We all know "the voice".
The voice that tells you that you aren't good enough.
The voice that tells you that you aren't capable.
The voice that tells you you aren't worthy of love and respect.
The voice that tells you that you will never achieve more then you have.
The voice that tells you to not take chances or change anything about your current situation.
We ALL have the voice in our heads that keeps us from doing things that our soul is longing for, or we know would make us feel good or fulfilled.
The voice that is a loud, rude, bitchy, judgmental, critical, scared, insecure, negative a-hole.
I have had the voice in my head keep me in relationships that were unhealthy and emotionally abusive. "Maybe this is what you deserve Anna." "You need them to love you so that you can feel validated, just try harder."
I have had the voice in my head delay the launching of projects. "Who are you to share this?" "You will be vulnerable and in the line of fire for judgment, don't do it".
I have had the voice make me second guess a post on Instagram where I get vulnerable "What will people think?" "You can't show that you are imperfect Anna, you're a coach!"
Those thoughts, that are the mental equivalent of prolonged forms of Chinese torture tactics.
Those over bearing, relentless, stubborn, loud, omnipresent, mean AF voices, manifested into my anxiety.
I did a great job of ignoring them, and the symptoms of anxiety, for so long that it resulted in my anxiety attack, that quite literally, dropped me to the floor and made the fact that something was "off" so unavoidable that I had no other option but to see what the heck was happening inside my tormented mind.
This threw me deep into the self-help section of the local bookstore, which at the time was not the coolest place to be seen in. With it's neighbours of travel and cooking, going inwards rather then going outwards seemed like a backwards journey, nonetheless, I started it anyways.
The voices that once yelled out things like "you are worthless", "no one will love you", "you will amount to nothing", "you are a failure', 'you aren't capable", are now saying quite the opposite. "You are worthy," "you are lovable", "you are destined for success", "you are capable" and other such self affirming niceties.
Now, I do admit that my mind has it's moments of attempted self-sabotage, but with an increased level of awareness, non-judgement and compassion, I am able to steer the train back on track quickly, rather then my earlier years of spinning out of control and heading straight down the rabbit hole of self-induced misery and anxiety.
The practices and tools I picked up along the way, and then made them my own, became the foundation on which I live and navigate through my life. They have also become the platform for my coaching business and life's mission.
Even though they have transitioned and transformed, they have always revolved around the idea that to gain control of your life, you have to gain control of your mind first...or at the very least, not allow it to have control over you.
Releasing limiting beliefs (aka that asshole in your head), retraining your brain and reclaiming your inner power are three main pillars that in my opinion, through personal experience and work with hundreds of clients and students, are the basis to transformative shifts in ones life.
Meditation, being an integral part of all three pillars, is one of the most profound ways to enter this potential transformation. It is the initiation and invitation of your conscious mind to meet your unconscious mind, as the witness and observer, rather then the reactor and victim.
This is where you have the opportunity to see your thoughts for what they are, just thoughts. Not alternate mini realities, potential fear based scenarios, or a series of overdramatic, telenovela style plot lines with no bearing in reality, just thoughts. Then you can start to disassociate from them and replace them with more rational, calm and confidence yielding thoughts.
This is a process that tends to be a bit more difficult at first because, let's be serious, we have let that voice in our head run rampant for a long ass time that reeling that sucker in from it's dark and twisted depths takes some mental muscle. Hence the 'training' in mindset training.
Each time you sit in a meditation and get pulled away by thought, all you have to do is compassionately and without judgment, bring yourself back to your breath. You get to enjoy the, albeit momentary, relief of mind chatter before doing the same song and dance again, and again, and again. Each time you bring yourself back to your breath, it's like doing a mental push up. Bootcamp for the brain, crossfit for the conscious, pilates for the prefrontal cortex... you get the point.
You get better and better at realizing when your mind is going in a misguided, reactionary direction and can bring yourself back into an aligned and present state quicker and quicker. This takes time and practice, but boy oh boy is it a powerful place to cultivate. What meditation does is trains you for your day to day situations. When your mind chatter goes in a direction that starts to make you feel anxious, insecure, worried, overwhelmed, scared, confused and judgmental, you can have a higher awareness and make the conscious decision to pivot your way back to inner peace, calm, confidence, faith, clarity, trust, and love.
You can start to replace the not so pro-you thoughts with more empowering ones. Some may call this 'fake it till yah make it' but I want to sound fancy so let's call it autosuggestion. Autosuggestion is based on the premise that you can tell your subconscious mind something enough times that it actually believes you.
To prove that this works, think of something. or a few things, you have been telling yourself for so long that you actually believe it to be true and have based your identity or life around. What we don't realize is that your ideas, beliefs and agreements around yourself, money, love, work and life have mostly