Q: "How do I tell the difference between healthy pacing and not doing things because of brain loopiness? Hopefully, this is a good example. Let’s say you were to invite me to your place for a chat and some afternoon tea. I now have to make the decision whether to accept your invitation or decline it. If I decide to decline your gracious invitation, I want to make sure that I make this decision from a place of healthy self-care, not because of some brain loopiness generating self-limiting beliefs.
Please listen to Col's answer in audio format or read the transcript below.
Hello, my beautiful friend. Can I just say how much I love this fantastic question? Because it's something that's so relevant to so many people, including myself. Don't you think this comes up so many times, in so many different ways? Yes. I'm answering for you, "Yes." Answering for us all.
Okay, so this is a pacing question and it's like we're looking for discernment, right? Because we're looking to see whether the choice that we're making is due to healthy self care, versus the amygdala or our brain overprotecting us. It's a really, really, really great opportunity for exploration.
As with everything else, like Ashok says, "It's an art, not a science," right? And so we can play with it and it's not black or white, it's grays and nuances. We don't need to get it right, or be exactly certain. We can kinda put our toe in the water, gently feel around, see what's going on, check it out, try on one of our choices for size, then put our toe back in the water again.
We may make some mistakes, we may not... it may go really well or it may go sideways, but it's all good. There's no exact right or wrong to this, so let's look and make a little adventure of it.
In my experience, a lot of it has to do with energy. Like what do you feel when you're making this choice?
So just say you're choosing not to do something, not to go somewhere or not to partake in something, and you want to know, "Is that because of self care and it's a good decision, a healthy decision, or is it because of overprotection?"
In my experience, overprotection has a certain feeling to it, a certain energy. So what does overprotection feel like? Well, it comes from fear or worry, right? It comes from an attachment versus a nurturing, calm decision-making. Those two things feel very different, yes?
Overprotection almost has a kneejerk reaction type of feeling, like a shut down... versus a calm, intuitive knowing, like you just know in your core.
By the way, sometimes you actually don't know. Sometimes you come to a choicepoint and it's a little bit more like, "hmm, I'm actually not sure what the best decision is or what I want to choose in this moment." Sometimes it's not easy to know for sure. That's why it's important to understand that there's no right or wrong. Like just say you choose something in a particular moment and you do or you don't have the best experience after that choice is made. It's cool either way, not like you're going to ever make a mistake. There are no such things as mistakes.
Anyway, okay, back to the energy and discerning what that feels like.
So overprotection is like a shutdown. It doesn't even try. A healthy kind of energy is a little more like exploration, "Let's see, let's see how this feels," like feeling into it.
Overprotection can feel like your heart being small or closed off, whereas a healthy choice feels more warm, it may feel expansive or caring.
Overprotection can also feel obsessive. It can feel like you're staring at something, or trying to figure it out really hard. Trying to really, really, really figure it out. I've been guilty of this for so much of my life, wanting to get it right, like "there's only one right answer and one wrong answer." That's characteristic of overprotection.
The opposite, the healthy choice, feels like holding it with a loose hand, with an open palm, and noticing it but not staring at it, right? Observing but not... what's that word? When you stare at something and you look at all of the details so, so, so closely, like each particular detail feels so important, that type of thing? The healthier thing is looking at the situation with softened eyes, I envision it as.
So I feel like we can dip our toe in the water of a particular decision, just calmly noticing "What does this feel like?" Maybe you even do a hair of the thing and stop to check in, and pace.
We'll talk more about pacing another time. Pacing is such a expansive subject and such a great thing to practice ... So for now, back to the noticing. I feel as if it's an energetic thing, discerning between a healthy "no" and a "no" that's born out of overprotection.
I so welcome anybody who's reading this to comment down below if you have an idea of how you sense into choices, this whole subject of "when you choose to say no, what's the reason why you're saying no. Is it a healthy choice or is it a part of the whole dynamic of the brain loop that's giving you that fearful response?"
Okay, thank you for the question. We'll continue the discussion of pacing in another blogcast. Thank you for being with me, lots of love to you. You're doing great, as I always say, you're doing awesome. Take good care, bye now.
Col always says, “Gupta saved my life!”
The decline in Col’s health began with serious lifelong medical illnesses not under the Gupta umbrella. Her stress over these experiences fed right into the cycle Ashok speaks of, creating what she describes as a sort of chronic health PTSD, leading her to develop a number of the conditions that Gupta addresses. She found herself each day for years waking in a state of anxiety and physical pain and then struggling all day long.
Upon beginning Gupta Program, Col realized how many of her thoughts were related to the severity of her health challenges, a virtually constant perseveration. She is now gradually healing layer by layer, one by one removing the Gupta-addressable conditions that had piled on top of her original medical illnesses. She considers this a tremendous blessing!
When anxiety hits, she now has tools to quickly ease it rather than struggling all day long. When symptoms arise, she has learned to float through them without getting upset about it. When thoughts about her condition appear, she addresses them in the moment, rather than allowing them to pile up and intensify into a whirling dervish.
Through daily Gupta retraining and weekly webinars, she continues to learn more and more about how to navigate illness and improve her quality of life. Friends are amazed at how well she now copes with the difficulties she faces and how readily she sees beauty and tunes into peace in tough times. Inspired by her progress, some of them have even joined Gupta Program themselves!
Rather than viewing illness as an enemy, Col sees it as something which is taking her on a journey into the unknown, teaching her essential lessons and bringing her down unexpected new pathways. Despite the daily challenges it brings, it’s led her to rediscover her joy in painting and to practice tapping into inner peace. More than anything, she loves connecting with people on tandem health adventures and finding ways to uplift and inspire each other.
For more about Col and her art, visit: SoulCenteredArt.com With immense love & gratitude, all proceeds from Col’s art go to her ongoing medical treatment fund.