Day 20

  • Afternoon Refocus
  • Shift Breath 

Day 20: The Mind Skills


I enjoy the feeling of stretching myself past where I stop. Stretching past the old misery into mastery.

Welcome to Your Thin Thinking Practice Day 20

Just a reminder—because I know the weekends can be busy--but please take the time to track your food, listen to your sessions, and prepare for success.  I find practicing your weight mastery skills on the weekend are a bit different than the week and the weekend begins to take on a structure of its own. That is fine—and normal!

Please recognize that thinking your weekend days through with your Inner Coach sets you up for success.  For me, I start Friday night thinking about how I want to feel Sunday night getting into bed—that vision of going to bed feeling light, lovingly nourished and stabilized with healthy foods and exercise keeps me making the choices that bring manifest that vision as a reality!

As we head towards the end of your third week, you may notice that your brain is getting pretty engaged.  This is a good thing. This means that your brain is really stretching past its normal stopping point and making some true changes.  It’s okay to feel like a lot is going on, but we don’t want you to feel overwhelmed by it so Today’s coaching: Handle Stress One Rose Bed at a Time (below) deals with the Inner Coach Skill of managing stress.

Today's Shift From Fat To Thin Thinking: I enjoy the feeling of stretching myself past where I stop. Stretching past the old misery into mastery.

Rita’s Coaching: Handle Stress One Rose Bed at a Time

The last words of the famous film character Citizen Kane were “Rose Bud.”  This floral utterance gave birth to one of film history’s greatest stories as people in the flick Citizen Cane scrambled to discover the (pardon the pun) roots of the newspaper tycoon’s final breathy whisper.

I have a new buzz-word for you—ROSE BED.

I was one of the few lucky enough, stupid enough, and crazy enough to buy a home in Los Angeles in 1994.  The earthquakes had just rocked the town, and the neighborhood that my home is in had been touched also by the riots of the early 90’s.  Needless to say, I bought my house for about what you now would pay for a double wide trailer.

I was so excited to be a homeowner that I overlooked the fact that buying a 1910 house in very poor condition was going to take some time and money to repair.  When we first moved in, my house’s front yard looked like a hillbilly’s grotto.  There was trash everywhere, the bushes were infected with all sorts of ugly bugs, the roses were dying, and the grass was past praying for.  But I had big ambitious plans for my new home, especially my front garden and couldn’t wait to dive in, thinking that I’d pull some weeds and plant a few daisies and be on the front cover of Better Homes and Gardens magazine in no time. The year was 1994.

Fast forward to the year 1996.  It’s a good thing the Better Homes people didn’t come by for a photo shoot—because the front yard looked EXACTLY THE SAME!!! What happened, Rita???

I got overwhelmed.

You see, I was no landscape designer, nor was I even a gardener.  I had huge ideas—but no plan.  I had a vision but no map to get me there.  I had a dream—but practically no money to help me fulfill it.

So what did I do?  What any normal, red-blooded, non-gardening American woman would do as she faced her trash infested yard with the expectations that it should be a quaint English Country garden—now, at this very minute.

I got stressed, went into overload and my brain shut down.  I thought to myself, “I’ll deal with it tomorrow.”

What were the thoughts that stressed me out about my untouched yard?

“This should have been dealt with by now!”

“You are so lazy!”

“What will the neighbors think?”

“You’ll never be a good homeowner.”

“If your sister lived here it would be perfect by now…”

“Why don’t you hire someone?--I can’t hire someone, I don’t have enough money. Why don’t you have enough money?  You’re a loser!   And you don’t deserve to have a beautiful home!”

Nice inner dialog, huh? No wonder I hid my head in the sand and gave up.  That’s what we do when our brains goes into overload.  When our expectations are so big, we get stressed, and when we get stressed, the brain freezes and can’t problem solve and goes down the old alleys of negative scarcity thinking.  And Shifters, as we all know, those alleys can be dark.  So what do we do?  We shut down—and a lot of times we eat.

So where does ROSE BED come into all of this?  Well, a dear friend, Rosalind, visited me from England.  She’s one of the most practical minded people in the world, and she’s a gardener and a true English Rose.  I showed her my front yard and told her of my plans.  She asked me how quickly I wanted to get it done.  I said by tomorrow.  She shook her head in that sort of English way and said, “Rita, my poppet, look at this garden, you can’t hope to get it all done at once, you’ll drive yourself batty.”

“Well, what can I do?  The garden is so awful, and I’m not a gardener, and it’s all gone horribly wrong,” I whined.  Yup, it gets ugly when I whine.

Rosalind launched into a sort of chin up Mary Poppins pep talk. “Well, don’t look at the whole garden silly.  When you look at the whole garden, it’s just way too much.  Just look at a rose bed.  Can you start with that?  Can you work on a rose bed today and just see how it goes—do a spot of weeding and a prune here and there, and before you know it—one rose bed, and therefore part of the garden, will be done. Can you finish one rose bed today?”

And so that’s what I did.  I narrowed my focus to one small rose bed in the corner of my garden and—began, one weed at a time.  When I finished, I felt victorious.  A new gardening confidence was growing inside me.  More importantly, a valuable lesson had been learned.  You take the big picture and break it down into pieces of what is doable at the time--The Rose Bed Theory.  That one rose bed quickly became two and then I moved on to the bugs and the bushes and before you knew it, I had the front yard of my dreams!  Is Better Homes and Gardens coming by anytime soon?  Nah, but the lesson I learned far trumps any front page cover story.

Examine your expectations. Break the big plan down and get specific.  Suddenly, you begin to calm down and get it done.

This dynamic of working with the brain is the NLP technique called “chunking down.” We used this chunking technique a few days ago as well.

I cannot emphasize the fact that overwhelm and stress are one of the biggest driver’s of overeating and giving up on healthy lifestyle plans. When you are able to calm yourself down and think rationally, instead of emotionally, you will be much more masterful at taking the weight off and keeping it off.

My invitation to you is that the next time you get overwhelmed—bring out that loving coach within you to break the problem, idea, dream or garden into many smaller rose beds.

You’ll be planting the seeds of calm, serenity, and confidence in no time!

Shift Happens One Rose Bed at a Time

Have a great Shift Day 20!

ox Rita