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Modern Renegades with Ashley Kelsch | Is That So?

Ep #69

Is That So?

I have been thinking a lot lately about how the brain will take in information based on what it sees or hears, and make a bunch of assumptions based on very little fact. We feel sure that what we think is the truth, and we rarely ever know otherwise; until somebody tells us.

When we are so up in our heads, things get lost in translation. Your thinking will not only be endless, but it will be constant drama. So how do we tame the brain? We intercept the script and rewrite the role we are playing out.

In this episode, I’m telling you why developing awareness of your thoughts enables you to talk back to your brain and rewire your thought processes. I share some questions to ask yourself that will enable you to deconstruct what your brain is telling you, and why your thinking is optional so you can choose to think in a way that serves you.

What You Will Discover:

  • How to check in with the story your brain is telling you vs reality.
  • What happens when you allow your brain to run on autopilot.
  • How things can get lost in translation.
  • The importance of being aware of your thought patterns.
  • How to stop making things mean things that aren’t true.

Resources Mentioned:

  • If you’re enjoying the tools and concepts I’m sharing each week about your brain on dating, you won’t want to miss out on working with me one-on-one. I’ve just launched my program, Wake Up Before Another Breakup, where in just 8 weeks, you won’t question if you can trust yourself to date or why you can’t find the one. Click here to learn more about it and how you can work with me.
  • Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality by Anthony De Mello

Enjoy the Show?

I was having dinner with my lover recently and he asked me, albeit jokingly, are you out of your mind? And I said, I hope so cause this mother fucker has a way of thinking it knows all the things when it actually has no idea and the more out of my thinking I am, the better off we all are.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how our brain will take in information based on what it’s seeing or hearing and then make a bunch of assumptions or draw conclusions based on very little fact. And yet, we feel so fucking right with what we think we know. Unfortunately, we don’t.

We rarely know until someone tells us and even then, our brain has this other unique ability to take what it’s hearing and make it about us. That’s probably one of my favorite things to watch play out in my mind. Someone is sharing their experience and if I’m not truly listening my brain starts making it about me. I’ll have side reel playing out. This just happened where my friend was telling me that she’d met someone and has never been happier and I watched my brain offer thoughts like; oh, they’ve met someone and never been happier. We want to experience never been happier. When is the last time we had that- suddenly this sad victim why not me feeling overcame me when I caught myself. I quickly caught it and was like, bitch.

This isn’t about you, and even if it were, we are doing that now. We are experiencing never been happier. Now keep it down I’m trying to listen to someone else. This was a matter of seconds, Renegades.

Now consider that is what is happening all day. You are taking in information and interpreting it based on how you brain has decided you want to see yourself in this world. How you’ve been programmed to. Your identity that has been created by a lifetime of subliminal messaging, constructs made up by a group of people called society combined with our brains hardwiring to look for good and bad, right or wrong to identify with, to keep safe from - fill in the blank.

And so your brain is filtering all sorts of information based on just that. Your filters. In seconds. You think, my intuition just told me. I had a feeling about them. No Renegades, you had about 600 thoughts happen in just seconds that informed you. You’re just not aware of them. Our brain has us running on auto pilot to save energy and be efficient. The more we can filter the faster the less time we think we will spend worrying about it. But we all know it’s what we are doing, worrying, ruminating, making up stories. These brains are busy little bitches.

Ever been on a date or in bed with your lover and they open up their phone? What do you do? Perhaps a little side eye? Get a quick glance of who has been texting? Who was that in a photo?

Your brain immediately offers he still has that picture of them together, he must have really loved her. I wonder if he still looks at it and thinks of her? I’m okay with that actually. He’s the person he is today because of all the women before me. Do they still text? I wonder when he saw her last…

Wait. How do you know it’s someone he dated? Is it possible it’s a friend? A cousin?

I love this game. Catching the brain in action… During the freeze a couple months ago my lover, myself and best friend decided we were going to help his friend out at her restaurant. We saw it as an opportunity to get food to those who were unable to source any since nothing was open and they had power. My son and I volunteered to cook. So there I am, flipping burgers frying French fries, having fun but it was a lot of work. Nonstop people coming in from the streets. One burger after the next. My lover, well my lover was sitting in a booth across from a woman. A woman who immediately decided was young and beautiful. I was like, okay. huh. And then I thought, isn’t that nice? I’m over here slaving away cooking for your friend and you’re sipping on wine with this beautiful blonde? Wow. Wait, are you playing cards?

I felt my body tense, which is when I caught myself and took a deep breath. Told myself, I made a choice to be in the kitchen and he made a choice to well, apparently entertain the customers coming in. I went back to work and tried to focus on the task at hand. But I mean, what the actual fuck…I’m cooking for his friend and he’s just sitting there having the time of his life…

It’s fine. I can take a deep breath. He gets to do what he wants. I chose to cook.

Later that day the woman I was cooking for came up to me and said, isn’t your mind the sweetest? I was like, ummm, and she said that’s my daughter over there and gives me this story about the daughter’s ex-husband makes it difficult for her to get her kids after the week off and demands she gets a covid test, which during the freeze getting anything from anywhere was literally impossible and it just so happened that my lover had some anti body tests and he was helping her use it so she could have seen her kids.

You can imagine how ridiculous I felt. In my own isolated experience that wasn’t shared with anyone but me in my mind.

It’s equal parts amazing and dangerous how our brains can work.

This is why texting and messaging is such a fucker. Talk about lost in translation. People text words and then we make it mean all kinds of shit…

She says: I still want my date on your motorcycle. He responds, what about this weather? this hail is crazy, isn’t it.

Her brain says this mother fucker is avoiding me and won’t make plans. He’s so annoying.

Is it hailing? Yes. How about this weather? What are you making his words mean? What is he making your words mean?

This thinking will not only be endless if not disrupted but uncomfortable. It’s constant drama when the brain is unkept. A nonstop episode of housewives on vacation, falling in the bushes naked wasted kind of drama.

So what do we do? How do we tame the brain? Intercept the script and re write the role we are playing out?

We want to drop this illusion, Renegades.

You talk back to your brain. Is that so?

Three little words. I use them all the fucking time now with everything. And on my clients. I’ve been working with a client who has been struggling to let go of someone who ended it with her a few months ago. Each week she talks about how he doesn’t care. If he did, he would do this.

Is that so? Tell me more…

Are there any other possibilities?

Another client who is convicted she doesn’t know how to date. It never works out I must be doing something wrong.
Is that so?

What are some other options you could choose to think?

That you might meet the love of your life next week? How upset are you going to be about this guy ghosting you then?

Sometimes we think the worst moments in our life are just that and we never consider that on the other side of what is happening is taking us exactly where we are supposed to be going. We hold on to and argue with the disappointment and let down and no’s and obsess over how it will never be. This always happens. Nothing ever works out. If they cared about me, they would… I don’t know how to do this.

Is that so?

We drive with the breaks on. And my god doesn’t that feel horrible in the body.

We don’t think that this relationship ending could be the best fucking thing that has ever happened for us. It isn’t until later when things play out and we have a different perspective and our brain has made sense of it that we think, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

I want to offer that this thinking is optional and that our brain is just used to thinking in drama. It’s a habit and a distraction.

When I first started dating consciously, I was like, so this is it. No drama now what? What am I supposed to be doing if I’m not thinking about texting all day, not getting excited or disappointed when they make or break plans- where’s the fun in that?

What do I do with myself?

I’m supposed to feel nothing? That sounds so boring. And the brain hates boring.

Not to mention that we have growing up watching movies and listening to songs about love and what that’s supposed to look like. The chase, the I can’t the take me back, when will I hear, it’s him… who is he talking to? If it doesn’t have this emotional pull it mustn’t be the real thing. And the brain is wetting it pants. You are never fucking bored here and in a constant state of dopamine, desire, cortisol adrenaline what have you.

We’ve been programmed to think this is how dating is supposed to be and it’s what the brain wants it to be, but I can assure you it’s not the way. It doesn’t have to be this thrilling ride of desire and passion.

It’s certainly something to do to fill your time but I’m telling you on the other side of that is a much more stable ride that doesn’t take you out of yourself and your life.

When you first start practicing this sort of awareness you might think, I’m horrible. Look at all these horrible thoughts. This is embarrassing and wrong. Don’t buy in to any of that.
Imagine your brain, as an illustration if you will. I like to think of mine with tiny legs, some sexy pumps, big glasses and a drink in her hand. She’s always sitting in the corner talking shit. To me. About me. About you. The world. You get the idea. I can’t help but laugh at what a bitch she is but I know why. She wants to keep me safe. She thinks she knows what’s up. To her credit she has style, but no grace. She thinks in default and on repeat. I watch her do it, thank her for her opinions, and then decide what I want to think. This illusion that is being created and seen is not real.

Byron Katie says most of what we are thinking is delusional, so why not pick the story that feels best for you? Why do we run with the ones that hurt us and separate us from others?
Because we aren’t thinking consciously -plain and simple. It’s your unintentional thinking. It’s you running on auto pilot. The good news is, because I always have good news, is that you have a choice in what you think. We call this intentional thinking. You can decide how you want to see the world in front of you.

I’ve been reading a book called Awareness by Anthony de Mello and it’s about, that right Awareness of your thinking thoughts. This book may not be for everyone as he is very direct and straight away tells you you’re an ass, I’m an ass they’re an ass. That none of us has any idea what the fuck is up. After a few chapters of that he dives in and says:

“What you are aware of, you are in control of, what you are not aware of is in control of you. You are always a slave to what you’re not aware of. When you’re aware of it, you’re free from it. It’s there, but you’re not affected by it. You’re not controlled by it. You’re not enslaved by it. That’s the difference.”

It doesn’t sound like much, Renegades, I know, but here’s the thing. When you are running on auto pilot and letting your brain spin reels of drama out for you your body is in a reactionary state meaning your emotions are releasing with each thought, a chemical drip vibrating through your body and your behavior is reacting from that. This is why we feel so exhausted at the end of each day. Our mind is spinning thousands of thoughts that we are unaware of and we are using a lot of energy to try and solve for them. This also explains why you think you can’t control how you feel about any given situation and that your emotions are out of control; it’s all being compounded.

But once you start to gain awareness here; of what’s happening in your body you can actually start to clue in a lot faster to what you’re thinking and fact check that brain of yours. Interrogate and deconstruct the fuck out what it’s telling you. See the thought or feeling you are having. Watch the story and don’t make it mean anything about you.
Endlessly asking questions like, Is that so? What are some other options? Do you see any other possibilities here? Would the world agree this is what is happening?

See how you might want to hold on to the story and stay in the drama. Nothing has gone wrong here. Don’t judge it.

Who would I be without this story?

Usually when I start working with a client they’ll say, I see what you’re saying and I agree but… they want to hold on to the story even though they understand what it’s causing them to feel and do. At first, you don’t feel like it’s optional. It feels real to who you are. Letting go of it would be like letting go of your identity.

Listen, you get to choose and when you’re ready the other thoughts and story are available. Just practice believing and thinking that way. Stick with the one intentional thought / question IS THAT SO? that keeps you mindful of checking your brains story vs reality. It won’t take long before you start to see just how creative your brain is and how terrible it makes you feel.
You got this, Renegades. The next time he texts and you start to make his words mean something, ask yourself, is that so.

Talk to you next week.

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