Do. You. is a guest column by Tasha Richardson a Public Ally for the National Runaway Safeline. She dreams of changing the world one thought and…

Do. You. is a guest column by Tasha Richardson a Public Ally for the National Runaway Safeline. She dreams of changing the world one thought and positive interaction at a time.  She is in her third term of service with AmeriCorps and would love to dedicate her life to service in the years to come. 

Just in time for Mental Wellness Month (January 2014) “Do. You.” provides helpful tips on coping strategy, being more resilient, and working through problems. The first installment encourages us to look for solutions within ourselves; here Tasha explores reclaiming your mental space.  

When we are unhappy, we often tend to focus on our unhappiness and the people, place, things, circumstances, and events that appear to be causing it.

They did it to us!  It is the reason why my life is the way it is!  If only I escaped from it, fight it, or resist it, than I can live the life I want!

In this second installment of the Do. You. Series (read the first installment here), we are going to talk about principle one, reclaim your mental space.  As you all may recall, Do. You. is here to offer us a third option when it comes to confronting our struggles and problems.  It gives us a way to acknowledge where we are and clear our vision enough to see what we want and where we want to be.

In this second installment of the Do. You. Series, we are going to talk about principle one, reclaim your mental space.  As you all may recall, Do. You. is here to offer us a third option when it comes to confronting our struggles and problems.  It gives us a way to acknowledge where we are and clear our vision enough to see what we want and where we want to be.

When we are consumed by thoughts unhappiness telling ourselves ‘they’ are the cause, or ‘it’ is responsible, we render ourselves passive.  When make ourselves passive recipients to whatever the people, circumstances, events, and things, we rob ourselves of our own agency.  We forget that we are bold, bright, beautiful, wonderful, empowered, and powerful creatures who are in full control of how we choose to interpret the things that happen in our lives.

Our mind becomes crowded by this negativity.  Our thoughts become cluttered. Essentially, we give control to whatever is outside us.  Focusing on the other gives away our agency and limits our mental capacity.

To help illustrate this point, let’s consider the example of 15 year old Tatiana.

Tatiana is one of 5 living in a crowded 3 bedroom apartment with her mom and her mother’s boyfriend, Ramón.  To Tatiana, living at home is purgatory!  Her mother seems to be spending all of her time with her boyfriend, while Tatiana is left at home trying to play mom.  Tatiana works a part time job, and cooks the meals for her brothers and sisters.  Tatiana often dreams of leaving!  She feels like she is not free and that her relationship with her mother changed since Ramón moved in 3 months ago.  She has tried bringing this up to her mom but this only causes them to get into arguments.  How can Tatiana use the first principle of the Do You Model to gain some clarity about her life and perhaps come up with an option 3 that may or may not include leaving?

There is no denying that Tatiana’s present reality is real and that what she is going through exists.  However, the Do You Model says that Tatiana needs to free up her mental space by suspending her thoughts that Ramón and her mother are the problem.  By relinquishing this blame, Tatiana is able to focus on what she really wants, who she would like to become, and on the good times and things that she does like about her mother, Ramón, and her present reality.

Practical Tips for Tatiana and the Reader:

  1. When you hear yourself using s/he, them, it, and they–this is a clue that you are in someone else’s business.  Bring yourself back by asking the question: What is it that I want?
  2. Imagine and visualize how it is that you would like your life to be, disregarding the villains and victims that were previously taking center stage in your mind.
  3. Ask yourself, what is it that was once good about my situation, the people, the event, or things?
  4. What does __________ (peace, happiness, success, etc.) look life for me?

Considering these four action points and questions can help to reorient ourselves to our true nature that is whole, happy, well, unbreakable, and eternal no matter what is going on.  Join us for the third installment of the Do.You. Series, next Weds 1/15, to learn about principle two–telling a new story.