Those Damn Mongers! Keeping us miserable, telling us how worthless we are. It just gets exhausting!!!
Hands down the most helpful way I have found to deal with Mongers is to first recognize that THEY ARE NOT YOU. They are a part of you. A part of you that although appears scary and mean is really there to keep you safe and protected. They just use some pretty nasty techniques to make sure you stay safe.
However, recently in my work with clients (and in my own self-work) I have figured out that in this process of separating your voice from the Mongers voice, in order to really tell the difference between the two you not only need to recognize the Mongers voice but you need to recognize your voice too. I refer to this voice as Your Wise Voice, because it reminds me that this voice has my innate Wisdom. You can call it whatever appeals to you, Your Intuition, The Voice of God, or Your Authentic voice whatever settles best with you. The name doesn’t matter it is what this voice is doing/saying.
Your Wise Voice is loving, kind and compassionate. This voice is the authentic YOU. The you that is filled with pure wisdom. The you that would never in a million years think to belittle yourself. And this voice usually starts out in a whisper. As we grow up and we learn how to adapt and survive in our environment our Mongers get formed. They appear because of messages in the environment, traits we inherited, behaviors we have to develop and basically the stuff that just happens. Over time our Mongers get stronger and stronger and our Wise Voice gets quieter and quieter. I believe, in this life, it is our job to turn up the volume on our Wise Voice and turn down the volume on the Mongers.
All of this volume adjusting takes time. It is a process filled with awareness, compassion and curiosity. I have discussed the process for dealing with Mongering here, here and here. But today I want to give up tips for tapping into that Wise Voice.
Be Quiet and Listen: “Well, duh” you might be saying. But honestly we all KNOW we should get quiet and listen but how often do we REALLY do it?!?!? Turn off the radio in the car, turn off the podcast while you cook dinner, turn down the endless chatter and just be quiet. Take 5 minutes in the AM, or before you walk into work and just BE. Take 60 seconds and listen.
Play: What did you LOVE to do as a child? Play tag? Tennis? Basketball? Hide and Seek? Make S’mores? Crafts? Color? There are 1,000 ideas for playtime. The point is to tap back into your roots. The Wise Voice lives here in the wild, unfettered place in you. Sometimes we have our lids screwed down so tight that the pot that is our life is just going to explode. We need to let loose and play a little. And then Listen. Listen to that belly laugh, feel the smile on your face, hear the joy exuding from your every pore. This is where the Wise Voice is.
Practice Compassion: Regularly throughout the day practice compassion with yourself. For me, I put my hands over my heart and I just remind myself that I am loved, I am ok and I got this and I sit there for a few seconds and just breathe. It just settles everything down and I can tap into my Wise Voice. Spread the love to those around you too. So practice compassion with your kids, your friends and your partner. Let them know how much they mean to you, remind yourself they are doing the best the can with what they have.
Practice Gratitude: Take a few moments in the day to look around and just be thankful for what you can see, feel and touch around you. Be specific. Right now, as I look around my office, I am thankful for my cat curled up on my desk, my fan providing me with cool air, the view of the amazing trees out my window, the many cards my nearest and dearest has given me, the picture I bought on my trip to Peru. As I engage in this activity the list becomes longer and longer and I become more and more tapped into my own uniqueness and my Wise Self.
I would love to hear from you: How do you tap into your Wise Voice? Have you tried any of these tips before? What is the hardest struggle you have in hearing your Wise Voice? Tell me about a success you have had in hearing your Wise Voice?
I love the concept we talked about of “putting space” between that monger voice and authentic voice. Sometimes a situation will happen, and I know it’s going to throw Me to the back of the bus for a while. I try to put off the action (answering the email, calling the company, whatever) until things have calmed down a little bit.
I’ve learned to look at the actual vocabulary my inner voice is using. Is she saying what I “should” or “shouldn’t” do, think, feel, say, wear, or eat? Is she using words like “never” or “always”? Can she suddenly see the future? Or can she place a single fun-size Snickers into a lifelong pattern of pathological dysfunctional eating? Does she use big words like “pathological” and “dysfunctional”? 🙂
On my best days, I know when I hear that vocab it’s time to create space. I need to come back to this email. I need to think about this after lunch. I need to run up and down the 4 flights of stairs in my office and come back to this. I need to vacuum and see if I still think I’ll always/never do/be/have/feel ________.
So true!! Very well said 🙂 Creating that space is so freakin’ hard–but makes all the difference!! I know “paying attention” gets tedious and annoying but once we get in the habit of doing it and creating that space–it is far less tedious than living unconsciously allowing the mongers to run the show!!
Sign up to receive my Sunday newsletters filled with tips and tools to tackle your High Functioning Anxiety.