Mindful Leader - Satisfied Life – When Guardedness and Emptiness Affect Your work, Relationships and Happiness by Mary Lee Gannon
Learn more about working with Mary Lee at www.MaryLeeGannon.com
• Early in life we develop a protective self to keep us emotionally safe when we weren’t mature enough to handle things – to guard us against feeling pain in our heart. This is the protective self. This is where doubt begins. There is more detail on this in the book Whole Again by Jack MacKenzie.
• The mind has a negative bias to keep us safe. We are always looking for danger. This guard or covering we have over our heart doesn’t serve us. The mind convinces us that negative stuff is the ultimate reality.
• The Protective Crack
o You start out joyful and whole.
o You experience betrayal, trauma, judgment, abandonment, rejection. You experience considerable emotional chaos and a loss of control.
o You adopt false internal shame conclusions form this external experience. “I am defective and somehow caused this.” This flawed belief blocks you from your true self though you don’t notice it.
o To protect us from being consumed by pain the body numbs it away (in the heart, stomach, throat, pelvis, head, neck etc.) This manifests in emptiness, boredom, nervousness, tightness, aches and more.
o The Protective Self takes over to disprove a wound and distract you from pain. The purpose is control and avoidance - to keep you numb and keep the same pain from recurring. THIS IS THE FALSE SELF OR EGO.
• Two Clear Signs of the Protective Self
o Focus on externa things/people/situations out of our control.
o A sense of compulsion that you need to “do” something.
• Toxic shame is tricky. It convinces you that it is the ultimate truth. We don’t repeat to ourselves that I am enough because it identifies with “I am not enough.” Drop the enough belief all together. Instead, “I am unconditional love.”
• The Protective Self Trance – “If I could just get that (raise, perfect relationship, house deal, promotion, job, goal, perfect body, then I’d finally be happy.
• The protective self wants to you “do.” Over-achievers and work-a-holics often have a heightened protective self.
• When we ruminate, negativity becomes our religion.
• When we try to comfort or dissolved. When we unidentify with it, it dissolves.
• Freedom comes from learning how to nonjudgmentally notice these tricks of our protective self.
• I you try noticing negative biases and purposefully releasing them, you’ll eventually discover some wonderful and calm sensations replacing tension and agitation in your body
• Become a creator. Stop analyzing why you are suffering – the shame of it. Unidentify with being a victim. No need to heal or comfort the wound – ‘shameful hurting me’ and ‘unconditional love’ are dual competing perspectives. This identifying with the wound distracts us from unconditional love. We need not identify with the wound. You are not a result of a wound any more than you are a Chihuahua. It’s absurd. Identify with your resilience, kindness, resourcefulness, power.
• Own your stuff. Address the thoughts that keep you stuck. Practice ownership and taking steps. Imagine the core wound in your hand not wrapped around your heart. You can see it withering, desperately for control. It’s not a part of you anymore. It’s an old energy that was born from fear in someone else and transferred to you. It is not who you are. You are unconditional love. Let unconditional love be what you’d have liked to have happened.
• You can finally step away from stuck thoughts that hold you back to try all the things you’ve wanted to try. Go from “bad things happen to me” to “wounds are being passed along and I no longer choose to carry that wound.” To “Things are just happening.”