This is the second in a series of 3 that I am writing on one of my favorite books. Here is a link to  the Taming Your Gremlin (TYG) website, if you want to check it out.

I hope you’ve read and have been “practicing” Part 1: The first in 3 steps to TYG called Simply  Noticing. We were all born simply noticing – and then we developed our intellect.  It’s kind of like  doing artwork when you were a kid: it was a natural, free and fun process until Mrs.  Brown said,  “That’s not a house Susie, draw it like this, and please try to stay in the lines”….remember?

But never fear, it’s not too late to recover the child within! You too can learn to deeply breath, feel again, and live in the joy of the present moment.

So, that brings us to Step 2 in TYG: Choose and Play with Options. Take a breath, and as a neutral observer simply notice what you are feeling and thinking. This amazing “window” opens and fresh “air” floods your mind, (isn’t breathing wonderful?).

Choosing and playing with options comes after the all important breath of awareness that you take. If you skip this breath/noticing part – you’re on your own. You will continue to do the “same old” – and how’s that working for ya?

The important parts of choosing and playing with options are:

  • Choosing comes right after the breath, but it is not the final opportunity for choice, it is just the beginning.
  • If you are feeling lots of pressure/stress in the moment, the process of choosing an option will have to evolve over time – no biggie! That’s why we call it playing with options you can start one way and change.
  • Sometimes you need to observe and simply notice over an extended period of time to develop awareness of an issue before you are ready to choose an option.
  • Remember, not choosing is a choice/option. But when you pick that, remember to simply notice how it’s working for you.

I am always “re-learning” about this little process: Recently I decided to give up 3 toxic substances for Lent. You see I simply noticed that every time I felt certain emotions, I would use a substances instead of breathing and simply noticing. Blocking, avoiding, masking, breathing shallowly and hiding from the truth of the matter – you know the drill :).

In my situation, I simply noticed that I was:

  • Using toxic substances often.
  • Feeling extra stress in my body.
  • Forming some habits/addictions.
  • Feeling powerless.
  • Having a hard time discerning what I was really feeling.

Here are the options I chose to play with:

  • Being a Type A, I decided to quit all three substances cold turkey. Dive right in, that’s me! Whee 😉
  • First I needed to check to see if the water was deep enough so I didn’t smash my head. What kinds of support would I need? Both for my physical body, and my heart/emotions.
  • I also needed to explore what emotions, fears and anxiety sources I was hiding from.
  • Then, I could begin to walk it out, breathing and talking with God step by step in my new journey. Staying fully present and choosing and playing with options as I went along.

Because I have developed some skill in this little game, I am actually enjoying it – and I’m enjoying sharing it with you. After all breathing is not hard to do, and playing isn’t difficult is it?

See you at the spa!