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  • Writer's pictureAnnelisa MacBean

Laying Down New Tracks

Have you noticed how easy it is to get caught in a looping inner story, shaming, blaming and attacking yourself and projecting that toxicity onto those around you? Once the momentum gets going it can take a lot of energy to put the breaks on that runaway train. Habitual reactivity to the steady inner stream of old emotions and core beliefs occurs automatically, unless you can focus some compassionate attention on the pattern and start making different choices. The inner sense of spinning can feel so intense, and the need to create some sense of relief from the inner chaos feels so urgent. Interestingly, you can be both addicted to the looping inner state, as well as to the relief that comes in the form of disconnecting from the body, abandoning vulnerability, leaving the tender aching need in your heart. Relief can also mean losing your connection to the force of life as it is attempting to be met, albeit uncomfortable or painful. It is precisely at these moments, when you are in the thrall of the looping shame stories and indulging in the old patterns of projection, that you have the opportunity to create a new pathway and encode new circuitry in an overstimulated nervous system. In order for the new pathway to become real and readily available as a behavioral choice, action must be taken! By doing something differently in a moment of activation your body and nervous system begin to learn that the new behavior is survivable! Training yourself to come out of a looping, unhelpful, long-held self-negating narrative and to step into the immediate need for tendering of the underlying pain and vulnerability is revolutionary. Such mindful and courageous acts turn the status quo on its head and revise countless previous moments of belief in abandonment, dissociation, and self-aggression. You can make the choice at any moment in the unfolding of the old pattern . . . You can catch yourself before you launch, during a projection on another person, or even the day after in the form of repair. Whenever and wherever you can arrest the momentum, do it. While it often seems impossible in the moment, you are sure to discover the real transformative possibilities for yourself by doing what you can when you can, imperfectly but with intention. Practice equals risk, yes. But the reward is becoming the alchemist of your own body, psyche, and heart. Experiment with this way of being in your world. You can’t go wrong. Bumble, get it wrong or half-right . . . Don’t stop. Keep going. Make more mistakes. Rest when you need to. But keep going; don’t stop . . .

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