One of my favorite things to do as a child was to visit the library. I would scan the shelves, pick out a book that looked interesting and become immersed in another world. I have kept that habit into adulthood and at least once a month, I make a special trip to the public library. I scan a couple of shelves in particular, usually the new arrivals, and then I head over to the personal growth, spirituality and self-help sections. I try not to have anything in particular in mind before I go, but instead allow intuition to take over and show me what I need.
This week I picked up a couple of very helpful books, one by Seth Godin called the dip. It was appealing because it was short, only 75 pages long and talks about a theme covered in the song lyrics “should I stay or should I go?” It has an interesting premise, that every success story is preceded by “a dip” which is to say that if success were easy, everyone would do it, but the dip requires you to slog through discouraging results to find success. I learned the dip in marketing as the transition between the early adopter and the rest of the market being ready to step forward. But it was helpful to remember that the more challenging and higher the barriers to entry there are in reaching a market, the fewer competitors are past the dip and available to share the winnings and the more profitable your business will be. Now, I just need to decide if I am in a dip or a cul de sac (otherwise known as a dead end). I am hoping it is a dip brought upon by our current economy.
Another book I found, Loving What Is by Byron Katie, sounded familiar. I remembered a friend talking about ” The Work” www.thework.com , but until I opened the book, I hadn’t really understood what The Work was about. I found myself moving back and forth between the book, my writing notebook and her website. Her concept is that by asking yourself four simple questions and then making a turnaround statement, pretty much any thought can be dissected for its deeper meaning and reality.
A quick example of something I think very often:”I should eat healthy every day or I will gain weight”
1)Is this true? Actually not, I can eat unhealthy foods, but just eat less than 1600 calories and I probably won’t gain anything. I can eat unhealthy foods and workout more and I should be ok. I might not be healthy, but I may not gain weight.
2)Is this really true? (in case I wasn’t sure the first time, it is good to ask this question one more time)
3)How do I react when I think that thought? I feel guilty, anxious, worried, distressed, overwhelmed and tired.
4)How would I feel to give up that thought? I would feel free, happy, relaxed and optimistic.
Turnaround: I look forward to not eating healthy and not getting fat. Meaning that by letting go of this thought I can let what happens, happens and worry about what happens, when it happens.
This may have been a rudimentary example, but you can watch videos on her website where she walks people through the questions. It is fascinating to watch and see the humor that emerges when people hear their limiting thoughts and beliefs and let them go.
I still have 7 more books to read from my scavenger hunt, but thus far it seems to have been a fruitful trip to the library.