Changing Your Life Is All The Rage

Every place you go these days, people offer you pills, therapies, systems, exercises, eating plans, brain scans, and trips to the Moon to help you change your life. In a recent Internet search for change your life
(5 seconds ago), 1,720,000,000 websites came up. Just 3 hours later 2,160,000,000 came up; just 5 hours later, 4,150,000,000. Needless to say, the field is rapidly growing.

There’s “Change Your Life in 20 Minutes with Self-Hypnosis,” “Change Your Brain-Change Your Life,” and “The 70 Day Life Makeover.” Web sites galore boast of being able to help you have “more abundance in your life” or to “Live a Results-Driven Life.” or to “Stop Dreaming, Start Living.”

Everybody’s got a secret, and trust me, most of them should be kept secret.

Throw a rock and you hit a personal coach, guru, healer, or someone calling themselves a shaman. Understandably. People want help. Natural human nature is overridden every day as we scurry through our lives, solving problems we created in the first place. We’ve been taught the definition of freedom is the ability to buy anything we wish to, travel anywhere we want, drive the fastest cars, and run up as much debt as we are able. If we don’t get to, we feel deprived. And even when we get what we think we want, dissatisfaction runs rampant.

Most of us have been raised in schools designed to curb our creativity rather than celebrate it. Our instincts are dull, and we don’t even know it because we are so focused on making the next buck if only to survive. No wonder we need help zooming out.

Every person who runs from self-help guru to self-help seminar in an effort to change their life truly needs to understand this; making fundamental changes, building new muscles, and polishing the jewel of your being is not for the faint of heart. It requires vigilance, commitment, and, most importantly, taking different actions. Recognizing when something isn’t working. Using your life as a laboratory and be willing to square off, head-on, with your inner negotiator, deflating its influence. You must acknowledge your part in every interaction and unravel more and more of yourself with every opportunity.

It’s easy to begin. Simply start paying attention to who’s directing the show of your life. Is it your inner negotiator, the one always making a deal? Your inner 15-year-old, who didn’t get what she wanted today, so she’s wreaking havoc? Your inner child who longs to feel safe? Do you hear your mother, father, or ex-lover’s voice egging you on, or is it your inner elder tapping on your shoulder offering you its guidance?

One way to tell is by watching yourself when you get your buttons pushed. When you find yourself overreacting to a situation, what was triggered inside of you that caused your attitude?

Get curious. Contemplate; allow yourself to feel what comes up entirely. Go into it instead of resisting it. Observe it. Then, when it’s ready, let go of it. Put it down. Stop carrying it. It has to do with realizing you probably aren’t in as much control and you think you are.

Letting go is an actual physical sensation, not just some woo-woo words spouted by new agers. You can feel it when it happens. And when you let go of old stuffed emotions, you open yourself up to the ability to relax a little bit more.

Imagine a 3 lb. rock being strapped to your arm and not being able to get it off. You would get used to having it there; it would undoubtedly have an impact on your day-to-day life, no matter how subtle. Now, imagine how you feel when you are finally able to put the rock down. You would feel a new sense of freedom you didn’t know was possible because you were so used to carrying around the rock. All of a sudden, you have a whole range of movement available to you that you had forgotten about.

Old worn-out habits, patterns, and emotions you carry around with you affect you just as the rock would. It’s subtle. The undercurrent of its influence isn’t noticed until the trigger is dismantled. I’m not suggesting that letting go is easy; it’s often helpful to have assistance; a conversation with a neutral party can help you clarify your thoughts and change your perceptions.

Breaking old patterns is work! It requires soothing the child, interrupting the negotiator, throwing the 15-year-old a bone (buy it a Yoohoo or something), kicking the family out, and choosing your inner wisdom as your guide over any other voice. You have to do it again and again and again. And again. It will be uncomfortable for a while. It takes a bit of time, and you’ll be walking through the chaos and disruption of change during the process. The amount of road between reacting in your old ways to responding with your new responses will depend on how readily you get where you are (acceptance), let go and allow.

As uncomfortable as it is responding from this new place, you’ll soon realize you don’t die from doing it differently. As a crisp clarity unfolds, you’ll feel better and better. Gradually these new responses will be your default responses, replacing your old shaky framework with new beams of strength.

Be particularly kind to yourself during the period of time between clearing an outmoded response mechanism and developing your newfound way. There is not enough attention given to navigating these waters. It’s akin to growing your hair long after having it short. During the time in-between long and short, the unruly weeks, your hair is in chaos. It’s going every which way, and all you want to do is cover it up. After a while, your hair is beautiful again. You cannot get from short to long hair without going through the uncomfortable, unruly hair stage. And everything turns out fine.

During the time in-between important life changes, your newly acquired tools reach out to you with a faint voice as your old familiar ways try to hang on, taunting you and teasing you into following their lead. The ground below you feels so shaky you don’t know how to act. All you want to do is climb under a rock because it’s dark and safe and you don’t have to choose. But this is your path to wholeness, so you carry on. And you choose. And you choose again. And pretty soon, you no longer have to choose; you’ve successfully woven your new ways into the fabric of you. Congratulations.

If you would like help with making changes, processing difficulties, or learning useful communication skills, drop me a note.

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