How to De-Condition Your Mind

In my last post, I shared the missing piece I often see when speaking with patients about gratitude and affirmation practices. If you missed it, check out the post here 🙂 

The short and sweet version is that embodiment is often the missing, yet most important piece of any gratitude or affirmation practice. We can shift the mind all we want but if that’s not being translated down into the body, then you’re not changing your energetic vibration and you won’t see the changes you could potentially be seeing with the embodiment aspect! 

Over time, an embodiment can come if people begin receiving positive feedback from their environment. Yet other times, it seems as if people are saying these affirmation mantras over and over in their minds but they’re not seeing any changes in their day to day lives. This may be happening due to conditioning that has to be uncovered first. The body must deal with the wounds that created the belief around control, self-doubt, judgment, unworthiness, you name it. 

There are 3 main pillars I work with when helping my patients de-condition their minds – creating a center of stillness, obtaining awareness, and choice. 

Let’s break each one of these down. 

De-Condition Pillar One – Creating A Center of Stillness

We start here because of how many people actually know how to self soothe? I wasn’t taught this as a child; my parents didn’t know how to self soothe themselves. I saw alcohol, running away and sleeping as the coping mechanisms – not very healthy and not constructive to my growth as a human. This pattern of not knowing how to cope has been happening for generations in my family. I’ve found that a lot of people had a similar experience. They see the destruction, they want to get out of it, but they don’t know how to. This is where I can help. I spend time working with people to find what they personally need in order to feel better, without the use of any other person, place or thing – empowering right?! 

By having a center of stillness one can go to when triggered allows the second pillar to come through. An aside on the definition of triggered – any strong emotional reaction that creates stress, upset, the dis-ease of the body, it doesn’t have to be extreme. 

De-Condition Pillar Two – Obtaining awareness 

This can only happen when we’re in a calm enough state to create a vantage point on the stories playing out in our lives. Having a vantage point is exactly what obtaining awareness looks like. It’s the explanation in our minds of why we do the things that we do. 

Active meditation and balancing the autonomic nervous system is a way to start gaining more and more aware of these patterns within us. I know what you’re thinking… meditation is too boring, too hard, and I’m just not doing it. I get it. I’ve thought the same thing. But when I started an active meditation practice, my thoughts changed. I was actually meditating and it wasn’t boring, it wasn’t super hard, and I actually looked forward to doing it. Yup – I LOOKED FORWARD TO IT! 

Download this “How to Guide” for a step by step explanation of active meditation/balancing the autonomic nervous system in the way that I practice and teach my patients to practice. It’s only 2 minutes per day – and it’s powerful AF.

De-Condition Pillar Three – Choice 

Once we become aware of the patterns playing out, we’re able to choose if we want to continue listening to them or if we want to act in a different way. This is the hard part. This is where change happens and you have the ability to become the person you are longing to be. 

Sometimes it’s easy but other times you know that you could choose to use the tools in your toolbox but you just don’t want to. I want you to know, that’s 100% okay. 

The goal is not to be perfect. The goal is to be okay with yourself no matter what stage of healing you are in. 

If you’re stuck in an old pattern, and you want to stay there because it’s easier – stay there, surrender to it, realize that it’s what you’re choosing, and love yourself anyway. I’ve found that once we surrender to where we are and take ownership, we take back our power. 

Let me know your thoughts regarding how to de-condition your mind in the comments below!

Meet the Author

Hi, my name is Sarah. I am a naturopathic doctor, reiki master, and intuitive empowerment coach. Through my naturopathic medicine internship, I began to realize that the body has a lot more to say than what I was conventionally trained to look for. I’ve found that the body stores many emotions, memories, and unhealed past events which all contribute to physical disease. I have a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences and a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine. I love exploring the nearby forest preserves, and being outside, specifically in a forest. Learn more about me and read more of my work HERE. Check out my own site!

Seeing the World from Another Angle: Developmental Disabilities

I have worked in the mental health field for a decade. My favorite part of that work was the last half of it, working with kids from ages 3-21 with developmental disabilities and delays. I had absolutely zero experience with this population before then but I left with a lot of experience and a totally different person and mother.

Working with Developmental Disabilities

I was admittedly afraid of the kids at first because I knew that they could hurt me, and they did. I have a scar on my right eyebrow to show for it. A kid hit me in the face with a stereo cord because her CD skipped in the CD player. Before I left this facility, I would get injured in a lot of other ways. I was able, however, to help some of these kids be toilet trained, learn sign language, bond with others, and have fun.

Developmental Disabilities

I learned that kids with disabilities are just like other kids, which I already knew. They need love. When they don’t get it, they will act in ways that scream for that attention even though they can’t say, “Hey, LOOK AT ME! I NEED YOU!” or something like it. They can and will throw things. They will urinate on themselves and sometimes on you. Over a long period of time, their caregivers (or parents) will give up on them and bring them to facilities like the one I worked for.

What I Have Learned

These kids also need people to not give up on them after they don’t get something the first time. Their brains do work. I promise you they do. They just work a little differently. They may or may not be able to speak, but they can communicate. One of my favorite kids squeezed my arms every day to say “hello”, “goodbye” and when she was happy. Even though most kids with severe autism don’t even think of hugging you, she hugged me when she was being released. I cried along with her behavior analyst.

Most of all, they do hear. They hear very well. They can hear every word you say, and they can read your feelings when you are around them. If you don’t want to be around them, they can tell. If you love being around them, they can feel that too. I had so much fun working with these kids. It was not always pretty- I left work many days extremely tired, bruised and wondering why I ever signed up for this job, but I went back the next day ready for another round.

The best part was watching a kid finally “getting” something that a teacher, behavior analyst or one of us workers had been trying to teach them. It was incredibly rewarding, and hard to describe. It was also a lot of fun to do one-on-one work with them.

Developmental Disabilities On A More Personal Level

Each child has their own personality, and I am a mother of three. My younger son has severe ADHD and is also on the autism spectrum. He was diagnosed while I was working at this facility. As a result of his ADHD, he sees the world a lot differently than I ever will, and some days I wonder what the world is really like for him. He has some sensory issues and is a quiet child. We love him just the way he is. He just chooses to see the world from another angle, just as the kids I worked with and many others do.

kids juice box

When you see a child with a developmental disability out in public, don’t automatically assume that they are to be pitied. You may be amazed at what they can do.

Wrae Sanders

Meet the Author

This Guest Post was written by Wrae Sanders of Brave Wings Coaching. Wrae is a life coach in Louisville, Kentucky and a mom of three with a BA in Clinical Psychology. When She is not working, she can be found reading or listen to podcasts. I hope you enjoy what she has to say about her experience with developmental disabilities.

Read more from Wrae here, or check her out on Facebook and Instagram.

Seeing the World from Another Angle: Developmental Disabilities

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