I stood on the playground in my green, parent-volunteer apron. Kids were eating, playing, running, sliding, screaming. A fifth grader carrying a lunch tray frantically ran toward me and then screeching to a halt. His eyes bulged. He looked like he was going to throw up. But there was no sound.
Oh my God are you choking? His eyes enlarged. He shook his head yes. In an instant, I got behind him, wrapped my arms around his slight frame, hugged my fists and dug into his gut thrusting upward. After three thrusts, the beef jerky that held him in the precipice of life and death, flew out.
He gasped a giant gulp of air. Smiled. Said a very sincere thank you, and dashed off to eat and play.
That was it. Done. No big deal. Next …
He held no fear of what could’ve happened. He only knew in that moment he felt good. He didn’t dwell on what was. He just knew right now he was good. He was hungry and he wanted to play.
I like the efficiency of this technique. A virtual instantaneous save from catastrophe. I’ve often thought about Heimliching my thoughts when I find one particularly sticky and choking off my well-being.
“ I never get a break”. “Why does this always happen to me”?
Dig, thrust, eject.
“I don’t know what I’m doing.” “I never have enough time.”
Thrust, thrust expel.
Regular choking can kill you in about six minutes. But the slow prolonged torturous choking on our limiting thoughts can lead to a miserable daily life. Yet it’s totally preventable. You just have to recognize the signs and be ready willing and able to Heimlich.
You already know the difference between thoughts that are useful or the ones that get stuck in your brain like beef jerky. Go ahead. Give it a thrust. Expel those cootie brain thoughts. Gulp in that new breath and choose the thoughts that define the difference between joy and misery. It’s up to you.
Make Believe Make Belief Affirmation: Today I Heimlich negative thoughts that choke off my joy of life. I choose to keep my mind open and clear.