I used to feel like a repository of ideas that emerged from societal norms, people in my communities, people outside my communities (strangers at the grocery store), and my own patriarchal conditioning. It was like a revolving door of thoughts that streamed into my world and I tried to entertain them all. I felt like I had to engage with them. I thought that I was SUPPOSED to listen to all of them. I didn’t know that I could close the door.
Coaching helped me to understand that I operate with about 70,000 thoughts a day and they filter through my brain so quickly that I rarely noticed what feelings they elicit. No wonder I felt overwhelmed and second-guessed my decisions. I was trying to take into account all those thoughts. Just imagine how much influence the patriarchy had on those 70,000 thoughts.
These days my revolving door is out of service. I don’t react to default thoughts as if they are law as much as I used to in life before coaching. when other people offer their opinions, I notice that those opinions belong to someone else. There’s no need for me to take them on as my own. I’m more aware of what is happening with my nervous system and I feel curious about what activated it. Each new layer that I uncover is like a flashlight shining the way to my healing.
And when I heal, I create my own personal revolution that spreads into my communities.
Sometimes a thought pushes through the revolving door because it is old, wounded, and needs attention. When this happens, I give myself a few choices.
I can sit with it to learn more.
I can remind myself that this thought is still with me but it is not charting my path.
I can tell myself that I don’t believe this thought anymore and reflect on how different my life is from the days that I did believe it.
My Ph.D. in women’s and gender studies taught me how the patriarchy operates in societies and systems of power while coaching taught me how everyone living in a patriarchal society internalizes its code of conduct – including me. I coach my clients to identify the limiting beliefs that they were conditioned to believe so that they can disrupt them in service to the life they want to lead.