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Steps to a Quiet Mind
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"Our mind is trying to protect us from all the dangers we've faced throughout our lives -- all day long. With self-compassion and persistence, we may learn to guide our attention away from fear."
In 2005, as I began a year-long training program in Skills for Change, Julia Kelliher told me that the majority of my negative self-loathing thoughts sounded like what she called "Deserve to Die Pig." I was to learn that this category of internalized, oppressive thoughts included thought-weeds like, "you're not good enough," "it doesn't matter what you do anyway," "you're unlovable," "you're a failure," and the pervasive underlying thought I was struggling with, "you suck." These self-hating thoughts and feelings are also called the inner critic, shame, voices of judgment, etc.
When I started tracking my own thoughts, I discovered that truly innocuous thoughts like "I should call Jennifer" weighed down my chest and limbs, and closed my throat. When I asked myself some questions about why I was thinking these thoughts, I realized I was trying to protect myself from conflict, disconnection, and anything else bad that could happen if I didn't "make sure" people liked me, felt safe around me, or got what they wanted.
It seems amazing to me to look back on it now, but it only took between two and three weeks for me to make huge progress. When I was done, I had 70% fewer thoughts. It was so quiet. I sigh now, just thinking about it. Suddenly my thoughts were peaceful. It was such a relief.
Over the course of a month, you'll learn to quiet your mind by stopping your extra thoughts. Join a community of support as you learn this valuable, life-changing skill.