• Leslie Merrell

My Pee and Sugar Revelations

I remember frantically looking for my mother all throughout the house. My desperation growing by the second, until my little girl bladder could hold out no longer. ... I peed. ... In my clothes. ... Probably on the carpet.

When my mom asked me why I did that, I explained that I couldn't find her anywhere. She asked why I was looking for her. I explained what seemed obvious to me, "I had to find you so I could go to the bathroom." She then told me, "You don't have to ask me to use the bathroom. You can just go, whenever you need to." My little girl brain had never even considered this. Hello, paradigm shift/secret to the universe!

Somewhere along the line, I had created the self-limiting belief that I had to have permission and the company of my mom in order to use the bathroom. I was very little, so it is possible that the pattern I had always followed to that point had been letting my mom know I needed to go so that she could accompany and help me. It never had occurred to me that I could just decide to go use the bathroom whenever I wanted,... even if my mom didn't know!

I was blind to that possibility, because I was blind to my self-limiting belief. To me, it wasn't just a thought or belief that I needed to let my mom know and have her permission and her presence, it was just the truth. Why would I ever question what I knew to be true?

You probably already know that we all have blind spots in our eyes, but did you know we have blind spots in our thinking as well? The blind spot in our eyes is the place where the optic nerve and blood vessels leave the eyeball. The optic nerve then carries images to our brains to be processed. How do we know what we’re seeing? Our eyes take in the visual information, and then our brains interpret it. Our brains seamlessly fill in any missing information we need based on the visual input surrounding our blind spots. We are usually unaware of the blind spots in our eyes.

Isn't that fascinating? The exact part of our body that carries all of our visual input to the brain for processing is blind! And, we fill in any missing visual information based on what we already know.

All day, every day, our brains are constantly filtering out information that they deem as irrelevant by looking at what they already know to be true, and filtering out anything that goes against that truth. This creates blind spots in our thinking. We can't see the filter, itself. We don't even know it exists. Then, just like with our visual blind spots, we fill in any missing information based on what we already "know". We view the world through our filters, and we know that our view is the truth.

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are.*

On that fateful day, I had, in fact, passed the open and available bathroom-- probably more than once-- in my search for my mom. And yet, going in and using it never crossed my mind as a possibility, because it would have run counter to the "truth" that I knew.

When my mom gave me the information I was missing, my mind shifted and I was able to see the world through a new filter: I CAN CHOOSE TO USE THE BATHROOM WHENEVER I WANT!!

This is what I love so much about coaching and getting coached! Finding, and feeling, the freedom and greater understanding that my mind opens up to when someone points out a blindspot of mine.

This happened again, just today, as I was being coached. I was wanting help around my constant desire for sugar, and my over-consumption of it. As I was explaining, I said, "I love sugar." Simple statement of fact, right? I have LOTS of evidence to support this. I even have seen it as part of my identity, "I am a person who loves sugar." But, when my coach pointed out that this is actually a thought that creates the emotion of desire, my mind was resistant. My mind wanted to argue, "no, it's a fact. There are people who love sugar, and there are people who don't, and I CLEARLY am a person who loves sugar."

But, here's the thing, when "I love sugar" was demoted to a thought, rather than truth and part of my identity, I could see the possibility of choosing a different thought. And, then, a different thought would lead to a different feeling, which would then fuel different actions, creating different results.

Our cars have mirrors and blind spot monitors to alert us of what we can't see. With them, we can make wise, informed choices that keep us safe on the road. If I had to explain what a life coach does in one sentence, it would be this: I work as your mirror and blind spot monitor, so that you can make wise, informed choices that serve you and take you where you want to go.

And, in those moments, when I am able to show a blind spot to a client, and watch them experience the freedom that comes with deeper understanding, I feel honored and humbled to be witness to it.

P.S. - In case no one has ever told you before, "YOU CAN CHOOSE TO USE THE BATHROOM WHENEVER YOU WANT!"

Also, there is no such thing as sugar-people and non-sugar people -- except maybe in Candyland. There's just people. People who get to choose what they put in their mouths. And, one is not superior to the other.

*Someone really smart said this, but Google was attributing it to lots of people. So, I don't know who said it first.