Got ANTs?

Ciao and Sacred Sunday to you:
I hope this week has been filled with moments of great joy, depth and self-discovery.
It has for me!
Personally, I’m happy to share that one of my nieces delivered to us a new family member, sweet and precious Luca. I adore his name and can’t wait to meet him.
Also, this week I was honored to have a rich conversation and coaching call where both my client and I experienced a couple of Aha’s!
Don’t you love that, when suddenly there’s a hush, the world pauses, a seam opens and voila, you experience the light of awareness.
Plus, I learned the acronym, ANTs: Automatic Negative Thoughts.
How did I not know this?!
ANTs is a psychological therapeutic term.  And while I was surprised that I’d never heard the term before, the concept of automatic negative thoughts and how to eradicate them, is not new to me, coaching or yoga psychology.

As the conversation continued, I explained in layman’s lingo, as I’m not a scientist nor a researcher, how the brain works and how the mind is a trickster – it’s our thinking that’s the root cause of our unhappiness, melancholy, anxiousness, sadness, irritation… that then evoke those unwanted and uncomfortable emotions.
As a follower of mine I know you’re aware of these ideas. Yet so very often in times of distress, when we need our tools the most, we forget.
So, let’s remember that as our human species evolved physically our brains, even today, haven’t caught up with the transformation.
I continued with – ‘when we’re triggered or frightened, our primitive survival brain shifts into autopilot.’
And that’s when I got the feels.
Here’s the good part, ‘when our fears arise so do our instinctual survival mechanisms. And they react as our protective “first responders”.’
🧠Now that might not be news to you or seem like a big deal, but pause, roll it around in your mind, because it really is a big deal.
Throughout the pandemic we heard and saw powerful images of what we’ve previously dubbed “first responders”. People who behave from their highest nature to care selflessly for others even when under great levels of stress.
Yet, in our own brain our “first responders” are ancestrally programmed to react from our lowest tendencies, to protect and survive the perceived threat.
Is it a snake, or is it a rope? The ole’ fight, flight, freeze response kicking into gear.
The ancient sages and yogis understood this. And now through scientific research we have proof this work to improve and expand our precious and malleable brains can be done.
However, like any other discipline, diminishing the ANTs and building the Legacy part of your brain requires commitment and work.
The thing is, you and I can do better. You and I must do better.
First, it’s important that you learn how to subdue and minimize the neuropathways of the reptilian “first responders” in your brain; so that you can then grow and enhance the neuropathways of your more conscious and awakened state.
If you’re ready to learn how to live without the constant barrage of negative thinking…
Start by becoming aware of them.
Not always easy, but simple. Pay attention to your thoughts.
Next implement a thought interrupter.
Pick a mantra or a word. It can even be STOP!
Then, my love, you must replace it with another thought.
Not pie in the sky, spiritual by-passing. A simple redirection that feels “doable” to you.
Something you can wrap your head and heart around.
One of my favorite people, in moments of self-doubt tells herself, “I’m a good person.” Because even in moments of self-doubt she truly knows that indeed, she is a good person!
When we get caught up in the BS we tell ourselves, we begin to believe it’s gospel.
But it’s not.
And the great new is, you have the power to shift. To grow. To expand your conscious awareness and not get caught up in the collective nonsense that no longer serves you or the planet.
So, the questions are…
Are you willing to become aware of your ANTs
Will you challenge your “first responders”
What will be your go-to thought interrupter
With love and appreciation, xoxo Paulette
PS: Check out this funny 6-minute clip on how to interrupt your ANTs.


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