Time to change? but how, part of you wants to change and part of you doesn’t. Today consider what you want to change and what is one step you can take to make that change. Just do that one step. Just the one, do it today.
Are working hard to make life changes only to feel defeated by those around you or yourself? It may be time to look beneath the surface of the change process and find the deeper meaning in the struggle.
For each obstacle from Thursday’s change plan worksheet consider 2-3 options for coping with each on the way to your goal.
Maybe it is changing location, moving away from particular people at a party, going a new way to work, having dinner at a different time, saying a particular phrase, etc. There are many ways to address and deal with your challenges – and they will come up. So plan to meet them with grace and confidence.
The Spirituality of Change
This brings an aspect of living your essence and spirituality. As you work on changing, you must face yourself – sometimes this is the hardest person to face. You must take an honest look at who you are and who you want to be. Then do the difficult work of change. Through this process we often find parts of ourselves we do not like, want around, or understand. It is in facing these aspects of our being that we become a better version of ourselves. If you find yourself lost in the struggle, it may be worth finding a support system for your change process – a group, class, or therapist to help you navigate the steps and set you up for the best possible results.
Finding your voice
Sometimes explaining your desire to change to others is hard. Sometimes they work against you – like crabs in a bucket, pulling you back into old patterns and behaviors. Remember, you do not have to explain your changes to anyone else. You do not have to justify your new behaviors or work to get the to understand your reasons, purpose, or dreams. Your change is all about you and you can chose who to share it with and when.
A few simple statements go a long way, like:
- I’m the DD tonight
- I am working on a new fitness plan
- I am trying a new meal plan out
- I am working on shifting my sleeping pattern
- I’ve been reading about _____, and I want to try some of the suggestions
- I have a friend who did ____, I am hoping to have similar results
- I noticed I feel better when I do _____
You can create all sorts of simple statements that give enough information but do not require you explain or rationalize your new behaviors. Just make sure you are creating statements you can back up if they ask later – i.e. if you are telling people you are working on training for a race, you might want to make sure you are planning to run a race. When people ask how’s the racing going you don’t want to be “aaaaaahhhh …” and stumble trying to make something up on the spot.
In the end, relax into the change process, enjoy the ride, find yourself, and become a better version of you. It is here you find your spirit and strengthen your soul.
So many people bite off more than can chew when it comes to habit changes. They know the big goal they want to accomplish but it is too big, too overwhelming and they never start or stop too soon to see the change happen. Don’t be that person. Just start small and keep going.
Ever wonder why two people can be in a similar situation, but one of them is positive about it and the other negative? Here’s why. The power of your thoughts cannot be underestimated. Use them wisely.
I see many people in my practice who struggle to turn their mind. This is the primary need in choosing your perspective. You have to have the skill of being able to look at what is going on, separate what is happening from your past experience lenses, and be able to find something good about it. Even if 99.9% sucks you have to be able and ready to find something that does not suck in your current situation. This is a very difficult skill and requires that we accept what is going on in our lives even if we do not like it.
What you think about your experience is more important than the experience itself. In reality it is just what is happening right now. This is the neutral place of “it just is ____”. We then put our judgment upon it. We label the experience as “good”, “bad”, “I like”, “I don’t like”, “I want”, “I don’t want”, “should”, “should not” etc. When we place these labels on our experiences we are expressing our values. Our values help us decide what to do and how to engage with our environment by limiting our choices. This is actually helpful, as there are so many choices in any given moment, but it can make it hard for us to feel fulfilled and engaged in our current experiences.
When we place so much emphasis on what we should do, how it should go, what we want, and turn our noses up at what we do not like, we are living our experiences based on judgments that color what we are actually experiencing. This keeps us locked in our heads and stuck in stories that may or may not be serving us anymore. We end up living from expectations rather than reality. When we can pick apart the experience for what it truly is, look at it honestly, and be open to what is to be learned from it, we find the beauty that surrounds us.
Our thoughts have power. They shape what we focus on, where our attention goes, and what we continue to find in the world. As we discussed last week, when I find myself living in the same experiences I am often narrowing my focus and putting my attention on similar sorts of experiences and opportunities. It is what I know, therefore it continues to be what I find. Over and over and over again. Many times we do not even realize this is the case. We have no idea how powerful our thoughts are and how much they shape our experiences in the world – it is just what we have always experienced or always seen or always seem to run into. When you take control of your thinking patterns you can significantly shift your experience in the world and create the experiences you want to have.
Part of the power of our thoughts is the chemical nature of them. For every thought you have, you create a chemical – electrical pattern in your physical structure. Your neurons function using electricity and chemistry to communicate across the synapse and travel through your neuromuscular junctions to make movements happen. The more you use a neuron pattern the closer those neurons move toward each other. As they do this they become much quicker in communication ability. For example:
I speak English as my 1st language. As a result I know a lot of English words, I have understanding of the language that I do not even know I know. It is just what I have always known to be true about communicating with people around me. I can understand elements of English communication through the nuances, inferences, and structure of the current communication patterns, inflections and presentation of the person communicating to me. I have very strong neural connections for the English language and specifically upper-midwestern United States of America English.
If you have ever learned another language you also know what I am talking about – it is chunky and often slow to understand the words in normal conversation in another country/language. Once you spend enough time with the new language or learning the new style of speaking, it becomes easier to understand the nuances and patterns of speech. That is your neurology shifting and creating new or closer connections, thus becoming bilingual. People who grew up speaking 2 languages can often switch between them very quickly. They have strong neural networks for both.
Now apply this concept to negative thinking patterns. If you are someone who spends a lot of time thinking negatively about yourself or others, situations or spaces, patterns people behave in, etc, you are creating strong neural pathways to find more of those examples … because your brain is wired to find them easy.
You participate in them everyday (often multiple times a day) and your mind uses those thinking patterns to protect you from something given the amount of time you spend on them. Mind and brain work together to make sure you find them all around your environment. They are important for some reason or you would not be thinking of them so often. This is the reasoning your mind feels it is necessary to catalogue and find them all around you. This is not meant to shame you for your responsibility in your current state. As I said above there is a reason you continually think in negative directions. Therapy can be a big help getting to the root of your behavior and help you figure out what you are using negative self talk, judgment, and overall pessimism for. You are doing it for a reason, now might be the time to figure out why.
Imagine what would happen if you started focusing on what is working, rather than what is not working? If I am right about how important it is to pay attention on purpose, imagine how your life would shift if you were purposefully looking for and finding all the things going right in your life. Are you ready to take a positive focus in your life? Ready to live on purpose? Ready to shift into letting go of expectations and truly living in this moment of your life?
Start taking control of your thoughts right now. I know it is easier said than done. Here’s an activity to get you started.
Today try this activity – FIND BLUE CARS.
See how many you find around you. Comment your number on our Facebook group. For this activity do not change your routine or go out of your way to find a lot. Just notice how many you run into during your regular day doing the same things you do in your normal routine. Notice and count how many you find around you today.