Upset to Setup (Book Snippet 32)

We all will, at times, find ourselves below the line, caught up in parts of us that think and feel like a victim. And it is fine: don’t push this vulnerable self away or make it wrong. Telling this part to shut up is about as productive as shaking a crying child in order to calm it down. Instead tune in and listen. You may notice how treating your vulnerability with attention and love has the power to change your reality.

Our upsets bring us repeatedly to a point of choice. We can choose to ignore the underlying theme or we can choose to pay attention.

If we PAUSE and tune in with compassion, it becomes much easier to see how every UPSET is a SETUP for personal growth.

o PAUSE can help us to interrupt our reactive autopilot mode in which we are driven by automatic patterns rooted in negative memories of past experiences. It is not meant to be a prescription of what you have to do, but rather a description of what you probably do intuitively, even unconsciously, when you move from a reactive space into a creative space.

To PAUSE means to engage in the present with presence. The ability to graduate from brain owners to brain users is part of our DNA. When we calm down and interrupt our amygdala-driven responses (see ‘When The Brain Dials 911’), we can remember that we are only ever feeling our thinking — and subsequently choose our actions more consciously. We can shift from victim to witness to creator. Don’t panic if you forget what each letter in PAUSE stands for. Even if the only thing you remember is to pause, you will greatly enhance your likelihood of becoming more present to what is and the potential of all that could be.


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