Hidden Payoffs and New Stories

August 29, 2008 | 47 Comments »

Earlier this week I was late enough for lunch with dad that I didn’t dare check the time as I walked into the restaurant where he patiently waited. (Easy to do since I don’t wear a watch.)

On the way in I coached myself not to go into a lengthy explanation about how I had so much to do, so little time to myself, because I was so busy, yada yada yada. Because I know we live into the stories we tell, and “busyness” is not the story I want to live.

And yet, fifteen minutes into our lunch conversation there I was talking about how busy I was. “Woe is me, I’m so busy.” It was ridiculous.

What amazed me was how committed I obviously was to my “I’m so busy” story even though I had purposely coached myself to stay out of it.

(Perhaps I’m resisting busy, huh? Hmm .. that resistance thing again!)

As I wondered why I repeated this pattern of talking about what I don’t want which I knew wasn’t serving me, I realized it was serving me. That’s the only reason we do anything – we expect (subconsciously or consciously) some sort of benefit.

Some how, some way, I got a payoff from my “I’m so busy” story.

I’ve noticed this habit with lots of folks, and actually get paid to spot it in clients.

When we continue doing something we say we want to stop or change, it’s often because there’s a hidden benefit in engaging the old habit. Recognizing that payoff can help us break free from the behavior we don’t want.

So how do you identify the payoff?

Just looking for it will likely reveal it. Ask yourself “what am I getting out of this?” “How is this serving me?”

Or my favorite that my dad taught me: “What does this behavior/situation allow me to continue doing or keep me from having to do?”

For example, a friend kept complaining there were no work opportunities in her city. Despite my pointing out to her that “it is as we speak,” she continued complaining. I suspect her hidden payoff was that as long as she could blame the lack of opportunity on the area, she couldn’t be faulted for not being successful in her career. She’s fault free; it’s her stupid town to blame for her unemployment.

My payoff with my I’m so busy story? Maybe there’s an adrenal fix happening. Or perhaps it’s the belief that being busy staves off failure. As if busyness and success are linked up in my mind. Or maybe my ego just really likes being able to say “I’m so busy, because I’m so important, I’m in such high demand,” etc.

A gut check tells me it’s likely a combo of those factors.

But with this post I’ve outed myself, so it’s no longer a hidden payoff. And because I’m so good at practicing what I preach (that’s a story I’m living into nicely!) I will practice my NEW story more than I tell this old one.

Before you pull the rug out from under yourself, it helps to set yourself up for getting the payoff in a healthier, more aligned way.

So, if my payoff was that it feeds my ego, I can either find a different way to feel even better. If it’s adrenal-related, I can find a better way to work with my body. If it’s that I have a deep seated belief that success means busy, I can create a new belief.  I know how to do that.

But for me, the awareness alone feels like it’s helping me disengage from the old habit.

So now for the new story.  Gotta find the one that “clicks,” as Florence says.

The mantra “relax and enjoy” feels good, so I’ll work that into story format: “I know how to relax.” I’ll go with that for one for a while, and when it feels right I’ll work up to “I’m really good at relaxing.”

In fact, I can already see the writing on the bathroom wall: “For a relaxing time, call Jeannette.” Or my boyfriend shaking his head at me as I take yet another afternoon off to leisurely look for four leaf clovers in the lawn. (A favorite pastime as a child at my grandparents’ cabin.)

Just typing those words and holding those pictures gives me a new vibe.

Anyone else got a new story you want to tell? Or a hidden payoff you’re willing to see? Would love to hear from you, as always!

* * * * * * * *
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47 Responses to “ Hidden Payoffs and New Stories ”

  1. Leslie Richter says:

    Wow you are nothing short of amazing. What a great post. I have so many wants of re-writes that I don’t know where to begin. That seems to be a pattern of mine as well, too many choices so I don’t know where to focus and don’t. Lol. that would be a good begining.
    “I am like Jeannette with her tiger focus! I so know where to first start”.

    Love Leslie

  2. I got goose bumps reading that, Leslie! “I SO know where to start.”

    That is such an empowering vibe over the one where we feel scattered and overwhelmed.

    I know where to start.

    I’ve used “I know what to do” before, and had great success with it.

    Thanks for posting, Leslie. I love how you’re often the one to get the comments going – you launch it with such a nice energy!

    (My dad asks how it is you are always johnny on the spot with reading and posting .. I say “I don’t know, but I like it!”) lol

    Love you, girlfriend. 🙂

  3. Leslie Richter says:

    No wait I do know where my biigest desire for change is.
    Recently I have been seeing how I am so emeshed with the reality of being finacially challenged. My husband speaks about nothing but that. My brother has worked his ass off all his life and still is in debt. We scrapped by leaving with my Mom growing up, I scrapped buy living on my own and with my husband. For the most part I have lived in isolated places with my husband so you don’t notice the lack of money as much.
    And I think as I get older it feels like a locked in reality, and I think how could I changed things if I suddenly had money because I still feel so challenged by money.

    Love Leslie

  4. Time for a new story, girlfriend.

    Let’s hear it – you’ll want this audience to read it too – that’s a great way to amplify the energy. Get others reading it!

    So don’t leave us with this old “just scraping by” story … give us the goods!

    Anyone want to offer some samplers of financial abundance?

  5. Here are some of my favorites:

    Money falls in my lap (a cilent said it yesterday)
    The more I goof off, the more money I make
    I attract Big Fat Cash with ease and joy
    I make (big) money while I sleep
    Money loves me!

    or maybe:

    It’s getting better every day in every way
    Money finds its way to me every day
    I know how to do money different than I have
    I’m telling a new money story
    Money: You, Me, Here, NOW!

    ha. I like that tone. lol Doesn’t go with easy, but it definitely overwrites wimpy.

  6. Nicole says:

    Its funny because I’ve fallen into this trap in the past few weeks. There is definitely a pay off of saying you are so busy for feeling ‘important.’ What a huge eye-opener for me!

    The ‘I’m so busy’ mantra sort of escalated for me during last week when everyone and everything was going down at my work. It was absolutely insane. Whenever asked as how I was doing, I would respond immediately with, “I’m so busy I can’t stand it…the stress is about to kill me.” Great motivating stance, eh? This was my first instinct tho. I truly worked on pre-paving my days, even relaying the information to my husband over and over. It took a few days for this to come into effect.

    So needless to say, this week has been a breeze. I can handle whatever they give me.

    The question I have tho, is how do you pre-pave in a matter of moments? When my body is exhausted and I feel like crap, how do I turn that around? It’s as if the lack of physical energy is holding back my mental energy and vice versa. It can be a twisted circle.

  7. Nice job turning that around, Nicole! Be proud!

    As to your question how to pre-pave when your body is exhausted and you feel lousy, my suggestion is to honor what your body’s telling you and get some rest! Take a break! Relax and after you get a break, everything will feel much better.

    But I wouldn’t try to LOA my way out of what my body was telling me. I might pre-pave a nice break! lol But I wouldn’t pre-pave with me powering through when the body’s saying “Rest.”

    I’d love to hear what others think, though.

    Thanks for posting, Nicole! It’s a pleasure to hear from you!

  8. Paul. says:

    I’ve been working on just this topic myself in so many different areas.

    As some of you know, I’m in between jobs and having been doing my fair share of interviewing. I’ve not had a lot of prior experience as an interviewee but I realised, before starting the process, that I would need to revise my story. Not lie or make up, but the way I was telling the story of my business would definitely not get me hired unless I revised it.

    However, what I didn’t realise until recently is that I was not telling the story of my interviews in a helpful fashion. While I could be very grateful after an interview that a potential jerk boss had revealed himself so clearly or that I could see an uncomfortable hour as practise, I completely missed how I was recreating those experiences for myself as I recounted these tales for my friends. And even after I was able to say to myself, “You didn’t want to spend that hour with So-&-So and yet you’ve just spent another 30 mintues with him and all it’s done is raise your blood pressure and NOT gotten you closer to that job.”

    Nope, it was doing more than that. Even though I can pick out the hidden benefits from my family’s stories/actions (They are masters of this–true Russian dolls of hidden payoffs), I almost missed how I had picked up that pattern and was using it for my own (unhelpful) purposes. Now those stories are much shorter: “I learned a lot from the interview and it’s helped me prepare for the perfect opportunity for my (new) organization and for me.”

    On the flip side, I’ve recently stopped therapy because I was tired of telling and hearing about all those old stories. It’s time for me to retell that story differently.

    Jeannette, I think you make an excellent point about setting yourself up for getting the payoff in a healthier way before changing the old story. It’s something that I haven’t paid a lot of attention to as I do this work but I can really see the value of that strategy. I’m sure that’s going to help me with making my new stories “stick.”

    To Leslie, I know that Jeannette’s offered more succinct suggestions but I’ll rise to Jeannette’s invitation and rewrite your money story as follows (please use or discard pieces as you see fit):

    “While I may not have grown up as Rockefeller, I certainly learned how to be creative with the money I had in my earlier life. I know, from Jeannette and my work, that my present financial condition is something I created before I knew about this LoA stuff and that the “emeshed” feeling is just my reaction to that creation. I am gaining great mastery over my feelings and my focus every day and I know that mastery is changing my current conditions this very moment. As the abundance manifests itself in my life (my bank accounts, my mattress, my mailbox, my purses!), I know that the creative money skills I’ve learned earlier will help me effectively use that tool (money) and I know that I can learn other creative and effective strategies to maximise my bounty.”

    Or something along those lines….? (“Off the cuff” is not my best style.)

    And, Nicole, I love thinking of you as “so Important that you have all the help you need to easily do an excellent job with plenty of time to take care of your body.”

    I love being in the company of such creative, important and abundant people!

  9. Paul. says:

    OK, maybe it’s just avoidance behavior (hidden payoff, anyone?) or just that the Holiday Weekend’s started early in my head, but I was just thinking of a Good Vibe Blog feature: “Pimp My Story” (You know? Like that TV show, “Pimp My Ride”?)

    I’d volunteer any number of my stories and let you positive creative people re-imagine it.

    OK, Paul, back to work….

    (BTW, Happy Labor Day, y’all!)

  10. Okay, Paul, can’t wait to hear the new story! (Re: “It’s time for me to retell that story differently.”)

    Nice awareness on your part that this is an area that could use a new story.

    And I am simply in LOVE with the idea of Pimp My Story!!! (I wish the domain name had been available!) We are SO doing something with this!!

    … wheels are turning …

    As always, I appreciate your posts more than you know, Paul! You’re delicious!

  11. Leslie Richter says:

    Pimp My Story, what a hoot. I am in.
    I am so rich, did I tell you that before. Really rich, I have the most inspiring awesome friends and like minded people in my life. You know like when you express an idea and they understand and they make it even better. It delights me down to my toes and inspires me.
    I also have always had an inner bank that I can go to for guidance, ideas, knowledge. It’s just always been there for me, maybe it’s the Rockerfeller energy in my life.
    I am also a cat magnet without even trying. I never have to worry about animals liking me they read my energy and they just like me.
    Money is a pussycat to me, it follows me home, I never have to look for it, it loves me, it purrs the moment it sees me. And I can spend all I want and it still loves me and comes back home for more.
    I know how to give and receive in a balanced way and how to create space for abundance.
    I know how to ask and allow in.
    I know how to manifest what I need, and if it’s buckets of money in the bank, so be it!

    Love Leslie

  12. Leslie, your Rich Story felt like DESSERT to me tonight!!

    Woo hoo to YOU for embracing a new story and telling it with gusto!

    I love it!!

    Thanks for sharing it here to inspire others, and for giving us a chance to see you in it!

  13. Teena, I love how you point out that one story doesn’t fit all!

    How crucial it is that we each find our own, no matter what others think of it.

    I suspect that’s how I got attached to my I’m So Busy story – while I was building my practice! Ha!!

    Thanks for showing me the good side of it again. 🙂

  14. Jessica Earl says:

    Right on Jeanette! I love doing this!! Finding payoffs that is…
    My BEST one yet… is that I discovered the everyone around me seems to be going at the speed of light, I’m so slow story! Well, I realized deep inside, the REAL reason, or what I love about MY style is that it is actually a huge benefit and most have trouble doing- I’m quite ‘in the moment’… my day has vast gaps of time that I have no idea where I put!!

    So maybe it is that a little birdie in my yard catches my eye out my bathroom window… and I stand there and rest on the window sill watching. Or maybe it is that I get so “caught up in the moment” with these blog posts that I don’t even hear all the pleas from my daughter to tuck her in or answer a question… or maybe I just stand there or sit there and think… think in a peaceful way, not worries, just about nature, about how people tick, or self awareness…

    SO whenever I catch myself being discourage because my fiance, my mom and best friend can all wash dishes at the speed of light, well, I’m sorry but THEY are the ones missing out… missing out on my little world I have taken the time to notice.

    Okay, I probably have more on this topic, but for now… I guess my fiance says my 3 mins has turned into 15! Oh well, at least I had a BLAST writing this post. Now I’m all giddy!

    You know where I’ll be first thing in the morning, don’t you??? I have to come read everyone’s comments!!

    Love you all!! Namaste, Jess

  15. Teena E. Mason says:

    I have told the story of being busy just since I started my coaching business! The thing is, for now it feels really good and I love telling this story! lol

    FlowingVibes Coach
    http://www.Flowingvibesblog.com

  16. El Baugher says:

    Great post Jeannette!
    I believe that shining your awareness upon a pattern is the biggest step to changing it. It’s repeating the behaviour over and over unconsciously that MAKES it a pattern. Once you’re aware, change can take place. My story was how I was always overwhelmed and exhausted. “How was your day Honey?”….. “Loooong…” I’d say, with this pathetic look on my face. I realized that I was afraid he’d think I wasn’t doing enough (I’m a stay at home mom) if I didn’t look like I’d been put through the wringer.

    My life has improved amazingly since I started telling my “My day was great, Love… how was yours?” story. Now I’m working on my “I don’t feel good” or “I think I’m coming down with something” story!

    Peace & Love,
    El
    http://TheSmilingSpirit.com

  17. Amen to that, Jessica! That is a gift, to be so immersed in the moment that one is truly present.

    I had a 20 second moment like that this afternoon, and it was such a treat. I revelled in it! And I welcome more of those – so watch me follow your impressive lead! 🙂

    Thanks for posting, my friend!

  18. El, I SO get that!!

    You’ve revealed one of my personal payoffs, too. Now that I’m under the same roof with my boyfriend, I feel this strangely odd compulsion to justify that I’m doing my share. Just in case he thinks working from home allows me time to clean, run errands, be here for service people, etc. – I need him to know differently! Thus the “I’m so busy” story/exaggeration.

    Mm.

    Thanks for inspiring that awareness for me.

    That’ll be a nice one to clean up.

    Kudos to you, El, for changing up your other two stories that aren’t serving you. Woo hoo!!

  19. WOW – again — you just keep nailing it on your Posts!

    How many times do we get ‘stuck’ in the negative – cause we are getting something — good, bad, indifferent out of the situation — perhaps because it is ‘familiar’ and thus comfortable even though it is harmful and negative? Like abused animals — any attention – is something . . . .????

    Time to break that link in that chain! Be aware of what we are doing and what we are getting from our actions and thoughts . . . Observe and Aware . . . . liking those words. . . .

    Cheers. P.

  20. Nice to hear from you again, Phillis!

    I was going to say “it’s easy to get stuck in that loop” but that then that sounded like a story I didn’t want to live into, so I thought better. Ha!

    You’re right thought – time to break the link and bring awareness to shift it all. I’m down with that story!!

    PS – thanks for the kind words! 🙂

  21. Missy B says:

    Oh I am sooooooooooo busy:
    Receiving money from expected and unexpected sources.
    Receiving love from my special friend, my friend with benefits and everyone I know.
    And doing all my lovely fave things I just love to do.

    That lovely song has just sprung to mind…we’re busy doing nothing, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do. We’re busy going nowhere, isn’t just divine, we’d like to be unhappy but, we never do have the time !

  22. Iyabo Asani says:

    Jeanette, this post is so delicious because yesterday, I was out with my husband. He has a skin condition on his face that just started a few years ago and nothing has helped. It is a form of vitiligo. He started talking about it and was really quite upset and angry. I am used to this about his face. I know the condition bothers him a lot. So like the nice dutiful wife that I am, I really listened and sympathized.

    Finally, I said, “What is your story about your skin?” He said, “that is my story. I want this crap to go away. I am sick of it and I hate it.”

    Now, the twist to the story is I asked him to shut his eyes and tell me where that story was coming from in his body. He said he did not want to be coached by me. I told him he did not have a choice that I had listened to him and so now it was his turn.

    So he complied and shut his eyes and said, it felt like frustration and anger in his belly. I then asked him to rewrite the story but speak the new story directly that ball of red anger in his belly as if he were having a conversation with that feeling.

    So he started out with “I have clear skin like I did as a kid. I love my skin. I love have beautiful even toned skin. I …..” Then he started telling the truth about his underlying story. He said he realized he did not feel good looking and he had lost some confidence as a result of feeling insecure about his face. He said he felt people would not take him seriously or would be distracted by his face.

    At the end of it all, he looked at me with the most awesome love and respect in his eyes and said, ” you are really the best coach ever. This is not about my skin, it is about my confidence and me worrying about what others think about me and not wanting to go out there in the world. I did not know that I was that concerned about other peoples opinions of me. That does not line up with my values.” He said the ball of negative feelings was totally gone. I checked in with him several times and that feeling was gone. He felt lighter and I could tell his smiles were much more relaxed.

    We spent over three more hours yesterday having so much fun talking about our new stories on anything what so ever.

    It was such a breakthrough for us.

    The point of sharing this story is that I have started my story telling directly to the ball of feelings that I am feeling in my body about that particular subject.

    I also have someone to do it with and it helps so much to do it out loud with another person.

    Great post Jeanette. O, by the way, this is a true story.

  23. Nice way to explore where the old story’s coming from in order to truly leave it behind, Iyabo!

    What a rewarding breakthrough for both of you!

    I agree, having someone to tell the story to/with is helpful – which is where Russ is used to hearing me slip into “manifesting mode” and knows now to question or roll his eyes at me. Still, though, I like it better when I’m talking to the dogs. lol

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Iyabo! It’s a powerful example!

  24. I see you’re following Teena’s lead, Missy B! ha!

    The love, the money and the favorite things are easy for me to join you in. Thanks for helping me amp up that part of MY personal story.

    Nice post – thanks for reading and writing, Missy B! 🙂

  25. I couldn’t resist sharing this after opening a note from Phillis this morning:

    http://www.msn.americangreetings.com/ecards/view.pd?i=420535806&m=3986&rr=y&source=msne999

  26. Paul. says:

    The Love Tabby! How splendid!

  27. Anna says:

    Since my son was born, I’ve listened to others tell me how hard it is for a single mom – society’s accepted and approved way of being supportive. Ironic, since it does absolutely nothing for me in the way of good feeling. My favorite reply is “Not at all – I’m having a ball! And so is my kid!”

    A story that has served me (she reluctantly admits): “I’d like to (go here, do this, help with that) but my body (hip, spine, neck, ankle, knee, lumbar, ribs) just can’t do that right now.”

    How did it serve me? I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do.

    Flipside? I hurt so much that I couldn’t do much of what I wanted to do.

    Didn’t like that, not at all. I changed the story for people who ask or comment about my gait or odd movement, separating myself from my physical with something like “Sometimes the bones don’t seem to want to do what they’re supposed to do…” or “My surgeon says I’m a work in progress…”

    I started feeling the teensiest bit better, so I rewrote the story again, making certain that every time someone asked me how I was, my response was – and is – Fantastic! Excellent! I’m always great!” Plus I opted out of discussing or mentioning pain unless absolutely necessary.

    Yes, most certainly my physical continues to move in line with what I say, so I’m not stopping now!

    I feel Good! I feel Happy! I feel Great!
    I feel Good! I feel Happy! I feel Great!

    (Bill Murray in What About Bob?)

    YES I DO!

  28. El Baugher says:

    I feel GOOD! I feel HAPPY! I feel GREAT!
    I love that movie!

    Great story Anna!

  29. Wow, I never spotted that story until you mentioned it, Anna – that one being how hard it is for single moms. I bought that one hook, line, and sinker – so much so, that I believe it’s been instrumental in my choice not to have children.

    Wow.

    Kudos to you for telling it different! Let’s get some good company in that, huh?!

    I also recognized in your comment that my “I’m so busy” story also serves as a convenient “excuse” not to do the things I don’t want to do. oh boy.

    This could be a discouraging realization – and yet, we know, awareness alone dramatically helps us in the releasing of it!

    AND, that there isn’t even any “need” to release, since it’s all working out perfectly.

    Here’s to new stories and the telling of them!

    I’m starting with the Gift of Gustav today.

  30. I got goose bumps reading that, El! Way to authentically connect (and express) with your love and appreciation for the boys!

  31. Jessica Earl says:

    Oh boy! Do I know the story of single moms. Honestly, I felt quite happy most of the time. I mean, I feel like I had SOOO many benefits by being a single mom. It was GREAT! My daughter and I have such a strong unique bond. I feel like I helped her have her own mind and learn how to do things independently, and also how to be aware of things… yet, people would seem to always want to say those ‘beliefs’ about how hard it is or since I had her young I didn’t get a chance for my wild, exploritory 20s… well, quite honestly, it is much more fun to explore the world with all the wisdom I’ve gained, at a young and vibrant 30-something. When my daughter graduates HS, I’ll only be 38!! heck, I still have my whole life ahead of me… but I have a whole lot of experience and wisdom to take me to go explore the world in ways that I may not have appreciated at 20-something!! In everyway, this has just been the perfect path for me!! And I’m getting the icing on the cake- literally and figuratively this coming Saturday when I marry my wonderful guy for us to share the journey together!! I figured it was time to have a ‘new’ story and by golly it is what I got!!

    On another note… I need help changing a story. This one I realized this morning. It is mentioned earlier on this thread about feeling fatigue, aches & pains. It is hard to tell myself “I feel great” because I don’t believe it. My body is telling me otherwise. So I do my best to neutralize it by finding the positives, becoming aware, etc. I usually can do this and when I start to feel better about something, then I can get to “I feel great”…

    So this morning I found myself “explaining” or justifying why I don’t feel like doing something or why I can’t. I don’t want to do that, I’m happy to keep my good vibe going. So what is up with that? I mean what does one say or do when someone wants something… and the response would be “my back hurts, or I’m really tired, how about going tomorrow?” Or something… I don’t know.

    My blood sugar gets “low” and I basically stop functioning very well, and I feel like I listen to my body and give it what it needs, yet I find I feel lousy a lot of the time and it interferes with… life… SO how does one change it? I like to empower myself with healthy thoughts, which has felt hard, if one doesn’t feel healthy, is taking steps to BE healthy in every way. Is it about finding the right information, is it just about “thinking” myself well? (I’m on the fence but I KNOW it is possible… so I think I can go somewhere with this to make it FEEL believable… )

    Okay… no more “story”… just the sweet loving insight you great people have!!

    Oh and by the way, I also realized I need to stop talking about how horrible the mosquitos are in our yard!! I want a bug-free wedding next week!!! I am going to ask them to leave… I asked the squirrels to leave my house and stop destroying it, and they did. My daughter asked the ants to leave, and they did… so now it is HIGH time the mosquitos go back to the woods- there is plenty of room for them there!!! 😀 hahaha!!! Yippeee…. see that’s an easy one.

    Thanks for such a good time you Good Vibe Bloggers!!
    Much Love, Jess

  32. El Baugher says:

    Ya know… I used to tell the “Kids are expensive!” story alot. Then I realized one day…. to say something is “expensive” is to say it’s not really worth what you get for the money. My kids are most definately NOT expensive! The cost of living isn’t HUGE. I mean, they eat and wear clothes and all, but I shop for bargins and we always seem to get what we need when we need it. My boys are a bargin. Worth every penny invested and more!

  33. Congrats on your upcoming nuptials, Jessica! And I love the way you tell the story of having a child when you were young. Very empowering!

    For the story about how your body feels, the first thing I would do is check in with what she’s trying to tell me (you). I’m a firm believer that the body is our friend, and when she’s acting up, it’s for a good reason. There’s something she’s wanting you to know – and when you get the message it makes it dramatically easier for her to return to health and you to embrace the “I feel good” stories.

    Do you know Martha Beck’s technique for getting the message from the body? Or some other method?

    Ps – here’s to your wonderful peaceful and comfortable outdoor wedding Saturday! (With the mosquitoes celebrating in the woods, per your invitation.)

  34. Anna says:

    Yes, Yes, YES! Too many have adopted these silly SAFs as truth (SAF = Stupid A** Fear). The truth is, these SAFs have been installed by conglomerate society (and some of my relatives) as a generalization of what is deemed necessary from a consumer-oriented perspective – ultimately aimed at having someTHING else replace human interaction (computerized story books with headphones for the child).

    Kids aren’t expensive. Until we teach them to, they don’t really care about designer labels, brand names, the latest movie, bigger better best… Up to our teaching this, all they really want is to be with us, wherever that is –

    But I digress…

    The Gift of Gustav?
    Do tell!
    Martha Beck’s method?
    I’ve started Steering by Starlight… something else? If so – do tell!

    And Jessica – I’ll be talking to those ‘squiters about your Beautiful nuptials…

  35. Judi says:

    Great post Jeannette,
    I have such similar problems as Jessica. My body is constantly stopping me doing what I want and need to do.

    I am sick of telling the “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” story. I’d love to tell a different one, but it is so hard when your brain and body are telling you such a strong and convincing story of discomfort and exhaustion. I create a new energised story but my resolve soon gets fatigued!

    I don’t know Martha Beck’s method for getting the message from my body. Could you PLEASE share it with us?

    Judi

  36. Okay ladies, here’s how it goes:

    First, as we know from Abraham, negative emotion is our early indicator that we’ve departed from our Inner Being or inner guidance or true self – whatever you want to call it.

    If we continually ignore that guidance, the body will pick up the message. It does so first in small ways – a little tired here, a little headache there, minor aches and pains that don’t last long …

    If we continually ignore THAT guidance, then sooner or later we’ll have a full blown “problem” on our hands. Or our back, or our heart – wherever it might be.

    And then what happens is that sometimes, even if we resolve the original source of the resistance (like, my in-laws hate me or my job is killing me or whatever), even if we clean THAT up, if we’ve given enough attention to our physical problem, that focus alone can perpetuate the problem. Even if we cleaned up the original resistance.

    Are you with me? I’m trying to keep this concise.

    Anyway, here’s Martha Beck’s technique:

    Get a paper and pen handy.

    Now get comfortable, quiet, take several deep breaths, and relax.

    Okay, now get ready to release your “censor” and just lightly play with this technique. It’s no big deal. Just for fun.

    Imagine “being” the body part that’s acting up right now. Focus on the one that’s most got your attention or is giving you the most trouble.

    Imagine becoming that body part.

    And AS that body part, give it your voice, and let it answer this question: “What do you have to say to (your name)?”

    No censoring, no editing, just let whatever comes to mind come up.

    For example, I might become my lower back and, imagining that I AM my lower back I ask: “Back, what do you have to say to Jeannette?”

    And she might say …

    hang on, I’m gonna do it …

    “Well, we just want to make sure you’re paying attention.”

    And I don’t really get all of that right off the bat, although I think I have a sense of it, so I ask a follow up question: “What do mean by that?”

    And I let my back explain more: “If we let you, you’d continue to ignore us.”

    (By “us” I know she means the whole body)

    I ask another question: “So what do you want from me?”

    “We want you to take care of you. We know that’s what you want, too. So we’re just here to remind you of that. Take care.”

    And with that I know she (my lower back/body) means don’t sit in one position so long at the computer, don’t crash on the couch for hours on end, remember your yoga and what the hell happened to your dog walks?. Move. Gently. Take care of this beautiful body.

    So that’s what my back is saying.

    I remember doing this long ago with an ankle that kept twisting. She said “you’re here, you’re there, what do you expect?? Pick a direction!” And that was when I had WAY more projects on my plate than I could handle, so I took ankle’s advice and I dumped a few and postponed a few others to really focus on what mattered most.

    I remember when I was gaining weight my waist said “Get out of this job … NOW.”

    Teena, if you’re reading this, PLEASE tell Randy’s story about what he heard when he practiced this technique! It’s hilarious!

    My point is that the body is an amazing miracle who is your partner in this journey, doing his/her best to help you with it.

    So please listen to it. 🙂

  37. Kim Falconer says:

    Hi Jeannette and Everyone,

    Fabulous post! I immediately thought the same thing as Anna. I have used ‘I am too busy’ or ‘I don’t have the money’ as excuses to stay home. (I no longer say any such thing about money–my new and most profound statement is ‘I have all the money in the world,’ and dang if it isn’t suddenly true!)

    What keeps us from saying, ‘Oh thank you, but I don’t want to?’ ‘

    The most perplexing thing is knowing the difference between the story I really want to tell and the one that I think others want to hear–the story my culture tells me is the best story.

    My new story is: It’s easy for me to tell authentic desires from conditioned ones!

    Can anyone else relate to that?

    xxx Kim

    PS Oh, I was a single mother and loved it–I found it much easier than being a partnered (but that’s just another story!) 🙂

  38. Kim, you’ll get a hoot out of my dad’s favorite (from Phoebe on “Friends”): “I’d like to, but I don’t want to.” Maybe you have to know her character to get the humor in it, but he used it on me the other day. Silly wabbit.

    And I LOVE that you found single motherhood easier than doing it with a partner! I can SO see that as soon as you said it!

    You hit on something big here, too: knowing the difference between our own desires and the ones other people want for us. HUGE!!

    Thanks for this great post, Kim. Gives us lots to think about!

  39. Jessica Earl says:

    Okay- I’m really trying to focus on all the last minute wedding stuff, and also on all my deadlines at work before I go MIA… but what I REALLY want is to sit here and reply on this blog!! So I’ll do both by keeping this short and sweet (maybe) hehe…

    A lightbulb went off on relationships for me when I just read the last few posts. I thought, well, I WANT to “do this or that” for another, with the but… I’m too tired (or whatever) attached to it. The real reason I want to do it is primarily to express my love, to become/stay close with family/friends, to give and recieve (ie: not be selfish)… and it occured to me- I’ve excepted that “doing” things for people are the “way” to express love or be close. HA! There’s no need to limit myself. As though saying NO would make us less close, or less love. geesh. that was easy. 😉

    On the other note that has more to do with this thread, there are plenty of hidden payoffs as well that I can look at related to this insight. It is clearer.

    Also about listening to my body. I think she wants me to SIT more often like I used to. I would meditate and have a lot of quiet time before meeting my sweetie… and rather than take time away from my daughter to be with him, I’ve taken that time away from myself. I think I need to swing this pendulum back to equilibrium (of sorts) to have more time for me. Okay, I still have more listening to do!! But I’m on a roll.

    ‘squitos vanished instantly for ME… the yard was perfectly clear until my sweetie and daughter came home!! haha. They don’t believe me. It is working!! They admit it is much better though. WooHoo!!! 😉

    thanks everyone!!! Namaste, Jess

  40. Jessica Earl says:

    oops! I missed the long one explaining the process of listening to the body!! I can’t wait to do this!! I’ve done a similar process talking with my higher self and it worked wonders.

    Yep, so excited!! Thank you Jeanette!! I needed these reminders.

    Love to all!! Listen to that body!! 🙂

  41. Congrats, Jessica, on identifying and releasing the limiting expectation that “doing” things is not the only (or even best?) way to express love or be close.

    Huge freedom there, huh?! You go, girl!!

    And here’s to your new equilibrium! (I’m intending it WITH you!) 🙂

  42. Nicholas says:

    Wow, I go away for a few days and all sorts of amazing things happen here! I love, really love Paul’s “Pimp My Story” idea – fantastic! It’s exactly the sort of thing to turn a vibe around and head us in the right direction.

    We get by with a little help from our friends.

  43. Nicholas, I want to hear your pimped story someday!! 🙂

  44. Anonymous says:

    Oh nice! I can So relate to the body talking back to the emotions. Last 3 weeks I’ve been telling myself some not so nice stories and as a result (or because of?) I’ve found myself parked on the couch, so exhausted that I could hardly get up (which made it all the worse as I wasn’t eating properly – lots of sugar!) which made me even more tired all the time. My roommate was out n about being active and my excuse was its raining, I cant go out in the rain! To top things off, I had a major headache yesterday (I hardly ever get headaches!) cos my mind was driving me nuts, overdrive.

    Once I let that all go today I felt so light bright and airy AND my body is feeling the same 😀 In just one day! It also helped that I drew the curtains apart in my room and suddenly it felt so much better. Realise now having a dark-ish room is NOT good during the day. The payoff for me was I could just say I was too tired to do anything when in reality it was my fear of moving forward, ie, figuring out what my next step should be, that kept me paralysed and avoiding responsibility. Holy moly I didnt realise it was my continual -ve thoughts that were making me so tired, thanks for the Abraham words Jeannette, that opened my eyes!

    Congrats Jess! Have a wonderful wedding. Oh and I love the Phoebe quote, she is as original a character as can be lol.

  45. Tia says:

    That was me! Why did it say anony-mouse?! Ohhh forgot I cleared my cookies .. hehe

  46. “Clearing the cookies” … I always wondered what that meant/did. Now I kind of have a suspicion! lol

    Thanks for your post, Tia. That’s kind of a perpetuating cycle, isn’t it? Glad you jumped out of it!

    Little things make that so much easier (like opening the curtains, getting a good night’s sleep, etc.) Good for you for your self-support, Tia! And for being able and willing to recognize the thoughts that were contributing to “tired.”

    Nice turnaround!

  47. What a great post! I loved it because I have just discovered myself falling into that same old busy story trap, too – and living off of an adrenal high as well. It’s so interesting how we can still fall into that even though we coach ourselves as coaches so very much. I just posted on my blog as well about this very thing! Coincidence? Hmmmm…..and then I was drawn to look at your blog….interesting!

    Fellow Martha Beck Coach, Abigail Steidley

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