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Ep #47

A Tale of Two Perspectives

Your thoughts have the same drama and conflict as a soap opera. Only you are the hero and the villain. You cast your friends, use the same lines in all the episodes, and decide if the main character will develop over time. 

The storyline you’ve created in your mind becomes the perspective you see the world through. And your story includes manuals for the other characters that you expect them to adhere to. But by creating this storyline, you limit your lens and create a narrow perspective of the world and what happens in it.

In today’s episode, I’m sharing what happened when I started to understand the upper and lower minds for creating a wider perspective and a cleaner storyline. We tend to swing from one extreme to another, but learning how the two minds, two perspectives, work has helped me find peace. Renegades, I want you to find that peace too and the exercise in perspective I share today will help you get started.

What You Will Discover:

  • Why your thoughts are like content from tv shows or social media.
  • That no one can make you feel any certain way.
  • What the upper and lower minds are and how they work.
  • How to access your higher mind.
  • Why using discernment helps you dance in the middle.

Resources Mentioned:

Enjoy the Show?

Recently, Nick came over to have breakfast with me. As he was walking through the door, he immediately started in on how Faith woke him up that morning; he tells me this story about how he was sleeping when he heard Faith saying, I did your dishes. He opened his eyes and said Faith was hovering above him when he replied with “what?”

Faith said, “I did your dishes. Again” … and they get into this argument about who’s been doing the dishes vs trash and who is responsible for what. I commented with, “that’s a lame way to be woken up.”

A few hours later Faith came over and I said, hey- your brother mentioned you woke him up this am venting about the dishes and- Faith interrupted me with, “What? He wasn’t sleeping. He was on the phone with his friend” and tells me their side of the story.

Which was a completely different story. Honestly, it was as if the other person wasn’t even involved.
I tried to listen to Faith, but I had to stop them from telling me anymore. Partly because after 17 years it’s become clear that no matter what I say or do as the mom in the situation, these two siblings do this back and forth bickering thing. Like they’ve morphed into an old married couple from a 1960’s sitcom. So I’ve found the best solution for everyone is for me to watch my breath and blood pressure…

AND my brain was exploding on how completely different their stories were.

It was a Tale of Two Perspectives.

It reminded me of that show The Affair; It’s an hour long and each episode is broken into 2 -30-minute segments telling the same story line, but from the point of view of a different character involved. At first it was confusing. I’d find myself thinking.

Why are the characters wearing different clothes? The waitress in the first half was dressed more conservatively, what’s with the second half showing her dressed all scanty.

And that’s weird, the character didn’t say his line so snarky in the last scene. Why does he appear to be a dick now?

Slowly, you start to see how the same experience is being viewed from the perspective of the other character. It’s a mind fuck for sure.

Each character would interpret what they thought they heard or what they were making it mean depending on what was going on in their minds and about what they believed was happening.

And this is exactly what is happening in our worlds on a daily basis as we interact with the context of what we see, hear, think and engage with people. Each of us is personally developing our very own content and creating our personal virtual reality from the lens in which we *think things are.

Unfortunately, the lens from which we view the world is often quite narrow. It has one perspective: Yours.

As an exercise, I decided to start referring to and labeling my thoughts as content. Content I’m creating, consuming, thinking about reacting to responding to in the same way you do when you are looking at the content of your Instagram, Netflix, email, books what have you.

The content of your brain is no different. Compelling stories lines and lots of drama. It’s the series in which you’re always the star and the victim. Ironically, you are also writing and directing the narrative, which then makes you the villain, too. Kind of wild, isn’t it? That you hold all this power about what you think and how you feel?

The more I witnessed my content the more I saw just how long this series has been playing. The context changes- meaning the people, my circumstances what have you- but my thoughts and feelings about it and the way I show up, is consistent with who I think I am, based on my past and beliefs. My story line is pretty consistent. My endings often line up in a similar fashion.

It made me wonder; how much character development have I actually experienced? Has she evolved over the years? Is she still creating the same drama? What are the plot twists? What lines am I always using? What lessons have I taught my kids? Were they recycled lines from an even older show- my prequel? Or did I develop my own script as a parent? Does my character have a type when dating? Who is she casting as friends? How do those storylines play out?

And are the characters changing? Remember how in soap operas like Days of our Lives the actor would change, but not the character? Same role, different face.

Am I so set in my characters way of being and seeing that I keep choosing the same roles in friends, lovers and work, but replace with new actors?

I’d been spending some time this summer with a person and let me just say it was as close to perfect as it gets for me. There wasn’t this usual will I hear from them and / or when we will be hanging out/ what did he mean when he said. Nothing. I found that our best made plans were not making them. We naturally gravitated towards one another. And we would have the most fun. It was a summer loving,
had me a blast situation.

Then one day a switch went off. Everything we were doing seemed reckless. My brain thought thoughts about him that told me this couldn’t and wouldn’t work. My life felt unbalanced. And in my mind, he was the reason. I asked for a minute and space to think about things, because I couldn’t quite figure it out. He didn’t do anything. I found myself wishing he had done something that would give me a reason, but nothing.

I noticed that when I had created the space I was working more. Running more miles. Going to bed early and reading. Living a balanced life, I thought.

It had to have been him that was throwing me off. He was the reason I was doing those things and feeling unbalanced.

So I ended it.

I couldn’t stop thinking about this switch. How one minute I was having a blast and then the next, just done. Which is what really freaked me out, going from one extreme to the other.

I know, you’re all listening thinking, but you’re the dating coach. Don’t you have it all figured out? Some of you have even messaged and left comments that you can’t believe I would get ghosted or how can you be single, but guess what? Not everyone wants to date me and I’m a human with a brain so yes, I get to experience all the fun things you do AND I get to practice first hand all the tools to process my relationships, thoughts and feelings. Renegade Tested. Coach Approved.

I sat back and started to look at the story I had created about him and our time together. I decided to widen the lens and zoom out.
I turned the camera around and looked at the story from the opposite angle.

Was it possible that my illusion of what was happening was delusional? Yes. 100% yes. Most of our thinking is delusional.

New thoughts arose; what if this has nothing to do with him? What if the problems are mine? What if I’m the problem? The reason for lack of balance. The late nights? The not working ‘as hard?’ And what if I’m blaming him? What if I need to break it off with some of my beliefs and behaviors? Break up with a part of me?

I put it all on paper.
I literally wrote down every current source of stress or worry I had about the relationship and person. What I thought he should or shouldn’t be doing.

You want to be savage and without reason when practicing this exercise, Renegades.

And then I turned it around.

I re wrote it and where I had put ‘he’ I inserted ‘I’.

And then I threw up a little.
This is what you call perspective.

I didn’t have a problem with this person. I had a problem with me and my behavior.

Which is why I’m sharing this with you today. Learning to overcome how you used to date is not an overnight process. I didn’t become the person who would lose herself in the man and not know how to trust herself overnight. This is 40 years of beliefs and habits hardwired in my body and brain that I work on daily to overcome.

When I decided to start dating consciously, I knew not only would I need a great step by step program which I’ve created, I would really need grace and patience.
Rewiring your patterns takes time.

Quick reminder: No one can make you feel a certain way. Our feelings come from our thoughts.

Meaning, no one can make me ‘feel’ unbalanced. Which is great news. Once you understand that your feeling comes from a thought you can take your power back. You have agency here. My life started feeling balanced because I was creating thoughts like, I have more time in my day to run which personally makes me feel balanced. As opposed to before, I wasn’t making time which made me feel unbalanced. Rather than exploring that and managing my time, I put the blame on someone else.

2nd. Anytime you are wanting someone to behave a certain way so you can feel better you are operating from a manual.
When you are operating from our manual you are trying to control people and their behavior so life in your lane is smooth. You want to learn to meet your own needs and stop abdicating responsibility to others. Then you can just enjoy the people around you. You can learn more about this on episode 43, Great Expectations.

Lastly, I’ve been really interested in exploring why we swing from one extreme to the other. My instinct in the past has always been all or nothing. No drinking or all the drinking. Date everyone don’t date anyone. Train for a marathon don’t run. Since approaching my self-care from the Bottom Up and inquiring from within I have witnessed the instinct to swing- my brain thinks it’s the safe solution.

And I know it’s not and am insistent on the middle path and learning to play in the grey.

That said, I’ve been studying the lower and higher mind which explains this behavior AND where the content we are creating comes from. Understanding and practicing seeing the two minds and how they work has helped me get out of judgment of self and others and find that peace we all crave when were caught up in our stories.

To understand you lower mind you need to know it has preference. The lower mind. Meaning, it either likes or dislikes. When you are using your lower mind you are either accepting or rejecting. If you ever feel like you let the pendulum swing from one extreme to the other than you are operating from the lower mind; and there is power in preference so no judgement here. The lower mind influences your self-identity - mom, athlete, realtor, bartender, coach. It’s what gives you your sense of self. The ‘this is who I am’ attitude.

But wait, there’s more.

It’s also where you store your beliefs, ideas and memories. Sounds innocent enough but let me tell you what’s really going on here.

When you are viewing the world from your lower mind you are taking this sense of self and combining it with these stored memories and beliefs which creates your perspective giving you your perception of reality. This is the lens from which you view things.

I want to interject that lower doesn’t mean less. It’s you.

The problem is, if you haven’t done some serious shadow work or attempted to shatter your belief systems, or created an awareness around your thinking, you are recycling the same recycled content regardless of the context or landscape around you to create the experience of your reality.

Your lower mind gets between your essential self and the clarity you are seeking. It fuels you with emotions and distracts you.

Your higher mind is the part of you that practices discernment. Discernment. Our ability to separate what is real from unreal.
When you are in your higher mind you breathe and witness yourself. The higher mind is objective. When you are observing your world from this perspective you are conscious- free from limited beliefs, sense of self and ego. You aren’t operating from patterns or scarcity thinking. Higher mind is free of worry. It doesn’t question how and who. It just knows.

How do you access your higher mind?
Through awareness.

Learning to focus on the breath gives you awareness.
Writing down your thoughts gives you awareness. And slows your thinking down.

Mediation whether sitting or in motion gives you awareness.

Embodiment. Observing your body and sensations gives you awareness.

Taking a just a few moments throughout the day to observe your thinking, breath and body will help you sharpen this tool of discernment.

Without discernment, Renegades you will continue to create the same content. Re-create the same stories. See things from the same perspective. The same narrow lens.

You will also continue to cast the people who will prove your story line true. Remember; your brain doesn’t care if it feels good or bad. It just wants to be right.

You want to learn to dance between the lower and higher mind. Think of them in a relationship- observe which one you operate from and then nurture the space between.

From this space you can view the story and character line you have and decide if you want to flip the script or not. I think starting with is What am I believing about this situation? What do I feel when I think this way? How do I show up in my role? What story am I creating? Does this role serve me and my bigger picture? If the role was reversed, what would I be thinking?

Keep that front of mind this week and remember to gain discernment you will have to exercise awareness. Until next week, Renegades. Breathe easy.

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