- “I Can’t.”
- “I’ll Try.”
- “I wish I could.”
- “I don’t have time.”
- “I’ll Do My Best.”
- “I’ll see if I can work it in.”
- “I’ll be there if I can.”
- “I can’t get my work done.”
- “I don’t have any free time for myself.”
- “It’s my genes.”
- “I can’t help it.”
- “I can’t seem to stop.”
- “I’m Sick.”
- “I don’t feel good.”
- “They make me really mad.”
- “He is driving me crazy.”
- “I am sick and tired of…”
- “I’m losing my mind.”
- “I’m retarded.”
These are examples of the negative and limiting language of self-talk that I used to create in an almost unending stream every day. Those are only a few of the negative thoughts I flooded myself with daily. Whether we are conscious of it or not, many of us do this constantly. Approximately 85% of the thoughts you are processing at any one time are being processed by your non-conscious mind. If you have any negative thoughts at the conscious level you can be assured you have 5 times as many at the non-conscious level.
For the last several years I put in 80 hours of work almost every single week and often up to 100. That’s not easy to do and if you don’t believe me just do the math. I slept 3 to 4 hours a night and sometimes stayed up all night. I could go 48 hours without sleep with little difficulty.
For 35 years I have eaten a high-starch, high-sugar, high-refined carbohydrate, high-fat diet with almost no fruits and vegetables or fiber. My genes tend to make me slim but I abused them so much I was 70 pounds overweight.
My exercise routine was to go from my house to my car and then from the car to the office. After that I rolled around in my chair. At home I camped out in a recliner.
I suffer cognitive difficulties. My headaches started every morning and got severe every day by mid-afternoon. My joints and muscles ached. I suffered chronic fatigue for about as long as I can remember. I often felt nauseated and dizzy. I had asthma and allergies and took allergy shots for many years. My brain was foggy.
I was irritable and prone to bouts of anger and frustration. I was moody as hell and people around me knew when to leave me alone. My neck, shoulders, arms, hands, upper back, butt, and legs tingled with pain and numbness. It was getting to the point where some days I couldn’t hold my head steady enough to type on my computer. It was a struggle to think. My legs were restless and frequently jerked in the evening and at night. These are just a few of the physical symptoms I had. The list is long. Nothing was ever fixed and the list just kept growing.
Over the years I believe I have had every medical test known to modern science. I have been given every blood test and every MRI, EEG, Cat-scan, x-ray, nerve conduction, cardiac, pulmonary, and even some gene tests. Most of these multiple times.
A while back I received a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis from my neurologist. A second opinion disagreed with that diagnosis, so the bottom line is that the doctors still don’t know what is causing my symptoms. I decided not to go for a tie-breaker opinion. I was taking 12 prescription drugs daily and most of them multiple capsules per day. In some cases I was taking double the maximum FDA approved dose. In addition I gobbled Ibuprofen like it was candy.
I am a highly scientific person and I believe in modern western medicine. Despite years of “I don’t see anything wrong”, I kept going back for more and getting new prescriptions for the newest drug. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that I was being treated for depression. A neuropsychiatrist recommended Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Last year I made a simple decision. I decided to take my life back. This simple decision led to a few other simple decisions which I will describe below. This was not a blinding light of inspiration from above. It was nothing more than a result of simple reflection. I could either do something or continue to complain and swallow drugs. I could either do something or continue in a downward spiral of physical and mental destruction.
I decided I knew more about myself than the doctors knew about me. I decided that nobody was doing anything to me. The universe was not doing it, the doctors were not doing it, my employer was not doing it, my friends and family were not doing it. I was doing it to myself.
The first major change I made was to stop the negative self-talk. I still fall into it once in a while but it is no longer the dominant theme of my self talk. Now I start my day with the below affirmations in a mind movie. You should try mind movies because they allow you to mix text, pictures, and music into a great experience.
1. I feel terrific.
2. I’m happy to be alive.
3. I can make my life anything I want it to be.
4. I love my work.
5. I’m getting healthier every day.
7. Each day I’m getting closer to my goals.
8. I cannot fail – only get results.
9. I am already a success.
10. If I persist, nothing can stop me.
11. I’m willing to do whatever is necessary to succeed.
12. I’m happy this very moment.
13. I completely and totally forgive myself and others for mistakes of the past.
14. I will always keep the child within me alive.
15. I’m unique in all the world.
16. I can do it.
17. I am what I learn.
18. My knowledge will save me and can never be taken away.
19. The world does not reward average people well so I will be extraordinary.
20. I will write with honesty and feeling.
Thanks to Ted Nicholas for giving me that marvelous list. It’s so good I didn’t even change it.
Check out this article I wrote for a marvelous way to tip into life flourishing: Positivity Leads to a Flourishing Life
I’ve read self-help books for many years, but I almost never did anything with them. It was more of an intellectual exercise for me. I love books and I love the personal development topic. I spent all my time reading about what I should do and never spent any time doing it. So when I made the decision to do something I had a lot of resources to draw upon. So I simply decided to start practicing what I had learned and ironically had helped other people to do.
I made the choice to get a good night’s sleep. As luck (more probably my non-conscious mind) would have it almost immediately after changing my attitude and self-talk, I stumbled onto a marvelous sleep program called Sleep Tracks. For more information on sleep and a link check out my article: Optimal Sleep – How to Get it Every Night.
I decided I wanted to write a blog. I had wanted to do this for quite some time but I always told myself I didn’t have time. Well, I wanted to do it so I made time and did it. It’s really a simple choice. Decide what you want to do and do it. We all like to make things complex and difficult. I think we are subconsciously trying to find a way not to do them because we are afraid.
I don’t work more than about 50 hours a week anymore. That gives me a lot of time to pursue other interests such as blogging. Blogging takes time if you are serious about it.
I made the simple choice to get off my drugs. Slowly and surely I experimented with lower doses and weaned myself off of many of them. I am almost done and I am happy to say that as of yesterday I only took my nighttime restless leg pill. Even that I intend to drop eventually. Here in Houston springtime, I didn’t even take my allergy or asthma medications and I was free and clear all day long despite being outside in the pollen saturated air.
I am no longer messing myself up with a cocktail of pharmaceuticals. It was amazing how much better I felt after I started dropping my prescriptions. The patient was healing himself. I have an appointment with my neurologist this month and it will be the first appointment in five months. I hope to tell him I am no longer taking any prescriptions. I almost don’t want to go at all. I remain undecided at this point.
Please note that I would never recommend to anyone that you stop taking a prescription. That is an intensely personal choice of which you are the owner of the choice and the consequences.
Every time you put something into your mouth, you are essentially taking a drug. The incredibly complex machine that is your biology runs on what you put into it. Put in poisonous drugs and you get poisoned. Put in healthy food and you get healthy. It is as simple as that. I no longer eat gluten (wheat, barley, oats), dairy, or sugar. I’m strict on this now and I remain undecided about whether I will ever loosen up on it. I am loading up with fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. I would guess at least 90% of what I used to eat I no longer eat and 90% of what I do eat I never used to eat. I used to tell people I didn’t eat nuts and berries when they wanted to know what I liked. Now I eat nuts and berries all day long.
I have been balancing my brain and body chemistry with additional supplements and as a result of that and my dietary changes and I am feeling great. I didn’t think it would ever be possible for me to feel this way. I had resigned myself to a life a feeling ill and the good days would be when I didn’t feel real bad. I don’t think I have felt this good my entire adult life and that covers the last 27 years.
I am a firm believer in supplements and I warn you to be careful not to put much stock in some of the recent findings from long-term studies that show them to not be very effective. Your body chemistry is very complex and often supplements have to be taken together and with food to be properly absorbed and utilized. By their very nature these studies have to isolate the supplement they are studying and so it has to be taken without being part of a larger program of supplements. That is not how you should take supplements so it is useless to study them that way.
A few things I would like mention. Just because you get enough of something to keep from getting a disease caused by its lack, does not mean you are getting the optimal amount. The daily recommended amounts are based upon how much you need to not get sick, they are not a scientific optimum.
Secondly, everyone is different. Most of us have genes that do not absorb nutrients in the way that others do. In that case you need a lot more or a different form than is available in your food.
Finally, in the modern world it is nearly impossible to get what you need in the right way in the food supply. Trying getting the right Omega 3 balance without poisoning yourself with mercury saturated fish. A large number of New Yorkers are being poisoned by toxic mercury because they eat sushi. It’s much better to get molecularly distilled fish oil supplements to round out this critical dietary need.
I made the simple decision to start walking and I spend 30 to 60 minutes doing it every day. I want to start lifting weights and doing more strenuous aerobic exercising but I so enjoy the walks I haven’t made the move yet. The walks are so good for my mind. In case you don’t know it, science has discovered that about the best thing you can do for brain health is both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. It actually triggers the growth of new brain cells. That’s right, the story you have heard your whole life about the brain not creating new cells is simply false. The brain can heal and grow.
The future seems bright and glorious and I now look forward to it. Recently I have changed my attitude, my sleep, my diet, my work habits, and my exercise habits. I have only just begun the changes I intend to make. I have a long list to get through but I’m in no hurry. I’m enjoying the fruits of the changes I have made so far. I have made drastic changes, but they have been simple decisions for me. I simply reflected on what I really wanted. Focusing on what I really wanted made these decisions easy. I changed my self-talk from “I can’t.” to “I will.”.
What do I really want?
- I want to live to be 100.
- I want to flourish and thrive all the way to 100.
- I want to talk and play with my grandchildren.
- I want to enjoy every minute of the short time I have been given on this earth.
- I want to leave a little bit of myself in the lives of those I touch.
- I want to live.
- I will live to be 100.
- I will flourish and thrive all the way to 100.
- I will talk and play with my grandchildren.
- I will enjoy every minute of the short time I have been given on this earth.
- I will leave a little bit of myself in the lives of those I touch.
- I will live.
What do you think? Leave a comment below. Subscribe to The Rat Race Trap by Email here or to a reader in the top left sidebar. I would love to have you aboard.
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