Yesterday I shared a video where a bear comes very close to a man on a hill overlooking a river. The bear literally just hangs out and relaxes. But my immediate thought was, what is the man behind the camera feeling right now—is he terrified? Is the bear going to pounce on him at any minute? The bear eventually walks away calmly, the man unscathed.
Why would my mind immediately go to the worst that could happen? I guess movies with a biased view of bears (like The Edge) don’t help…But the truth is, even though I’m getting better at it, worst-case scenario thinking was a natural go-to for much of my life. Like, it’ll probably rain on my birthday…there's not a chance I'll get that job…it's not safe to travel alone.
On Sunday I went to a workshop for healing-and-wellness entrepreneurs. Each one of us had to get up in front of the group of fifty-some people to do an “unpitch”—don’t sell your wares, just speak from your soul and tell us why you’re here. About thirty people went before me, so I had plenty of time to hear that inner voice say, “They’re going to think what you’re saying is stupid, corny and/or boring.” When it came my turn, I said “whatever” to that voice and spoke my truth. I got some cheers, and it felt great.
At the end of the workshop, the keynote speaker was raffling off a basket of goodies (a journal, essential oils, CDs, etc). She asked if I had entered, and I told her yes. Then the voice inside me said, “You never win raffles.” I did my best to not judge it, and said to myself, “I want that prize. I really want that prize!” Ten minutes later I won it.
I saw another bear video this morning. In it, naturalist Casey Anderson speaks of his thirteen-year friendship with a grizzly bear he named Brutus. In the video they blissfully hang out together in the wilderness, and it’s easy to see that the bear would never hurt him. Casey explains he doesn’t overthink it, lets it happen, and he never forgets Brutus is a grizzly (meaning he has the utmost respect for him).
When people ask Casey why he calls the bear Brutus, a name synonymous with the ultimate betrayal, he replies “We’re going to change that. It’s going to be the greatest bond of all time. We’re going to rewrite history.”
We can rewrite our thoughts back to what they are meant to be—coming from love for ourselves and others.
The journal from my raffle prize is full of quotes. The one I opened to this morning is from Dr. Seuss:
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
It’s all about the magic. 🙌