Changing your mind about events in your life will not only open opportunities to create positive feelings but will change the way you process the information that has created so many disappointments and anxiety for you.
The following story illustrate how changing the mind about a situation, can take away the energy of negative feelings and create feeling better about new perspectives.
Sofia didn't wait too long to begin creating changes in her life, after attending her first seminar. She attended a seminar on a Saturday, and within two weeks of that day she had devised a plan for changing her life for the better.
After having divorced her husband of fifteen years, for the past two years she had been so depressed, anxious and very stressed that she had been unable to function in many areas of her life.
She had two daughters and shared custody of them with her ex-husband. As a result, she saw him on a regular basis at her girls’ functions at school and at their sports events. Before attending one of her daughters' soccer games or school meetings, knowing she would encounter her ex, she would suffer stomach aches, vomiting, neck stiffness and all kind of other negative physical symptoms. She expected arguments with him, and that the encounter would distress her. After two years of this then ongoing mental anguish, she was exhausted and ready for a change.
Sofia began to observe her responses and the thoughts that she was having towards her ex-partner and no longer was engaging in the responses. She had decided to rewire her experiences and create responses that she could manage within the range of positive feelings.
The plan that Sofia created was very simple, she began to visualize herself protected from the negative feelings and behaviors that had created her feelings of stress whenever she was in any form of contact with her ex-husband. She also decided not to engage in any arguments or discussions with him, whenever and where ever she had to see him.
Her plan was simple. When in the presence of her ex, she would begin to reinforce herself, by thinking about all her positive qualities and how she would view herself if she was displaying those qualities to others, especially when she was in the presence of her ex-husband.
The first opportunity to try out her plan arose at a baseball game involving her younger daughter. In the past, she always arrived late so she could sit as far away as she could from her ex. This time, she waited in her car until her ex reached the bleachers and then proceeded to sit right beside him. In her head she repeated to herself and visualized all of her positive qualities, even when she was experiencing the physiological effects of fear and stress: heart pounding, hands sweating, stomach cramps and head spinning.
She greeted him with a casual 'Hi', to which he did not reply. She then concentrated on the game as much as she could. At the end of the game, she said goodbye, receiving no response from her ex, The new approach and resultant experience boosted her confidence and she decided to maintain her changed behavior until the signs of stress and fear were gone forever, thus meeting her objective, the main goal of her plan.
In upcoming weeks, she repeated the same routine. In one opportunity, and to her surprise, he answered her 'Hi and Goodbye'. As the weeks advanced, she became braver. And, at one point, she told her ex-husband a story, and without any strenuous effort or animosity they began conversing about the game and their girls.
For the first time in two years they were talking without animosity or argument. And, she was actually feeling at peace with herself. Just changing her mind, aligning her behavior to her new idea and forcing her feelings to align with her “new mind” and her “new behaviors” had worked, even after having been involved in a dysfunctional pattern for more than two years!
There was another issue, since the divorce Sofia had cut off all relationships with her ex- husband’s family, who she missed terribly since she had had a very close relationship with her sister-in-law. As her plan was to find peace for herself, and create more nurturing relationships in her life, she kept on thinking about her ex sister-in-law.
The test of her courage soon came; she stood at her sister-in-law's door ringing the doorbell. She said that the minute the door opened her first instinct was to run. But, when she saw the surprised look on the face of her ex sister-in-law and the tears that were in her eyes, she thought about the time that she had wasted feeling resentment and anger. Some of that anger had been directed at a person she cared for, one that had nothing to do with her relationship with her ex.
It took Sofia two years “to change her mind” and to begin to create different outcomes in her life. Her learning began with her decision to create the better life she visualized for herself.
Sofia was able to prove to herself that by changing her mind about the relationship with her partner, changed her feelings and definitively her outcomes. Finally, she has become the person that was able to enjoy life and let go negative feelings and resentment towards her ex husband
The lesson that she learned was that by choosing different she could move her life to a different place and she did not have to live in the negative emotions. It took time and effort to rewire thoughts, emotions and behaviors, but she finally found the life that she had visualized as her initial goal once she learned the capacity of the brain to rewire.