• Louise Southam

Weed the garden in your mind

I was delivering a half-day event at director level to the clients of a fellow coaching company. The session was a disaster. Suddenly there were more people than I expected, the venue was in sprawling grounds and the team kept dispersing and breaking up the flow of the session. Then to top it all, I had forgotten all my notes and we were already an hour in and I had not delivered anything. My heart raced, the panic that flooded my body was awful and time stood still, except for my mind, which was running amuck with so much negativity and self-doubt, I could cry. Then I woke up!

Yes, this was a dream, or more accurately, a nightmare. I was delivering a session in a few days time and clearly my unconscious mind wanted to remind me to prepare for the unexpected. I know my ‘stuff’. I have delivered this programme many times and it is work I love to do. Yet here I was, allowing my thinking to run the show, to trick me into believing that I had failed at a catastrophic level when all I had done was go on a journey in my sleep.

I immediately meditated after waking, and my state shifted quickly into one, which was both present and resourceful, and 30 minutes later I was out of bed with a spring in my step. What I did reflect on was how easy it is to tap back into old beliefs, old stories that we tell our self and somehow they seem so ‘real’. They are not, they are just stories and patterns that some time ago have served us. I think back to those days in my corporate world where I was on the treadmill of achieving sales targets, leading teams and delivering results. All the while thinking ‘I will be found out’. Found out about what exactly? That I was hard working, that I had great rapport with my team and my clients, that I was a single mum and juggled a full time job which was demanding, stressful and involved travel….the reality was, I did more than ok and had I have just stopped and appreciated this in myself, I wonder how much easier my life would have been.

My journey to where I am today has been both challenging and rewarding and if I had to say what has made the biggest difference, it is letting go of fear and tapping into faith. For someone who had to have so much control in order to survive, that’s been a long lesson for me to learn. I am still learning. Yet what I notice now is that I recognise when those old beliefs rear their head and I acknowledge them, thank them and then take some deep breaths and connect to my heart. I have all the resources within me, I press ‘pause’ and slow down and return to my place of faith. Do I have all the answers? Of course not. What I do have is belief that the path I take is the right one, wherever it is leading.

Nothing is real. Through science, we know that everything around us is made up of atoms and particles, as are we, so if we are just a giant sea of pulsating energy, why do we take life so seriously? Because we want to feel safe. These old beliefs we hold in place have served us previously, we created them so we could meet our primary need of safety and security. Yet they become outdated and instead of keeping us safe, they keep us stuck. When I am working with teams and leaders, we identify some of these beliefs, whether it is ‘I’m not good enough’, or ‘I can’t delegate’, or ‘I have to work really hard to be successful’….the list goes on. I explain that our mind is like a beautiful garden and in order for the fresh new flowers to grow; we have to pull up any old weeds so that we make space. That is all these beliefs are, old weeds, old thinking. You can weed your own garden at any time; you can notice that the weeds are stopping your flowers from blooming. When you have that little voice come into your head and tell you something negative, notice it and then pull up the weed. What is it drawing your attention to that you haven’t noticed, whether it be that you have been neglecting your own self care, or you have been working long hours, or maybe you’ve let more negative chatter keep you up at night. Trust that you will have the answer. Now find a replacement that is the bud of a flower instead. ‘ I am more than enough just as I am’, ‘ I am successful already, doing work I enjoy’, ‘I enjoy asking others to help me’, and ‘I deserve time to relax, doing what I love’.

It may seem easy, it is. Like any muscle, if you practice saying these things over they become your new reality and life feels much more on your terms, rather than it is happening to you.

Spring is here, the daffodils in our gardens are opening. It’s time to notice when your pesky weeds pop through, and if they do go into your mind and pull them out. In its place allow the flowers of your future to blossom, knowing that you have all the resources you need right inside of you to create the garden how you want it to be. Life is not a destination; life is about the journey to where you are going. So slow down and enjoy the view and plant the flowers that make you smile and fill you with joy along the way.

#limitingbeliefs #stuckstate

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