We’ve all have them. Sometimes they last a short period. Sometimes they last weeks, months, years, decades – yikes, perhaps even a lifetime. I’m talking about downward spirals. Where negatives things pile one on top of another, until it seems that is the only reality that exists.
In the last few weeks I’ve fielded several calls from colleagues and friends who are in a down place. They’ve hit a bump, a logjam — what seems and feels like a downright calamity. They turn to me for some hope and inspiration, as they know I’ve weathered tough times and have come out the other side. So, having been through this process, I can understand it a bit and hopefully guide others about what to do and what NOT to do. So here is what I am sharing them with.
1. Recognize What You Are Doing
If you’ve got a negative spiral occurring, the first thing you need to do is recognize that you’ve got one and take responsibility. Chances are this has been building up for a while. Negative spirals don’t just come out of the blue. They are a slow build up of energy that eventually picks up speed – attracting negative situations and events like a magnet. Like attracts like. Somewhere back in the chain of events you got something you didn’t like and you really focused on it – and unfortunately, you began an attraction parade from there. Its very easy to do, and unfortunately again, our society kind of supports this way of thinking and being.
2. List the Benefits of the Trauma
When a negative event happens we always have the choice of how we are going to interpret and apply meaning to it. We can choose to think of it in a negative way and as a result get an associated lousy feeling or we can choose to think of it in a more positive way and as a result get an associated better feeling . I’m not talking about being a Pollyanna or just slapping a happy face sticker on things (to quote Abraham, my favorite Law of Attraction source). I’m talking about at least finding a slightly better feeling way to think or talk about things. Your power lies in figuring out how to think more proactively or productively about things – if needed, put a bigger picture on them.
Yes, sometimes the ‘silver lining’ approach can only be seen in hindsight. I know when I was back in San Francisco and 911 hit (and 80% of my worked dried up), my Green Card process was denied (try getting a lawyer to explain graphic facilitation to an INS official!), and my live-in relationship dissolved, all in a very short period of time, it took me a while (ok, up until about last week – hee hee, just kiddin’) to see the good in all of that. The benefit of that very trying time in my life is that it got me to stand on my own two feet in a much larger way. It got me into my ‘real’ work and made me play bigger. It got me to become my Next Self, which in the bigger picture was a very good thing!
So, if you’ve got a challenging event, or several of them (like in my previous situation) do your very best to focus on the embedded benefits. How might this situation actually be serving you? How could this be a ‘good’ thing at some level? What role can you appreciate that it might be playing in your life? List all of these things onto paper. It is really important to extract them out.
3. Remember It’s a Vibrational Game
Why is it important to do the work of pulling out the benefits? Because it’s a vibrational universe that’s why – like attracts like. Everything has a certain vibration or field to it. A more downer thought creates a more downer feeling in you. And that downer feeling is like a radio signal that goes out and attracts more downer things to you. That is why a downward spiral picks up such speed. A downer thought, creates a downer feeling. A downer feeling attracts a matching event. Which elicits another downer feeling, perhaps just a touch more intense. Which attracts another event, of a matching downer intensity. And so it goes. Until you’ve got a really bummer reality built (that’s a technical term –wink).
4. The Good News
The good news is – the same phenomenon also occurs for the upward spiral. You can course correct a negative spiral by interrupting the pattern. Stop the insanity. Turn the train around by choosing to find a slightly better thought – that will create a slightly better feeling. Which will attract a slightly better event. Which will create a slightly better thought. Which will create a slightly better feeling. And so IT goes. Except this time you are headed in the direction you really want to be – upwards and onwards!
5. Be Optimistic, Have Faith, Believe In ‘Crazy’ Possibilities
Another thing – it is good to set aside logic for a bit and allow for the possibility for ‘crazy’ things to happen. There are ways for you to come out of whatever situation you have created for yourself. It is possible for good and unexpected things to occur. I’m not suggesting that you sit around and wait for something magical to happen – no. What I am saying is to open up your thinking a tad, to allow room for something you haven’t thought of to come through. The ‘universe’ (or whatever you want to call it) has a very wide range of possibilities to draw from. Imagine and really feel that your situation is solved, and then be open to the unique forms that may show up as an answer.
6. Take Inspired, Aligned Action
You do have an active role to take in turning your downward spiral around. First, you need to do the belief and attitude and focus work we have been talking about – you need to shift your emphasis to what you really want (instead of complaining, worrying and fretting about what you don’t – and in doing so attracting all of that towards you at warp speed). And, you need to find the positive aspects in what is happening to you.
The other thing you need to do is to identify and just take your next step. Get quiet, get settled, tune into your higher self or inner coach or inner strategic planner (whatever you want to call it!) and listen for what your next step is. If you are honest with yourself and settle down enough to listen, you will know what your next step is. Then – do it!
I didn’t shift out of my situation by thoughts and attitude alone – it took lots of aligned actions as well (all successful people I know take action). You must move towards the things that you really want. You must trust yourself and foloow the inklings, whispers, intuitions and guidance that you get. As you implement one idea, the next one will emerge. They emerge, like a trail of breadcrumbs for you to follow — leading you out of your forest of worry and bad feelings, into the wide open of possibilities, hope and well being.
© 2008 Christina L. Merkley
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Christina Merkley, “The SHIFT-IT Coach” and creator of the SHIFT-IT Method® is a Visioning and Strategic Planning Expert specializing in Graphic Facilitation and Law of Attraction techniques. Based in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, she works deeply with individuals, partners and groups in defining and getting what they really, really want. For more information visit: www.shift-it-coach.com.
[tags]Christina Merkley, SHIFT-IT Coach, SHIFT-IT, SHIFT-IT Method, negative spiral, laws of attraction, law of attraction, alignment[/tags]