The bouncer in your head

Imagine this.

You’re planning a party. Any party. It can be your birthday party, a New Years Eve party, an end-of-the-world party, an “I’m alive” party — it doesn’t matter what the excuse to celebrate is ... all you know is it’s going to be epic. Fun. Joy. Celebration. Dancing. Connecting with people you love. Frolicking …

This will be everything you could ever want in a party. And you get to create it. (You epic party-planner, you.)

Think about the kinds of people you want to come to this special event. Do you let just anyone join in? Any Joe Blow off the street? Probably not. You’re going to be selective, right? You probably won’t invite those people who are super negative, always complaining about something, judgmental, angry at life, right? Toxic folks +1? You’re probably going to invite those people to your party who you feel really, really good around, who are positive, with awesome attitudes, helpful, exciting, fun, funny, good-hearted folks. Right?

Well, I got news for you: There’s a party going on in your head. Right now. What kind of a party is it? Who have you let into the party of your mind? How is that affecting you, your relationships and your life?

Again, you decide which thoughts and beliefs get airtime. Those thoughts and beliefs determine your attitude. Take an inventory of the guests who are joining your party. Do you actually want them there? Are they contributing to a good atmosphere? Are there a few guests at your party who are fighting with each other and are getting everyone else down? Are there a few guests who are trying to convince all the other guests that this party is lame and stupid?

Chances are, if these guests have been ruining your party, it simply means that your bouncer has fallen asleep.

Yes, your bouncer. (Also known as your awareness.)

Time to wake up your bouncer. There’s a party to experience!

Here’s another angle on this idea of being selective about what we let into our minds.

Close your eyes and dream up a fantasy lover for yourself. (Yes, I mean it. Do it now. This is much more enjoyable if you do.)

Which one of the following are you fantasizing about?

A. Someone who turns you on, excites you, makes you smile, has you feeling ALIVE
OR …
B. Someone who you’re utterly unattracted to and repulsed by?

I’ve asked this question to a few people and the reaction invariably is "Of course I’d fantasize about the hottest, most amazing person I could! It’s my own imagination, after all.” Yes, so if you can fantasize about anything, anyone, why not create the type of fantasy in your mind that you will enjoy?

So many people choose to fantasize about their lives in a way that has them feeling downtrodden, washed up, numbed out, sad. You might be saying “I’m not choosing to think these thoughts. It’s just the truth.” Notice that even that statement is a belief that might be just the thing that’s holding you back from truly feeling the joy of your life. It’s a thought you’ve been thinking so much that it’s become entrenched as a belief. The thoughts have well-worn neural pathways known as beliefs, which are much harder to shake than thoughts are. It takes work. It takes awareness. It takes practice. It takes a willingness to do something differently. Even though certain life circumstances can’t change, the way you think about them most certainly can.

To go back to the original metaphor, beliefs that are having you feel down about this party called your life are just those negative people at your party who have overstayed their welcome. Time to kick ‘em out. Wake up your bouncer.

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