Amy Poehler has an upcoming new movie, Inside Out. Anything Amy Poehler does is cause for celebration in my mind. In this animated film she voices Joy, one of the emotions living inside the head of Riley, a young girl who moves to San Francisco with her family. The story personifies Riley’s emotions and chaos and comedy ensue. We are assured that all will be well and Riley and her family will learn something by the end of the film; this is a Disney movie, after all.
In Inside Out, we meet: Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), Sadness (Phyllis Smith) and Anger (Lewis Black). From what I can tell from the trailer, the brilliant idea this movie explores is that the particular thoughts we think – the sentences said by the characters in her head – create a particular feeling in the body. We then act out of that emotion. Whichever emotion takes center stage creates our experience in the world. For many of us, our felt experience is where learning takes place. This is a good thing to know.
There are other voices living in our head. I name them: the Bully, the Masochist, the Doubter, The Cop, the Cynic and the Diminisher. These are strong voices in the heads of many women. Some of these women have experienced trauma as children and young adults; but more fascinating is that many have had minimal or no direct experience of negative parenting or circumstances. Negative self- image and thought patterns are created just by living here and now. Pema Chodron tells a story of a meeting with the Dalai Lama where Buddhists teachers explain to him that Western practitioners suffer from self hatred and a hardness toward themselves. This was a concept that the Dalai Lama had never heard of, could not have imagined . Can you see him smiling and doubting this notion, then meeting it face to face over and over in his travels in the United States?
So what can we do about the Bully, who berates you for forgetting where you put your keys? The Masochist who is more comfortable believing you deserve pain rather than joy? The Doubter who second guesses every idea you have until you put it away so it never sees the light of day? The Cop who is always looking for you to do wrong, ready to shame and punish? The Cynic who wants to know who you think you are? as if anything you do will impact the world? Or the Diminisher, who will never believe you can do anything worthwhile; confirms it has been done and so much better than you could ever do it; who just wants you to feel small so you step back into the shadows.
Those are some brutal thoughts we find in our heads when we simply wake up in the morning. Happily, we know so much about the brain and its flexibility. Scientists used to tell us that the brain was fixed by the time we became adults; we didn’t know we could change our thoughts and emotions. Armed with new knowledge we can embark on a different adventure. Let’s identify the thoughts in our head. Do we believe them? Do we believe we are our thoughts? WE ARE NOT OUR THOUGHTS. Your thoughts are not facts.
I am a thought worker, trained to become aware of and decipher the thoughts floating in our heads.
What is the adventure we can go on right now to call out those voices? A simple step by step worksheet: Learn to Love yourself: Inside Out is one place to start. Go to http://www.beauprecoaching.com and fill out the form to get your copy. When you begin this journey, you can be assured that all will be well and you will learn something; this is your life to create, after all.
Do you have thoughts that rule your life? Are your thoughts getting you what you want? I would love to hear about them.