made the sensations and emotions of our bodies unsafe and inhospitable.
It’s time to come home to our bodies.
When I searched for the definition of home, I found a few different variations in different dictionaries that I really liked:
1. One’s place of residence.
2. Any place of retreat or refuge.
3. A familiar or usual setting; a congenial environment
And my favorite
4. The objective in various games.
Our bodies are our earthly homes. They house our souls, and are with us everywhere we go.
Sensation is both our body's and our soul’s way of communicating with us. Pain is our teacher, just like joy, anger, peace, excitement, and frustration are our teachers.
Pain shows us what needs attention, what needs to be healed.
Our emotions give us information as to what is working or not working, where we can apply more love, and where we need to set boundaries.
Instead of covering these sensations up and making them bad, what if we got curious about them and asked: What is the lesson in this? What is the message in this?
If you don’t feel safe to lean into the sensation in your body or even connected to your body now, it is some of the most important work that you can do in your life.
It should feel like a refuge. Like a congenial environment.
And it doesn't have to be hard! Treat it like a game and allow yourself to be curious and playful in the experience of finding your way home.
It may take a while because we have spent so long deliberately disconnecting, but it is your oldest, deepest, and truest relationship and it is well worth the effort.
If you want to heal your relationship with food and your body, you have to get out of your head.
There is no intellectualizing it or thinking your way out of it.
You have to come home.