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Ep #55

Your Thinking May Need a Health Warning

If you know the tv series Fargo, you know that each episode includes text that states how it was based on a true story and true events. This sucks you into the show’s drama because you cannot believe that these events actually happened.

Our brains are the same way. We think our thoughts must be autobiographical and true, only they’re not. Just like tv shows, our brains create drama around facts which then leads us down a road of emotional chaos, destruction, and shame.

In today’s episode, I challenge you to imagine a health warning before your mind drama takes off. What would happen if you weren’t so quick to believe the text on the screen or the thoughts in your brain? I’m sharing how when you pause to become aware, inquire, and seek, you actually reveal the truth. Shift happens, Renegades. It’s up to you what you choose to believe.

What You Will Discover:

  • How 99% of your thoughts are optional drama. 
  • What I made running an unofficial marathon mean about me.
  • How to stop the shame spiral.
  • What the motivational triad is and how it affects our thoughts.
  • Why I seriously value coaching.

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 wont question if you can trust yourself to date or why you cant find the one. Click here to learn more about it and how you can work with me.
  • Fargo – tv series
  • The Crown – tv series

Enjoy the Show?

Okay; so I’ve been watching Fargo the series for years now. And if you watch it every episode begins with this:

Every episode starts with the onscreen words "This is a true story. The events depicted in this film took place __________. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.”

So obviously, when watching any episode of Fargo I would find myself thinking, “I can’t fucking believe this happened that way! -This is the craziest true story in history.”

Y’all. I tell everyone about Fargo. AND when I recommend it, I always gush about it being based on a true story. Oh my gawd, Just wait til you see it lallaaalala.

Well, I just wrapped up season 4 and it turns out according to Fargo, massacres are nothing new.

This shit has been going on forever which prompted me to look up the Kansas City train station massacre. This is another realization I’ve had. Nothing is new. You just need to look back at history. Like cancel culture. We as a society have been gathering at the town square to watch people be burned at the stake or watching their heads come off for not thinking the way everyone else does or committing an act of treason. Perhaps slightly less violent and deadly now but cancel culture is nothing new.

Anyway. Renegades, what happened in real life is not what they show in Fargo.

At all.
So I dig… deep in the streets of the inter web because I have this information that I have thought is true and I must reconcile it. It being the difference. The Delta.

And as it would turn out, NONE OF IT HAS BEEN REAL aside from maybe one character or specific crime but the rest was made up fiction.
I was like what the actual fuck. It doesn’t end there. The crown. Huge fan of this series. I’ve basically been watching it like a damn history lesson and this season, which I have yet to start features the story about princess di and prince Charles and Britain is all up in arms saying none of this is true. They are demanding that Netflix issue a health warning before each episode.
A health warning. I thought, that’s weird. I could see them saying the events depicted in this series actually didn’t happen exactly as you are about to see so don’t go a thinking this is real and tell everyone you have a history major in the monarch- or Midwest crime at -that but instead they want to issue a health warning.

As the day went on, I found myself mulling this over; my disappointment that what I was watching wasn’t true. That I was so quick to believe what was in front of me because of some words I read and the picture I was seeing. And then it hit me. This health warning.

I totally get it. Maybe not in the way it’s being issued against Netflix, but I can totally grasp the concept of just because you can see it with your eyes or visualize it in your mind doesn’t mean it’s true. I mean, just look at us and the way we think- how it causes us to feel. What we ended up doing.

99% of what we are thinking is optional drama.

Renegades. I’m issuing a mandatory health warning before all your thoughts. Your thinking - even though it’s based on historical events happening, the characters and story lines may not be true. It could and probably does cause side effects of sadness, resentment, anger addiction and unnecessary suffering.

Your thoughts about who you are is not your auto biography, but a drama based on true events and it’s causing you low self-esteem and often times self-harm. Be it in the form of self-negative talk or behaviors.

I remember my first marathon. It was actually December of 2001 just before Nicks first birthday. Wow. This is crazy to think; After Nick was born, I started walking which turned into walk runs which turned into a full 3-mile run. I was so elated after that run that I walked in our front door and declared I’d be signing up for an running the Honolulu marathon 8 months later.

My neighbor and I trained together. It was amazing. She was an ICU nurse who worked the nightshift. She’d come home at 6am and we’d get in a quick run or she’d adjust her sleep schedule so we could meet and get out long runs in.
I was a nursing mom working part time with a husband who was up at 6 and out the door every morning at 7am. He didn’t get home until 5 and was exhausted, rightfully so, from building homes in the Maui sun all day. In order for me to train I had to get up at 3am sometimes. Regardless of mileage I had to be home in time each morning to nurse my baby, get ready for work and have everything ready for our sitter. When I couldn’t do early morning runs, I’d put Nick in our jogger stroller and go for 6-8 miles watching the sunset singing him lullabies. I was often wrapped in ace bandages so my milk wouldn’t start leaking. It was insane. I was the epitome of dedicated at the time.

This was my first time participating in running events. I had stopped working out in high school and rather than lettering in sports I lettered in partying and ditching. A healthy lifestyle and competition were both new, but I got into it.

On Maui you could show up at the beach for a 5k the morning of and register right there. I ran all kinds of 5 and 10k’s just like that. No signing up, just showing up.

There were long runs were so hard that I would find myself crying on the highway. I had no idea why I was doing it because it was clear my body couldn’t. But I’d go back out the next day and month by month those long runs got easier.

Aside from giving birth, I had never challenged myself like that physically or mentally.

Finally, the big weekend arrived. We flew over to Honolulu. Checked into our hotel and got settled in for a very early wake up call. My neighbor called me to ask me how packet pick up and registration went.
I was like oh, I didn’t go. I’m going to go in the morning.
She said, Ashley. I think you have to pick up your race packet the night before at the expo. I said,
what’s an expo? On Maui, whenever I’ve done a race, I just showed up the morning of and got my race bib.
She urged me to call and confirm that would work.

I tried calling and there was no answer. It was 9pm. I went to bed that night nervous, questioning how bad I had fucked up but hopeful that this would not be a problem.

My alarm went off at 3 and my husband and I put Nick in his stroller and headed down to the starting line looking for anyone who could help me. I told my husband that I would see him at the finish line and started running around looking, literally until I found an information stand.

I explained to the woman that I didn’t pick up my race packet but had registered- I didn’t know- and she said, sorry. There is nothing I can do for you. You had to pick it up last night to officially do the race.
I said, what does that mean? Officially do the race? She said, well, you’re technically disqualified. Your name and race time won’t be entered into the race.

I was like what? No. Can I still run it? She said, sure. But you can’t cross the finish line.

Renegades. I was crushed. My stomach turned as I felt this wave of despair and embarrassment flood over me. I was humiliated and felt so dumb.

It didn’t occur to me to not do the race, though. So I set off. In a sea of 20k people who were smiling and cheering. Their excitement filled the air the way my despair consumed my body.

Within the first few footsteps I started crying as all the thoughts about all the work I had done came rushing in. The time away from my baby. The hours spent on the road and not with my family. I felt like I had cheated Nick -who was 11 months by the by- of the mother he deserved.

My mind was relentless and the emotions unmanageable. Pretty soon I found myself having to walk then run because I developed this horrible side stitch from trying not to cry. My brain offered that everyone cheering sees you walking. They think you are weak and slow. I wanted them to know I could run the 26.2 miles, but I made this mistake. I’m not slow. I can do it. I felt like everyone was watching and judging me. This went on forever.

Ironically, I had never considered a time to accomplish the marathon in. It never really occurred to me until I was out there. Walking and running telling myself how much of a failure I was for taking this long.

I vaguely remember coming to the end of the race where everyone was picking up their pace to run the final .2 to the finish line, their faces, the crowd and me peeling off to the side because I wasn’t allowed to cross the finish line.

It was then that I saw Chris with Nick in his arms running up to me. His face had more pride than I can explain. I was scared to tell him what had happened and disappoint him. I looked at Nick and another flood of shame took me over. I literally fell to the ground and started sobbing.

Chris was so confused. More so when I told him what happened. He didn’t understand why I was so upset.

That day we walked around Honolulu, and EVERYONE was wearing their medals, celebrating. Talking about it. I couldn’t handle it. I was cracking.

Family was calling to ask me how it was. How I did. I believed I had let everyone down. I was failure as a runner, a mother and friend.

The next night we were with friends having dinner and my besties dad asked me how it went. I felt the need to explain myself to him the way a child does her father when she’s trying to justify a bad decision.
He said, wait. You still ran the 26.2 miles? Yes sir, I did.
He replied, girl. That takes moxy.
I casually smiled because true story, I didn’t know what moxy meant.

And it took me years to turn that story into one of moxy and not humiliation.
To believe that I do have moxy. That I am moxy.

But you see, Renegades, this is what we do. We take the events of our lives and without warning, turn them into a drama that is not only not true but leads us down roads of emotional chaos that can cause destruction and more often than not, further down roads of avoidance and addiction. We spiral in shame. Shame is the worse. Shame needs to be called out as soon as possible. Shame is one-part avoidance another part salt on an already open wound.

I’ve noticed that as soon as I own what I’ve done it can’t own me anymore.

When you are experiencing the shame or uncomfortable feelings you want to allow for them Renegades. It means truly sitting with the thought and allowing yourself to grieve or feel embarrassed or angry. Your brain is going into flight or fight mode which is why you feel paralyzed. By labeling it and naming in your body, seeing it and not denying you can move from your primal brain into prefrontal cortex/problem solving. Literally witness the vibration/emotion in your body and describe it is it heavy lightfast slow in your chest throat does it have a color etc. etc. etc. you gain authority.
It means actively and consciously seeing your thinking and dissecting it. Putting your thoughts on paper is a great first step- the brain drain- to help you find the thought causing the pain/shame. Once you see your story, poke holes in it alike a mother fucker. Interrogate yourself.

If you’ve been tuning in then you have heard me deliver the news that we as humans have a base programming software, if you will, installed into our brains to survive- it’s called the motivational triad. We are designed to seek pleasure, avoid discomfort and be efficient.
It’s how we survived for thousands of years, however now it has the opposite effect.

Because the brain is still seeking pleasure and avoiding discomfort, but in modern times.
When we are feeling uncomfortable feelings our nature is to turn to things that will make us feel better. Add to it the brain ability to be efficient you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see were that has led us; over sexing, overeating, over drinking, over working out overing all the things.

Understanding this and gaining the awareness around how you think is imperative for your health and wellbeing. Otherwise you are going to default to your base programming. Survivor mode. Drama.

This is why I value coaching. You have someone else- who doesn’t have an agenda for you or your life- that can see outside of the story you are telling yourself. As someone who self-coaches daily, listens to the work and teaches the work I still get coached. I can’t possibly see all the angles from my viewpoint.

That said, I coach myself daily because so that I can train my brain to look for other interpretations of what I’m believing and how they cause me to feel. This is my opportunity to see if I need a health warning. Caution. When you think this it makes you feel sad and when you’re sad you don’t want to leave bed or talk to anyone causing you to detach further.

Warning when you think this you feel deprived and when you feel deprived you want to overeat or drink and then you feel hungover with a side of guilt and you waste the next day not feeling well or learning how to manage your urges.

See what I mean?

What part of your stories need a health warning? Where are you living out your drama based on real life events? Inquire Seek and Reveal Renegades.
Until next week

Remember; shift happens.

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