Did you ever realize, if you change the images within your head, that the whole perception of reality can shift? I learned this amazing insight by Marisa Peer and reminded myself in several situations to put it into practice. And every day life is brilliant for that.... especially if you are not a fan of spiders.
Let me share one example that helped me big time. I never felt close to any arachnids - honestly: never - and usually avoided them by social distancing, which was good, it worked, nothing to complain about. But then I thought to myself, why not simply name some of the spiders we regularly find in our house and find out, how this would make me feel. Because naming someone or something you might not feel positive towards, could be a game changers, and in this case, this would trick me into a certain feeling of familiarity and dissolve the fear factor.
And let me add, it was not about the very slim long legged ones, because they already look funny enough and simply start to tremor, if you get too close... but those with thick legs and a big body, those that stay, even if you try to scare them, the ones you usually find in the basement. I mean, they rarely are seen elsewhere within the house besides the basement, because our four cats easily take care of them as soon as they show up elsewhere...
Nevertheless one day one of those small critters was successful and made it into our bathroom. Luckily I saw him next to our toilet, before even getting close but I thought to myself, why not simply give him a name like one of my colleagues suggested. And so Mortimer spend the whole day with us, yes Mortimer - I love the name - in the bathroom, while we were minding our own business there and leaving his business to him, until the whole situation ended tragically, as he was found dead the next morning, slayed by one of our bloodthirsty felines.
Which ended a very short friendship abruptly. I almost felt a tiny sensation of grief, which quickly vanished, after realizing, that I was the one who was meant to dispose of his dead body. So I wrapped Mortimer into a huge toilet paper ball – which would have made many cry during our toilet paper crisis – and flushed him, with a slight melancholy inside, down the toilet, with a last wave goodbye.
All that was needed to end the century – well ok, decade, to be more honest – long adversary between me and spidy, was a name. A very noble, appropriate name of course for a fellow being, with so many more legs and eyes. He almost became a good roommate, since he at least would not leave dirty dishes behind. And we closed the chapter by that, since his appearance was a rare incident.
Though I have to admit, it might need some more names if I would live in Australia or maybe tiny tea cups and knitted pollunders handcrafted for eight-legged friends to appease me with them, but with the common Middle European basement spiders, it worked wonders.
So this was just one example of how a simple shift of my mindset helped me create a different emotional response and by that opens up different choices, which we might not be able to see, if our limited mindset would overpower the rest...
and yes, actually I wanted to write about my insights in regards to how we can enrich ourselves with creating new images about our own body, but my thoughts carried me away and I guess this will be the content for one of the next posts....
Oh and by the way, this is not unfortunate Mortimer, he does not have any portrait, we have no picture of him... but will be forever remembered