9. New neural pathways

August 18, 2015
Barbara Cook

If you recall, I’d reaffirmed my commitment to what feels right to me, and had asked the universe for help with this Trusting-business.

Based on my journal entries February 12 – 13   2015 :-

trekking dream My dream last night: I’m trekking in the mountains (like our trip to Nepal). There are new and challenging paths. Being careful, but so exciting. Constantly checking to ensure I’m not on that other path over there – that sad old worn track, and that I’m still on this exciting, new trek, which is beginning to feel right.


Man, I am SO blessed!   I had asked for help last night before I went to sleep.

A Hollywood screenwriter couldn’t make this stuff up!! They couldn’t make my dream more obvious if they tried. And I swear I’m not making this up! I’m sure your dreams are just as helpful and affirming for you. Aren’t they just bloody wonderful and marvelous! What a gift! (that could possibly be too many exclamation marks in one paragraph, but what the heck! )

Remember the adjustment I made to the page ‘How I Came to Write This Book’? Today I go back in and revert to the original. I was on the right track.

Yesterday, another first – I’m starting to get used to saying out loud, “I’m self-publishing a book” and it’s now time for me to practise asking a few other people to read it. I have to start some time. I give my manuscript to a trusted friend to read.

Let’s pause here, to take that in …

It was a big moment, yet it felt like another one of those direct, uncomplicated actions.

Today was a regular, busy day at work. The everyday world seems so different from Narnia (see blog post 4) – that self-publishing world where I am doing something so unlike me; so out of my comfort zone. It seems as if I step through a gossamer screen to be in the unfamiliar world, then pass back into the harsh light of day. (someone once said this to me.) I can’t seem to reconcile them just yet.

Today I also did a bit of online research using the wonderful author resource site provided by my publishing company. Apparently I really need to have an author website! Whaaaaat?!

Enter the voice :- (turn away now if you can’t ride another contraction with me) “This is the real world, forget about all that Narnia gossamer stuff and your silly imagination, surely not worth sharing… you don’t know anything about all that scary website stuff anyway. It will be all this work for nothing!”     It’s yet another re-run of the same old tape that we’ve been hearing all along this journey.

Hmm … interesting … It’s like a part of me can’t handle this level of trusting required for venturing into the unknown. It turns out that it’s not really me as such, but a collection of deeply entrenched thoughts that go round and round in my head. I guess you could call it self-talk. After a lifetime of treading the same old worn track, reinforcing the same neural pathways in my brain, it seems as if this collection of self-talk has solidified into an actual character in a play. This mind-character is definitely male; a not-so-helpful one this time! All he can do with this unfamiliar energy is to go into pessimism and the worst-case scenario in some projected future, in order to gain some sense of control by imagining the worst and having a plan for that.

I’ve even found it useful to give this mind-voice a name and a character. If I ever write a second book, maybe you’ll meet him then. Just to give you a hint, he’s masquerading as an adult, but he’s not a real grown-up. He’s like a little kid playing dress-ups, trying on his dad’s suit and too-big shoes. He puts on a baritone voice, but his panicky, flapping, powerless dialogue is straight out of childhood.

And to all of you health professionals reading this— no, it’s fine, thanks. I don’t have a disorder. Just think of those internal characters in the brilliant animated movie “Inside Out”.   More about this movie later.

So back to mindfulness: this negative self-talk won’t go away by itself. Now it’s as if my strong, wise inner female is gently yet firmly pointing out how it really  is, and then disciplining me to deliberately choose some positive self-talk to replace it. “Yes, I’ve noticed those thoughts. Yes, I can sit with the uncertainty … just bring my attention back to the present. I’m reminded of the dream I woke up to this morning. It’s all unfolding … even though there are no answers, just let it be.  Now then, let’s keep repeating this new self-talk: in fact, let’s adopt it like a mantra: “I align myself with the greater awareness that is driving the outcome of any situation.”

I then return to the present moment, and to my Self-Love Programme. (see blog post 6)  I ask myself, “What do I need to do for myself right now?”

Hmm … what do I need? I tune in … It’s a beautiful summer’s day. I need to get in the water.

So …… I’m off for a swim……. Seeya!


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