Do you ever get caught up in your thoughts and feel resentful or fearful – or some other feeling you don’t like?
I do from time to time. Yep. No doubt there. Here’s a simple trick that helps me feel better: Take this piece of ginger root, and this banana.
The ginger is you and the banana is your mind. See how they’re entwined? (Which now I think about it is way more sexual than I’d intended – what’s Ginger doing with her leg over Banana?)
What I mean is. This is how most of us live, with our sense of self entwined with our mind. We think we are our mind. We think our thoughts are correct and important. It’s the fundamental misunderstanding behind all of our unpleasant feelings. So here’s the trick … Any time you feel bad, stop for a minute, and think to yourself
I don’t feel badly, my mind does.
And even if it’s just for the smallest moment. Look what happens?
See the space? Creating space between your thoughts and you makes you feel better. Like roses, a fresh pineapple, or as my husband puts it …
“You, your crap, minus your mind equals a sunny day.”
Which my previous life as a statistical analyzer makes me want to write like this:
(Y+C) – Mindtalk = Sunny Day
(Where, Y=You and C=Crap.)
But whichever way you put it – you are not your thoughts. Thoughts are just things that happen in your head from time to time. When we feel worried, fearful, angry and so on, we think it’s because of some outside thing. But it’s not. It’s your mind. It’s how you’re thinking about things.
Your past is in your past. It’s not happening anymore, except in your mind. And if your current situation seems bad or worrisome etc, it’s only because you’re seeing it through the murky filter of your belief system, your conditioning. Which is your past again.
I feel better already.
Wow! How is it that I am having a Very-Bad-Thought Day, and I find this blog and perfect post?Now, I am thinking more like a banana. Consider me a new fan. Thank you so much!
Hi Stacy, Pleased to hear this article found you at the right time! .. and now you are thinking like a banana. Ha ha. Cool! Thanks so much for saying hi. And best wishes. XX Lisa.
You rock. Thank you so much. : )
Thanks David! My pleasure. Thanks for saying hi:)
Thanks Lisa!!! this is wonderful!!! thank you <3
What do you think of the concept that your thoughts are actually coming from your body discharging stress from the central nervous system as well? I get really frustrated with the theory that one should ” become” a positive thinker and if you are feeling crappy it is simply because you are choosing to think negative thoughts…which for me re-enforces self blame and so on. Just my thoughts. I like how you present. Very original
I don’t tend to spend a lot of time thinking where thoughts come from. I’ve found it most useful to just know I don’t have to believe them blindly. But I know what you mean about the pressure to be a “positive thinker.” I couldn’t agree more. A friend told me once that my thinking was very negative. At first I panicked and asked him what I should do about it, and he said – nothing! Ha. His advice, which I love, was that I wouldn’t always be, but I was then. And to accept how I was. It sounds like we’re on the same page!
Did you see this article
3 Reason’s to stop worrying about your negative thoughts
Thanks for stopping by! L
[(B+G) . Blend & Jamaican R] into crushed icewater = Soothing the Dream topped with good company = paradise
(B is Banana/ G is Ginger/ R needs no explaining)
Ha ha! Cool. And delicious!
loved your book and now, I love your posts! They are so… human. Thanks!!
Your articles have really helped me a lot. I try to practise all yr teachings during the day and it helps me to cope better but at night in my sleep when I have no control over my mind, I get stressful nightmares. I get up with a headache as my neck and shoulders are tight and the effect of my bad dreams last me for a few hours in the morning. Can you pl help me with some advice.
Great question! I get asked this a lot and have decided to answer it in my next post! Thanks so much for saying hi and bringing this up.
What a terrific post! So logical, yet most of us are not taught this growing up or as adults. Thanks for spreading this simplistic wisdom…
What a terrific post! So logical, yet most of us are not taught this growing up or as adults. Thanks for spreading this wisdom…
This is lovely! Too often I feel like my worrier and inner critic have swept me up in a wheelbarrow and are running full speed over a bumpy road arguing over which way to turn. I hit all the bumps and am desperate to hang on to something. Seems I am along for the ride often! I am writing about this myself. Just being….just doing….ignoring the chatter…dodging the wheelbarrow and moving forward with positive things that will eventually change the message. Today I am going to a women’s group called Eat, Share, Love. We will cook together—eat together —share stories and then finish the day with a one hour meditation. All these things allow me to be in a better place where I can see the wheelbarrow from a distance —and allow the critic and worrier to dash past me…… I can watch and acknowledge they are there—but don’t have to go for a ride anymore. Thanks!
Love that wheelbarrow on the bumpy road analogy! Also, can I please come to your “Eat, Share, Love” Women’s Group – what a nourishing afternoon. Thanks for saying hi and for including a link to your site! XX Lisa
Wow, I really love everything you write. Thank you a lot, I keep it with my every day:)
One question pops up in my head right now though… Lets say that you have a feeling/longing to move to.. lets say South America. But you dont know if it´s just your mind creating it (and making you feel that way) or if it is really your path in life… what do you do..?
Thanks again, I am so greatful that I fould your book and articles here!:)
My pleasure Liesel,
Great question. Some thoughts:
1. A feeling or longing is your heart. not your mind. If your mind were telling you it would be more “heady” like – “My friend Bill went to South America and now his life is awesome so we should go.” More based on Intellectual reasons than feelings. And what usually happens when we get longings like this is our mind comes up with reason’s not to do it. “I don’t’ know anyone that’s done that.” “What if blah blah happens.”
2. Something that helps me for big changes like this one is to allow myself to be in a state of sort of confusion. Where I’ll tentatively allow myself to start moving in that direction. When I came to LA a couple of years ago I did this. In that case it was only for a few weeks, but at the time it was a really big deal. I bought the ticket and thought, if things change in a couple of months, I just won’t go. If my intuition is fooling with me, I can always change my mind. But it never did! And there I was on the plane thinking, oh wow, I’m actually doing this.
3. One step at a time is helpful too. Follow one hunch and see what happens. For instance in the example you gave. What are you drawn to do. Is it pack up all your things, quit your job and go, or is it to go down and have a look.
4. It was explained to me once that the narrative of “my path in life ” implies just one “right” way and isn’t accurate or helpful. Personally, I do like the idea in general terms, for instance when you look at your life from a larger perspective. But when it comes to making decisions I try not to think “is this the right path”, because it makes decisions more difficult. Brings it into the level of the mind, I guess.
Hope that helps!
(This is very topical for my husband and I as we’re in the middle of considering a big change. Neither of us can quite tell if it’s our intuition or mind. So we’re just tootling along but kind of moving in that direction. I figure one of us will be drawn to what to do next, but at the moment neither of us knows! However I do believe our intuition is the best guide so am happy to follow that as best I can.)
Thanks again and best wishes!
Thank you so much Lisa, if you only knew how much your reply helped me!
I wish you all the best with everything that is going on, and I look forward to keep learning from you.
It really is a pleasure Liesel:) And thank you for your kind wishes!
I love your posts and how simple you break it all down. Intuition is the best and I am one who stays in my head much longer than I should. I need to allow my heart to follow and see what happens. I am a “hamster” on a wheel and I just can’t seem to jump off and rest and let my life take the path that is intended. Any suggestions for us “hamsters” who can’t stop running? Look forward to your next lesson!!
Well, speaking as a hamster myself, I was having this personality reading thing done and the guy told me that I was busy from the moment I opened my eyes. And I was like, “Yes! So what do I do?” And he told me not to try and change, well not too much, but to work with it. It helped because I used to worry that I’d burn out again. What I have discovered is that if I work in the weekdays and then have evenings and weekends off, I’m good. I start to get into trouble when I break that and work weekends or whatever. So I schedule in chunks of time off. Going on a retreat once or twice a year would also help me break things up.
The only other thing I find helpful is taking supplements to support my adrenal glands. Discovered this from a helpful naturopath a few years back. A godsend.
Does that help any?
Hi Lisa, thank you very much. Your work it’s really help me a lot , i need this.
I wish you the best in what are you doing .
with all my love
Thanks Mihaela. That’s great to hear. Best wishes and love to you too!
This was a really good read. I eat ginger everyday. And I know my mind controls how I feel. We all have to remember to live in the moment, the past is in the past and cannot be undone. I have to remind myself about this everyday. Thank you for this blog. 🙂
Thanks Talya:) My pleasure.
Are you able to write more? Youre my favourite poster in 2014
Ha! Yes. Or no. I don’t know. I’m working on a couple of projects at the moment which will be surfacing soon:) Thanks for the love!
Lisa; hello from mexico, is great to read your charismatic post and i love all the book you have share with us. You are and angel!!!
I am a doctor and I have my own consulting company, but inside me i really think i need to do something that fullfill me and can help people in a more passionate way , like; holistic medicine or tanatology but how can i connect to myself and confirm that this is really something genuine?, because when i share this to my colleagues they said i should stay where i am because is more succesful. And i am afraid this idea inside me is just something silly. ¿ How can connect inside myself and trust me? and go for this hunch?
Hi Ana in Mexico!
Well, you know in my experience other people don’t know what’s best for us – in fact, they’re often the most resistant when we want to make a change. They care about us and want what’s best. Often the thing we really want to do involves taking a leap and this is scary for us, but even more scary for our friends and family.
It sounds like you know what you want to do.
I also believe that holding within you the idea that the next step will show itself when it’s time is very powerful. Knowing that one day you’ll be practicing holistic medicine. Does that make sense? Also there’s nothing wrong with small steps. It’s easy to think we have to make a big grand change, and sometimes this is useful, but often it’s more a case of following little hunches. Testing the waters in small ways.
What an exciting new adventure you’re about to embark on. Best wishes! Love to hear from you again.
I love your book and your posts. Since I have read your book and a couple of your posts I see things in a much better or healthier way. I honesty believe we are here to enjoy life but our mind is conditioned to think differently. Your posts are helping me with needed changes. Thank you!0
Thank you too, Shirley. Really appreciate your taking time to say hi:)
Hi Lisa, Love your ginger/banana anology, really makes sense and if put into practice every day I’m sure it would help, I just feel like my mind gets in the way of me being happy and content and at the end of the day I’m absolutely shattered just with thinking, thinking, thinking, learning to separate mind from body really sounds like an exhilarating experience. Thanks for your posts 🙂
HI James, I too get like that by the end of many days! The idea of separation that I’m talking about, doesn’t mean that you need to do it all the time, it’s more like, any tiny eeny weeny little time you do it—once a day or week, or whatever—you can see another perspective. And it gives you a break from all those thoughts. Thanks for taking the time to stop and say hi!
Hi Lisa another simple way of looking at things but very effective. Seems to me that the biggest banana skin in life is an over thinking mind. Take care Lisa still looking forward to your sofa year article. Keep up the good work Les
Well put! Hadn’t thought of it quite like that, but I like it:) Nice to hear from you again, Les.
Stephen Ronee Lau
Hi Lisa. Thanks for the wonderful “banana-ginger” way to separate the “mind” and “you” and emphasizing on the past as a reminder. I suppose there are so many who can’t let go of the past and face the constant popping up of their negative memories and that can cause a lot of stress…not only to the person but also to those around him or her. Great sharing. TQ.
Hey Lisa! This post is TOP BANANA!!! : ) Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun! ; ) I totally get
(Y+C) – MT = sunny day
but can ya help me here? I have CFS and to put a finer word on it, it sucks. OK, I totally get that that’s my MT talkin’, but my life has become so limited (I can’t do so many things I love to do!) that I can’t seem to find any peeeeace… Any suggestions? Thanks! : ) Tara
Well, I could write a book on that! But here, a few thoughts that spring to mind …
1. Hang in there. And know that most people get better. I know many, including myself, my sister, a counselor I saw for years, a woman who contacted me who was super sick and is now sailing around the world.
2. Keep trying things. (A woman in Dunedin, New Zealand, was a HUGE help for me. Which isn’t much help if you’re not in NZ. But it’s more the point about keeping trying things. Gently. Seems to be a sickness of overload, so the tricky thing is unloading, gently, so systems can deal with it.)
3. It is very limiting. OMG. In so many ways. But in other ways, it gives you a view of life, yourself etc that is very rare. What we look like with out all the doing. Ha. Very painful of course. For me, it shifted something in me. I was comforted when I heard that people who were looking for spiritual enlightenment did things like isolate themselves etc. Well, wallah. With CFS, we have that.
4. I used to think I was wasting time being sick. As if everyone was getting on with their life and I was stuck left behind. But now, looking back, I can see that it taught me things I wouldn’t have learned. It’s funny isn’t it. When people want to learn about something, say psychology, they go to college for three years. But when we get sick, we don’t think of that as learning, but as some sucky thing getting in the way of life.
5. I avoided ME support groups. This is a very personal thing, and I know that many people like support groups. But the support groups I came into contact with were filled with people who were very very bitter and had taken on CFS as their identity. Even now I don’t like being in that environment. Gives me the willies!
6. Don’t feel peaceful? Fine. Just notice thoughts that you’re not peaceful. No worries. Probably more than you know, those peaceful feelings are working themselves up in their own time. I always come back to that Kahlil Gibran quote about pain being the breaking of our shell of our understanding. Have you read that? (The Prophet)
Having said all that, it’s toughy tough challenging. Holy smoke, is it ever. And many many many tears have been shed my moi!
I hope this helps a little.
Lots of love to you=)
And thanks so much for saying hi.
PS: I almost did write a wee book in the end, didn’t I?
Hi there, I just wanted to say Thank you! Thank you for sharing your book with us, and all your helpful advice. Every time I find myself falling into my old habits I check my e-mail and there you are with more helpful advice 🙂
You’re welcome, Candice! Thank you too. Great to hear it’s useful.
Hi Lisa, always excited when a new email from you is in my inbox 🙂 thank you. always, and I mean always worth reading.
About the above article…… yes, I agree. But what about the “stuff” that lives in the body, the traumas, the hurts, the anger….the unexpressed. Just wondering about your thoughts on this. thanks, Petra
Issues in the tissues. Body Talk or Accunect can address those. Search for a practitioner in your area.
What a fabulous analogy / metaphor.
Thanks so very much Lisa for sharing your thoughts and your wisdom.
You’re welcome:)) Thanks for saying hi!
Now my banana can go sit in the corner with my pukey thoughts!
Ha ha! Yes.☺
i love you
Dear Lisa, I do not understand what your husbands mean.
Is it a typo ? you’re crap instead of your crap ?
Or not, and then I still do not understand his “so called” wisdom.
Either way it a lot of bullcrap and I humbly ask you not to quote him anymore unless you are dead certain we (I) will understand it.
I am really stuck and even with my best intentions I can’t make heads or tail from his quote.
Sorry, I really am.
Now I will disgard the quote and continue reading which I couldn’t do before…
You know, you actually could keep reading. You just chose not to. It’s not a typo.
U r awesome lisa..nothing less than an angle for me..whenever I read ur articles and ur book I feel absolutely fresh and new In my ownself.i always keep ur book ‘7 secrets…..’in my phone so whenever I feel like am trapped in my mind’s thoughts and being driven crazily by them..i read ur book and instantly all crap vanishes..u r fabulous..
That’s fabulous to hear that you enjoy the book! Lovely to hear from you, thanks for saying hi=)
Can this trick be used to treat the symptoms of OCD? I have recently got into meditating. Is there a type of meditation that you reccommend that you can really detach you from your thoughts? ALSO if your a meditation coach i would love to work with you!
Reckon this kind of thing would be perfect for OCD. No harm in trying anyway is there!
I’m not a meditation coach. Have you ever done a mindfulness course? (MBSR – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). There are loads out there. Google Jon Kabat Zinn and see what you come up with. I did a course based on his teaching years ago, and it was wonderful. Hope that helps! Thanks for stopping by=)
But how does it really work out?
Why don’t you give it a try and see=)
The best way to deal with unwanted thoughts is the following;
1. Have a don’t care Attitude towards the thought
2. If a thought pops up do nothing about it….I mean NOTHING any thing else is problem solving
3.Just remember you exist first and then the thoughts exist…not the other way around
4.be aware of your thoughts , its like when you are away from house a thief can enter your house…be present ….in the moment…
5.what you fear you will see everywhere…..what you fight you strengthen….what you resist will persist….the trick is to just observe and do NOTHING…
6. Just remember its never the situation that bothers its always the thought that troubles.
7.Remember you are like a ship sailing in stormy water….unless you let water in…you can not sink…you alone are responsible for your happiness…..
Thanks for sharing your insights around this, Rahul=)
All these are “said easier than done”. Certain fundamental flaw in the design of the human brain/deliberate cold blooded calculation was done in designing of the human brain/mind etc. Can brain science only sort out one day ? like so many other technological marvels. Technology itself has techniq inherent in it.
So if neuroscientists can crack that code/techniq at affordable cost like what prof. V.S.Ramachandran ,the brain neuroscientist for phantom limbs/arms at a deadcheap cost 2 dollars of mirror techniq relieving the pains of many patients
who suffered excruciating pains due to phantom phenomena.
Well the line i liked the most here is “Your past is in your past. It’s not happening anymore, except in your mind.”
You doing a great job.Thanks for always motivating.
This helped me today when I wasn’t feeling the best. Keep ’em coming! You’re a legend!
Hi Lisa, thanks for helping me everyday! You are a life saver <3
My pleasure Erica! Thanks for stopping by, and for saying hi:)
Thank you for this post and the comments. Leisel and Rahul really resonated with me. I have PTSD and suppression/dissassociative tendencies and my thoughts and feelings overwhelm me when they finally come out. I really learned something today. Thank you and bless:)
Unless Crap = Mindtalk, wouldn’t You + Crap – Mindtalk = You, Crap & Sunny Day? 😉
Ha ha! Now my head hurts!
This is such an interesting concept and really reminds me of buddhist principles.From what l know their belief is to simply observe their thoughts without becoming too invested in the emotional backlash these thoughts can sometimes cause.Thanks for all the good work you do and for the encouragement you give to others.God bless xx
Yes! The same simple, wonderful, but at the same time easy-to-forget principle!
Thanks so much for your note:)
I want to thank you so much for this and all your posts, which are filled with such truth, humility, and humor. Your work led me to the work of Dr. Amy Johnson, which is also so comforting and wonderful. I found your blog at a time when I kept forgetting that I’m not my banana! It is so helpful to remember :). I can’t wait to buy your book!
Thanks so much for your note, Emily. I love that you’re enjoying the articles. And as well that you find Dr Amy Johnson helpful. Isn’t she wonderful, and like you say, so comforting. I can’t wait for you to have the book either. We’re just doing the finals edits this week! It’s an odd book, but if you like articles about banana’s I think you’ll enjoy it. (Fun fact: The banana idea made it into the book, but since the only two colors in the book are purple and orange (not even black) we changed banana’s to grapes.) Thanks so much for your support.
You are amazing and your posts are so helpful Lisa. Seeing so many people putting positive comments gives you that kick, yeahh its going to work for me too and it works. I am going to buy your book, it would be a first book of my life 🙂
Thanks, this is just what I needed to read on a day that I’ve been stuck in a negative mind space.